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Thread: Setting the thermostat while away??

  1. #1
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    Setting the thermostat while away??

    For those of you in colder climates, what do you leave your heater temp at while away for a week or so? This is our first time leaving the house during cold weather so I am not sure what is best thing to do. Thinking of programming it for 55 at night and maybe 61 during the day? We have two indoor cats but if it is cold, they will just cuddle up and sleep anyway. I just don't want it to be running a lot. We normally keep it at 55 at night and 63 during the day.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    If I didn't have pets I was leaving behind I'd set it just warm enough to keep the pipes from freezing, and I wouldn't differentiate between day and night. To be safe, I'd do 45 or so. But I don't know how uncomfortable a house cat would be if it's that cold. I don't see any need to go above 60.

    I'd also "drip" your faucets--turn the tap just enough for a steady drip.

    Maybe others will disagree, but that's what we do.
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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    I set the temp at 50F and leave it at that. Per my plumber's advice, I turn off the water at the main valve from the city into the house, unplug electric start for the gas water heater, unplug the electric motor for the softener, plus set up different auto lighting, have someone pick up my mail and papers and come in every 48 hours for a security walk through.

    That routine is accepted by my insurance company for coverage which is a biggie for me. It is also why I prefer to travel when the weather is less extreme.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    It would depend on how cold the weather was going to be. If the risk of pipes freezing exists I probably wouldn't go below 50, and would open up sink cabinets if they back onto an outside wall so that it didn't get colder under the sink.

    The cats present a different issue. Being desert animals they actually like temperatures closer to 80, but if they've gotten used to a cool house they'll be fine but I probably wouldn't go below the 55 you do at night. I assume they've figured out the warm places. My sister used to have a pair of cats that regularly camped out in front of the fridge because it vented the warm air out the bottom. (After a couple of months of this my sister put a cat bad there for them.) One of our cats has figured out that on those rare mornings where the heat actually comes on that he can sit on the back of a chair in front of one of the heater units and get nice and toasty. And all cats understand solar radiation so leave the curtains open on at least one south facing window...

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    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    45 would be too low. 55 is the lowest I’d go. Do you have someone who can come check on things every other day or so?

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    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    No pets to consider here so we set to hold 55 degrees and we're done. The house is insulated well enough that we've not had an issue with damage even when the temperature has gone down to -30* F for a couple of days.
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    When we're home we do 64 while we're working. This is what our indoor-only cats are used to so we don't drop it any lower. As it is they crawl inside blankets for warmth.

    At the cabin, we set our baseboard heat at 50. We had frozen pipes the winter it hit -30. Sooooo we have heat tape around all the pipes in our crawl space. ALWAYS leave the cabinet doors open under sinks so warmth can get to those pipes.

    I would set your temp at what your normal low is when you're in residence. you know everything will be safe and your cats will be comfortable because they are accustomed to that temp.

    When we're gone more than 48 hours we have a cat sitter come in to feed , give them fresh water and clean the catbox.

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    If you do decide to leave under sink cabinets open, make sure there is nothing under there that could harm your cats. They will probably want to explore the interesting new space, and could knock over chemicals, eat steel wool (yes I have heard of cats actually doing that) and so on. Might be best to box everything up and store it in a room they won't have access to. Also prop the cabinet doors open so the cats can't close them.

    If it were just a house - no pets and no houseplants - it would depend on how cold the outside temp was, where your pipes run, and how well insulated they are from the outside.

    Since your cats are not used to anything lower than 55, I would not go below that at night. And I doubt a two degree difference in daytime temperature will bother them any.
    The more you know, the less you need.

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    There is a cat sitter coming every other day to feed and clean cat box, bring in mail etc. I Just didn't want her to have to mess with the thermostat. When we are home and can watch him, we let one of the cats outside as he never leaves the backyard. The first thing he does is head for a sunny patch and sits like a statue for thirty minutes just soaking up any heat and light. They do like their warm...

  10. #10
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    We set our Hermann house at 55 degrees. No cats here.

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