I purchased a new thermostat recently as I broke the other one doing a spackle/paint project. It's a Honeywell unit that has built in wi-fi that can be controlled from an app on my phone or through my web browser so it makes setting up the schedules is a breeze....should I elect to program them.
The question I have been pondering is whether lowering the temperature in the house during the day actually saving money? Currently the burner(gas fired) cycles on and off to maintain the house at 73F(yes thats high, but in this house that is actually comfortable). My type of heat is forced hot air which by itself is not very efficient but it is what came with the house and I am not changing it unless someone else pays for it. One more little bullet point is that the heating plant I found out is slightly smaller than the recommended capacity for a house this size(the former owner replaced it during the listing to make the house look better than it actually was)
Ok now that I have given the basics of my homes mechanical plant here comes the theory to my question.
As I said the burner cycles on and off during the day to maintain the 73F which uses X amount of fuel (unknown). If I was to set a schedule to lower the setpoint of the house to let's say 68F while no one is home, and then say at 3pm change the setting back to 73F would the burner use more fuel to bring the house up the 5 degrees as opposed to simply leaving things as they are?
I have rough measured the cycle time and from the point when the burner turns on to the turn off point is about ten minutes. What I do not have is the amount of times this happens in a day to maintain 73F - I can build a basic AVR counter and measure the contact closure from the Thermostat over a 24 hour period easy enough. I can also measure the time it takes to bring the house from 68F to 73F easily enough as well I suppose. Hmmmm
Now what I really need to do is time stamp all of this - Which the Thermostat cannot do unfortunately. A datalogger that can monitor one input and through software timestamp things on a PC would be ideal, but I am really not looking to spend a couple hundred $$ to do this with two major projects going right now(The giant LED wall clock for example).
I am open to all thoughts, theories, and suggestions(short of buying a new house, or mechanical system )
EDIT: Self Moving this to General ELectronics
EDIT2: Corrected Title spelling.