My current thermostat is a somewhat older, non-programmable one that
only goes down to 60 degrees. This winter with the high oil prices, I
want to have a thermostat that goes down to 50 degrees. Are most
thermostats out there capable of being set as low as 50 degrees? Also,
has anyone had experience keeping their house at this low a temp? If so,
did you run into problems such as frozen pipes? Note: I use a woodstove,
so when folks are at home it is fine without much heat from the furnace,
but I'm more concerned about times when just the furnace is on.
If its a round Honeywell or anyone of the older style mecury in a tube type,
just adjust it out of level so that 60P it will take trial and error to
get it right but that is the cheapest solution. The rest of the question is
really up to your area and what kind of house you have slab/basement ect..
I've seen them as low as 45, but most seem to be about 55.
Depends on the house and where pipe are run. Pipes on outside walls are the
ones at risk. At work we have a rather large multi-story building with
different heat sources. My goal is not to freeze anything, but keep the
temperature as low as possible as it in not inhabited except for a couple of
warehouse workers. I shoot for 40 degrees. Two of the heaters are on
timers. In most cases, it comes on for two two hour periods a day. In very
cold weather, below 15F I'll run the boilers an extra couple of hours. Only
once it was a problem with a sprinkler pipe that was near an outside wall
when the heater failed on night. In my case, it is a risk/reward thing and
is was minimal cost to repair the pipe. When you get a gas bill for January
that approaches $20,000, you look to save what you can.
If your furnace is under warranty, you may void it by keeping your house
below 65 degrees.
I have a relative who replaced the furnaces in a duplex, one was rented
and inhabited, the other used seasonally as an office. During winter he
kept the temperature at 55 degrees. That furnace got a cracked manifold
(cracked something, anyway) after 12 years; the other one is still
working fine 5 years later.
The cold air return is part of the problem, though, so if you're careful
where the input air is coming from ... well, it's your furnace.
I think you'll be able to save as much money by going hog-wild on
insulation and weatherstripping.
I'm assuming the wood is free? Otherwise I've always understood that
wood stoves are very expensive to run.
Depends on where you live. A cord of wood is about 100 gallons of oil
heat-wise. Right now, oil is $235 and wood is about $185 where I am, but
$300+ 70 miles away in Boston. Woodstoves are a lot of work too.
Yup, wood is free (well, free except for the cost for me in wear on the
chainsaw, gas, and wear on my back splitting it)... lol
I'm interested from anyone who would comment in how common the problem
that is cited above regarding the cold air return breaking when keeping
heat set low is. I've known people with vacation homes who drain their
pipes but still keep the furnace set low and I've never heard of that
As to insulation, that is not an option on most of my house, except for
more being put in the attic. The house is an all masonry stone home, so
there is no cavity in the outer walls for any insulation.
A thermostat is cheap, only about $12 to $90. And there are only 3 to 4
color coded wires to hook up.
Just buy yourself a nice programable one with a battery back up for settings,
on sale at Home Depot et al, for about $25-$45. And install it in about 20
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