Sunday, November 9, 2008

It's Gettin' Cold in Here

For those of you who live in a cool climate: How long do you wait before turning on the heat?  

We're always trying to save money and energy by not using our air conditioning and waiting as long as possible before turning on the heat in the house.  Without using heat or the AC, we spend about $96 a month on our electricity and heat ($6 of which is for using 100% wind power).  I just hate to start the season of $200 utility bills!

Now our house is not insulated very well (or at all in our bedroom!), so I know that turning on the heat won't work very efficiently to warm us up.  So I've been drinking tons of hot herbal tea, hot chocolate, and soup in front of a little space heater... but my fingers are so cold I'm having trouble typing.  

It's 27 F outside right now and 58 F inside the house.  

Am I crazy to not turn on the heat or should I just put on another (3rd) sweater?


Catherine said...

I don't think you are crazy to turn on the heat. It's November in Minnestota!

Could you use some of the money you saved this summer (from not running your A/C) to better-insulate your house? (I don't know whether you own or rent -- is that even an option?)

Claire said...

58 inside is too cold, madame. and i grew up in mid-michigan in an old house, so i know what you mean. it's hard to do it, but you'll be so much happier.

what about on little-used windows using that plastic film? we have newer windows in our rental, but our neighbors do it and see a real difference in drafts and leaks. you know, like in a bedroom or dining room where the film would be less noticeable.

erin sr said...

This could be wrong, but I understood that below 55*, I think you risk your pipes freezing and breaking. No good.

I always shoot for 60* or so, and go with sweaters/slippers/tea from there.

aimee said...

I live in Cleveland near the lake. Two weeks ago (before the furnace guy came to do his yearly inspection) it was in the 30s outside. Inside I could see my breath! Last week it was in the 70s. Now the house generally stays about 68 and we wear layers! Although we just had new 2nd floor windows installed so we're looking forward to a more comfortable winter this year! Turn up your heat and put plastic on the windows or I'll call ya crazy!!

Sal said...

I left the heat off for as long as I could but my nose & toes were going blue so I had to turn on the heating.

My flat is cold a lot because it doesn't get any sun and now our one week of sun has passed and it's cold and rainy and horrible outside - stupid UK weather!

allularpunk said...

i don't turn on the heat at all in the winter. this is mainly because there is one huge gas heater in the living room that barely heats that room, besides the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. and it's gas, so the one month i turned it on when i first moved in, the bill was $220! for a one bedroom apartment! no way. i just use space heaters now. and am cold, generally. it does not get above 55F in the living room, and who knows how cold in the other rooms. we also have the drafty old windows, so i put up that plastic stuff over them (you can literally feel the wind blowing if you stand in front of one without the plastic).

good luck keeping your utilites down... i know i can survive (kind of miserably) with blankets and space heaters, but i know things are probably different since you have children. although, honestly, i don't remember our house being that warm growing up either. maybe i'm just used to it? ha.

mnultraguy said...

We just turned on the heat this weekend with settings on 50 at night and 58 during the day. We seem to average about 100 bucks a month in gas bills from Dec-Mar