Turn thermostat down or leave steady?

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Yes, if I turned it down and left it there for a week or longer maybe.
But downturning for any period under a couple days and all the mass you've spent heating once, now you have to re-heat over again. (my system has several thousand feet of water tubing under both house floor and garage slab zoned).
It might be different if you have forced air heat, but for water heat (via radiators or radiant tube) every installer tells you "set it once and forget it, the idea is to store heat".
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RickH wrote:

I believe in your situation it will still save energy. The reason they tell you to "set it and forget it" is for comfort. Due to the large mass of your system it will have a much slower recovery time, but that does not mean it will take more energy, it's just slower. Or you could turn it down hours before leaving and have it turn on hours before arriving home again. That should help with the comfort.
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RickH wrote:

Then tell me exactly what that magic length of time is. Is is 3.2 hours, 12 hours, 23.5 hours, or some other time? I did build one new home with zoned hot water heat and it was great heat but we still turned all three thermostats down when we left to save energy and it definitely did.
Don
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The heat lost is the same as the heat you paid for. Lower temp loses less heat (or loses more slowly). So turning down reduces heat used, and fuel bill.
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Christopher A. Young
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Wrong answer! Check previous threads on this topic.
So by your reasoning if you turned down the heat to 50F & left it down for a week....you wouldn't save any energy because you'd have "add back all that heat"?
cheers Bob
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No surveys or studies needed to address this question. The Second Law of Thermodynamics decrees that the speed and extent of all heat transfers in the universe depends solely on the temperature differential between two objects. The moment you turn down the thermostat you start saving money. The longer you keep it down, the more money you save.
For further musings: http://www.rationality.net/entropy.htm
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Walter
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What happens when he comes home and turns it back up again? The reverse, so where is the savings?
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RickH-
Looks like there is very little hope for you understanding the thermo of setback....
Walter made a very simple / concise statement of the value of setback but you still choose to disbelieve it. :(
The energy saved is the amount of energy used to maintain the house at the setback subtracted from the energy that would had been expended to maintain the house at the higher temp.
outside temp 50F inside temp 70F (without setback)
outside temp 50F inside temp 60F (with setback)
house at setback temp loses ~1/2 the heat that the house at "normal" temp
cheers Bob
now if we could just get people to not top post
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RickH wrote:

Talking about manually doing it? No, doing it with intelligent programmable 'stat.
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The energy you buy is the same energy as what's lost. Cold house loses less heat. The recovery swing is a lot less heat than keeping the house warm.
* It may take a long time, which is unacceptable * It may cause your heat pump to go into emergency heat, which is more expensive
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This is veering away from the original question a little, but -- This time of year, and also in spring, we have days where it will be in the 40's in the morning and 80's in the afternoon. I know lot of people who turn the heat up to 70 or more in the morning, then by early afternoon they have the a/c on. If they would just leave it off and tolerate being a couple of degrees cooler for an hour or so in the morning, the house would warm up on its own and be comfortable for most of the day, and just before it might get a degree or so too warm, the sun will go down and it gets comfortable again. They will then have used ZERO energy where the others have used both heat and a/c. No replies to the question about wives turning the stat all the way up/down so the heat/a/c runs faster. I doubt there are 1% who DON'T think that. My ex certainly did, and it was a total waste of time trying to explain it to her. Unfortunately, women don't have a monopoly on that kind of thinking-- I know a lot of guys who think the same thing. Larry
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Lp1331 1p1331) wrote in 3171.bay.webtv.net:

You haven't been thru menopause, have you? You'd know what being hot and then cold would really mean, then.
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I've had those kind of days. I call em "double ended" days.
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I've met enough people who think slamming the thermostat makes it heat faster. Dunno. They must learn from driving a car where tromping the gas pedal throws it into four barrel?
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I think it just an extension of the well known fact that if you press the button repeatedly the elevator will arrive faster.
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and the phones don\'t ring at all.
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You are so, so right. Thanks for a smile.
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wrote:

Known, thanks to comedian Rich Hall, as "elacceleration". ;^)
Eric Law
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The just don't know that holding the button makes it skip floor stops.
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Red Green wrote:

Pressing the "Door Close" and desired floor simultaneously put the elevator in "express mode" http://www.realtechnews.com/posts/1604
Of course many computer games have "secret" buttons for the elevators. Some contain spiders.
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I think those are the same people who think that by creeping forward at a red light, they can intimidate it into changing to green faster.
Eric Law
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