We are moving to a new house and unfortunately we don't have our house sold yet. I was wanting a recommendation as to what temperature to keep the furnace going @. I found a good recommendation to turn off the main water line and try to drain the pipes as much as you can so you don't have to worry about pipes freezing. Until we sell it we will be paying for two house payments so of course we are trying to cut cost as much as we can. I was thinking 50 but i i'm just guessing at this point.


Depends on location but 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit is fairly standard.

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    Agreed. Though if you will have a real estate agent showing it, you may want to keep it at a more welcoming temperature. – keshlam Oct 29 '14 at 19:13
  • thanks guys. I live in central IL area. @keshlam i'm actually thinking i will turn the heat up if it has a showing in the winter. I'm just thinking it won't have a lot of showings until spring. – coding4fun Oct 29 '14 at 19:28
  • Reasonable idea, but be aware that this may restrict how quickly/how often you can schedule showings... and may be an argument for investing in a remote-settable thermostat. I agree that spring/summer are the main turnover time as folks try to avoid disrupting school years, but there are always some folks looking. – keshlam Oct 29 '14 at 20:21
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    Bear in mind that your home insurance may require checking an empty house for proper heat at regular intervals, during the heating season. A low set point (closer to possible damage point) could require more frequent checking... – DJohnM Oct 29 '14 at 21:52
  • Networked thermostats can be had for under $100 now, which would solve both the real estate showing problem and the monitoring problem. But of course you will need an active internet connection, which otherwise isn't necessary in an empty house. – Hank Oct 30 '14 at 1:48

As the other answer suggests, 50-55 is pretty standard for the purpose of preventing water lines from freezing but there are some other things to consider. I'll also mention that you should consider humidity in addition to temperature. Humidity is measured independent from temperature (aside from the relative humidity), but the important factor here is that usually your humidifier only runs when the heat runs (assuming a forced air system).

  • If you have a lot of wood floors or wood furniture, you might opt to keep it warmer and higher RH in order to prevent the wood from shrinking and cracking.
  • Some materials also become more brittle at colder temperatures - is there any risk here?
  • Do you have any sensitive electronics where 50 might be outside of their operational temperature (if so, turn them off)
  • Will you be in the house often, or have contractors working? If so it might be cheaper to maintain a higher temperature versus trying to heat the entire house from 50 to 70 every time someone is present
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  • Good point. The house will be harder to sell at 50F than 70F. – user24242 Oct 30 '14 at 1:20

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