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Friday, October 19, 2007

Freeze Yer Buns Challenge

Freeze Yer Buns ChallengeOkay, so I admit it. I did suggest that this new challenge didn't involve butts. However, it refers to your posterior in the title alone.

What's it all about, you ask? Well, let me tell you! Last winter I was all proud of myself at how I was keeping the thermostat low, trying to save energy and all. I kept it at a numbing 60 degrees at night and 68 degrees during the day. Which I thought was low. Until I got spanked by the people who took my poll. Almost half kept it at 59 degrees or lower.

This year I'm trying to outdo myself. I'm keeping the daytime temperatures at around 62 degrees. 65 if people are complaining. Nighttime temps will be 55.

So, starting November 1st, I'm challenging all of you to keep your thermostat low until the spring. Whip out those fuzzy binkies and down comforters and put on those sweaters and fleece slippers.

To sign up for the challenge, add a comment to this post and pledge what temperatures you will keep your thermostat. I'll be updating you all with hints and tips to keep warm as well as semi-interesting facts about the history of home heating. Plus, I'll regale you with reasons why you should keep your thermostat down (in case it just isn't patently obvious already)!

As per usual, I will keep a tally of participants (and your numbers) with a list in the right sidebar. Feel free to grab the graphic if you want to promote the challenge on your blog as well.

So, this one's pretty darn easy. How low can you go?

[P.S. For those of you in more toasty zones or those heading into summer, you can pledge to keep your thermostat higher and keep the A/C off.]

[P.P.S. I just love that powdery baby seal]

212 comments:

1 – 200 of 212   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

I live in Australia and we have 2 fans. No air con either. I am trying to use the fans as little as posssible. My twist on your challenge to use sunshine to dry my clothes as much as possible.

Please promise me that you will remember to keep the house warm enough for your husband.

Good luck guys.

Jenna said...

The plan is to not turn on the gas heater at all. No, not switching to electric... we're installing a soapstone woodburner. (Family with hundreds of acres of woods and lots of naturally fallen and aged logs to use. Heat FOUR times with each log. Once when we cut, once when we stack it, once when we bring it in, and finally when its burned.)

If all goes to plan, I won't be using the stove or the oven all that much either. Why waste the cooking surface? So here's my pledge - we're turning the heaters off in two weeks. Here's hoping they stay that way through the winter.

miss muffet said...

65 during the day when we are home. 60 at night. My biggest challenge is going to be remembering to turn it off when we leave for longer than 2 hours. (I have a programmable thermostat and use it, but it does not accomodate our in and out lifestyle. My other goal is to use 'free' sources of heat as much as possible. Like working at the public library during the three hours my daughter is in preschool instead of coming home and turning on the heat.

Malva said...

All last winter we left it at 55F in the rooms we do heat. I never play with the thermostats and don't have a daytime/nighttime temperature. It just stays at 55F.

We don't even heat the bathrooms, bedrooms and family room. I find that between all the electronics in the family room, it's warm enough. That, and the baseboard heater has all the computer cords right on it. :p

I don't have that much merit. It's so cold here in the winter that no one ventures outside without long underwear. So we all wear long underwear inside by default. My dd also got hooked on sleeping with a hot water bottle.

Malva said...

I just want to add that although this one doesn't feel like a challenge for me personally, I'll be cheering you on and offering tips!

kelley said...

last year we left it at 60 at night and 62-65 in the evening while at home, but we can't really turn it down much more because if it's set below a certain point and the pipes freeze, we're responsible. that's what you get for renting an old, drafty house. but we will leave it as low as possible if there's no company over! and insulate better this year for sure.

Deb G said...

I'm already at less than 90% of what the average American uses for heat, not sure what that means in terms of temperature though since I don't have a thermostat. But I will get a thermometer and see if I can go lower! If I'm not there already, I'll pledge to keep my house at 59 degrees.

I do want to mention that the first time I had a cold spell in my current home, the pipes froze. For those of us in moderate climates where it only gets blow freezing a couple times of year, it's easy to forget :)

guh! said...

I'm going to shoot for 55 degrees at night, 60 during the day, but only so you can turn yours up a couple of degree's for your husband's health. It can't be good for him to be chilled . . .

AnandaDevika said...

I could do this...but I don't know if my other half could! He was decent about sweating it out this summer with little to no a/c but heat is another story... I'm very willing to try!

nomikins said...

We ran our gas heater for six days all last winter (we were out of town and didn't want the pup and house sitter to freeze). We heat with an EPA certified wood stove. Like Jenna said, wood heats multiple times!

barefoot gardener said...

I am gonna say I will keep it at 59 or below.

I don't know if it really counts, though, since I live in an apt building and we get a lot of heat from everyone else.

Still, it must help if I don't turn up my thermostat, right?

Oldnovice said...

We're definitely in on this one. I'm gonna try and not turn the heat on at all. That worked for a good portion of the Spring/Summer when it came to the AC, and when we REALLY needed it (into the hundreds outside),the AC set at 84 degrees was about as high as we could go without suffering excessively. I think we can do something similar this winter, but I can't put a handle on how low we can go until we go there.

Rechelle said...

Dear Crunchy - do all of your challenges have to involve the tender nether regions? First the well never mind...then the...well "rear"...now my ever lovin' fingers and toes which will certainly fall off from frostbite if I were to lower my interior temp to anything below 68. We need baby steps. Maybe you could run two challenges. One for the hardcore types and one for the pantywaists that want to do better...like me!

emily said...

Crunchy, I am so in on this one. For the past three years, we rented an extremely drafty house. It felt so cold when we had the thermostat at 68 that we'd wear wool and fleece layers on top, eat dinner with blankets on our laps when necessary, wool socks, and the occasional longjohns. Then we bought a thermometer for inside and realized that 68 on the thermostat was 60-62 in real degrees (ca 52 at night, while out, or when we were just getting up out of a warm, cozy bed...). Plus draft.

So, even though I'm now in an apartment in a different building, the challenge for me will be to INTENTIONALLY stay at 62! Luckily, I love to drink warm tea.

Chile said...

We'll aim for 65 max during the day and down to 50 at night.

Beth in the Fake Plastic Fish Tank said...

Okay, here's one I can try. Couldn't do the diva cup because surgery took care of that issue this year. And couldn't do the wipes because... um... I just couldn't go there.

But I will set my thermo at 60 at night and 65 during the day, with my main goal being not to use any electric space heaters this winter. Please add me to the list.

Green in the desert said...

I plan on not turning on the heater until at least December. I do live in toasty Arizona so that shouldn't be too hard. Once it is turned on I will leave it at 65 during the day and 60 at night.

Anne-Marie said...

I too live in toasty AZ however it does get cold at night and therefore once Nov/Dec hits we have some pretty frigid mornings (the sun warms the house up during the day so the evenings are pleasant). So I am vowing not to turn the heat on at all unless we have visitors who complain. I may on occasion use our little space heater to warm up the bathroom if it's especially cold.

Also, today is Google's blog action day.

Theresa said...

Count us in! We will set the thermostat for 17C/62.6F in the day and 15C/59F at night. We already do 18 in the day and 17 at night. I would go lower, especially at night, but our two companion guinea pigs don't cope well with temperature fluctuations (they are prone to upper respiratory problems).

We have installed a high efficiency wood burning stove and have free wood from our neighbours split and stacked from trees they cut down to build their house, so we are really going to try to use the gas furnace as little as possible this winter!

Carrie said...

I would join but I think the thermostat in our apartment is broken. We keep it at 50 and the apartment still gets ridiculously hot so we have to turn it off again, but then it will be ridiculously cold sometimes too. In our old house, however, we definitely kept it in the low 60s although I don't remember exactly where. We wanted to install a timed thermostat so we could drop the temperature during the day when we weren't home but didn't get around to it.

loving green said...

I am so in for this one!!! Great Challenge!!!
Sam @ Loving Green

Korin said...

We keep ours at 60 at night and between 64-68 during the day. With a toddler who likes bare feet and a skinny cold mama, much less than that and it's pretty uncomfortable. I was shocked to hear that many people I know keep their thermostat at 70 or above all day long! We have an old house that is pretty drafty, but get by with lots of sweaters and socks!

Jenni said...

I'm in! I will put the thermostat on about 62, which will keep it around 59 in here. We have a pretty drafty home. We have been keeping it pretty low for several years and I really think it contributes to hardy, healthy children. They never get the normal bugs their cousins get, and they are always moving:)

Melinda said...

I'm in. We just moved, and don't have central heat (nor AC) - it's one of those rural 1950s houses....

It has already been down to the low-50s during the day, and at least 50 at night (I don't get up and check!)

So... we'll say day and night we won't turn on the heat in any part of the house until it gets below 50. We might be able to go lower, we've just never been there. I lived in LA for 10 years, and forgot what cold was!!

Ginny said...

Great challenge, though, as much as I would really like to join in this one too, it doesn't really apply to us. We heat with a wood stove. With wood that we harvest (blow downs or saw) and split, from our own land. We do have a gas back up heater. Our goal each year is to not use it.
Good luck with your challenge, and keep those woolen socks close by!

Kim said...

Hi Crunchy,

Here is a challenge I can't really participate in. We heat exclusively with wood heat so there is no thermostat.

However, I will pledge not to burn wood until the household temperature drops below 58 degrees in the day time or 35 overnight.

Does anyone know what the actual chances are of household water pipes freezing?

Kim

Danica said...

Aw man, I really can't do this one. I have no thermostat in my apartment! My comfort level in the winter is entirely in the hands of my landlord. However, in previous houses/apartments, I did turn the heat down or off at night, so I have certainly had my share of freakin' cold evenings. Just put a stocking cap on you head, a hot water bottle at your feet, and snuggle under as many blankets as you can find! Good luck to everyone in the challenge!

Melody said...

I'm out for this one. With a home daycare, parents get grumpy with me if they feel the temperature isn't perfect for their munchkins. I also have a new daycare baby who is 7 weeks old, 5 weeks preemie, so we'll be keeping it a little warmer than usual on the days she is here.

katecontinued said...

I'm in . . . well, with a customized format anyway. I have an old motor home with no heater. I have used a donated electric heater the past 2 So. California winters (mild by most of the nation's standards). Please (fellow commenters) recommend a heating source for a small upfront investment.

Chile Chews has a great post about window quilts. I think this is worthwhile to cut down on drafts and single pane windows.

But how do you keep your hands warm for blogging? My fingers, toes and nose are my vulnerable (whiney) body parts - not my well padded buns.

Rockin' Granola said...

Oh, I'm so IN on this one! (and, like you, thought I was doing so well last year at my *chilly* 66)

Great challenge idea!

christy said...

Good luck. I hope you freeze your buns off!

Cindy in FL said...

As I sit here at the computer wearing a tank top and shorts, with a fan blowing on me, It is hard to believe winter will ever come our way. However, since we are in the south our goal is to not use the gas heater at all. We have a woodstove and a currently sustainable supply of wood and will be using it on cold days

crstn85 said...

I'm thrilled you are suggesting this since I've been asking around to find out what appropriate temps are. This is my first time in control of the thermostat so I'm going to try to match your temps and see how it goes. It wouldn't be winter if sweaters, blankets and hot chocolate weren't necessary!

Stella said...

Too easy for our climate in California. I won't turn on the heater this winter like usual, and we don't have fan or AC anyway.

Don't worry about me, I'll still be working on the TP challenge...!

Chile said...

Thanks for the mention, katecontinued, but I just link to someone else's window quilt design. My plan is quick and easy foil-backed bubble wrap in the windows!

Sue said...

We use a woodstove for heat in the winter. Electric baseboards exist, but we turn them on only if we leave town, so the pipes don't freeze. I keep that thermostat at 40 degrees F.

Here's my pledge - I'm often too lazy to get up and feed the stove in the middle of the night (the bedroom stove doesn't burn as long as the living room stove) I pledge to either suck it up and pile on the blankets or get up and feed the stove instead of turning on the space heater at night.

Furthermore, I pledge to keep myself from cranking the stove up really high just so I can bask in 80 degree temperatures in January. :-)

I second anonymous - your husband is likely to be less able to regulate his temperature while he's sick. Don't hesitate to turn up the thermostat for him - we'll all keep ours low to compensate.

loving green said...

I just realized I did leave my temp. goal in my comment box.

Ok, so normally we keep it at 75 in the winter, so my goal is 65 -70. I imagine this will have to be a transition ~ a degree every day or two, so that my family can adjust.

Jill said...

I just talked with husband... he said NO WAY!! But count me in, he will see things my way! It will be tough for me too because I get cold very easy.

Jill said...

oops, forgot to pledge my thermostat temps. I will set my thermostat at max of 70 during the day and 65 at night. We usually have it at least 74 - 76 all day and night, so I think that is an appropriate goal,especially since my husband will be my main challenge! After a few weeks, I may be able to sneak it down a degree or two...

Carreen said...

I can DO this one!!! We'll go 65 when we're here and awake (3 degrees lower than last year!) And 60 when we're asleep or not here.

Catty Ax Lady said...

I know that this past summer I accommodated my husband by keeping the ac higher than I normally would, so he's going to have to do the same for me this winter. I'm in with a 62 during the day, and a 58 at night. I think he'd kill me with anything lower.

Sabbath D. said...

I live in Washington state, and I vow to keep it at 65 during the day, and 60 at night. I guess I better get to knitting some slippers and sweaters for my baby and the hubster!

jenny mae. said...

oh boy. this indeed will be a challenge! i consider myself a pretty crazy-crunchy person for the most part but i am also rail thin and have low blood pressure (all of that to say how much i love a toasty home) but for the love of mrs. crunchy (and the environment) i will TRY. i think i can do 65

Darlene said...

I normally keep the temp in my house at 68. I have a thin daughter (she was 9 weeks premie and never has gained much weight. Healthy, just small). She has a Chihauhau - heat loving animal that he is, he's going to be cold too.
I'm going to turn temp to 66 and see if I can get away with it - without daughter or dog being miserable.

About cold hands. I've knitted a 1/2 glove that keeps my hand warm. I've got one hand that freezes during the winter. I found that this really helps.

A few years ago, my then 10 yo daughter made rice bags for all of us. They are just squares of cloth about 8-10" square, sewn together and stuffed with rice. We heat these in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and put in bed or on cold body parts.

camp mom said...

I'll go in on it-we usually have our heat at 62 when we are home in the dead of winter and 60 at night. But we also live were the average nighttime temp is well below zero. I figure with enough motivation we could probably go down another degree at nighttime. I asked around at the gas/propane places what thier average customers used per heating season n my are and it was over a 1,200 gallons. We're at 500-600 per season. So by standards around here where I live I figure we are doing really well. But you can count me in!

Melissa said...

I'm a newbie at all this too...like Rechelle above. I'm game, but I'll need to persuade my husband and learn how to set the thermostat.

I have a question which will probably highlight my ignorance, so please be gentle with your answers. We have a gas fireplace that puts out some heat. Is this better than using electric?? Worse??

I just found your site...love it. I've attempted the diva cup, but have some problems with it that I may email you privately about to spare the cyberworld more 'nether region' talk....perhaps your expertise could help me make that a regular product I use.

Capturing Today said...

Hi Crunchy,

Glad to hear that Mr. Crunchy is home and doing well this week.

We're in on this one, although for me it will be harder than the a/c one this summer, as I can stand hot a lot better than cold!

But I'm fortunate that my Army husband has purchased me all kinds of fantastic cold weather gear, so I'll just plan to use more of it this season!

We have a wood burning fireplace and I do lots of baking by making our own bread every other day or so, so we should make out fine with residual / ambient heat sources. We always open our oven door to warm the room after baking during the winter anyway.

We'll pledge for 65 during the day and 60 at night and will decrease those as we can.

Green Bean said...

I'm in! We were just like you. 68 during the day and 60 at night but I'll drop it down to 65 during the day and 55 at night. Let's snuggle up. :)
BTW, so glad your hubby is home.

Michelle Verges said...

Count me in! I pledge to leave my thermostat at 60 degrees for this challenge.

I was tempted to get an electric space heater this winter, but Beth's comment has encouraged me to forego the heater. So I'm hoping to bundle-up with extra warm clothes this winter and check-in with you guys for support!

:0)
M

Sarah said...

I'm in!
Man, I thought I was doing good with 68 days, 59 nights! I'll try to do 65 days and 55 nights, but this is our first winter in this house (very old with high ceilings), and we live in Canada. AND my husband is absurdly skinny (yes, I DO feed him), and does not like the cold. But I'll see what I can get away with.
By the way... this whole fahrenheit thing is really confusing me... Thank goodness for online converters.

Sarah said...

Wait... make that 50F nights. (cause that's 10C, and that's easier to hit on the thermostat than 12.7C)

Anastasia-Jane said...

We did not turn our AC on this past summer at all and are going to try this one for sure. We are going for 65 during the day and below 60 at night. Wend and bought everyone fuzzy slippers and robes. If you had done this one first and we froze our buns then we woulnd't have to worry about the wipes...

RC said...

Uh, no winter here, only spring and summer. I really hate the cold so I moved away from it when I was 26. So no heating at all, ever, just sunlight, radiation, UV, that kind of thing. I never use A/C at home or in the car {don't have it} as I really do not like the cold, real or artificial. I do use low amperage fans.
Please make sure Mr. Crunchy is feeling OK and not accidentally congealing. If you keep the cute little crunchies running around like kids usually do they will throw off some heat.
Those of you who are wondering about the pipes freezing, that often happens in the section of the house least heated, sometimes the basement or an upper floor.
Ask your local plumber how low is too low, he would know. He has to fix the burst pipes so he has had the experiences that you would like to avoid.
To all of you winterized Crunchy Readers: I admire your willingness to freeze your buns off, and you are better people than I for it, but wouldn't it be easier just to move to a 365 day a year growing season and forget the cold?
That's the question I asked myself 29 years ago. I've been warm ever since and not burning anything to accomplish that.
I've lived a number of winters burning wood in the country and the cold, the dark, the cabin fever, the unemployment made answering that question really easy.

Michelle Peacock said...

I'm in! We live in an apartment (2nd story) with baseboard heating, so no real thermostat. But I only turn it on for 10 or 15 minutes at a time to warm things up a bit. I can keep it fairly cool in here but hubby will need reminders to dress more warmly instead of turning the heat on. At times we do need it on if it's freezing outside, so our pipes won't freeze, but that's rare.

So, no thermostat but I pledge to not turn the heat on more than once a day to warm things up. This will be an average, since some days won't need it at all and very cold days might need it several times.

Rebekka said...

I can't believe anyone leaves heating on at night. Aren't you in bed?? Can't you just put an extra blanket on if you're cold??

A hot water bottle, or a wheat bag (or I noticed a previous commenter said a rice bag, which I'm assuming is the same sort of thing)can help warm your toes up when you get into bed, and then if you're naked you stay a lot warmer because your body heat is trapped by the bedclothes and creates a little pool of warmth.

I have never, ever needed to keep heating on at night - not even in England in the middle of winter when it was snowing!

Theresa said...

How cold does it get overnight in England in the winter Rebekka? Here in Alberta it can get to -45 C some winter nights, and regularly goes down to -30 C, so we do have to have the heat on to prevent water pipes from freezing. Maybe if we had a hay bale house we could get away with it, but not with a standard constructed house like we have.

Darlene said...

Ok, so today the house is cold. It was 51 at about 9:30pm and it's 1am now and much colder out. The heater is off and my arms were cold.
So I took some fleece I had and made a shrug. It took less than 15 mins and now my arms are warm and I used a piece of scrap fabric to make something useful instead of buying something or turning on the heat!
I put the instructions for it on my blog: http://mamasnuthouse.blogspot.com/

Sally said...

How would one do this when having to get up during the night to nurse a baby? I'd be FREEZING, and have to wear a parka, which is not really conducive to nursing a baby. Plus, how do you make sure your toddler and baby stay warm without having them wear snowsuits to bed? Blankets aren't an option with the baby, and a sleeper alone wouldn't be warm enough in sub-60 temps overnight. Admittedly, I'm new to trying to live more environmentally conscious, and this challenge seems too much for me at this stage in life! Any thoughts about this?

Christy said...

We're in for this. When we used the AC this summer we had it set to 80 which was a big adjustment for hubby. So, we will lower the temp this winter. Last winter we lowered it to 70 but I will go lower this year. I'm thin and have very low blood pressure so I get cold very easily. Like anything under 80 is cold to me. I already wear a sweatshirt and a fleece, sweatpants, socks and slippers in the house and most of the time in the winter am under a blanket. I'm not sure how many more clothes I can put on! But once it gets cold here I will play with lowering the temp until I can't stand it anymore. So, I can't pledge a temp at this point but I will go as low as I can stand.

Kacie said...

Oh my goodness! I'm wondering if we'll make it through the winter with the thermostat this low. I'm going to try for 65 during the day and 58 at night. Right now, we have the windows open and the thermostat thinks it's 73 in here.

To me, that feels perfect.

Rebekka said...

I take your point, Theresa, but a lot of people posting seem to live in more moderate climates than you do!

And Sally, "How would one do this when having to get up during the night to nurse a baby?"

Keep the baby in bed with you - everyone shares body heat, it's a heap warmer, and you don't have to get up to nurse. There are instructions for safe bed-sharing here

Trina said...

After chatting with my husband (more like him pleading with me to not go down to 55 degrees), we've compromised and will keep the thermostat down to 60 at night and 63 during the day. We're starting now instead of waiting until the 1st of November.

nichole said...

I haven't turned my heat on yet this year, so I guess I'm starting now! We only turn on the heaters when we're home and not before it drops below 60 and then for only as long as it takes to get to 65 (thermostat doesn't really work). So if we're sleeping or not home it stays off, in theory. (SOME of us forget to turn off the heaters....grumble grumble burn my apartment down why don't you!... ; ) )

Niffer said...

You read my mind with this one! I don't (and haven't had) have a thermostat as I live in an apartment with electic baseboard heaters. I do control them and I had already decided to only heat one room this year. I'm going to get a thermometer to monitor the temp. I will try for 62 during the day and 55 at night. And I'm also going to learn how to get cozy with a hot water bottle.

Britta said...

We leave our temp at 60 in the winter, day or night.

stacy o. said...

Ok, here we go. It is rather toasty in South Carolina right now, so stacy o. and fam will keep the AC off--and cool the house with our attic fan when necessary. If it ever cools down, we will keep the thermostat at 60 during the day and 65 at night. I wanted 55 during the day and 60 at night, but michael o. is not quite up to the challenge yet. Can we amend our goals as the challenge progresses?

Sylvia said...

Like Jenna, the plan is no gas heater at all. We have a Lopi woodstove and we plan to not light it until there's a chance of freezing the pipes inside the house! We did it last year and will do it again.
Lucky for us we live in sunny southern New Mexico.

Back in the early 80's we lived in Denver, NO woodstove but kept the day temps at 60 during the day and 45 at night. Had to change out the thermostat in order to find one that went below 55.

Great challenge Crunchy!!!

Sarah said...

I unfortunately have no control over the thermostat in our house, as I'm living in my parent's basement and they need to keep it warm-ish (about 68ºF, I think) for their bird. I will, however, keep my floor heating off this winter. Fuzzy slippers, here we come!

kitty said...

Geeze!!! I really waffled on whether to do this one cause I get cold really easily, but I'm throwing my wool cap in the ring. I'll drop it to 68˚C while home and 60˚C when we're away. I might cheat by baking more bread, but I think that's environmentally forgivable. I'm kinda looking forward to seeing how low I can go!

Burbanmom said...

OK, Crunchy, I pledge to go with 65 during the day and 60 at night. Got to keep the kiddos and the pipes from freezing! ;-)

Whirled said...

I was raised in a freezing house by parents who beleived in was good for our character (good old New Englanders!). My husband was raised by a widowed mother in a Pennsylvania coal town. They just couldn't afford any heat. I think I would die in a house set at 68 in the winter! We do 62 during the day and 60 at night. But I'm willing to try 60 and 58. What do I knit all this stuff for anyway!?! Plus now I live in Kansas where is gets really cold for only about a week, then it's back in the 50s or 60s again. (Hope I didn't jinx anything!) For Sally and her baby...I always brought nurslings into bed with me. The more...the warmer!

Chile said...

About cheating, Kitty, does running two dehydrators count? During the summer, they were out in the garage. I've moved them into the house now...

AnandaDevika said...

How about 65 day, and 58 night...we have some heavy blankets, maybe my hubby won't notice. Sign me up!

missbecky75 said...

I've been procrastinating on this one because I didn't want to sound like a wimp compared to you northern folks! :)

We're going to go with 68 across th board. This is our second winter in Alabama and I'm not really sure where we set it last year. I do remember that my infant's and toddler's rooms are 5 - 8 degrees colder than the rest of the house, so I'm going to have to run small heaters in their rooms at night.

If we can go lower than 68, we will!

Nancy said...

We typically keep our house at 64 when we're home and off or 55 at night. Now we have solar hot water for radiant heat, so not sure how that will work - it's our first year with it.
One thing that helps keep a body warm is a "rice bag." Fill a "snake" with raw rice (or other grain), sew it up and put it in another, larger "snake" with one end open (you can wash the outer one). When you want to use it, put it in the microwave for 1.5-2 minutes, til it's very warm and put it around your neck or wherever you're cold - it warms up your core. You can reheat as needed.
Regarding nursing a baby and keeping them warm - when my daughter was an infant, we lived in Jordan with no central heat - it gets cold in the winter!! and our apartment was not well sealed. I got very cold at night when I'd get up to nurse her, but warm when we snuggled in bed. She wore warm pajamas and undershirts, socks. She slept in her crib. We all survived and were healthy.
Good luck to all!

Cara said...

Not participating- wood heat :P But if I don't get up in the middle of the night to add wood, it's been known to get down to 40 inside :P But that's not exactly preferable...

I like your blog!

sandy said...

Count me in, will aim for 68 day, 55 night.

kssnflwr said...

Hi Crunchy, I'm in Kansas and I pledge to have the temp at 67 during the day and 62 at night. My husband says it's bad for the appliances below 65, but I think he is just a wuss making up excuses. I'll put an extra blanket on him at night!!

dynochick (Jan) said...

I live in Michigan where just a couple of weeks ago it was 90 degrees and 3 days later 49 degrees. Went from A/C to furnace in 3 days. Grrrrrr! We normally leave our stat at 68 degrees unless I'm having hot flashes then I will put it at 65. I set the A/C at 76 degrees and really have to be uncomfortable before I turn it on. I have found my biggest saving comes from not using my dryer and hanging my clothes outside.

Jan

chocolatechic said...

My family thinks I am totally insane for keeping it at 64* during the day and 63* at night.

I can not handle it much colder than that. Glad to know I am not in the minority.

Gina said...

Oh, great challenge!

I am notorious for freezing all the bums of my family. Last year I went all winter at 55 F.

This year we are having new, more efficient windows installed, yet I plan to still keep the thermo at 60 day/55 night.

Head Lima Bean said...

60 night, 65 day!

Susan Och said...

We have a sliding scale. Daytime is 55 when one person is home, 58 with two people home, 60 with three people home. The third is usually our 11 year old. When there are more than 3 people home, the heat setting doesn't need to go up, between the additional body heat and the cooking that's usually going on.

Nighttime, heat is off.

This is in Northern Michigan in an old farmhouse where we can shut doors and only heat the areas we are using.

It's sort of an odd plan, not totally scientific, but it is one we can all live with.

Theresa said...

Ack! I came home last night to find husband had turned up the heat to 19C and had the gas fireplace on in the living room to boot! And he was wearing a thin shirt and no slippers. *sigh* I have to do some more education.

Tavolini said...

Luckily, I live in Atlanta, so winters are mild. No heat, no air conditioning. I have ceiling fans and an energy saving space heater for the bedroom. That's it. No one likes to come to my house during July or January, haha.

Jennifer said...

We actually started this last year... we bought a programmable thermostat and then decided to see exactly how cold we could stand it!

We pledge to keep our thermostat at 62 degrees between 6 and 7 am, and between 4 and 9 pm. It is set at 54 degrees the rest of the day. The dogs have THICK fur coats, and my husband and I have PILES of thick wool sweaters and bathrobes and slippers and such.

Kolfinna said...

I can do this! We only run our heater downstaris, set as low as it will go, which I think is 55 deg., to keep the pipes from freezing. We have a small wood stove upstairs we like to use in the cooler months, however I need to get on the ball and get wood delivered and the upstairs "liveable" again. Then we can move back upstairs for the winter.

Cynthia said...

Alright, I'll lock it in at 59 degrees 24/7. Since I work nights and don't get home until 2 a.m., I hope to see a difference. Cannot go much lower or the pipes will freeze. Now it's time to sign up for a how-to-quilt class.

ps: there is a company out there called warm windows who do a window quilt option. It is supposed to lock heat or cold out, depending on your regional weather. May give that a try too.

Paula said...

Hi Crunchy. We keep our temperature around 65 during the day and I believe it's 60 at night, I'll have to check with DH. I'll be totally honest, until I came more aware about environmental issues I would have turned that thermostat up, but DH has always kept it lower. I'm always cold, he's always warm. So I just bundle up, cover up and manage. We also kind of make a game about how far we can go into the year before we turn the heat on for the first time. We usually make it until November, but we didn't this year. AND IT WASN'T MY FAULT!!! DH had a bad cold a couple of weeks ago that coincided with our first chilly weather. He ended up with chills and caved and turned on the heat. We didn't leave it on long, though, just got the chill out of the air. I'm just glad that it wasn't me that caved on the heat thing first for once.

Patti said...

Yeah, I'm in. 65 daytime and 59 for the night. My son is home doing online/home school, so I can't keep it too low during the day. To add to the challenge, I'm going to aim for a total lower bill each month than the previous year. So we are going to change habits and do some weatherizing, as well as closing off part of the house. Winter is very cold here, and my major yearly expense is for heating.

Livin Natural said...

I'm always up for an eco challenge! We will pledge 65 during the day and 60 at night.
Thanks for getting this challenge going!

Janell the blogless said...

We are in California and pledge not to use the AC or heat (temp fluctuates THAT much).

Jess said...

I'm in... our old house only had 1 thermostat (1 story) and I generally kept it at 63-65. Cold at first then you get used to it, and the colder it is outside the warmer it would feel when you walked inside (did th at make sense?) Anyway our new 2 story house has zone heating downstairs and upstairs (bedrooms, family room, bath). I have been turning the downstairs one up to 63 in the morning, then once the sun starts to heat things up and we get moving back down to 60. At night it stays at 60 and the upstairs one gets turned to 63(60 during the day). However, I think I will try ant keep the upstairs one at 60 at night to.... so 60-63 day/ 60 night....

We'll see what happens when the true Maine cold seeps in. The house has been completely renovated so we're praying it heats good.

Lissa said...

Count me in!

I live with two cats in a five-room, two story townhouse in upstate NY (foothills of the Adirondack Mountains). My (natural gas) heat is still off, and I intend to keep it that way until November 1 at the earliest, later if I can muster the body heat. I would like to turn it off on April 1, but I can't commit to that date if there's still snow lingering on the ground (or falling from the sky).

My thermostat will be programmed -- 55 degrees from 10pm to 4:30pm (i.e. at night and when I'm at work), 68 degrees in the evenings.

I keep a display of quilts and afghans in each room (sorted by color to supplement the decor), have several shawl wraps and a fabulous pair of shearling slippers always at the ready, and sip tea and cocoa all winter long. Morning trips to the YMCA also keep my body temperature elevated (even after a relaxing hot shower), which is a great rationale for using my (somewhat lapsed) membership!

Rockin' Granola said...

Alright, after discussing it with the hubby, it has been decided that we'll be at 64 during the day and 60 at night (but willing to go lower if we can ...)

Again, I have to say what a terrific idea for a challenge!

Jana said...

We are going for 65 during the day and 55 at night.

Jo said...

We have a corn/pellet stove, so it is difficult to regulate the downstairs temperature, but it does get pretty chilly upstairs, where our bedrooms are. Our goal is to not turn on the backup furnace (LP gas) unless the upstairs drops below 60, and hopefully lower than that if we can stand it...

Christine F said...

I'm loving our new programable thermostat! We had it installed in early Spring, basically just in time to try it out before we killed the heat for the season. We will be keeping the house temp at 63 during the day and 55 at night. We live in the NE so when we get into the bitter cold snaps with the negative temp wind chills, etc. we will most likey supplement w/ the wood stove. Wood was cut/split/stacked by my dh from trees on our land.

Melanie said...

I am going to try to go without heat this winter. It only ran a handful of times last year, and I had it set at 68F. This is the time of year when it pays off to live in Arizona. Winter is easy - summer is HARD!

Audra said...

I HATE being cold lol. But, I can't resist a challenge. :)
We currently have our heat set at 73 at night and usually turn it off during the day. Our house isn't very insulated either.
I'll definitely be looking forward to your tips on keeping warm especially keeping little ones warm. My 20 month old is always getting out from under the covers at night and she gets cold - now I'm going to let it get colder in here. Not sure what to do about that.

Audra
writetome (at) thesilvas (dot) com

Audra said...

I forgot to say my challenge: I'm going to see how low we can go. I'll set the temp down a little, let us adjust for a week, and then drop it again. I'll just keep going this way until we hit our base line.

Audra said...

Is there a way to heat up the rice pads and water bottles if you don't own a microwave?

Our Lovely Life said...

I plan on keeping the thermostat at 72 during the day and 65 at night.

Our Lovely Life said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
laurel said...

I plan to keep the thermostat at 65 during the day and night (we have little babies that I want to keep toasty!). Possibly lower at night, after I see how it goes.

suzy24 said...

We're going to do 70 during the day and aim for 68 at night. In the past we kept the temperature pretty steady at 72. I think this is the lowest I can go right now without a divorce. We'll see how things progress throughout the winter!

Beany said...

Hi Crunchy!

I'd like to join as well. The goal is to not turn on the heat at all (I live in Philadelphia). Instead the plan is to use blankets and bundle up and eat warm foods instead of turning on the heat.

Christine said...

You can't complain your cold in my house unless you have on your Johnnies, a turtleneck, a sweater, pants, and sock with slippers...and if you do I'm going to give you something to get you moving to warm you up, like vacuuming or cleaning bathrooms. It's not likely that I'll hear any complaints soon. It's what my mom did for us growing up..oil was so expensive and we didn't have a choice.

We will be 58 at night and 60 during the day. As long as we don't find the parakeet frozen to his perch or belly up on the bottom of his cage. Maybe I should have gotten a penguin?!

Thanks for the challenge!

Anita said...

We are living in a FEMA trailer while fixing our house back up after a tornado leveled our town... We keep our thermostat here in the trailer set at 60 24/7... In our house, we are installing a wood stove as our only source of heat, and no AC...

love your site, by the way... And this challenge!

Lynne Marie said...

I can do 55 at night and 68 during the day.

Last year was the first year we had a thermostat and "control" over our heating/cooling. Last year was the first year that our utility bills rocketed into the $150-225 range. So, I've moved my home office into the smaller front bedroom, where there is only one (not four) windows. Bought a few more comforters. Started getting in the habit of wearing socks and a hoodie while I'm home. I still need to get quilts or heavier curtains, though.

GreenYogini said...

Count me in, Crunchy! We weren't using our heat at all when you started this challenge, so I didn't feel I could really say I was ready to join. But last week it finally got brrr-cold, and we kept the thermostat at 65 - I'd say I'm officially in! (I'll consider turning it down further at night once I've gotten used to the cold...and discussed it with the sweetie...)

I'm wearing my flannel pajamas with a sweater, plus thick socks and a hat, and using a ton of wool blankets. I have to say - it works! I cheat a little, though, by using a small space heater in the bathroom when I shower in the morning - but it keeps me from cranking the heat or lingering in the warm water...

I just think y'all should know that this is a BIG ONE for me - I'm a phenomenal FREEZE BABY!!!!

Elizabeth said...

We're going to 55 at night and 64 during the day:-). Thanks for the challenge.
http://ebeth.typepad.com/reallearning/2007/11/freeze-yer-buns.html

Theresa said...

Ooooh! This is a great idea! But it's going to be a tough one!
As a former Floridian used to the heat, I usually keep it at 70 round-the clock, so I will start slow and I will try for 65 daytime and 60 nighttime.

arduous said...

I'm in, though I'm a little nervous about it. I live in LA so the goal is no heat. But I'm going to allow myself 15 cheat days in case we get some freakishly cold days. On cheat days, the thermostat will be at 65.

CindyDianne said...

Count me in! I linked over here from Prarie Dreams!

I pledge to keep my thermostat at 65 during the day and 58 at night. And completely off as much as possible, like now.

Susan said...

My motives for participating are weighted a bit toward the financial: this is the first year we have to pay for our heat! We live in DC so it doesn't get super-cold here. Our plan (we just decided today) is to wait until we're "too cold" and then turn the thermostat one degree above that and keep it there. We'll continue to turn it off at night until we get "too cold" at night as well. I'll try to update you when we get there!

eikenberrymom said...

We live in Michigan and I have been vehemently protesting my husband's nagging to turn down the thermostat. I DO NOT like being cold! I am going to give it a try though, now that I am presented with this challenge. Here's my initial goal, 59 at night and 63 during the day. We're also going to use our fireplace as much as possible since it alone can make the upstairs temps climb over 70!

Raw Vegan Mama said...

Ok -- I am going to try 68 degrees during the day while at home, and 65 at night and when not home.

We have never been here in the winter, so we will see how cold it gets.

I am also going to make some thremal curtains for our super tall windows (10 feet)

Alanna said...

Here, it's 65 during the day (with a space heater in my office that makes it slightly cozier) and 50 at night (we sleep upstairs so only the downstairs really gets this cold). One of the VERY BEST things I've done is to install an electronic thermostat, it went right over top of my 1950s style dial, no problem. But it uses four times zones for weekdays and four for weekends. Once I got the start/stop times of each zone right, I then started to adjust, one notch down or up, cooler or warmer during certain hours. I'm quite sure it saves money but best of all, the house is actually comfortable at the RIGHT times.

stephanie said...

We have separate upstairs and downstairs HVAC systems. Upstairs we have a heat pump set at 67 day and night. Downstairs we have a propane heater that we run in the fall and spring at 68/65. We have a wood burning furnace when it gets colder to save $$. There is no thermostat on that, and it is hard to control the temp, so the house can get quite warm. But for what I can control, I'll turn the upstairs down to 65 day and night and downstairs down to 67/62.

Cris said...

We typically keep our house at 65* during the winter but this year my goal is to see how long we can hack it without turning on the heat at all and then keeping it at 63* day and night.

Malva said...

Crunchy, I lied.

I somehow got mixed up in my conversion from Celsuis to Fahrenheit.

I keep our house at 15C day and night. In American units, it's 59F.

Apologies from a northern neighbour...

Krista said...

The plan is to get down to 60 at night and 65 during the day. Last year it was always at 72 at night and 74 during the day, so baby steps!

Madame M. said...

I'm in! We'll keep it at 65 during the day and 60 at night. Thanks for doing this!

Rachel said...

Great challenge! :)

We are doing 66 during the day and 63 at night.

We'd go lower but we have a tenant who is really great and we don't want to push it!

In our bedroom which is heated separately we are doing 55 during the day and 60 at night.

In previous years we have done 71 during the day and 66 at night.

emmer said...

currently, my new, almost- finished apartment that my dau and s-i-l are building for me and my kitties, attached to their little home has only wood heat. we have free access to downed trees, and with a high efficiency stove, it makes sense to use it. eventually, money permitting, the radiant heat tubes in the floor will have a boiler so they can heat the space. radiant can't use a time controlled thermostat because of the long lag time between turning it up and getting the heat--figure 24 hours from set the thermostat to reaching the desired temp. that's about the only downside to radiant. when it is finished--i hope sometime this winter--it will be set at 50. this little place is so well insulated and has 8 windows facing the sun, that even in our minus 20 winter nights it will not take much wood heat to top it off. i find 60-62 daytime and 50 nite a comfortable temp, which is what i have used in past living spaces. sweaters and throws are good when you sit down to read or knit!

BerryBird said...

I'm late to the game, but I just found your blog, and I'd love to participate in this challenge. Last year was our first year with a programmable thermostat, and we did 62 degree days and 56 degree nights. I am not sure how much lower than that I can go without a marital revolt.

However, when my husband first turned the heat on this year on November 6, I went into the thermostat and re-programmed the hours, so we have many fewer "day" hours. For example, on weekends, the heat doesn't kick up to 62 now until 11:30 am (even though I generally get up hours before that), and dips down to 56 much earlier in the evenings.

Thanks for hosting this challenge! I'll definitely be back again.

Anonymous said...

hey, just heard about you over here! We are at 66 for day- 58 at night. I have Raynaud's syndrome (poor circulation, white/blue extremities) otherwise we'd be up to going lower. the kids and dh are fine, I'm cold no matter what, really....
Lisa in IL!!

Jennifer said...

I'm in! 62 day, 57 night. The tough part will be late evening when I'm working on the computer and my hands get cold. Looks like I'll need to get some gloves with the fingertips cut off :-)

Maddie Can Fly said...

I'm in also. I have no choice -- I can no longer afford the gas bills. Last year I kept it at 60. In US with prices supposed to double, I guess I'll be keeping it at 50 when I'm home and completely off at night. I'm lucky in that my water pipes are nestled in the back of the basement semi-underground. Let's all pray for a very short winter.

Marisa said...

We've already started, but I wanted to make it official.

68 Day, 65 Night

This is great motivation.

Geggie said...

I hope it's not too late to play.

We haven't had to turn the heat on yet.

My goal is 65 in the day and 60 at night.

Geggie said...

I hope it's not too late to play.

We haven't had to turn the heat on yet.

My goal is 65 in the day and 60 at night.

Annie said...

No electric or gas heat here, we heat with wood only! We gave up on the electric heat about five years ago!

Rosa said...

It feels like cheating, since we're at work all day anyway, but we turned the daytime heat down to 55 to match the night-time.

I'm just curious - where are people buying insulating blinds? I keep finding patterns to make them but I'm not very crafty.

Melissa said...

Hi Crunchy,

I am inspired by seeing all hte people keeping their thermostat lower than 64 during the day, which is what I tend to keep mine on. Unfortunately I have to use baseboard electric heaters in some rooms of my apartment which don't have temperature gauges, but for the main living space I pledge to keep it at 62 during the day (64 if I'm unbearably cold after coming in from the snow), and 57 or lower at night. Thanks for setting up this challenge!

Eaglehawk said...

62 during the day 65 at night.

Kristie said...

My hubby and I have already begun this without even knowing there was a challenge out there. Now we really have something to keep us motivated to follow through. We have our thermostat set at 62 degrees during the day and 58 degrees at night.

*Kristie*

Mommy Homemaker said...

I am used to the house being warm so I will say....65 during the day and night.

Is this how I join the challenge? How can I get that little polar thingy on my site?

Rachel said...

Follow up to my earlier post...

After adjusting to cooler temps, we've cranked our thermostat down by another few degrees.
We are now at 64 during the day and 60 at night.

Rachel S said...

61 night, 64 day

Alexah said...

50 degrees F both day and night.

Tara said...

I'm in a 1900 farm house in MN. We have it at 68 during the day and 60 at night. Looking at the other numbers I feel like a whimp! I'll try to squeak down a few degrees over the next few weeks. Thanks!

Tara said...

I'm in a 1900 farm house in MN. We have it at 68 during the day and 60 at night. Looking at the other numbers I feel like a whimp! I'll try to squeak down a few degrees over the next few weeks. Thanks!
(Oh, and I thought the little snow covered seal was a frozen bun out in the snow!)

Tracy Glomski said...

Sign me up for Freeze Yer Buns, too, please! The thermostat at The Glom Shelter (glomshelter.blogspot.com) is set to 64°F, day and night.

Big D said...

Over at LiveGreener Nashville, I have simply turned the a/c & heat off!

It hadn't occurred to me to check out what the temperature is in my place, I just like it cold so it hasn't been a big deal... I will have to look.

Anyway, sign me up for the pledge and I'll report back about what temperature i'm hovering around!

Amani said...

I'm in Seattle.
I have set the thermostat to help the most when we need it most. Both my roommate and I are home most of the day. If we left the house more, I'd adjust the thermostat lower for more hours.

10PM- 55 (12 hours)
10AM- 65 (2 hours)
noon- 62 (5 hours)
5PM-66 (5 hours)

I don't know what that averages out to, but it's pretty low, I think.

mundo1 said...

What a great idea. I'm in lower New York and pledge 62 during the day (we're gone most of the day), 60 at night.

Amani said...

okay, I did the math, and if I did it right, our heat averages out to 55.42. Wow, yay us!

Kelsie said...

I come with my cloth menstrual pads, homemade medicines, clothesline in the attic, and thrift store everything (except for the cats, my boyfriend...and cloth menstrual pads). I come pledging a thermostat set on 62 during the day and 60 at night.

And guess what?

I'm happy to be here, freezin' my buns off with all you fine people. : )

-Kelsie in Kentucky in a drafty, daft house

Martha said...

50 day, 40 at night. I have not turned the heat on yet (and it's been in the low 50s inside), and I hope to use passive solar and good insulation to avoid turning it on at all. So I will go so far as to say 40 at night and anything above 50 I'll accept during the daytime.

Vanessa said...

OK, OK, hold on -- Can I be a late joiner in the Freeze Yer Buns challenge? My thermostat has been taped at 65 degrees since last March and I swear I haven't let it go higher, despite the fact that it's now well below freezing here in Toronto! Not sure I want to go lower at night, but I'll definitely be doing no higher than 65 (seriously, I can't believe these peeps doing 50-something... do they live in parkas??)

Brave New Leaf said...

I'm in. Though, I'm cheating a bit. Our heater is broken and I've decided not to fix it until I can get a more environmentally friendly alternative installed in our home. So presently, we're freezing our buns off in our apartment.

It's not too bad. It's pretty well insulated, so the temp doesn't drop below 55 on the coldest of days. We bundle up with blankets at night, and sometimes when I'm using the computer, I'll don gloves that have the fingers exposed to keep my extremeties warmer while I type.

We'll see if it can last through January, or whether I'll be calling the repairman.

Myshell... said...

Although I feel we could go a bit lower, this is where we chill...60 during the day and 55 at night. To help with this chill, I am trying my hand at knitting some wool socks and fingerless gloves, sometimes you need em...Keeping this temp is easy, as long as the kids don't try to mess with it...Cheers to chill!
Myshell

Cassan (n.) said...

We've been keeping it at around 62.

Megan said...

We turned our heat on in December and it's at 60 day and night- hard to go lower with a toddler. We use the space heater for baths, and as necessary and I'm baking lots of muffins.

DC Eco Mom said...

65 day, 55 night.
Sweaters, heavy socks and down blankets keep us in the lower end of the temp scale. (Except when my mother comes to visit - it is worth a little global warming just not to have her moan and shiver and nag all day and night for a week at a time!)

grrllauren said...

62 during the day-55 at night

We live in Austin, Texas--so that's kind of cheating:)

Magpie said...

55 at night, 64 for the morning and evening rush. 55 during the weekdays when no one is home. 60 during the day on weekends.

I hate paying the gas bill.

Holly said...

We just got our first winter heating bill since moving into our new place, and guess what? The bill went up by HALF. Ick.

We can't afford that kind of money on our budget, so what can we do?

Well, we already installed the digital thermostat, which allows us to preset our desired temps: 67 degrees for when we're home and awake, 58 degrees for when we're not.

But we also have serious weatherproofing issues. There's nothing like an entryway where you can keep ice cream from melting. So it's off to the hardware store for me, to find some shrinkwrap for the windows and perhaps insulation for the attic.

Really, I'd just settle for a cessation of drafts from the FLOOR.

Corey said...

I live in a Seattle area craftsman built in 1901 with the most inefficient windows that give character to the house. I'm freezing with the thermostat set at 68 all day.

Jana said...

Update.

We are still at 65 during day and 55 at night. However, we jacked it up to 10 from 6am to 8am during prime shower time. Most days I have been plenty comfortable during the day. There have been a few when I wore the long underwear!

Keep up the good work Crunchy.

Susan Buhr said...

Thanks for the challenge. After a couple of weeks of seeing how low can we go, we've settled on this:

63-67 daytime when we're home. Up to 67 if someone complains.

55 at night. With my Christmas Target card (thanks Mom!), the kids are getting down comforters. I've been putting the thermostat down one degree per night and it looks like that's as low as the kiddos can comfortably go.

45-50 if we aren't home.

Anonymous said...

We live in northern Vermont. Our automatic thermostat is set for 62F during the day pre/post work hrs and then 58F when we're at work. At 9pm it goes back to 58F. The bedroom and basement (on separate zones) are set at 58F all the time.
This is fine when the outside temp is warmer than say 25F. However once the temps fall into the teens and below; our home (and it is extremely well insulated) just feels cold.

Last night it dipped to below zero while I was still up and about. I shocked hubby when I mentioned that maybe we could splurge and turn the heat up to 63F. Funny-because when he tries to sneak it up...I come along and set it back to 62F.We didn't of course. I just switched to a heavier weight hat (longjohns and heavy sweats & sometimes fingerless mittens are already the norm at home) and had some more tea.

Our oil tank was topped off yesterday. $107 for 37gallons. No plans to go any lower at this point in time...some days I feel like I'm wearing more clothes inside to stay warm than I need to wear outside to stay warm :>

alexandari said...

I live in Washington State, and have been doing this all winter - the temp. is set for 60 at night, 65 for 2 hours in the morning and evening, and 60 the rest of the day. If it weren't for the 2 kiddos (and the visiting in-law's) it would be lower.
The heat goes off as early as possible, and starts as late as possible as well, but there is something to be said for wet vs. dry climates - 40F in WA feels MUCH colder than 20F in Colorado! go figure...

Late Bloomer said...

When this challenge first came up, I didn't think I'd be up to it. I've always been the one in the house to turn the heat UP, then act all innocent and confused when hubby would start questioning to identify the guilty culprit. ("What? Me? Turn the heat up? Why would I do that?)

Anyway, I didn't sign up for the challenge initially, but have spent the last month "trying it out" and, guess what, I'm cold, but surviving.

Count me in - we'll go with 65 during the day and 60 at night.

Thanks for all of the great challenges! I've made a lot of positive changes in my life as a result of the suggestions you've made and the research you've done.

Mebsmommy said...

Is it too late to join? Since we turned the heater on (probably around mid-October her in the Midwest) I have it programmed for 66 during the day and 62 at night. I am thinking about lowering it at night by 2 degrees. I love this challenge!

Julie said...

During the Day when we're home the heat is at 62. When we're at work (we're both at work from 9-6) the heat goes down to 53 and at night when we're in bed we go down a bit further to 52.

-Julie in NJ

~amy~ said...

i'm in! no heat for us! though we do have the water-heater-defroster thingy switched on so that the pipes don't freeze in the snow...

Juliafinzi959 said...

We picked up the challenge on Chili Chews blog. We are in for 66 day and night.

Idaho Locavore said...

Hi, checking in on the challenge. We're doing 60 most of the day and all night, but 64 in the first couple of hours in the morning to help everyone get up and get moving. We didn't even turn our heat on until the end of Nov, which is pretty good for here!

LisaZ said...

Hi! We've been doing this type of thing, though not officially the challenge, all winter because I used to be part of the Riot 4 Austerity group. We have been trying 65 when we're home, 58 at night, 60 when we're at work or away from home. At first (Nov./Dec.) the 65 in the evening was horrible and I felt I wouldn't survive. All I wanted to do was lay around wrapped in a warm blanket. Now, however, I think I'm getting used to it. Oh, and with the heat set at 65 in our house it is more like 62 or less because of all the drafts in this 1924 Minnesota Craftsman-style home. We're making it! And I love love love the lower bill.

Lisa in MN

Segwyne said...

I have seen references to this blog before, but am just now getting over here to see it. We live in an apartment with electric heat. Each of the thermostats upstairs is set to what appears to be 56. It is the lowest I can get it. It never feels that cold, though. Downstairs is trickier because the thermostat isn't labeled. You just turn the knob and blindly hope that you set it something close to where you want it. I tried to keep it off as much as possible, but hubby needed me to turn it on. That could be why the upstairs doesn't feel so cold, or maybe not. So I don't know what the thermostat is set at. But upstairs is nice at 56. :)

Grandma Misi said...

I'm south of you CC, in Olympia, WA. I live in a minimally, if at all, insulated and tiny trailer. I'll let it get up to a toasty 60 with the heater on 2 hours at most in the evening (I'm from RIOT4A) and then I shut the thing off.

I go to bed with TWO hot water bottles (I'm a senior citizen so gotta warm up my toes!)

When I get up in the morning the temp inside the trailer is usually 1-2 deg warmer than outside. So it's often only 38 degrees INSIDE. Doesn't bother me much, I just put on more clothes, make some hot coffee, and get outside for my walk and visit my daughter with a warm house, lol!

Grandma Misi

Alan said...

62 days (down from 65 for last several years); 52 nights (down from 55 nights).

I put on a fleece vest whenever I feel chilly. Fleece vests are great, cheap ($10-$12 on sale), light, come in many colors, are non-itchy, can be worn zipped up or open, keep your neck warm if zipped up, and come out of the washer almost dry.

My wife does turn on an electric heater while showering to take the chill off the bathroom.

Alan, in Portland, Oregon, where we 're having a wet, mild winter so far

Jennifer said...

I just found your website via Casaubon's Book blog and am so excited! We live up in Anacortes, and have not turned on the furnace since Dec. 2006. We have a small gas fireplace that the kids like to sit in front of in the AM when they first get up, so I turn it up to 60F, but thats it. Our temps at night get down to around 50-55 inside, but I just put 2 down comforters on everyones bed. During the day we layer. Now, when we go to other peoples houses it feels hot and stuffy. I think my kids actually like it sort of cold!

Jennifer said...

I'm in as well. We've been gradually adjusting to cooler indoor temps all season and now we are at 50-55 all the time. When my husband is switching to night shift I don't always turn it down at night. There are some days when I don't turn the heat up when we wake up. We just keep the baby in fleece p.j.s and we wear two layers thermal long underwear and then then fleece pants and wool or fleece sweaters over those with a hat and wool socks and shoes during the day or down booties in the evening. This is from keeping the house at 68 day last year and 62 nights.

Ani said...

Well-just found your site and figured I'd join in. I heat with wood, so no thermostat there. I'd say that from the room thermometer the hottest it gets in general is about 60 in here- with the bedrooms, etc much cooler. So 60 would be the max in the day-in the area with the wood stove. At night, it gets lower than that to about 50.

I have 2 gas heaters for back-up- this winter I am only using one,and it is set about 50-55 so it will only heat if it goes that low. Helps keep the house from being 40 at night-have to admit I hate dealing with a 40 degree house in the morning....

I am away from home working a few days/week for 12 hours so when it is really cold out- sub-zero- the gas heater really helps. I have really cut back on using it this year though- want to see how little I can use it.

WillowLuna said...

Here goes, though late:

We keep our temp at 59 degrees on weekdays, 64 from 3:45-9:45pm, then down to 62 overnight. On weekends we keep it a bit warmer, 62 during the day.

Please let me join!

zerog said...

Hi,

I try to keep temperatures as low as possible, but I can't go below 63 without feeling cold even though I'm wearing 3 shirts and woolen slippers and drinking hot tea.

Usually I turn the heater down as soon as I feel warm enough. Sometimes that comes to 68, especially in the evenings.

Nevertheless I try my best. Maybe it's some sort of training. Too bad I can't use a wooden stove since I am living in an apartment block.

Care said...

Hi ya'll. I live in TN and right now we are going through quite the cold snap, but I am up for this anyway. Days will be 68 and 55 at night. We love blankets in this house, and I am sure we will be loving them even more after this. I am more concerned about our next electric bill not eating us alive as opposed to it being about the environment on this one. I also happened to see a comment about line drying clothes...when our temps level back out in a week or so (hopefully) I am doing this too. I do in the Spring and Summer, but I miss line fresh clothes. Wish I had found this site sooner. Cheers everyone and best of luck!

brad said...

60 during the day, 62 evening, and 48 at night. I'd like to get down to 55 days and evenings, like Sharon of Casaubon's Book.

Live in my long underwear and usually a sweater and a couple of wool shirts and a stocking cap.

I tend to turn up the heat when I have guests though. They are always underdressed.

Brad
Portland, OR

Jenn said...

I'm in, I'm in!!
62 day, 58 night...

helwen said...

We have a wood furnace and wood sustainably grown, from the farm's hillside, but we still don't want to run the temp too high and use more wood.

Temp is set at 62F day and night. We'd go lower but we have an elderly cat (she'll be 21 in March), and no, I can't put a sweater on her. As it is, she spends a lot of time next to one of the radiators.

We live on the 2nd floor of a farm house and share the furnace power with the folks downstairs, who I think keep the temp around 65-66F (both elderly and one is not in great health).

The house has decent insulation, so the furnace doesn't have to come on very often to maintain the set temperatures. Slippers and sweaters are definitely useful on colder days and nights! And my husband finally put another one of the insulated shades up in one of the north-facing windows.

LifeLessPlastic said...

I'm in on the challenge. I've been doing 64 degrees day and night since winter started. Amazingly enough, even though I live in Chicago, I didn't even have to turn my heat on until December because I live on the second floor.

funmom said...

Just found your blog - I'm in for the challenge! I keep our temperature at 59 degrees day and night, though I drop it down to 57 when I'm the only one at home (I work from home, with my main office in the basement). I wear lots of layers, a cap, fingerless gloves and usually have a blanket on my lap when sitting. Last month, I had the temp at 62 but dropped it after getting our electric bill (our house is all electric) - it was about $300. Thanks for a great blog.

mamalisa said...

Well, I don't have a thermostat. We only have wood heat, and a little space heater that hopefully keeps the basement above freezing.

So....
I think it was 40 degrees in my bedroom the other morning. It rarely reaches above 60, and I don't light the stove except to cook if it's over 50 outside.

The wood comes from local deadfall, cut by the priesthood of my church.

Does that count?

You can dry an entire load of laundry in 2 hours in front of a cookstove, btw.

mel said...

Just noticed this challenge (I've been reading since the first week of January), but I've been doing the same thing all along, so count me in.

58 to 62 in the day, 51 at night

mel said...

P.S. Now I feel that I can validate my chilly house to visitors by saying I'm "participating in a challenge"! Jeepers, it's winter in Canada... put on a sweater, folks!

snazzmo said...

We have mild winters here, mid 60s in the day and 35-45 at night. So I don't turn on my gas furnace at all. The pilot isn't even lit. I wear double-layer sweats, sleep in a down bag, and in the early morning use an electric space heater for a couple of hours until the day warms up.

Summers, it's a 'Toast Yer Buns' thing - it's 95-105 in the days and 65-80 at night, and I have never used AC at all. I use a swamp cooler and fans.

So I am totally on board with both the freeze and the toast.

funmom said...

I just got my latest energy bill, and it's a few dollars more than last month's despite our dropping the temperature several degrees (we keep it at 56-58 degrees depending on the time of day).

However, the temperature outside was on average 2 degrees colder, and there was an extra day in the month. So, the reduced temp did help.

Psychologically, though, it's frustrating! I work from home (often in a 50 degree basement) and some days I have a hard time dealing with the cold (I wear several layers, a scarf, a hat, fingerless gloves, etc). I don't know if it's the extra clothing or the cold that is making my skin so itchy.

Anyway, when we - hopefully - have some extra money in our usually more profitable summer months, I need to figure out some solar or other alternative energy options help us get a little more heat in the house next winter.

Abi said...

Been reading for a few weeks now, and am now reading your back posts. I cut things down to 60-65 day (65 only at "getting out of bed time", 55 night this year. Hooray for fluffy slippers!

N. & J. said...

I just started reading your blog but my fiance and I made a pact earlier this winter to keep it no higher than 68 in the day and 50 at night. Now we are going for 65 during the day.

Rachel said...

I know I am joining this late, but since I have already been doing it, and I feel compelled to encourage others also, I would like to be added to the list!

We installed one of those programmable thermostats and have it set on 60 at night and 65 durring the day. If I go out for the day, I drop it down to 55. I would normally keep it cooler durring the day when we are home, but I gotta keep my little kids healthy!

steviesmama said...

Ok I know I am getting in on this late (FEB) but we have been doing it since Oct anyways. We are in Ohio and we keep the temps....55 at night and during the day when we are at work, 63 in the mornings, and evenings, and weekend days when we are home.

Mateo said...

66 evening and morning, 59 during the day and overnight. I think I can go lower!

See my progress at lowerfootprint.blogspot.com

Natalie Dickey said...

We live in TX but keep our heater at 60 if we have to turn it on! Our AC stays at 84 during the day and 78 at night with the fans going!

The Green Panther said...

For the past week my (electric) heat has been working sporadically, sometimes blowing warm air and sometimes cold. This morning, repairmen broke it the rest of the way and I'm officially furnaceless.

I do have a space heater on, for the sake of my fish and my cats, the latter of whom are befuddled by the sudden loss of the vents they lie on top of all day. (I'd bet that about half my heat bill is devoted to heating cats.)

I thought this challenge sounded just awful, since I hate the cold. But to my surprise, this isn't much more miserable than regular wintertime existence. Maybe this will be my jumpstart into lower consumption even after the furnace is fixed!

Plus I can't resist that powdered-bread-loaf seal.

Jen said...

This is a great idea! I just found your blog and I'm having a good time reading through it (was searching for information on family cloth, which is a switch I think we're going to be making soon).

We keep our heat at 62 in the day and 60 in the evening. We spend most of our time upstairs and use lots of blankets downstairs! We're in a rental so forced air heat is what we have. I haven't looked into whether it's more efficient to use a space heater but honestly we're usually quite warm enough.

Lela said...

Hi there, recently found your blog and thought this was a great idea. I however, being from Texas am a wuss and only lowered mine to 65. Maybe next year I'll have the nerve to drop it a few more.

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