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Should You Turn Off Your Heat at Night?

Ever been tempted to turn your heat off while you sleep to save money?

We’ve got 3 reasons you shouldn’t:

  1. It makes for restless, uncomfortable nights
  2. It can cause your pipes to burst (costing you $5,000+ in water damages)
  3. There are smarter ways to save money on your heating bills

Instead, we suggest turning your heat down, not off.

We’ll explain why turning off your heat at night is such a bad idea and give you tips on how to save money by lowering your home’s temperature.

Turning your heat off can disrupt sleep

According to doctors, temperatures below 60-67 is not ideal for sleeping. So turning your heat off at night isn’t just uncomfortable, it can also cause you to lose sleep.

And with most winter nights in Minneapolis dropping to as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit, you can expect indoor temperatures to quickly drop as soon as you turn your heat off. In fact, the colder it is outside and the warmer the indoor temperature, the faster the temperature will drop when the heat is turned off.

Turning your heat off can cause costly damage to your pipes

Turning your heat off on a particularly cold Minnesota night can end up costing you over $5,000. How? Well, if temperatures drop below freezing (which happens often here) your pipes could burst, causing expensive water damage.

You see, when water freezes inside your pipes, it creates a reaction much like a can of soda that’s been forgotten in the freezer: it bursts. That’s because when water freezes it expands. And with enough swelling, your pipes will burst, allowing water to escape and flood your home.

turn off heat at night

After a pipe burst on the 2nd floor of this home, the homeowner paid an estimated $100,000 in damages.

The smarter way to save money: Turn the heat down (not off)

According to Energy.gov, the better way to save money on heating bills is to set back the temperature of your home at least 8 degrees for 8 hours or longer (while you sleep).

In fact, you can save 1% on your heating bill for every degree that you lower the thermostat. Setting back your thermostat 8 degrees for at least 8 hours a day can even save you up to $180 every year.

We suggest turning back your heat 8 degrees while you sleep and while you’re away during the day (i.e. while at work).

Here’s a helpful chart of how you can set back your temperatures in the winter and turn up your temperature in the summer to save money:

turn off heat at night while sleeping to save money


But, of course, the simple act of remembering to change the temperature before bed and before you leave the house can be difficult. Which is why we suggest upgrading to a programmable thermostat if you really want consistent savings on your heating bill.

Programmable thermostats: A helpful way to automate your savings

Programmable thermostats allow you to create pre-set schedules that automatically set back or set up your temperatures at certain times of the day.

For example, if you leave the house for work at 8 AM every morning, you can program your thermostat to drop back from 72 degrees to 64 degrees automatically at 8 AM. You can also have it automatically raise back up to 72 degrees at 5 PM so that when you get home at 5:30 PM your home is already back to a comfortable temperature.

Depending on the make and model of your programmable thermostat, you can set multiple schedules for weekdays, weekends and even vacations.

Interested in a programmable thermostat?

Interested in a thermostat that lets you set-it-and-forget-it? Just ask us.

We sell, install and repair programmable thermostats that automatically save you money without sacrificing your comfort.