How to save the most energy with my furnace thermostat?

I couldn’t find an easy, straight 

answer when I searched google. I prefer being warm but I live in Wisconsin and I’m cheap. I live in a very small house and I like the temperature to be 70 when I’m at home during the day. At night, I use a lot of blankets and can set it to 62 (I do wake up freezing these nights and turn my dyson hot+cool fan on for 15-30 min). 

My question is, when I leave during the day, does it save me money on my electricity bill by turning the furnace completely off and heating it back up when I get home? Some articles online say that it’s more efficient to maintain a steady temperature. My thinking was that it uses more energy each time that the furnace kicks in, rather than it running for a longer time, but I could be wrong. 

Hope someone here can help me with any advice, I’m trying to save as much money as possible on my bills. Thanks so much! 

18 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    A FURNACE heats by burning gas or oil. The The fan is the primary use of electricity, and you probably won't notice it.

  • drip
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    In Wisconsin I would never turn the heat completely off during the winter.  Frozen pipes can be an issue.

    I like our programmable thermostat. I can have the heat go up when we wake up and back down  When all have left.  Then back up before we get home.  And it changes for the weekend.  

    I also checked our outlets. I was shock at how much cold air I could feel.  I put installation.  Easy and cheap. Check windows and door. Use use a bic lighter to catch bad drafts.

  • 1 month ago

    I would just set the temperate as low as possible.  Then when you are cold turn it on.  

  • 1 month ago

    A FURNACE heats by burning gas or oil. The The fan is the primary use of electricity, and you probably won't notice it.

    NO legitimate article claims maintaining a fixed temperature saves energy over using a programmable thermostat set to kick in about 1/2 hour before you get home.

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  • CB
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Lowering the whole house thermostat, wear more clothing, buy a dish heater and when you are sitting for awhile plug it in and point it at you - the heat is concentrated and projected it will keep you warm without trying to warm the whole room. They are light, carry to your bedroom and put it on a timer to come on a few minutes before you get out of bed in the morning and go off 30 minutes later. Lots of options, warm the bathroom with it, etc. The nice part about the dish units is they are not fan driven so very quiet (a little metal expansion and contraction during heat up and cool down).

  • 1 month ago

    the standard advice over in Michigan was to reduce the temp setting, but not turn the system off.  What I'd likely do in your situation is set it to 62 and leave it there, except when I come home in the evening -- then I'd push it up to 70 and go back to 62 about 45 minutes before estimated bed time.  Heating the place for the 1.5 hours or less that you'll be awake and doing in the morning before leaving for the day just isn't worth it.  AND, a programmable thermostat might be worth looking into ... but only if it offers separate programs for weekdays and weekends, plus at least two up/down cycles a day.  -- grampa  [what does this accomplish?  if a cold front comes through while you're at work and the system is off, you might return at 6pm to find the indoor temperature is in the 50s ...]

  • 1 month ago

    Some heating systems are more efficient if you don't vary the set temperature by much, if anything. Others will be more efficient if there are big setbacks and then it runs for a long heat cycle when you raise the temperature. That is why you read different things online. My hi efficiency condensing boiler is best left at one temperature so it can fire at a very low rate for long cycles. If the water coming back to it is very cold because it is too cold in the house, it will fire at a higher rate and be less efficient.

    You need to figure out what is best for your system.

  • Droopy
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    In Wisconsin your not gonna see much savings from a Programmable stat.  With the extreme cold you get the amount of energy need to recover from the set back would about whip any savings out.  

    If your wanting to save you'd be better off dropping your stat a degree or 2 an see if you can can get acclimated to that temperature.   But your best bet is insulation an leaks.  Get you something like a incent stick that produces some smoke go around house especially windows,doors, outlet inside an outside,light switchs.  If the stuff inside sucks smoke into it you have a air leak.   An as cold as it gets there the air will be flowing the colder it gets outside.  The tighter the house the less the furnace runs.  An the better its insulated the less heat transfer you have.

  • Steve
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    I like the programmable thermostat idea.  However, the biggest energy saver isn't your thermostat, but ensuring you have minimized air leaks.  Caulking around windows or replacing them if they have leaky frames.  Same for doors.  Pull off the trim around the frames of doors and windows and ensure they have insulation or spray foam all around the framework.  Put an extra layer of insulation in your attic.

  • Mark
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Buy a programmable thermostat.

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