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  1. #1

    Question Programmable Thermostats

    I have read a lot about programmable thermostats but can they really save me money? I have a 96% propane funace in Ohio. My home is well insulated and holds it's heat well. If I set a programmable thermostat to 72 for days, then 65 at night for 8 hours will I save propane? Some say it takes longer to heat the house back up and in the long run will cost more. What do you think? is it a money saver or a myth. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    3,948
    Programmable stats will save money if set correctly. It doesn't take more energy to reheat the house than what you save in setback, that's a myth.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,826
    There is no solid answer for your question. But the basics are as follows. For each 2F of reduced room temperature during the heating season, an energy savings of about 1% can be realized. So if you lowered you thermostat from 72F to 70F for the entire winter, you'd realize that savings, (+) or (-) a fraction. After a constant temperature reduction, the next step is a reduction over a different period of time than constant. So, if you lowered the setting 2F for 1/2 of the winter, if the heating degree days were the same on each size of the winter, you'd realize about 1/2 of the savings. So, if you reduced your setting 2F for 12-hours a day and raised it back up 12-hours per day, that would seem to produce a .5% savings, right? But it gets a little more complicated in that the actual outdoor temperature is what determines the heat loss from your house. And since the daytime is the time you're maintaining the higher indoor temperature, while it's also the higher outdoor temperature, you operating costs will be less during the day than at night. So a 12-hour set-back at night is more beneficial. So, at least in theory, a 7F night set-back should see a savings of 1.75% of your total heating costs and yes, you'll burn more energy heating back up to 72F for the day. So that would indicate a reduction in saved costs, ending somewhere between 0% and 1.75%.

    As you can see, the savings isn't huge and considering that most people who do program a set-back thermostat don't have equal 12-hour cycles, the savings is even negligible. But that's not the reason most people use set-back! Most do it because they like to enjoy a cooler sleeping environment I've found. And for that purpose, they do serve a great benefit. But for energy savings, even the DOE doubts their usefulness.
    If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.

    If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!

  4. #4
    Thanks for the replys. This is about what I have learned in reading reviews ect. Some say yes it's good, others say (like your reply Skip) that it will help but not a huge savings. I do like a cooler house at night, so for the small saving and a comfrtable night under the covers, I think I will try one this year. Thanks for both opinions and have a good day.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    5,987
    You'll save a lot of propane, if you use a Heat Pump.
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

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