When do you turn on your home heat (winter is coming for some)?

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  #1  
Old 09-20-12, 12:36 PM
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When do you turn on your home heat (winter is coming for some)?

Thought I would see when or what triggers others to fire up their home heat.

With my old house (gas HVAC), I'd leave it on auto and it would turn on when needed. Today I'm on a boiler. With the last couple nights being at or near 30'F, the internal temp has dropped to about 63'F on my main floor and 65'F on the second.
Trying to hold off until the weekend as I need to replace a few parts before firing.

When or what triggers you to turn on your heat for the winter season?
 
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Old 09-20-12, 12:48 PM
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When I get cold!

I hate being cold.
 
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Old 09-20-12, 12:48 PM
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I don't think we have turned on the heat upstairs in years except when we have had guests. That includes quite a a few below zero nights. We both like to sleep in a cold room. I installed an in wall heater in the master bath that has a remote and also time settings and that's all we use upstairs.

We keep the downstairs around 63*-65*. Most years we don't even fire off the furnace before November.
 
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Old 09-20-12, 12:55 PM
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We generally keep the house about 65'F, so we are at that point.
Once I turn the heat on, it's on. Too expensive to bring the boiler up to temp for a day or two worth of heating.

Once we turn the heat on, ~66'F in the occupied areas/times and ~62'F when not occupied (Have two programmable t-stats).
 
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Old 09-20-12, 12:57 PM
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When or what triggers you to turn on your heat for the winter season?
When the Admiral says I have to!!!! Or when the kids turn blue, Which ever comes first....LOL



Actually when it gets to about 65f and below on mornings. Then I will set the stat to 67f and leave it there until the cold sets in.

2nd floor I set lower, say 65f. It usually does not kick on too often up there because the heat from downstairs rises and keeps it about the same 67f of so. Its where the kids sleep so they do not need it warm up there.

This year I am going to try lowering the temp on the boiler to say 160f, then set it and forget it. 70 f , and don't touch the t stat.

But I have 37ft more baseboard then my heat lose calls for. Going to fire her up this weekend to see how she runs.... ( The boiler, not the Admiral...LOL)

Right now 77f in the house with windows open... No heat needed.


 
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Old 09-20-12, 12:58 PM
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I second "when I get cold" Generally, when it drops to 60 downstairs, I'll set it to 65. I usually keep it around 65 give or take. I like sleeping in a cold room too, but not below 0.
Saturday's going up to 85, so don't think I'll need it yet.
 
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Old 09-20-12, 01:05 PM
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Wow...you guys are tougher than me and wifey. If we get to 65 outside....and the days aren't sunny...the heat comes on. If it's sunny even on a 65 day it will warm up the house nicely and retain it til sometime late at night. But we both don't like being cold...so I'll set the stat at 70 or so once the A/C days are over. It might only kick on once or twice a night...but better than having to go to the bathroom and dealing with cold floors in the middle of the night.
 
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Old 09-20-12, 01:09 PM
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Same here when it gets cold. I turned the furnace on tuesday night. I lite the pilot and turned on and it ran during the night. during the day I keep it at around 70*F at night when I go to bed about 67*F. Its a mobile home so it heats differently.
 
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Old 09-20-12, 03:24 PM
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Surprisingly, when it gets to 0* outside our upstairs never gets below 55*- 60*. We pick up rising heat from downstairs. We have 3 bedrooms upstairs but in the winter 2 of them are usually closed off.
 
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Old 09-20-12, 04:21 PM
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I tend to put it on when it gets too chilly in the morning. In the fall, the upstairs still gets hot from the sun and needs a/c and the house will get chilly enough to need heat in the morning. Luckily I have hot water heat so I can run the downstairs heat zone and the a/c at the same time. The temp spread between the two is enough so that they won't come on together.
 
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Old 09-20-12, 04:30 PM
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If it falls to the 40's outside we flip it to heat, but the house usually won't get down to 65, where the stat is set.
Wifey is finding out differences in humidities and altitudes (7600 ft) in NM. Had to send her some turtlenecks last week. No AC in her residence, but she says it's really not that hot. Getting cooler at night, so the manager came around to close off the windows, and she told him not to close hers off as she liked it cool, and she could always cover up. Nice fresh air, I guess.
 
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Old 09-20-12, 06:06 PM
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Guess there is a couple of us in here with hot water heat.

My boiler is in desporate need of a cleaning and wear parts replacement. The poor thing has not seen any cleaning in the 5 years the previous owner lived here. Probably will need a new temp gauge. Tried turning it down to 180'F last winter as it was always around 220'F. Turned it down and within a week, it was back up around 210-220.

lawrosa;
I would be interested to see how the 160'F works for you. I think I'd like to bring mine down that low, but still do the programmable t-stat adjustments (62-68'F). Should save a chunk with the wife and kids out of the house this winter during the day. Couldn't save much during the day last year as the boys would nap during the day, and our bedrooms are all on the second floor. The wife would sit in the living room so I was stuck heating both zones.
 
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Old 09-20-12, 06:22 PM
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In MN, (Twin cities), I am about to take the plunge and change over to the winter/cold mode.

In the summer, I set the thermostat to auto fan and AC for comfort/uniformity and maximum dehumidification on a 24/7 basis at the same temperature.

In the winter/cold season, I switch to a programmed temperature setting (for personal air comfort) with fan on 24/7 for circulation. Now, it is getting close to recognizing that winter is coming. - It is now close with 40F in the mornings, although the house is fine 24/7 without any heat.

The biggest problem I have is my wife constantly opening and closing windows to suit her mood at the time. This makes the thermostat immaterial.

My situation is unique, as are every persons, but our home has a lot of thermal mass that also moderates the humidity swings. Even in MN, out heating cost is lower than our AC costs on a monthly basis. The mass does wonders and I could not justify (cost, complexity and maintenance) of going to 90%+ furnace and went with a 80% unit with a variable speed fan. If I had a stick built home 100% above grade, it would definitely be a different story to maintain the comfort and circulation because of no thermal mass.

Dick
 
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Old 09-21-12, 05:54 AM
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Well... Looks like I'll be replacing all the broken bleed screws tonight, fix the two leaking spots in my main floor loop and will be firing up the boiler tomorrow after it gets fully cleaned (and consumables replaced).
Was 63'F on the second floor this morning. Getting a bit too cool in the house to keep the boiler off.
 
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Old 09-21-12, 06:37 AM
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We'll be switching the AC off in another month or so; turn the heat on around the first of the year.....
 
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Old 09-21-12, 07:00 AM
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We'll be switching the AC off in another month or so; turn the heat on around the first of the year.....
You guys have heating systems in Florida?

I always thought you would have A/C and even more A/C.
 
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Old 09-21-12, 07:29 AM
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Lost a couple of our wax myrtle (bayberry) shrubs to frost couple of winters ago. We need heat in January/February at least even when we have a "warm" winter.
 
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Old 09-21-12, 07:55 AM
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Lost a couple of our wax myrtle (bayberry) shrubs to frost couple of winters ago. We need heat in January/February at least even when we have a "warm" winter.
I was just poking fun at the warm weather down there.
The first time I was down that way, they had some cool weather (low 70's I think) and us northerns thought it was warm, while I remember a few locals complaining it was so cold.
 
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Old 09-21-12, 12:33 PM
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Some of the cheaper fla houses built prior to the 60's didn't have heat. Heat pumps are probably the most popular HVAC system in fla.

I used to live near Orlando and we always looked for a couple of hard frosts to keep the bug population down. I lost 2 palms to cold temps and most every year my banana trees would get killed down to ground level.... but I believe you could get a chair and drink, then watch as they grow. They could grow a couple of feet while I was at work. I also remember at 50 degrees it was too cold to do much work outside
 
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Old 09-21-12, 01:49 PM
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One of the "coldest" winters I ever spent was in Key West. They had an unusual spell of cold weather (upper 40's IIRC) and we had no heat, no extra blankets, no coats. Our house had floor to ceiling jalousie windows that were nowhere near airtight and terrazo floors. The only department stores (Sears and one other) in town sold out of blankets. I swear it was as cold (indoors) as I have ever been in New England.
 
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Old 09-21-12, 02:29 PM
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I will switch my thermostat to heat at about midnight, since that is about the end of summer and the beginning of fall. It may be 40F in the morning, but I doubt the furnace will kick in anyway, - New filter ready for the 24/7 fan operation for comfort. We are near the end of the 80F+ days for a while.

Dick
 
  #22  
Old 09-24-12, 05:18 AM
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Still haven't turned my boiler on. The rain stopped yesturday and with the warm sun, the house was back up to 65'F on both floors. Got most of my work done on the boiler, just need to get the tech in to clean it (hasn't been cleaned since the owners before the folks I bought it from).
 
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Old 09-25-12, 09:07 AM
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my boiler went on last night and that will be on now until about May!
 
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Old 09-25-12, 09:11 AM
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Our boiler is going on tonight (with or without cleaning as the tech is still out moose hunting).

This was the dinning room floor this morning at 5AM (main level is cooler then the second floor).
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Old 09-25-12, 09:43 AM
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54.1F???? I thought that was summer temps to you northerners.....

Hmmm..still mid 70's here in Jersey. Does drop to the 60's at night but the house been staying warm inside.

Yeah, at 54f the admiral would have been punching me...

Hey no chance to clean the boiler yourself? A lot of guys have oil here and would probably guide you well.
 
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Old 09-25-12, 10:14 AM
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54.1F???? I thought that was summer temps to you northerners.....

Hmmm..still mid 70's here in Jersey. Does drop to the 60's at night but the house been staying warm inside.

Yeah, at 54f the admiral would have been punching me...

Hey no chance to clean the boiler yourself? A lot of guys have oil here and would probably guide you well.
I'm a huge DIY guy (ok, technically I'm a small guy, but rarely hire someone to do what I can do myself). I would and will do what I can to clean the boiler to the best of my ability. I know for fact it's been over 5 years since it has seen any real service. The local guy is really inexpensive labor and has the parts (spray nozzle, filter(s), etc where sourcing those locally will be tough.
I do still own a toner vac, which should work for cleaning out the chamber. What I will do is clean what I can, fire it up, and when I get ahold of the local guy, shut it down before he gets there to allow to cool. The house for it's age and size does hold the heat pretty well, so even if it's -30'C (-22'F) outside, I should be fine shutting down the boiler before leaving for work if he's showing up at the house sometime during the day.

As for the wife and the cold.... She still remembers the pains from paying for the oil last winter (non-insulated windows, boiler running like crap...). We averaged about $1500 every 6 weeks for oil from December 27th until April 1st. I have a rant thread in this area of the forum regarding some of the joys I found and fixed. Hopefully once the boiler is cleaned completely, I'll be a quarter or less this cost.
On a side note, we've had a few rainy ~35'F nights the past week or so. Doing pretty good considering this.

As for being summer weather for us northerners... I started wearing socks in the house. I might swap out the tshirt for a sweater if I was to keep the boiler off.
 
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Old 09-26-12, 04:53 AM
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Played our usual round of golf Sunday morning and on the back nine we let a single (being chauffeured by his wife) play through. Temp was about 80, partly cloudy, moderate humidity and a slight breeze. We exchanged pleasantries and they mentioned they were visiting from Chicago. Wife and I thought the weather very nice, but they were dying. Going to be nice again this weekend according to weather.com:
 
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Old 09-26-12, 05:02 AM
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Well... my boiler is running.
Was set to get it done and running last night and of course, house was about 63'F when we got home (sunny ~55'F day yesturday).
Without having all the tools needed, it was a fairly quick clean air filter (dust under the cover, etc), final check then fire up.
Spent a bit of time messing around with the high and low temp settings on the boiler. Still need to fine tune the adjustments. Will be putting up a new thread in the Boiler section regarding this.

Definately amazing how fast the house goes from cooler and damp (raining for the past two weeks), to dry and warm.

A bit of a heat wave coming through. Guess I could have waited on the boiler.
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Old 09-26-12, 05:14 AM
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Had to look up the conversion - 16C = 60F. Yowza!

Wife and daughter (and rest of family less me and Tow Guy Jr) are headed Larry's direction (Roswell actually) for a niece's wedding weekend of 05-06 October. Just checked the long range outlook and will have to remind them to pack long pants and sweaters.
 
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Old 09-26-12, 05:24 AM
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remind them to pack long pants and sweaters
I know what you mean. I had been considering moving to tenn for a few yrs when friends called and told me they found the place I now own for sale. Since it sounded like a good deal I flew up to take a look see. Living in fla the only coat I owned was a work jacket and this was January. Orlando temps were close to 80 degrees, got off the plane and it was below freezing Fortunately my friends knew my wardrobe wasn't equipped for winter and met me at the airport with a nice warm coat
 
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Old 09-26-12, 06:06 AM
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marksr,
Sounds like my drive home from Florida a couple years ago (mid-late October). Was over 100'F when we left Orlando at 7AM (had been in the 100's all week we where there). Get to Vergina, step out of the van to get gas, wearing a tshirt and shorts. It was ~50'F range, windy and hinting it wanted to start snow.
 
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Old 09-26-12, 07:55 AM
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Thought I would see when or what triggers others to fire up their home heat.
When it gets cold or cold enough where it becomes uncomfortable. Or when the snow is up to or above the window sills.... Around my way it doesn't even or ever snow. So we wait and wait until we can't stand it any more, then wait even longer.....

Or my trigger fingers freeze over while on the outdoor gun range....LOL!

Comfort levels vary. Heater gets turned on when personal comfort levels is below that which is acceptable, un-bearable or un-comfortable. Varies by region also.

 
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Old 09-26-12, 02:40 PM
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If my forecast was the same as Tow-guy's, I would cry! I hate summer and heat.
These cool days are wonderful in my book. Most cases we will not turn the heat on until Thanksgiving, but we will use our fireplace insert or pellet stove.
 
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Old 09-26-12, 04:36 PM
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Oh man. They weather here has been perfect for the last 2-3 weeks. Pretty much mid 70's and sunny.
 
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Old 09-26-12, 05:18 PM
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Oh man. They weather here has been perfect for the last 2-3 weeks. Pretty much mid 70's and sunny.

Yes everyone move to NJ. The weather is great.... Don't mind the taxes...LOL

Actually we are doing good 70's.... Love it.
 
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Old 09-27-12, 07:26 PM
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I've been loving the weather we've been having here in PA. It's real nice for going out to my parents' land, having a bonfire and watching a movie.
 
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Old 09-27-12, 08:09 PM
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I never "turn on" my home heat. My programmable thermostat takes care of that for me.
 
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Old 09-28-12, 04:47 AM
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TG, too bad the cabin is rented for that weekend!!! Weather has been fairly good for the past week. Will be mid 70's and mid 40's for your stay, maybe a little warmer since we are usually 5 to 10 degrees cooler than Atlanta.

I'm with Scott, I hate summer!!! My weather is around the corner. Marksr, I've posted before, but it reminds me of the winter of '93 when I was POW in Chicago. I brought in people to help train airline employees during a takeover. They were from Orlando. I told them to wear their company uniforms.....they did......shorts and tee shirts. Temp was well in the minus teens. Had to go buy them clothes so they wouldn't freeze. Hey, these guys had never been north of Daytona beach in their lives .
 
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Old 09-28-12, 05:01 AM
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My weather is around the corner.
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Old 09-28-12, 05:07 AM
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Larry, I have fond memories of O'Hare field, cold January day, and short sleeve shirt. May have told this story before, but when daughter was born in 1989 I was on deployment in the Philippines. When I had to come home on emergency leave because she was premature I was routed through Chicago. All my warm civilian clothes were sitting at our home base in Japan; no jackets, sweaters, or long sleeves. Thankfully I at least had jeans to wear, but the gate we arrived at was sans jetway, so we deplaned the old fashioned way in about 20 degree weather with blowing snow flurries. The Chicago people were pretty astonished at my attire.
 
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