I've been experimenting with my thermostat the past couple of weeks to
see how I can save energy. I've noticed that if I keep my thermostat
at 67 degrees my boiler will cycle every hour or two to maintain the
temp - but if I set my thermostat to 66 degrees it will cycle every
4-6 hours. It's been around the 32 degrees outside all week. Is there
a natural temperature that a house can hold for longers periods? If
so, how can I raise that temperature?
Of course. It's the point at which heat gain (from the heating system, the
sun, appliances, lights, mammals -- you, your family, your dogs and cats)
balances heat loss (from conduction to the soil, radiation, convection, air
infiltration, etc.). It varies from one house to the next, and from one day to
the next for the same house, because the factors influencing both gain and
loss are dependent in part on the weather.
By reducing heat loss. The most effective methods of doing so are insulation,
weatherstripping, storm windows, etc.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Well, the first thing I noticed was a possible problem with your
1 - I've been experimenting with my thermostat the past couple of
weeks (i.e. weeks - plural)
2 - It's been around the 32 degrees outside all week (i.e. week -
Unless it was also around 32 degrees during the first week of your
experiment, those results may be invalid. Assuming everything else
remained constant - insulation, windows, number and duration of times
the doors were opened, hours of sunlight, etc - the outside
temperature would need to be fairly constant over the entire period
that you conducted your tests. In addition, unless your house is tight
enough that nothing but the strongest winds matter, you might have to
factor wind speeds and direction into the equation.
All that said, the obvious things like increasing the amount of
insulation, sealing off drafts, creating wind breaks, etc. would help
your house retain heat longer so that even at 67 or 68 degrees the
furnace would cycle less.
Add insulation. It worked for me. My house never gets below 55, and
rarely gets below 60, but used to get down to about 50 when I had no
insulation in the attic. And yes I do live in the northeast US. On
the rare freak occasion where it got down to 55, it was below freezing
for several days and I havd been away from home for a couple of days
with the heat off. Running appliances, the TV, etc does warm it up
noticably. Probably saves some wear and tear on my refirgerator too.
On Dec 10, 3:58 pm, email@example.com wrote:
where did you add insulation? My attic is pretty well insulated, my
big problem is my outside facing walls. Some rooms the walls get
pretty cold but I know they are insulated because my entranceway has
no insulation at all and that wall is stone cold. I also have a
picture window that has a storm but still is very cold to the touch
and I know a lot of my heat exchange is taking place there with my
radiator right underneath. Anyway to warm up that window? I have
insulating blinds but they are not airtight and I can feel cool air
coming from around the edge when they are drawn.
Unless it has been added to or was done relatively recently, it could
probably still use more altho that wouldn't be where I'd start given
your other descriptions.
Doing the uninsulated wall area(s) would help undoubtedly. There are
ways to add into existing cavities. Depending on what you have in the
walls it could be possible to add there.
A storm window or even one of the clear plastic sealing kits over a
storm window will make a significant difference in all likelihood just
If there are any leaking doors, windows, around electrical outlets,
etc., that's big as air movement takes a lot of heat or lets in a lot of
cold air depending on which way it's moving.
What's under the floor in the heated area?
There are local utility companies that have energy efficiency surveys as
part of their consumer services -- might check w/ them to see what is
available. For some upgrades/improvements there are still a few w/ cost
share or no-interest loans and there can even be some tax credits
depending on what you do...
Accurate measurements are really difficult to obtain. Cycle times are a
poor measure and a measure over a few weeks is not very accurate.
The most accurate test run over several years and include measuring
inside outside temperatures, cooking number of times doors are used sun
light the number of people home, electrical as well as oil or gas usage,
then all the results are combined and compared. The final results are still
a little questionable.
My guesses are the times you are observed are observation errors caused
by factors not recorded.
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