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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My fiance and I have totally erratic schedules. We're both grad students, past coursework, so while we have a lot of work, we hardly have a set schedule to do it in. I'm constantly trying to save more energy and money in this house and nearly everyone recommends a programmable thermostat. But is it worth it if you don't have a set schedule? We don't even go to bed and get up at the same time each night/morning.

Right now we only run the heat in the living room/kitchen, set to 70 (Even fully dressed I get really cold when it's lower), and we turn it to 60 at night and when we leave for a while, or 50 if we're gone for more than a day. I make sure to keep the upstairs rooms closed off so we don't lose our living room heat up there and only turn on those thermostats when I'm in those rooms during the day.

Should we upgrade or just regulate our heat like we have been?
 

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It sounds like you do a good job of regulating it yourself. We have had one for about 6 years and it was great when DH and I both worked, becuase we had set schedules.

Now, I'm home during the day, so it's still set to go down during the day and I am constantly fiddling with it. It's handy becuase I don't always turn it up during the day, but its kind of a pain to constantly have to mess with it.
 

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I think it would depend on how 'on the same page' you both are with your tolerance for cold and heat. Gripey gripes if it's too cool for him, when I'd rather just put on another layer.....so I'd weigh that as well. I'm thinking you do a pretty good job as is. If things change for you in the future when you have more of a reg. routine you might reconsider getting one then....jmho.
 

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If you're not having a set schedule, I would stick to what you're doing at the moment. We use one, even though I'm home during the day because there's chances that I may not be at home for a few hours each day. I usually turn down the thermostat at night and set it to having it turn back up in the morning, then I also manually turn down the heat at night when we go to bed. If one of us wakes up in the middle of the night, we simply put on another layer of clothes or wrap a blanket around us.
 

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If your schedule is is all over the place, I vote to save your money and adjust it manually. We really like our programmable thermo, but our schedule is vastly different from yours.
 

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I think you are doing as well as you can now. With differing schedules, it is hard to use a programmable thermostat. It does sound like you are working very hard at keeping your heating bills as low as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone! I figured this is our best option; just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing some other value of having the programmable 'stat. :)
 

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I'd say go without...but then we do too...even with set schedules. DH and I simply turn it down when we leave the house or go to bed, and turn it up when we're up and using the space.

Jean
 

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When you say you have varying schedules - does that mean you don't know where you are on any given day? Or just that you're day to day is different?

Most programmables allow you to program for days of the week. Your Monday schedule can be completely different than your Tuesday schedule, both in the temperatures set and the times those temperatures are set.

Even if you have a variable schedule, a programmable thermostat will help you avoid forgetting turning down the temp at night, and you can program it to be on a lower temperature and then "override" the temp when you are home unexpectedly.

Example: M-F our prog therm is set up to put the house at 65 during the "day" (8:30 - 4:00). If I'm home, I simply tap the thermostat and turn up the temp. Override mode keeps the temp where I set it until 4:00, and then the evening schedule kicks in.

So overall, properly used, even on an erratic schedule, it can easily save you the relatively low cost of the programmable thermostat.
 
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