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Old 01-17-2010, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Zone 6- South Jersey
257 posts, read 692,378 times
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Hi,
We're closing on our first place at the end of January but aren't moving in permanently until the end of Feb. The avg. temp for Feb is 45/26. We'll be going back/forth at least once a week.

So, would you turn the heat off? If we should leave it on while we're not there, what temp would be appropriate? We have a gas furnace w/one zone- appx 2200 square feet w/finished basement- and the furnace is old.

Thanks!
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Old 01-17-2010, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
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Is there any reason to turn the heat on at all except to prevent pipes from freezing? Is there any risk of pipes freezing?
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Old 01-17-2010, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Zone 6- South Jersey
257 posts, read 692,378 times
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I know when we lived in NY and had baseboard heating we had to leave the heat on- but now we have gas heat pumped through registers so I don't know if there's risk of pipes freezing..
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Old 01-17-2010, 06:38 PM
 
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In addition to pipes freezing, you need to think about material shrinkage. If you get your house get cold, many items such as base board, crown molding, casing, doors and hard wood floors will all shrink. Right now, you may have nice tight joints on the molding throughout the house. if you get the interior temp drop in to the 40s for too long, there is a very good chance you will start seeing the joints separate, gaps appear in the hard woods, etc. Most of it can be repaired by warming the house back up but some of it will require caulk and paint touch up to get back in to the original state.

We left our house at 58 in a similar climate and saw some of the cracking/separation but otherwise has been fine. Each house is going to be different but I would definitely leave your heat on, even if just to make sure that none of the water pipes (hose bibs, under cabinet supplies) freeze. The question is how low do you want to risk taking it.
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Old 01-17-2010, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Zone 6- South Jersey
257 posts, read 692,378 times
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Great info!
Thanks.
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Central Fl
2,901 posts, read 6,715,210 times
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I would leave it at 55 degrees. Colder then that may risk pipe freezes in places where the pipes are close to colder areas. Also, as stated, it can cause cracking of finishes, etc.

I am involved in Home Inspections, and notice a big difference between homes that are left at 55 degrees and those left at 45 degrees......

Frank
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Old 01-18-2010, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Zone 6- South Jersey
257 posts, read 692,378 times
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Thank you.
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:01 AM
 
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I would say 55 at least too. I would also take some extra precautions for any plumbing that is near outside walls or in small, enclosed rooms like a main floor power room-wrap the pipes in those rooms. For a month of heat and the possibility of major damage it is worth the hundred dollars or so to keep the heat at a more reasonable temp like 60 or 65.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:14 AM
 
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Generally speaking, I leave thermostats on vacant homes on the minimum setting. It's sufficient to keep things 'thawed' that are inside the heated area and if there's no furniture or personal items in the home I really see no reason to keep it higher. I'm not sure I wouldn't go ahead and turn the water off, take the pressure off the pipes and just leave it off altogether to be honest.
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:10 AM
 
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Some quite fancy lake cabins in Minnesota that have no heat at all the entire winter.

They drain the water pipes before shutting off the heat.

(and Minnesota gets down to -30 or lower )

However, since it is only a month for you and your temps are much warmer, I wouldn't bother draining the pipes.

Set the thermostat about 45 and youwill be fine.
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