What do most people set their Thermostat on?

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Old 11-08-17, 09:33 AM
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What do most people set their Thermostat on?

Hey guys, we have a 60 year old house with gas heating central air system but this house is not insulated in the best way so I know we cannot expect to set at 70 degrees, seems I have to set at 74 degrees to stay only comfortably warm, is this normal or is there something wrong with our heating system please?
 
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Old 11-08-17, 10:15 AM
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I'm not convinced there isn't quite a bit of variability in how thermostats read. As a result, I don't tend to care what the number says, I set it where I'm comfortable. That said, the comfortable point in my home is 74 as well.
 
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Old 11-08-17, 10:18 AM
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Thanks, mind if I ask if your home is well insulated please?
 
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Old 11-08-17, 10:51 AM
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My 1832 Farmhouse is a bit drafty; but it was insulated, even though I'm sure the insulation in the walls is settling/collapsing, and allows for more conductive losses while the upper portions of the wall cavities is now somewhat lacking.

We have a Modulating Thermostat that is currently set at 66F; which means, with this unit, that it hovers around 66F,as a mid-point, and activates the boiler only when the temperature drops to 64F and keeps it activated until the thermostat hits 68F.

We've become physically sensitive to the temperature to the point where we can "feel" when the temperature is 64.1F or 64.2F and get some satisfaction out of knowing that relief will be on the way shortly; and we're "hot" when the temperature gets close to 67.8F or 67.9F as it approaches our 68F ceiling. We've become like human thermometers !

Having been in Real Estate for the past 30 years or so, I can say that there is no generalizing about human beings . . . . even when fuel prices were high, some still kept the temperatures at 80F. I guess it's all in what you get used to; what temperature is comfortable; or what you can afford..

In telling prospective Buyers what the heat expense was on a given property, it's critical that we be able to recite what the objective temperature was that the current Owners/Occupants were trying to maintain . . . . not just how much money they spent.
 
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Old 11-08-17, 11:35 AM
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You also need to add humidity to the equation. Higher humidity makes you feel warmer than the actual temperature. So old, drafty houses with low humidity have to turn the thermostats up to feel the same warmth as a new, tight house.
 
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Old 11-08-17, 12:04 PM
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.... and a lot depends on the individual. I prefer about 70 degrees while my wife prefers closer to 75.
 
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Old 11-08-17, 12:10 PM
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I really don't know how well insulated my house is but, having been built in 1983, I would think it's at least decent. FWIW, I prefer warm as well so many might set the thermostat in my house to something lower than I choose.
 
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Old 11-08-17, 04:20 PM
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1953 house here. Over radiated with baseboard and an oversized boiler.. I set my t stat a 70 and forget about it the rest of the year.

If you tell use your make model of boiler possibly we can find something.

Also how many sq ft is the home.

What type of heat emmiters , cast iron, copper finned...etc. And how many feet of element only behind the baseboard covers?

If radiators, how many and how big size wise...

Pics always help..

Possibly you need to add more heat emitters, of possibly your boiler is not getting up to temperature..
 
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Old 11-08-17, 04:41 PM
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I can give you two examples of different settings.

We just sold a 1200 sq ft brick home on the east side of the twin cities built in 1974 with a 1 year old Goodman 3 ton central heat & air system. We kept it on 78 or 79 for ac.

We just bought a 1400 sq ft brick home on the west side of the twin cities built in 1968 with a 2 year old Goodman 3 ton central heat & air system. We have to keep this one on about 74 for ac. Its currently 50 degrees here & our thermostat is set on 73 (heat).
 
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Old 11-08-17, 06:45 PM
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.... and a lot depends on the individual.
Very true! Our house is from 1978, but has been remodeled/added on quite a few times. Mixture of 2x4 and 2x6 walls all with fiberglass and cellulose or fiberglass in the attic. All that said it is not very well insulated in the rooms with vaults as they lose heat very fast. We typically keep out heat at 66 during the day when we are at home and 56 at over night and when we are gone. Anything over 70 degrees and I am not a happy guy. I hate summer!
 
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Old 11-09-17, 03:50 AM
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First, we need to remember that humans are always in a cooling mode, we exist at about 98.6 degrees. So staying warm involves regulating the heat we lose and one of the (3) primary forms of heat loss is radiation. Infrared radiation is an exchange between what we emit vs what we receive. Stand in front of a cold wall and you feel cold. Stand in front of a warm wall and you feel warm. In both cases the air temperature can be the same.

As for the thermostat it is a single point indicator, it is telling you what the air temperature is only at that one spot. On cold days those walls are a lot colder, especially if there is no insulation. And those cold exterior surfaces are exchanging radiant energy with everything else within line of sight and doing so at the speed of light.

The setting on your thermostat is a function of where it is located in your home and whatever heat transfer is occurring between that point and the outside.

There are often simple fixes that can both reduce the total heat loss and improve personal comfort and there are people here that can help you identify them.

Bud
 
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Old 11-09-17, 04:12 AM
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Thanks for all the responses, info and advice guys, with the thermostat set at 73 or 74 it's good. I have heard some people say they set theirs at 70 and wondering how they can set at such a low temp. I now see there are many factors involved in this including personal preference.
 
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Old 11-09-17, 05:14 AM
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People are a huge variable. I lived most of my life with high blood sugar and walked around in Bermuda shorts all winter. I couldn't stand hot. Then they diagnosed my sugar issue and put me on meds, I'm now cold (very cold) most of the time. Only when I cheat and have some sweets or carbs do I feel my old self. I guess if it helps me live longer and healthier I can put up with the extra clothing in winter.

Most extreme example was/is an elderly lady where I was asked to check to see if I could recommend anything to help her stay warm. Turned out her house had been winterized 3 times over the years before my visit, difficult to find more improvements. But talking revealed the real problem. What she wanted was a thermostat that could be set at 85 or higher, SHE was just old and cold. A remarkable lady despite being almost 90 as the house she was in she built, including cutting the trees and running them through her fathers lumber mill. Very nice house and financially she could afford the oil to take that house up to 90. Bottom line was a recommendation to alter her heating so that the 3 places she spends her time can be much warmer than the rest of the house.

Sorry for the long story.
Bud
 
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Old 11-09-17, 05:28 AM
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This thread makes me feel like a real cheapskate . . . . but I can say this: when I'm coming indoors from an outside temperature of -45F and am greeted with my indoor temp of something like +66F, it sure does feel balmy !
 
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Old 11-09-17, 06:24 AM
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1992 house here, not drafty at all. We set our 'stat at 69 during the day and 65 at night. My better half and I are both 68, and I find, myself, that the older I get, the warmer I like it. I guess if that's the worst thing I have to complain about, I'm doing OK! Steve
 
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Old 11-09-17, 08:40 AM
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While my head still likes cooler air, the lower parts of my body feel better in the heat. Getting into a hot car is almost therapeutic!
 
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Old 11-09-17, 08:57 AM
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Winter heat at 67 and summer cool at 72 while maintaining "nominal" humidity.

If I had the winter heat at 72 I'd be dying!
 
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Old 11-09-17, 10:22 AM
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FWIW, I set the AC at 80 in the summer.
 
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Old 11-09-17, 06:40 PM
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In winter really anything above 70 is too hot.

can't stand walking into a place that's 75+ - better to put on a damn sweater and get used to lower temps, stop wasting finite fossil fuel.

Before central heat a lot of houses were probably in the 50s to low 60s; now people expect it to feel like summer and wear a t-shirt in the winter.
 
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Old 11-10-17, 06:13 AM
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@ user 10, "better to put on a damn sweater and get used to lower temps, stop wasting finite fossil fuel."
Much better to put the sweater on the house than on the people inside as it works well for both summer and winter. But people vary in size and metabolism along with their comfort range, it's an individual thing and each home should be able to meet that range without requiring winter clothing inside at all times. Just my opinion.

Bud
 
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Old 11-10-17, 05:19 PM
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Totally agree about insulation.

Actually in a climate with real winters where the average is freezing or lower, ever 2F or higher you set the t-stat above 68 raises use by like 5%.

Using a programmable stat saves around 10%.

The real savings come from expensive envelope upgrades and more efficient equipment. Savings 20 to 70% depending on the starting point.

Still, better to put a sweater on and set it to 70 than go to 75f.

In the old days, the generation before the boomers, being uncomfortable was the norm.

I think central heat has turned people into wimps, they think they'll die if it's not perfectly 72F+.

And they'll turn the stat up to keep young children warm even though higher temps are less healthy, associated with a greater risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
 
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Old 11-11-17, 07:48 PM
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Our house was built in '95, two story. We run the heat at 67F in the day and 63F at night. A/C is usually set somewhere between 72F and 75F.

One year, as an experiment, my wife kept the house at 62F 24x7 for a Winter. I had to wear a stocking cap inside if I wasn't moving around!
 
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Old 11-12-17, 06:21 AM
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We set our thermostat at 64 degrees during the day and 60 at night. 60 degrees is, of course, quite cool but the temperature seldom gets that low before it heads back up to 64 again in the morning.

I think the issue in many homes is that the thermostat is located in the center of the house, away from outside walls. Thus, the temperature in most of the home is less than the thermostat setting. I suggest trying to maintain a uniform temperature throughout the house.
 
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Old 11-12-17, 06:26 AM
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I always thought they tried to locate the thermostat in the middle of the house both to equalize the temperature throughout the house and protect if from drafts [windows/doors]

I prefer temps cooler than my wife but I think some of y'all would freeze me
 
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