Turn thermostat down or leave steady?

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I restored part of it to also email it to a friend of mine, who complained about the same thing once.

My friend who used to have a Cadillac, in the 80's I think, complained about the same thing, but that was maybe 20 years ago. I'm glad to hear there is way to override this on some cars. And a simple way too. That's wonderful.
He advised me not to get auto, and it certainly seems to miss the point when auto is great with the windows closed, but inferior to manual with the windows open (or the top down in my case.)
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wrote:

The whole question and some of the answers, demonstrates the generally poor knowledge of basic physics. Maybe that's our education system?
No wonder the Russians got a satellite into space first? . Obviuosly if the temperature of the inside of a house is lower there will be less heat lost to outside. Because that's where it goes folks! From inside the house to outside. Higher winds also help to conduct it away.
If one left the house for a solid month with the heat turned to minimum (or off, provided nothing froze up!) less heat would be used. Whereas if the house is fully occupied heat turned to normal and with doors opening and closing more heat will be lost to outside; all a function of the temperature difference between outside and inside, depending on your insulation and air exchanger, vents etc.
Where it gets confusing for some is that with the thermostat set lower the whole interior of the house, walls, flooring, furniture, appliances, books etc. etc. cool down to that lower interior house temperature and it takes time and extra heat to bring them back up whatever the occupants wants, after they get home.
But the' extra' heat is required only for so long as it takes for the house temperature to 'catch up'. It depends on the thermal mass of the house interior and it's contents. If one has a house constructed of masonry or brick and/or with concrete floors/slab it will take longer to bring temperature back up. A well insulated wood frame maybe less?
Conversely the next time the occupant leaves and turns the temperature down less (or no) heating will be required as the house structure/ contents cool down. It will be nice and comfortable; with 'no one' there, for quite a while.
Later the occupants return and will find the house chilly and that it will take several hours for the house and it contents to warm up again!
By the way. Lot of people confuse 'heat' (or absence of heat) with 'temperature', right?
Trying to explain to my neighbour that if we had three identical blocks of material outside in the cold, (or even on a regular cool day) one of concrete, one of metal and one of wood. They would all be at the same temperature.
But if/when he picked them up the metal would 'feel' colder than the wood. BECAUSE it would conduct HEAT away from his hand more quickly than the others. Even though all are at the same TEMPERATURE.
Have fun.
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I'm not sure the Russian education is any better. Might be, I've never been there. I've seen some reports and video clips that they have a massive problem, with alcohol and homeless kids. Much more so than USA.
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Christopher A. Young
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On Thu, 29 Oct 2009 13:53:18 -0400, jeff_wisnia

No it won't, but what about when boiling water. Shouldn't the temp be all the way up when one is in a hurry? Even though on my electric stove with a medium sized pot of water, water will continue to boil when the knob is at 6 out of 10.

That would be bad. I have so much junk piled there, I can barely get within 8 feet of my thermostat.
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On Thu, 29 Oct 2009 20:20:32 -0400, mm wrote:

I think with most electric stoves the temperature of the heating element is directly proportional to the dial setting (regardless of whether the stove's altering the resistance of the system or cycling power on and off like a furnace) - there's not necessarily any feedback from the heating element to the controller via a thermostat.
So for a stove, yes giving it full power until it boils and then turning it down to maintain boiling *is* quicker than just boiling it at the lower setting (unless you're using coated pans, because you'll kill the non-stick coating by giving them full power :-)
Now, a thermostat-controlled system is a different matter...
1) Is the heating device capable of variable heat according to demand? Most aren't - but I'm sure there are some furnaces out there (for example) that can switch in extra burners and produce a hotter output if the difference between current temperature and 'desired temperature' (as set by the 'stat) is great - in those cases turning the stat up to 11 might actually make a difference :-)
2) The dynamics of the system if there's just one 'stat (and the system design's poor) might be tricky - the area with the 'stat in might reach desired temperature before the rest of the building feels warm, so turning the thermostat way up could result in a situation where the rooms that the people are actually in feel warmer sooner than they would if the thermostat were just set to desired temp (and the room with the stat in will end up feeling too hot until the temperature of the whole building evens out)
In other words, it's not quite clear-cut I think...
cheers
Jules
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A couple weeks ago, one of the guys at church mentioned to me that it's cold in the primary (kids) room. Sure enough, about 65F. He'd gone in the mechanical room, and turned the thermostat up a couple degrees. Which didn't help much, cause the furnace had flamed out. I managed to get it to restart, and then the kids had heat again.
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On Oct 29, 7:22am, "Stormin Mormon"

Is this for forced air furnace or boiler?
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Either one. My answer is the same. Lower temp means less heat used.
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They would be different, in that boilers recover much more slowly.
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"Stormin Mormon" wrote

Hehe forgive while I feed the troll moment

Depends on how long you will be away and type of heating device used. 'Furnace' can be wood, coal, gas etc. I gather from the few with water boiler systems underfloor and such that it's not a good idea.
My heat is mostly gas. It costs the same no matter what hour it's used at, so reducing the temp for 8 hours at night when under blankets, can save a bit. Not much (might have been 2-3%) and we don't do it now because of the pets, but we used to when pet free.
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Some pets have fur coats....
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

In most applications it saves energy to turn it down. However if you have a heat pump, and to get the house warmed up again it goes to emergency heat, then it can cost more. If you can turn off the emergency heat and wait a long time for the heat pump to catch up, then you will save energy. The worst case is electric emergency heat, gas emergency heat may or may not save money depending on the price and efficiency of the furnace. Although it just occurred to me that you asked about conserving *energy* and not *money* so that may mean that no mater what your heating system is, turning it down then up again will always save *energy*... I think?
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The above is the CORRECT answer... congratulations!!
Mark
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Mark wrote:

Hi, Many programmable thermostats are intelligent. It learns when to start to bring up the temp. to normal setting ahead of time. So by the time people come back home/ofice after et back period it's at proper temp.
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Mark wrote:

Why thank you! Now where is my gold star?
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That's the wild card, is the price of various types of heat. My home is natural gas, with no electric emergency heat. I hadn't thought of that.
I did ask about energy, but the different prices is a very important thought.
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On Thu, 29 Oct 2009 08:22:13 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

Yes, and you lose some of what you saved 9 hours earlier when it started to cool off.
What you don't lose is the heat that wasn't radiated, conducted, or convected from the house because the house spent most of those 9 hours at a lower temperature.
If the house is 68 degrees, a certain amount of heat escapes. When the house is 55 degrees, a lower amount escapes. If the temp outside is 56, maybe no more heat escapes than enters. So you save the fuel that would have been needed to make all that heat.

BTW, my mother always turned the heat down at night to save money. There were no setback thermostats then, so she got up in the cold, put on a flannel robe, and turned the thermostat up and tolerated it until it got warm again, maybe 15? minutes with forced air heat. The only reason not to is the period of discomfort, but with setback thermostats, at least on days you don't get up or get home early, it will turn on the heat in advance.
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On Thu, 29 Oct 2009 08:22:13 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

    It would be difficult to answer that question. It is more complex than it might appear at first.
    If you are talking about resistance electrical heat only, then you would always save energy by turning it down. However most of use heat with heat pumps, or gas, or oil, some may use ground water or not. Even the effect on the power grid could be a factor.
    In addition you need to consider the comfort and ease of use your choices may change.
    Like most all things in the energy world, the answer is complex and not alwasy what appears correct.
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How did I know this post would have a large amount of replies just by the subject before even expanding it? And know the replies would range from Yes to No with everything in between?
Luck I guess :-)
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On Thu, 29 Oct 2009 23:13:41 -0500, Red Green wrote:

Yeah, I figured the same :-) So far there doesn't seem to be too much arguing.
Personal view: depends on the system type and the period of turning it down. Anything with a lot of inertia, like slab heat, is best left alone unless the period's very long. Something like forced air seems to recover quickly (we turn our 'stat down to 60 overnight and it takes 3 or 4 mins of burn to get things back up to temp in the morning. The electric baseboards take a little longer, but not too much)
cheers
Jules
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