I own a home in the Adirondacks (Upstate, NY). It is 2000 square feet split between two floors. The upstairs is not finished. The house sits on half-basement and half crawl space. I have an electric water heater. The well is just off the foundation of the house. The house is heated with an oil burning forced air furnace. While I don't have the details here with me- the furnace is a very high quality one and gets yearly maintenance.
Temperatures in the Adirondacks generally drop below freezing at nights, consistantly in mid October and will continue to do so well into April. It is not uncommon for there to be a ten day stretch in January or February where the temperatures are consistantly -10 to -30F.
I use this house year round as a weekend place and I also rent it to vacationers on a weekend or weekly basis.
When I am not there I leave the thermostat set at 50 F to basically keep the place operational and to keep the pipes from freezing.
Like everyone else, I suppose, I am trying to think about ways of reducing my home heating oil consumption. I've already decided to reduce the number of weekends that I spend there to conserve gasoline to and from and that will help the oil consumption in itself- but, the bulk of my oil is burned when I'm not there.
I don't have much confidence in the thermostat that is currently in the house. So, I have hesitated to reduce the set point below 50 for when I'm not present.
I have one specific question and one more general question.
1) If I upgraded my thermostat- combined with confidence in my furnance- should I feel more confindent in reducing my temperature set point when I'm not there for the purpose of keeping the place warm enough to not freeze the pipes?
2) What other strategies do I have to keep the place operational when the temp drops below freezing. When I say operational, I mean, that I don't want to have to drain the place after every winter weekend that I go there and then reconnect everything when I'm done.
Any insight on both questions would be greatly appreciated!
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