My friend Rose finally had to turn on the heat in her apartment this week. Even though it has been getting steadily chillier in the northeast, she waited as long as she could to heat her place because she's not looking forward to the increased heating bills of the season.
Since her apartment came with a classic manual thermostat, Rose is particularly worried that her roommates would leave the heat on too high, leading to a big bill at the end of the month.
Before she and her roommates decided to turn up the temperature though, they made a deal. The last person out before going to work will turn the heat down to a temperature that they agreed on, and the first person home in the evening will turn it halfway back up.
She read something online that said that one of the reasons that programmable thermostats save energy is because they heat gradually. Rather than kicking the heat all the way up, it is therefore more efficient to turn it up in a couple of steps.
This can also prevent you from overheating your home, wasting all of the energy it took to make the place that warm. They all agreed that they could throw on a robe or sweatshirt for an extra half hour or so while their apartment gradually rose in temperature, rather than wasting energy by turning it all the way up.
Rose and her two roommates also agreed to turn the heat down before going to sleep at night. They are hoping to mimic the efficiency that comes with a programmable thermostat, even though they have a simpler model.
They are all geared up to have an energy efficient winter, even though they're working with a manual thermostat.