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So I have a question… October 11, 2008

Posted by Raul in Uncategorized.

This may be a totally inane question so feel free to skip if you’re pressed for time or can’t entertain the thought of asking somewhat strange questions. So, I am all about saving energy and money, don’t get me wrong. But why would people turn the heat completely off at night? Isn’t it kind of counter-intuitive? For example, let’s say it’s 3 oC outside (as it is right now here in Vancouver). Chances are your house/apartment/basement suite is not going to get as incredibly cold, but it may get quite nippy. Wouldn’t you want to sleep in a warmer, more comfortable environment? Thus, wouldn’t you want to *at least* keep some sort of temperature control?

However, the vast majority of people I’ve talked to say that they turn off the heat at night. I can understand that yeah, we use blankets and all, but not *all* the body is covered (the face isn’t, at least in my case!). And if you snore or breathe with your mouth at some point (as we all sometimes doo), you’re going to get VERY cold air inside. Which may or may not be good, but …

And, on top of everything… what if you have to go to the bathroom or something, in the middle of the night (thus abandoning the comfort of your warm bed)? Shouldn’t the temperature be, at least, somewhat high-ish? E.g. shouldn’t we lower the dial of our heaters during the day (when the temperature outside is higher) and increase it at night (when it’s lower?) – provided, of course, that the insulation is not so good, because well, if it is good, then you don’t actually need to heat your house/apartment/basement suite so much (as it loses less heat).

Just wondering…



1. Phaedra - October 11, 2008

I generally like to have my house warm during the day and much cooler at night. I sleep with my bedroom window slightly open because I find if the air is too warm, Iend up feeling all stuffy and headachey in the morning. Bonus points right now that my furnace is on the fritz and my house is about -2 degrees. Now one will fix it on a long wekeend, unless I fork out $$$, whihc I don’t have. 2 ceramic heaters, and long johns πŸ™‚

2. Beth - October 11, 2008

Do people actually turn their heat completely off at night? I thought that people just turned the thermostat down a bit. I live in a basement where I have no control over the heat, so I don’t get faced with this dilemma!

3. Chris - October 11, 2008

As I live in an apartment, I find that my neighbours allow my unit to stay warmer by cranking it up to “red hot sun” levels. That being said, I actually prefer it to be cooler and therefore rarely turn my heat on at all. Heck, I’m walking around outside today in shorts and a golf shirt while others walk by me in winter jackets and gloves and such. I’m just a strange duck.


Okay, back on topic. I believe the feeling is that in an effort to conserve energy, turning the heat off at night is a good thing. True it might create an annoyance should nature ring at 230a, but it just makes you get the job done quick so you can get back under the warm covers. πŸ˜€

4. Jodi - October 11, 2008

I don’t turn off the heat, but I keep the thermostat real low. Very very low. The heat from the apartment below me seems to provide me with enough warmth, and I like it very very cool at night. Mostly because I love being under a bunch of blankets. I love the weight of them.

My previous home was a house, with a fancy thermostat which automatically lowered the therm about 10 pm, and brought it back up at 5. So it was cool for sleeping, but warmed up before I had to get up. God I miss that house.

5. Rebecca - October 11, 2008

Simple – can’t sleep when it’s too hot or warm. It’s much cozier that way too πŸ˜‰

6. Stephen Rees - October 11, 2008

The house will stay warm for quite a while if it is properly insulated and there are no drafts. Have a test done by a certified inspector and the governments (federal and provincial) will give you grants to upgrade. Filling air leaks is one of the best pay backs in energy efficiency terms. Older houses tend to have manual thermostats. A better buy is an electronic, programmable “set back” thermostat. Again, one will pay for itself in a very short time.

I live in a town house, so I get some heat from the shared walls – as well as lots of noise but you can’t win them all.

Night time temps are a matter of taste and the amount of bedding you like. I just bought (a really cheap) #3 duvet from IKEA and I am quite warm enough thank you.

7. Laura - October 11, 2008

I don’t turn the heat off at night, but I turn it down. You’re covered in blankets at night, which you’re not during the day, so it’s easier to stay warm when the temperature is lower. It’s also healthier to sleep at a lower temperature than the daytime temperature – your body shuts down a bit overnight and doesn’t need as warm an environment.

With regards to the thermostat, as long as you point the gage to a specific temperature, it shouldn’t be affected by the temp outside being lower at night. If the thermostat is working correctly, it should heat your house to the temp you specify, regardless of the temp outside. So you shouldn’t need to compensate for lower outdoor temps at night by setting the thermostat higher at night.

8. Karen - October 11, 2008

The worst is if you’re in a place like mine which is extremely, extremely poorly insulated (and it’s the second time I’ve been in such a place as well – the first time was in Toronto with only a single layer of window). I would prefer to have the heat off or not on very much at night but it was so cold last night I couldn’t sleep properly because all the warm air just vents right out. (Just one more reason that this is my last month here – could not imagine another winter here.)

9. Urban dweller - October 12, 2008

I keep the heat on at night but I turn the temperature down a bit.

10. Emme - October 22, 2008

If you asked me – it provides an extra good reason to snuggle up to that special someone and create a bit of heat of your own!!! So now you just have to source out that renewable source of energy to heat up your bed.

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