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Programable thermostats - do they save money?

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Posted by Drew Phillips on January 08, 2006 at 19:32:19:

Heatpro -

I have a 50 year old boiler hot water system that I've added an automatic vent damper and automatic outside temperature control that increases the boiler temperature as the weather gets colder and lowers it when the weather gets warmer. I also have a programable thermostat that works the circulating pump. I currently have the thermostat set at 65 F during the day and down to 60 F at night. I'm wondering if this really saves any money, as the boiler works harder in the morning to bring the temperature back up to 65 F (depending on the outside temp. it sometimes takes at least 3-4 hours, sometimes more). Wouldn't the boiler use the same amount of gas or even less if it was always set at 65 F? To save more gas would I need to drop the temperature even lower than 60 F at night? Is there a formula for finding the savings on gas depending on how much difference you have between the daytime and nighttime temperature? I'm wondering if you really do save any money setting back the nightime temperature with a hot water boiler system. It seems to take it longer to recover than a forced-air furnace. Let me know what you think.

thanks - - Drew

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