With energy prices surging as we head into another winter, it can be mighty tempting to give your furnace or boiler a rest by dropping your thermostat setting quite a bit at night so you save money on heat. Or you may think about turning off your heating system when you’re away from home on a weekend getaway or if you own a vacation home that sits empty in the winter.
These are not good ideas and there are much better ways to save money on your heating expenses. You should never let the temperatures in your home fall much below 60°F. That’s because this temperature strikes a good balance between conserving energy and preventing costly problems.
To achieve an optimum balance of comfort and savings, you can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to 68°F while you’re awake and setting it around 60°F while you’re asleep or away from home, according to the U.S Department of Energy (USDOE).
The USDOE says the lower the interior temperature, the slower the heat loss. So the longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you save, because your house has lost less energy than it would have at the higher temperature.
The same concept applies to raising your thermostat setting in the summer—— a higher temperature inside your home will slow heat gain into your house, saving you energy and money on air conditioning costs.
The Energy Department concludes that you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for eight hours a day from its normal setting. (Raise it in the summer, lower it in the winter).
When the temperature inside your house drops too low, the risk for frozen pipes goes up a lot. Here’s why you should never set your thermostat below 60 °F.
Most bathroom and kitchen pipes are not insulated, so they rely on your home heating system to keep them warm. Without adequate exposure to heat, these pipes can freeze and eventually burst, causing severe water and structural damage that could cost thousands of dollars to repair. There are countless stories of people returning from a winter vacation only to find a water pipe had burst and flooded their home.
A second problem with setting the temperature too low is a buildup of condensation inside your home. Condensation occurs when moist air comes into contact with a cold surface; the cooler the air in your home is, the less moisture it can hold.
A buildup of condensation can damage your wood floors, furniture, and electronic equipment, so it’s definitely something you want to avoid.
An easy way to control your temperature settings is to install a smart programmable thermostat, which will help you keep temperatures low while you’re away (or sleeping) and higher while you’re home. Why waste time adjusting your thermostat every day? Plus, you can remotely monitor your home’s temperature anytime and from anywhere with your mobile phone. Read about the Ecobee Wi-Fi smart thermostatswe install.
If you’re worried that your heating system will not keep you warm enough this winter, please explore your equipment options and then reach out to us for advice.
Stay warm all winter long with reliable B20 Bioheat® fuel deliveries and expert heating equipment repairs and maintenance service from your friends at Burt’s Reliable. We’re unmatched when it comes to our long history of providing reliable fuel delivery, quality equipment service and courteous service to our customers on the North Fork and the East End. When we say, “We’ll Take Care of it,” we really mean it.
Become a Burt’s Reliable customer today and rest a little easier this winter!