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Old 12-27-2007, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Camano Island, WA
1,913 posts, read 8,553,403 times
Reputation: 1149

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Here's my situation...I have an older style thermostat in my house.
I have a three bdrm/full attic & basement home.
I only use one of the bdrms so the other two heating vents are closed as well as the attic and the basement vents and the doors are closed to each of the rooms.

So... my question is...how can I determine if the thermostat reading on the wall is the same temp as it is in the house?
My reason for asking is I will set the thermostat between 60° and 62° (F) and it feels "comfortable".

I get my bill (they are not estimated) and it speaks differently.
It's high in comparison to my neighbors home (she has the same size/style home and gas provider) and she leaves her thermostat on 70°-72°+.
BTW...she has a digital thermostat.

We did a comparison for last month and my bill was much higher.
Could it be that the thermostat in my house is 10° off?
And if so, what do I need to do to fix that? Besides throwing a blanket around the house...

Neither of us are on a budget plan and I am aware that other variables can come into play such as maybe her house is better insulated?
My windows are caulked well and they are the newer replacement windows...but...what is between the walls as far as insulation?...I have no clue.

I have heard that the digital thermostats are more accurate? Is this true?

Here's pic of the thermostat in my house:




Any tips, hints, or suggestions would be appreciated...thanks in advance!
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Old 12-27-2007, 04:19 PM
 
Location: GA
2,791 posts, read 10,165,545 times
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From the pic, it appears to be off 2 degrees, and it's possible. The thermostat may need adjusting. You could replace it easily for little money. Get another thermometer and check the room temp.
It's hard to compare to a neighbor. Do you have gas dryers, hot water heaters, stoves, etc? She might use hers less.
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Old 12-27-2007, 04:40 PM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,596,786 times
Reputation: 2167
The thermostat type of thermometer is not terribly accurate. Just get another thermometer and stick it into a bowl of ice water for 5 minutes or so. If it says 32 degrees, then it is pretty accurate or you can then tell by how much it is off. Put it next to the thermostat to see how much different the two readings are.

A new set back thermostat is usually well worth putting in and usually saves a lot of money.
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Old 12-27-2007, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
42,808 posts, read 53,290,663 times
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If I were you, I would get my system evaluated by a pro. If your house was truly 60-62 degrees you'd be cold. A heating guy could make sure your dampers were all adjusted correctly and fix you up with a new thermostat. Whatever it would cost would save in the long run.
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Waupun, Wisconsin
323 posts, read 1,891,362 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
If I were you, I would get my system evaluated by a pro. If your house was truly 60-62 degrees you'd be cold.
Agreed about getting a pro around to figure out what's going on. Something sounds seriously strange here.

Whether or not you'd be cold at 60-62 is pretty much personal, and it can depend upon the climate. We're keeping our new home (Wisconsin) there this year and it's just fine. In previous years when I tried to keep the thermostat at 66 in Tacoma my wife froze - and I was uncomfortable at 64 (though one of her coworkers keeps his at 58 and he does just fine.) Not sure what the difference is but we're glad for it
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Camano Island, WA
1,913 posts, read 8,553,403 times
Reputation: 1149
Quote:
Originally Posted by brookdaleresident View Post
From the pic, it appears to be off 2 degrees, and it's possible. The thermostat may need adjusting. You could replace it easily for little money. Get another thermometer and check the room temp.
It's hard to compare to a neighbor. Do you have gas dryers, hot water heaters, stoves, etc? She might use hers less.
I guess she could use hers less. But she also has her husband, so that's an extra person that I don't have in my house...we both have electric dryers... So I figured that her bill would be higher than mine...but it's just the opposite.
I guess the only way I'm going to find out is to have a service call on it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesaje View Post
The thermostat type of thermometer is not terribly accurate. Just get another thermometer and stick it into a bowl of ice water for 5 minutes or so. If it says 32 degrees, then it is pretty accurate or you can then tell by how much it is off. Put it next to the thermostat to see how much different the two readings are.

A new set back thermostat is usually well worth putting in and usually saves a lot of money.
Thanks for the info.


Quote:
Originally Posted by escapetacoma
Agreed about getting a pro around to figure out what's going on. Something sounds seriously strange here.

Whether or not you'd be cold at 60-62 is pretty much personal, and it can depend upon the climate. We're keeping our new home (Wisconsin) there this year and it's just fine. In previous years when I tried to keep the thermostat at 66 in Tacoma my wife froze - and I was uncomfortable at 64 (though one of her coworkers keeps his at 58 and he does just fine.) Not sure what the difference is but we're glad for it
Thanks for the info...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
If I were you, I would get my system evaluated by a pro. If your house was truly 60-62 degrees you'd be cold. A heating guy could make sure your dampers were all adjusted correctly and fix you up with a new thermostat. Whatever it would cost would save in the long run.

Yeah, I think that's the route I'm going to take...have it checked out.

Like right now I came back in from being out for a bit and I had to lower it to around 60°...no one has ever complained about it being cold in here...then again, maybe no one wanted to say anything ...lol
Anyone know what age hot flashes begin at? lol
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Old 12-27-2007, 10:44 PM
 
Location: The 12th State
22,974 posts, read 61,610,689 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citybythebay View Post
I guess she could use hers less. But she also has her husband, so that's an extra person that I don't have in my house...we both have electric dryers... So I figured that her bill would be higher than mine...but it's just the opposite.
I guess the only way I'm going to find out is to have a service call on it.




Thanks for the info.




Thanks for the info...




Yeah, I think that's the route I'm going to take...have it checked out.

Like right now I came back in from being out for a bit and I had to lower it to around 60°...no one has ever complained about it being cold in here...then again, maybe no one wanted to say anything ...lol
Anyone know what age hot flashes begin at? lol
Go ahead and purchase a new more modern thermostat since you are going to have a professional come out he can install it for you.

The location of the thermostat is only going to read the temperature that surrounds it not the whole house.
Mine is located in a hallway if I shut the doors to the hallway it will not have an accurate reading for the lower level since the heat vents are in other rooms.

I notice my upstairs was more hot than the lower level so I had to trick the thermostat to think it was warmer downstairs than upstairs by setting thermostat on downstairs fire place to a certain degree of heating.

Good luck in your resolution
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Old 12-28-2007, 08:32 AM
 
27,750 posts, read 58,090,926 times
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Those old Honeywell Thermostats are quality units... I don't expect any on the new stuff to be around 40 or 50 years later.

That being said, you may be able to realize energy savings by going with a programmable unit with adjustable set points for different days of the week and time of day.

My best guess and this is only a guess... Your furnace is probably original, especially judging from the thermostat. With a new furnace, you have the option of increasing efficiency from about 70% to a minimum of 80% all the way up to around 95% on some of the high end models.

I think your neighbors probably have upgraded their furnaces. Also, don't overlook leaking air ducts, especially if they run in the under house of attic crawl spaces. Many utilities offered insulation rebates in the 80's... it would be worth taking a look at if you don't have it. Double pane windows are nice, but the energy savings payback can take many years and the windows cost a lot more to repair.

My Grandmother was almost never cold... always had a window at least slightly open. Her furnace was very inefficient... installed in 1922... but 100% reliable for the times she used it. Some of her neighbors have changed out furnaces every 15 years... and that costs money too.
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Old 12-28-2007, 08:45 AM
 
4,833 posts, read 5,793,850 times
Reputation: 2428
Arrow Try this

Why not hang a thermometer on the wall next to the thermostat and then compare readings?

We had one of those older Honeywells and after making the comparison to a thermometer we replaced it with a digital thermostat.

Most digital thermostats can be adjusted up/down 3 degrees and we have ours right on the money now.
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Old 12-28-2007, 08:57 AM
 
Location: The #1 sunshine state, Arizona.
12,172 posts, read 16,510,426 times
Reputation: 64075
Check to see if your utility company will do a free energy audit for you. They can tell you where you are loosing heat and offer remedies. We use a wood pellet stove and reverse the ceiling fans to keep the house warm most of the winter. Rarely do we use the central heating which is propane gas.
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