This is the time of year when the weather is cold and the furnace is running more often that consumers begin to pay attention once again to were they set their thermostat.  Setting your Thermostat to Save Heating Costs is a huge trend. There is often a discussion between spouses regarding what temperature to set the thermostat at. Now as utilities introduce time of day billing, charging higher rates for peak times and lower rates for off peak, those with electric heating may want to pay even more attention to the temperature they maintain their homes at. You can reduce your electricity cost by using electricity in off peak periods.

Setting your Thermostat to Save Heating CostsEven if you use central heating systems such as gas or oil, you still want to give this some consideration. Not only do you reduce the amount of gas or oil that you use, you also reduce the amount of electricity you use running the fan.

Should you turn down the thermostat when you are not at home or at night when everyone is sleeping? Does it matter how you heat your home – gas, oil or electricity?

The answer is that it depends!

When you heat your home, regardless of the type of heating system you have, heat will escape from your home, at the same rate, regardless of the heating system you use. The rate depends two things:

  • The insulation you have in your home in the walls and the ceiling or attic and how well sealed your home is will determine how much heat is lost and how fast it escapes.
  • Secondly the greater the difference in temperature between the outside and the inside of the home, the greater the rate of heat loss as well.

Maintaining your home at a lower temperature overall will mean there  is less difference in temperature differential and therefore less heat escaping. In other words you are spending less energy to heat your home. Keep your thermostat at the lowest required temperature at all times. For example many people use a programmable or setback thermostat, where you can set the temperature to rise to comfort level (e.g. 68F / 20C) just before you get up, back down to economy level (e.g. 62F / 17C) just before you leave for work/school, back up to comfort level around the time you get home from work or school, and back down to economy level around bedtime.

Setting your Thermostat to Save Heating Costs   – Cost of Energy

The cost of energy is also an important issue. If you pay the same price for energy regardless of the time of day, then you probably will not need to give this point much consideration.

On the other hand if you are heating your home using electricity for example. And you are on a system that charges more per kilo watt at peak times. Then you will not want to heat your home with expensive electricity. There are several choices you have given this situation.

  • Set your thermostat to the lowest temperature that you can stand during the peak time for electrical rates. You will still use electricity, but at least you will keep it to a minimum.
  • Another approach is to warm up your home prior to peak rates, perhaps warmer than you normally would, and then allow the home to cool during the day while rates are at peak levels.
  • The success of this latter approach really depends on well insulated your home is. If it is not well insulated, or has many drafty areas, then you will have limited success with this approach.

Save Money Regardless of the Energy Source

Even if you heat with gas or oil which is the same price regardless of the time of day, there is still a small electrical component that you may want to take into consideration. The fan must run to distribute the heat through the home. When it does it uses electricity. Keeping the temperature low during peak electrical rate times, will help to minimize your overall heating bill.

Lastly, many people will set their furnace fans to being on all of the time. There are some advantages to this approach. It helps to maintain humidity levels at better levels in the dry winter months. It also helps to maintain a more constant temperature level throughout the home. On the other hand, when the fan is running even at low speeds it is consuming energy in the form of electricity and this contributes to your overall energy bill.

If you have comments on this post or have suggestions please feel free to leave your comments on our post for our readers to help them save money and operating costs for their home.