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Heating or cooling room thermostat temperature set-back advice: how to choose the set-back temperature on a manual or programmable room thermostat used for heating or cooling; how much heating or cooling cost will you save per degree of thermostat setback, and how much set-back is too much?
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Separately at THERMOSTAT SET PROCEDURE we discuss how to set or adjust the room thermostat for heating or cooling. Here we discuss how to save on heating or coolign costs by choosing a proper set-back temperature for times when you are out of the building or are asleep.
Substantial heating or air conditioning cost savings can be achieved by manually setting back your thermostat when the building is unoccupied or when occupants are asleep. The thermostat is set several degrees (or more) cooler during heating season or warmer during cooling season.
How much will be saved on heating or cooling costs by setting back the thermostat?
How much can I save on heating costs by using a manual or programmable thermostat set-back?
According to the U.S. Department of Energy,
How much can I save on cooling costs by changing the air conditioning thermostat settings?
The U.S. DOE has similar advice about savings on cooling or air conditioning costs:
The settings of thermostat "mode" switches into "heating" or "cooling" and the use of other thermostat switches to control an air conditioning blower fan or heating system blower fan are discussed in detail
You can use the special calculator at Warmair.Net ( http://www.warmair.net/html/Thermostats.htm ) to compute how much money you're likely to save by setting back your thermostat. For example, if your normal thermostat setting is 70 °F. and you set it back to 60 °F. and if during that time the outside temperature is hovering at 40 deg .F., you will use about 33% less energy during that period.
Best Thermostat setback advice for heat pump systems are different from other heating systems
Watch out: the U.S. DOE gives some important advice for heat pump thermostat settings to save money. The bottom line is that unless you are using a special programmable thermostat that is designed to work with heat pumps, the best thermostat setting to save heating cost is to keep a moderate temperature setting - say 65°F rather than dropping the heat pump thermostat back to a much lower setting during the setback period.
How many degrees should we set the thermostat back ?
Watch out: Lots of websites offer calculators that will tell you how much you'll probably save in energy costs for every degree you set back your heating or cooling thermostat. Just don't set the thermostat down so low that you suffer costly damage from freezing pipes in winter or mold from high humidity in summer. For details on how to avoid frozen pipes in buildings
Also see Heat Won't Turn Off - Stop Unwanted Heat explanation of why heat may continue to come out of radiators or baseboards even though you have turned down the thermostat. Stop wasted heat by making sure you are not delivering heat when it is not needed or not wanted.
If your setback temperatures are taken too low this advice may not provide the most comfortable approach in all cases, nor the smartest. For example, in using electric heaters to warm a slab on grade cabin in Northern Minnesota, the subject of our
And even where freezing pipes and water damage are not a concern (the cabin above has no plumbing), allowing building temperatures to reach zero and sub-zero levels can invite cracks and damage to ceramic tile floors or drywall walls and ceilings.
More modest setback temperatures that keep the building at above-freezing levels are fine however.
To really save on heating costs see HOW TO REALLY CUT HOME HEATING COSTS
and see HEATING TUNEUP PRIORITIES
For example, at AQUASTAT HI LO DIFF SETTINGS we explain that in addition to improving boiler and heat transfer efficiency by using the optimum settings on a boiler aquastat control, you may want to completely disable the LO limit (AQUASTAT LO & DIFF DISABLED ) on combination aquastats that are installed on boilers that do not include a tankless coil for which that control is intded.
What is the Effect of Having to Overcome Thermal Mass Losses when Temperatures have Been Set Up or Down?
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