Home & Garden

Minimum home temperature in Winter?

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  • Jan 17th, 2018 6:05 pm
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Dec 27, 2011
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Waterloo

Minimum home temperature in Winter?

What’s the safest minimum temperature to set my thermostat in the winter for when I’m away at work or on vacation? I currently have it at 15 but wondering if I could go even lower such as 12?
Also, is it bad if there is a somewhat large range between the temperature I have it set when I’m away vs at home? For example I have it at 20 when I’m at home, so that’s a 5 degree difference compared to when I'm away.
48 replies
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May 12, 2004
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Call your insurance company to see what their threshold is for coverage, nobody here can answer that for you.
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May 12, 2014
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Montreal
Don't do it. The minimal savings won't be worth it if there's a power failure, broken window (hail, thief, stray baseball, ...), or other events and your pipes freeze.
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Feb 26, 2011
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Calgary
I had my house down to 12 and the smoke alarms don't stop ringing.
Minimum for me now is 14.
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
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Oakville
You have worry about the temp the pipes in your walls will get to. It will be much lower than your tstat int he middle of your house. I don't normally go under 17, and not under 15 when away for long periods.
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Oct 12, 2006
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Alberta
jwslam wrote: I had my house down to 12 and the smoke alarms don't stop ringing.
Minimum for me now is 14.
Weird that low temp sets off the smoke detector.
I've had mine at 15. I feels it's pretty safe as the basement with the furnace is unfinished and it's also where all the water lines are, so the pipes are way warmer than the upstairs.
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Jan 25, 2007
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Paris
We keep cottage at 14. Generator backup, furnace, 2 gas fireplaces in event of failure. Used to go down to 10, too cold
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Feb 4, 2010
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jwslam wrote: I had my house down to 12 and the smoke alarms don't stop ringing.
Minimum for me now is 14.
I don't understand the connection. Why would the smoke alarms go off?
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Feb 4, 2015
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Canada, Eh!!
Jazmina wrote: I don't understand the connection. Why would the smoke alarms go off?
Battery powered and to some extent hard wired do act up in cold temps.

https://www.boards.ie/b/thread/2055790889
.......
July 13, 2017 to October 25, 2018: BOC raised rates 5 times and MCAP raised its prime rate next day each time.

2020: BOC dropped rates 3 times and MCAP waited and waited to drop its prime rate to include all 3 drops.
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Aug 2, 2004
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East Gwillimbury
I have mine set at 17 C at night and during the day when no one is at home. When people are at home, it is set to 20 C
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Jan 19, 2013
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Ottawa
Most recent furnaces state minimum return air temperature of 15C
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May 8, 2007
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I set my unoccupied upstairs bedrooms and bathroom to 10C (electric heat upstairs). An upstairs bathroom that gets used is set to about 14C nightly and up to 22C for short periods in the day. Downstairs setting the forced-air gas furnace thermostat all the way down at night the temperature won't go below about 13C (set up to about 20C in day). Have not noticed any problems due to keeping the temperatures rather low.

I was worried the large temperature fluctuation might cause drywall cracks but none happened. No mould or moisture problems (besides some condensation on cold days on the cheap aluminum frame windows). I open a window and use vent fans to get rid of cooking and bathroom moisture.
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Jan 25, 2007
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Paris
adams7 wrote: I set my unoccupied upstairs bedrooms and bathroom to 10C (electric heat upstairs). An upstairs bathroom that gets used is set to about 14C nightly and up to 22C for short periods in the day. Downstairs setting the forced-air gas furnace thermostat all the way down at night the temperature won't go below about 13C (set up to about 20C in day). Have not noticed any problems due to keeping the temperatures rather low.

I was worried the large temperature fluctuation might cause drywall cracks but none happened. No mould or moisture problems (besides some condensation on cold days on the cheap aluminum frame windows). I open a window and use vent fans to get rid of cooking and bathroom moisture.
13? Are you a reindeer?
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Jul 4, 2005
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20C when at home? I’m still in a condo but always been using 24c!
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Feb 26, 2011
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Calgary
jeeva86 wrote: 20C when at home? I’m still in a condo but always been using 24c!
You're the guy that's keeping all your 20°C neighbours warm!
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Feb 4, 2010
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This is a timely topic for me as I'll be out of the country for a few weeks. I was thinking of setting the thermostat 15 but I'm now thinking 17 just to be on the safe side. Someone will be checking on the house regularly but it could be a few days

Normally I have it at 20.5 when I'm home, 19 at night and 17 while at work.
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Aug 16, 2010
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Aurora
19C while at home (manually adjust higher, if needed) and 17C while away and also while sleeping. I wouldn't know why anyone would want to set it to 12 as the discomfort of coming home wouldn't make it worthwhile. Even houseplants probably enjoy temperatures higher than 12.
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Dec 5, 2009
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I don't think my house would even get down to 12 in a day.

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