How Warm Do You Keep Your Home In The Winter?

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OK, I live in a cold climate here in WI and the winter heating season is almost upon us.

My wife and I were debating last night on the temperature to set the programmable thermostat at.

We agreed to start out at 67 during the day and 62 while we sleep.

What do you keep the temp in your home set to in the winter?

Is there a recommended setting for both comfort and energy savings?

Scot
  • Profile picture of the author wirelessgeek
    I like to keep it at about 68, maybe a little higher on those days when I just can't get warm. I do take it down a few degrees at night, but I don't like to take it under 62 because I'm more likely to wake up with an aching and stiff neck if it gets cold at night.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Rogers
    I try to keep it around 68 (if I can keep my wife away from the thermostat).

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author KimW
    I hate cold weather and I hate being cold. There is a constant struggle between myself and my wife over the thermostat,no matter what season it is.
    I swear she keeps it at 65,while for me,anything above 72 is acceptable.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeAmbrosio
    During the day, around 64 - 66. At night, 62.

    I am lucky. My wife and I both prefer cold. Our bedroom is above the garage so it stays cooler. Our kids rooms are always about 6 - 10 deg. warmer, so we don't worry about them being too cold.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason_V
    I never understood the logic of people turning the heat DOWN at night. (I had to break my ex of this)

    When you sleep your body temperature drops!

    In the day time during the winter I keep it at 60-65 depending on how cold it is outside Anything below freezing, generally the heat goes to 65.

    I wear multiple layers of clothing during the day:

    Long sleeved tee shirt. Sweater/sweatshirt over that. Hoodie/fleece over that. I also wear a beanie hat indoors. You lose most of your body heat through your head.

    At night (bed time) I keep it at 65-68.

    By doing it this way I save a ton of money since the majority of the heat is only used for 6-8 hours when I sleep.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeAmbrosio
      Originally Posted by Jason_V View Post

      I never understood the logic of people turning the heat DOWN at night. (I had to break my ex of this)

      When you sleep your body temperature drops!

      In the day time during the winter I keep it at 60-65 depending on how cold it is outside Anything below freezing, generally the heat goes to 65.

      I wear multiple layers of clothing during the day:

      Long sleeved tee shirt. Sweater/sweatshirt over that. Hoodie/fleece over that. I also wear a beanie hat indoors. You lose most of your body heat through your head.

      At night (bed time) I keep it at 65-68.

      By doing it this way I save a ton of money since the majority of the heat is only used for 6-8 hours when I sleep.
      We turn ours down because:

      A) Our upstairs holds the heat rather well
      B) My wife and I both sleep better in cooler temperatures
      C) My wife and I both like to bundle up under the heavy blankets.

      And all the while, our heat bill goes down. And our health is fine
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    • Profile picture of the author Dave Patterson
      Originally Posted by Jason_V View Post

      I never understood the logic of people turning the heat DOWN at night. (I had to break my ex of this)
      I'll bet the "EX" turns the heat down whenever she feels like it...
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  • Profile picture of the author garyv
    Some people like to keep it very cold to save money, but then end up spending it anyway in health bills.
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
      Originally Posted by garyv View Post

      Some people like to keep it very cold to save money, but then end up spending it anyway in health bills.
      Not according to medical science. Cold has NOTHING to do with it.

      The only exception is if your core body temperature gets low enough to cause hypothermia. But that doesn't result in medical bills as much as it results in funeral bills.

      Anyway, being cold and wet does NOT cause colds. You didn't claim it did, but thought it was a relevant point.

      I let my youngest decide what to wear in the winter, much to the chagrin of my wife. If the kid doesn't want to wear a hat, and gets too cold, then they will wear a hat next time.

      By the way, being about 35(?) miles south of Scot, I keep the temp a little lower in winter. I prefer about 65. I like it very cool, year round. The air usually goes on in the spring or summer as soon as it gets to 72F outside.

      Unfortunately, the wife likes it much warmer. We play thermostat tag all year. She turns it up, I get too hot and turn it down, she then gets too cold...

      I've even been sleeping the past few nights with the window open a bit, and it's only about 4 inches from my head. Sometimes I think I would like to live in a refrigerator - nothing better than breathing in nice, cool, dry air.

      All the best,
      Michael
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      • Profile picture of the author Scot Standke
        Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

        By the way, being about 35(?) miles south of Scot, I keep the temp a little lower in winter. I prefer about 65.
        Hey Michael,

        Where are you again? 35 miles would put you near Lomira?

        My daughter takes English riding lessons about 5 miles north of there a few times a week near a small town called Byron.

        Did you get snow today?

        I was out on a youth pheasant hunt with my son this morning, severely under-dressed. Froze my tail off, but my son had a great time.

        Scot
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        • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
          Originally Posted by Scot Standke View Post

          Hey Michael,

          Where are you again? 35 miles would put you near Lomira?

          My daughter takes English riding lessons about 5 miles north of there a few times a week near a small town called Byron.

          Did you get snow today?

          I was out on a youth pheasant hunt with my son this morning, severely under-dressed. Froze my tail off, but my son had a great time.

          Scot
          I was guessing on the distance, but you're not too far off. I live in Waupun (but NOT at one of the local prisons).

          Yep, I know where Byron is, too.

          Used to live in Oshkosh in the early 90s (on Jackson St.)

          We had a few flurries down here, but nothing really stuck. Makes me wonder if we will have a "normal" winter.

          All the best,
          Michael
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          • Profile picture of the author pioneer
            Hey, I don't do anything special for winter to keep my home warm. I just close the door and cover all the free way. It doesn't need anything more here.

            Regards,
            Pioneer
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      • Profile picture of the author Kim Davis
        I agree with Michael on this

        ...Not according to medical science. Cold has NOTHING to do with it.
        Anyway, being cold and wet does NOT cause colds. You didn't claim it did, but thought it was a relevant point.
        I let my youngest decide what to wear in the winter, much to the chagrin of my wife. If the kid doesn't want to wear a hat, and gets too cold, then they will wear a hat next time....


        I leave my house at a constant 16 (celsius) once the furnace is on. It is much healthier for you to be and sleep in colder temperatures. Things we can't see that make us ill, don't fester in the cool temperatures as much as they do in the warmth.

        And Sal you just need a good old Hot Tub to jump in every hour.
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    I try to keep MINE at 55 degrees. Apparently, that is the recommended temperature to SAVE ENERGY in winter. Much lower can cause too abrupt a change in the structure, and can cause ice/snow to accumulate. The structure of the home would be much colder than the 55, since it has to cool down to cool down the interior. ALSO, the thermostat is AWAY from the outside walls. If I am in really bad sorts, I MIGHT turn it up to 71. BTW the COLDEST you should set the cooler is perhaps 70, as some can freeze up, etc...

    Jason,

    People that are ASLEEP are less sensitive to the cold, and you can use more blankets. So keeping the heat up doesn't make sense. It is risky, and expensive. A lot of people like to be able to spend their waking hours free of a lot of clothing, while inside, so they turn the heat UP.

    BTW it is LESS risky NOW, but STILL risky. MY heater checks the blower to make sure it works. If it were to fail, there could be CO poisoning. It ALSO checks to see if there is gas before a spark, otherwise, who knows what might happen. It ALSO checks that a flame is lit, otherwise, the place could fill up with gas. If that failed, or it was an older one that had no such measures, I would like to be AWAKE and dressed when it happened. I could call the fire department, and wait in safety, etc....

    Keeping the heat lower limits the opportunity for such a problem to occur.

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Jared Alberghini
      Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

      I try to keep MINE at 55 degrees.
      Dang Steve, I thought I was going to win the 'coldest thermo setting' award, but you are a few degrees below my normal setting of 58. If it gets below zero I turn it up to 60, as well as start a fire in my fireplace and if I have company over, I splurge and turn it up to 62-64. At night I turn it down to 56.

      Big old houses built in 1910 are no fun to heat in these bitter cold northern Vermont winters...

      I just finished putting R19 insulation in my basement, (attic is the next project) hopefully should help this season...



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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        It doesn't get all that cold here - 30s and low 40s in winter with seldom anything colder than that for more than a few hours.

        I wear light layers of clothes topped with sweater or sweats - learned that growing up in the cold of Ohio. I also keep several pair of warm houseshoes with hard soles so my toes don't chill out on the tile floors.
        If your feet are cold, you can't get warm.

        I keep the thermostat at 55 a big part of the time increasing to 62 once in a while. I think that's healthier than dry heated air myself. I like to sleep in a cold room and pile on the comforters and blankets.

        My kitchen/living/dining room are open to each other so very cold winter days are perfect to have homemade soup cooking for hours or do baking or cooking that uses the oven - that adds a lot of heat to the house.
        I also have a fireplace and if I bother to start a fire, I'm cozy all day.

        I have four ceiling fans and I reverse the direction and turn them on low for a short while a couple times a day - that drives the warmer air from the ceiling down into the room. You can stand in the room and feel the air get warmer doing that.

        I keep throws out that are soft and warm so if I watch TV or sit and read I can easily cover up and stay warm. I also have a small radiant heater in my home office as I spend so much time there I often heat only that room.

        kay
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      • Profile picture of the author seasoned
        Originally Posted by Jared Alberghini View Post

        Dang Steve, I thought I was going to win the 'coldest thermo setting' award, but you are a few degrees below my normal setting of 58. If it gets below zero I turn it up to 60, as well as start a fire in my fireplace and if I have company over, I splurge and turn it up to 62-64. At night I turn it down to 56.

        Big old houses built in 1910 are no fun to heat in these bitter cold northern Vermont winters...

        I just finished putting R19 insulation in my basement, (attic is the next project) hopefully should help this season...



        My home was built around 2000. The outside walls are SIX inch studs which is, supposedly, above code. I'm told that the insulation is good. And the basement has all outside walls finished, except a few in the mechanical room.

        Still, the 55 degree setting is for protection. It often doesn't get colder than that without the heat.

        Oh yeah, cold MIGHT lower immunity a LITTLE, but it doesn't cause problems people have claimed. In fact, they found that extreme cold, like alaska in winter, GREATLY REDUCES the chances of catching a cold, because germs and viruses can't live on surfaces, or the air, NEARLY as long.

        Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author glchandler
    Back in my mountain man days I lived a couple winters in a cabin that was about a 10 mile ski or sno-sled ride from nearest paved road. Water source was pitcher pump and had to drain that at night so would not freeze. Also had to put dogs water dish in the proprane reefer so it would not freeze solid!

    Then got civilized (married) and had agreement with wife. She could stoke the wood stove up as much as she wanted if I could leave the front door open to watch the snow. Took about 10 cords/winter but DAMN...that snow is pretty when it is about the size of chicken feathers and stacking up fast.

    Then when I passed the entrance exam for this disability check, 80 degrees sometimes is not warm enough! Guess my blood takes it's time visiting my extremities!

    Funny thing is now my wife is menopausal so guess what she wants the thermometer to be? Yep...I get to wear lots of sweaters and booty type mocs!

    Ain't life grand!
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    I want my house WARM. My asthma does well in dry heat - and I burn anything I eat so fast that there's not a lot left over for extra body heat.

    When I can do it, I have a window at least cracked for fresh air inflow - but keep temps cranked up around 75. Wood stove, space heater - whatever it takes. If my hands, feet, or knees get cold I can't rewarm them without outside heat sources. I'm okay dressed heavy in cold outside as long as I keep moving, but if I stop, there has to be fire. Took my roomie's daughter out for her first rock hunt yesterday - supposed to be sun so I figured 50 degrees wouldn't be bad - but there was no sun. We both started to get real cold when we stopped to eat lunch and there was no fuel for a fire nearby (desert region that only gets hunted on off summer seasons). Never got warm again all day after that. Give me heat - I don't care what the source.

    If winters start getting too cold and heat too expensive or scarce, I'll be a Southerner for sure.
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  • Profile picture of the author gdqws
    I keep my house at 70-72 year round. Well, except right now because our power got shut off and KCPL wants an insane amount of money (cash or cc only) to turn it back on. I could see my breath when I got up this morning. Thank goodness my grandma is okay with me camping at her house during the day so I can still work on my big project. But I really wish something would start making me some money.
    I miss heat and being at my own house.
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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by gdqws View Post

      I keep my house at 70-72 year round. Well, except right now because our power got shut off and KCPL wants an insane amount of money (cash or cc only) to turn it back on. I could see my breath when I got up this morning. Thank goodness my grandma is okay with me camping at her house during the day so I can still work on my big project. But I really wish something would start making me some money.
      I miss heat and being at my own house.
      WOW, the POWER company works that way? The IDIOTS that do the gas, where I live, decided to change systems WITHOUT telling me! THEN, at the WORST time, they turned the gas off. They then insisted on THREE things for me!

      1. That I CALL THEM to have ONE person there arrange terms!(That delayed things, and delayed payment to them!)
      2. That I wait home during the WEEK for a person to turn the gas on.(AGAIN, delayed payment to them FAR longer!)
      3. That I pay them a HUGE fee that was held in reserve.(Just a little something to make me more upset.)

      I have ONE question! ***********WHY***********!?

      THEY make a mistake, and do something that ends up causing an IRATE customer and loses THEM like 6 MONTHS of revenue!

      To make things WORSE, their NEW processor cancelled my account TWICE because the company hadn't yet turned on the gas!

      BTW this ALSO means that I now pay them LESS per month, and they ALREADY went through their cash reserves.

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    In WA I had to pay them almost 400 bucks just to turn my utilities on. And that was legal even though there were no competitors from which to choose services. I moved in winter and had no clue they could even do that legally and wonder what I'd have done if I couldn't have turned my utilities on because of it. I also wonder how many senior citizens out there freeze to death in winter due to our utility monopolies.
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  • Profile picture of the author Patrician
    It doesn't get very cold here compared to most places although it is very windy.

    I didn't turn the heat on for probably 5 years - (boycotting the utility company)

    I would burn a 'presto log' in the fireplace if it got really cold.

    ... then the logs got almost as exensive as utilities so I don't do that as often now.

    In really extreme conditions I turn the heat on just to warm the place up, put rugs at the bottom of doors, shut the blinds, and then turn it off.

    Now I keep MYSELF warm - it's called "layering"...

    ... and lots of blankets...
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    What's the weather up to out there right now Pat? I couldn't reach my sister so am wondering if you folks are experiencing a tad of colder than usual, too? Last time I was out to the Stockton area on thanksgiving I sunbathed on top of a houseboat on the marina - in fact, I lived on it for 3 days while I was visiting her (kept me out of the fire of 8 cats I'm allergic to).

    The last year I lived in this area I went rock hunting right up until December. We got snow at elevations already and yesterday I took the roomie's 7 yr old daughter out on her first rock hunt and we came home early it because it was so cold - and we had layers on.

    Will be interesting to see how many people stick to those low temps in their homes this winter.
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    Sal
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    • Profile picture of the author Patrician
      Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

      What's the weather up to out there right now Pat? I couldn't reach my sister so am wondering if you folks are experiencing a tad of colder than usual, too? Last time I was out to the Stockton area on thanksgiving I sunbathed on top of a houseboat on the marina - in fact, I lived on it for 3 days while I was visiting her (kept me out of the fire of 8 cats I'm allergic to).

      The last year I lived in this area I went rock hunting right up until December. We got snow at elevations already and yesterday I took the roomie's 7 yr old daughter out on her first rock hunt and we came home early it because it was so cold - and we had layers on.

      Will be interesting to see how many people stick to those low temps in their homes this winter.
      It was Summer-like until today - we have our first little bit of a cold day - I imagine my temp is not much different from Stockton although they are inland from me so much warmer when hot.

      "Indian Summer can happen all the way to Halloween here - gets horrible in August (hot) it has been mellow this year with very few horrilble hot days and a lot of hot/cooler, hot/cooler dancing going on.

      However there were a few brutally hot days in Sacramento from what I am told like 105-110. (I would die). I think the hottest here was low 90's a few times.

      This is my favorite time of year - Fall and Winter -

      Then always glad for Spring.

      It gets pretty cold in ID? Like how cold?
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  • Profile picture of the author Teresa Coppes
    It's snowing today in Northern Iowa. Started out with sleet and now it's just plain snow.

    Our furnace temp is set at 66 but we've got a corn/wood/bio burner and generally with it running it keeps the house temp about 70-75. Between the kids, hubby and myself we all need heat to keep our toes warm!
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    • Profile picture of the author Silas Hart
      Originally Posted by Teresa Coppes View Post

      It's snowing today in Northern Iowa. Started out with sleet and now it's just plain snow.

      Our furnace temp is set at 66 but we've got a corn/wood/bio burner and generally with it running it keeps the house temp about 70-75. Between the kids, hubby and myself we all need heat to keep our toes warm!
      I live in about Central/Eastern IA, and couldn't remember the last time I seen snow so early. I remember earlier in the year it was like it didn't stop snowing until April, I was so sick of snow.

      I seal off most of my windows with painters canvas/plastic using double sided tape, and I cover my hardwood floors with my rugs. I almost never run the furnace because I always seem to spend a lot in utilities when it doesn't really make sense, so I bought a couple radiator heaters which cost about $30. One in the living room, one in the kids bedroom, and one in mine, and doors stay closed. I try to crack the windows for a little while during the day to get some fresh air in but the air in my town smells so bad half the time it usually isn't worth it. About 2-4 PM the radiators kick on and keep the rooms warm until night time, then I run them at 8-11 PM when I leave for work and everyone stays warm until time to go to school and work and I'm home at 11 AM and I still feel warm when I get home. The time schedual sounds like a pain, but I use electrical timers so its all automated and keeps the house warm. I cut the utilities bills in half this way, its pretty cool.
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  • Profile picture of the author balamasti
    Though perrsonally I hate cold, but I won't let my house too warm in the winter. One thing, it is a waste of energy, the other is may not good for your health either!
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  • Profile picture of the author SeattlePurple
    We bought a few Travis Industries stoves for the winter, a gas for our bedroom and a pellet for downstars.

    I FREAKING LOVE THEM!

    They both have remotes, add massive value to the house, and KEEP THE HOUSE WARM!

    If you buying a stove, check them out for the best of the best!
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  • Profile picture of the author Lambert Klein
    We keep it at 70 durring the day, 69 at night.
    We have a geothermal unit so that really helps.

    Lambert
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  • Profile picture of the author Rich Struck
    We keep the house at about 75. I can't stand a cold house; I grew up in one and I swore I'd never live like that. Plus, we have a lot of reptiles and they like it nice and toasty too.
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  • Profile picture of the author markbrown0316
    I think the standard is from 70 to 75....

    But aside from using heater there are still ways on how to keep you home warm during winter time. According to article that I've read here are ways on how to keep you homes warm:
    1. Go around your house and check all of your windows. Check to see that all of your windows are properly shut.
    2. Seal your doors. Check around the door frame and also under the door.
    3. Close off any unused rooms. The closed door makes that room another barrier between you and the wicked winter weather. It also stops air from circulating as much, which reduces heat loss.
    4. Put up sets of heavy curtains. These can block drafts on both windows AND doors. Open them when the sun is shining to help pull in the solar heat into your house and close them when it gets cloudy or dark out to better keep the heat in.
    5. Dress warmly. Hats are a great idea, as it is a well known fact that 75% of your body heat escapes from your head. Layer yourself with loose clothing article, rather than tight.. heat accumulates in the folds of the layers, keeping you much warmer than a tight sweater.
    6. Cook. Steam will raise the moisture level in your home, making you feel warmer. Make a large pot of soup, put the kettle on for tea (or cocoa, or instant coffee.. whatever you please) Bake bread or cookies.
    7.Light candles. Candles can produce a lot of heat, but be mindful of where they are placed and do not leave them unattended.
    8. Take a hot shower. Not only will this warm you up quickly, but the steam from the hot water will raise moisture levels in the house, helping the ambient temperature feel about 15 degree warmer.
    9. Last, but not least, cuddle up on the couch or in bed with someone or a pet. The closer you cuddle the more body heat you can build up between the two of you. Think of survival tactics in the elements... people lost at sea are recommended to huddle together in the water to keep body heat up and keep hypothermia at bay. These tactics apply in most situations, so use science to your advantage!

    Source:hubpages.com (Handy Ways to Keep your House Warm this Winter)
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    When I was in Colorado, I didn't even turn the furnace on. Instead, I use a small ceramic space heater and just put it where I am and heat me up, instead of the whole place. Now that I'm back in Las Vegas, I'll only need the space heater a few days during winter.
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  • Profile picture of the author Poglia
    66 here (19 Celsius).
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