Great Question: turning the heat off?

Home Inspector with Pillar To Post

Q- On cold days when I leave home, won’t it save more energy if I turn off the heat completely versus just turning it down?

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Yes, turning your heat completely off saves more energy than turning it down. But we recommend 60 degrees as an energy-saving setback at bedtime or when you’re away from home for more than a few hours. Why don’t we say to turn it off? Because if you turn off the heat regularly, there is the potential you could end up with moisture or mold problems in your house, depending on insulation levels, the type of windows and other factors. You also have a greater risk of ending up with frozen pipes during really cold periods. That’s why PGE generally recommends 60 degrees as a set back that saves energy while helping avoid those other problems.

Exceptions to the rule: If you have ceiling cable heat, the maximum setback is 2 to 3 degrees. Heat pump systems vary.

Also, it’s good to keep in mind that, if you turn the heat completely off, it will take longer to get the temperature back up to your comfort zone when you return home.

Posted by

Chris Livingston

Owner/Oregon Certifed Home Inspector

Pillar To Post

Click here for a List of potential Specialty Contractors

P.S. Any client of ours has open access to the Sears Commercial Center for "contractor" prices on everything from TV's to washers etc and on all brands (Bosch, LG, Kitchen Aid - not just Kenmore). Discounts of 5% to 50% from regular store prices are offered exclusively through their commercial group. This is a fantastic opportunity for our clients who may need something for the new home. Call (503) 624-3481 and ask for James Shufelt for details. Be sure to mention the Pillar To Post customer number CU071473

Comments (3)

Wayne Zuhl
Remax First Realty II - Cranford, NJ
The Last Name You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

You know, I've always wondered about that! Thanks for clearifying!

Jan 18, 2012 05:45 AM
go to & get 20 Listing Appointments per month
Real Estate Faster - Los Angeles, CA

Thanks for the tip on leaving the heat on for 60 degrees!

Jan 18, 2012 05:48 AM
Adam Malachi
A 2 Z Realty LLC - Castle Rock, CO

Great post! Excellent tip and great information's!

Thanks for sharing,


Jan 18, 2012 03:33 PM