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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Freeze Yer Buns check-in

Freeze Yer Buns Challenge 2008Holy smokes, people, we are having a cold snap and, as such, we are freezing our buns off! We are supposed to have the lowest temperatures that we've had in twenty years over the next week or so.

We are still sticking to our pledged temperature ranges, but we are using space heaters in the living room and the kid's bedrooms where the central heat doesn't exactly work very well (just to heat them up in the morning and right before bed). The rest of the house is kept relatively cool.

I've been pretty much using my cherry pit bed warmer every night since the beginning of the challenge. I tell you, I love that thing. Nothing makes me more happy than snuggling up to a hot cherry pie. Okay, maybe a few things, but not when I'm cold. Every night my husband has been using one of the microwaveable rice bags that I made for Christmas gifts last year (I had a few left over). So his side of the bed smells like rice pilaf. It's a regular culinary delight at night, I tell you!

I'm also totally impressed at how many people have signed up for the challenge so far. I know a lot of you haven't exactly hit cold temperatures yet, while others have been consistently freezing their buns for a few months already.

That said, how are you guys faring? Have you been able to keep to your temperature pledges? What are you doing to keep warm?

By the way, I've been seeing a lot more articles in magazines and newspapers this year about people keeping their heat low and trying to push their limits. Who knew that it was cool to keep the heat low?

66 comments:

Rachel said...

I pledged to keep the heat at 65 during the day and 60 at night, but we've kept it on 60 all the time and are comfortable. I think we're getting used to it! We're in Ohio and temps have been pretty cold at times, too.

JAM said...

We've been doing 60 when I'm here alone during the day, 64 when the family is home, and 55 at night. We haven't gone above that yet. It can be nippy sometimes, but if I keep busy I'm ok. My older daughter's room is in the converted attic, and she has electric heat, so she's only been turning it on to warm up right before bed, but it's still freezing up there. She has an electric blanket but really it's very cold. I've offered to have her sleep on the 2nd floor with the rest of us but she loves her room, and we'd have to do a major reorganization to make it work. Kind of makes me wish we lived in a smaller, more insulated house though - we have more space than we need and it sure feels wasteful to keep it all warm, not to mention expensive.

badhuman said...

Last year we were able to go heat free, despite living in Colorado because our apartment was insulated on most sides by other apartments and it was only 700 sq ft so our oven could keep the place warm while we were cooking or baking. This year in a rowhome in Philly we committed to 55 all the time and its much harder. We've layered the blankets on the bed and couch and hang out in the kitchen more. It's completely manageable though and well worth it when I get the gas bill!

e4 said...

Regarding cherry pits....

Depending on where you live, you might be able to get cherry pits in bulk easily and cheaply. They're sometimes sold in the same stores that sell wood pellets for heat. We can get 40 lb bags for $5 each.

I'm thinking of just filling a zip-up pillowcase with some and seeing how it does...

They don't have any hint of cherry pie smell though. :(

mnultraguy said...

We are doing well at 58 during and 50 at night. We have worked on insulating windows and covering them with reclaimed plastic. Our low so far this year as been -2F and this week it looks Winter will be starting with lows of -10F below and highs of 0-5 above ;)

Quoda said...

Meh, I've done okay. I've had to turn my heat up higher than the 60 day pledge a few times because apparently my windows in the front room just ooze cold constantly. Dressing warm helps a lot during the day.

At night I'm doing fine... a few layers of blankets and occasionally wearing a thermal shirt makes me just fine.

I kind of want to try a space heater in my bedroom before I go to bed, just to warm it up a bit. That room is the last destination for the radiator system, so it is much colder!

I also have to make a very conscious effort to lower the thermostat before going to bed or leaving for work. I'm renting and I'm stuck with a non-programmable thermostat!

We're supposed to get a bunch of snow and ice in the next few days... it stinks because this is Missouri and everyone forgets how to drive (or even basic laws of physics!) when there's snow around!

ceruleanscars said...

I wanted to keep to my 65º day/55º night pledge, but, then, I got my electricity bill. Dominion increased their rates 18% and...ouch. So, I've been trying another experiment. Central heat off and space heater in the room where I'm working or sleeping. Surprisingly, the temps for the rest of the house hovers around 50º. Even when it's 40ish outside.

Last night, we had company and temps went down to the 20s. I turned the hvac on to 60º but, as soon as the houseguest leaves, it's going off again. I think I'm going to keep it off unless the thermometer dips below 50.

Mrs Money said...

Crunchy! I am so sad! I have been keeping my heat around 55-60 and using our woodburning stove when possible and a space heater in the living room and bedroom only when needed. I also don't use our dryer to dry clothes. My electric bill for one month was $162!! What do you think is causing this? My house is only around 1400 square feet.

Is this normal? Maybe we could have a chart or something that shows people's house size, temp, and amount of bill.

Young Snowbird said...

Thermostat still set at 50. Temps have gone down to the mid 40's outside, and are supposed to get in the 30's this week, with rain. May even get frost. I hope the desert plants don't get frost burn.

Woke the other morning with it 61 inside. Quickly determined that procrastinating about putting up drapes needed to stop. So I hung up some flannel lined drapes, and attached a quilted flap to the catdoor, and put out the draft catcher on the front door. Temp inside went up to 65, and now hovers 66-67. Just for blocking drafts! Sweet!

My feet are now in knitted slippers and reading shawls are within easy reach. It feels like I'm back home in Minnesota, without the snow or the frostbite!

Mrs. Money - how insulated is your house? Check your roof after the next snowfall. If the snow melts off right away, you're probably losing heat up through your roof. Attic insulation will help with that. Also, google "vampire energy." Your appliances draw juice even when turned off, but still plugged in. If your hot water tank is electric, and located in a drafty area, it could be working harder. Get it an insulated cover to trap some of that heat. You may already do all these things, just trying to help!

Deoxy said...

We were sticking with 65 during the day and 55 at night, but that went out the window since I'm now on bedrest. We're living with my in-laws so they can help care for our two year old. It's 72 around here all the time. I wear short sleeve shirts. The non-green-ness is driving me crazy, but I can only say so much. They have been very generous with helping us out, so I don't want to complain. We are educating them as much as possible without being preachy, but MIL loves her consumerism so progress is very very slow.

Jenn said...

Mrs. Money...those space heaters can be electricity gluttons, even more so than just setting your heat up a degree or two. We have lots and lots of blankets, robes and slippers in our house.

We keep our house at 60. I've been trying to convince hubby it should go down to 55 at night, but considering he insisted on 70 all winter last year and conceded to 60 this year, I'll push for 55 at night next year.

Allisone said...

This is our first year doing the Freeze Yer Buns thing - and I didn't officially sign up.

Due to the layout/size of our house and our heating system, it is more efficient for us to keep the house at a constant temperature than to lower it at night so we are doing a constant 65 degrees (down from 70 deg last year). I think it is good for a start. It has required some behavior modifications for the family but hasn't been so bad that they'll resist the idea next year.

We are 100% wind powered electric for our heat this year for the first time.

Abbie said...

We've pledged to keep it set to 55 during the day when nobody's home and 60 when we're home, and supplement with the wood stove. It's easy to keep it cool when we're not home! We've been bundling up at home, wearing extra layers and blankets, and we're doing just fine. We've adjusted to our cooler temperatures, but when other people come over they remark how cold our house is, so we've turned it up to 63 or 64 when we have guests.

I'm not a fan of space heaters. I'm sure they're much safer than they used to be, but I still think of them as a huge fire hazard. Plus, our open floor plan means any heat they generated would be quickly dispersed. No wonder those older houses had such small rooms, to trap the heat!

ragamuffin yogini said...

Well, firstly let me say that TX is generally mild (though the forecast for this week is cold). Today is supposed to be 75...I haven't heard the heat cut on in days...I have had to boost it up on the nights I teach yoga...the wood floors get terribly cold depending on outside temp and wind direction and I just can't ask folks to lie down an a cold floor...that is decidedly NOT relaxing. My husband is totally on board. We keep a stack of sweatpants, fleece shirts and such at the end of the bed. We both have fuzzy slippers. The hubby even sleeps in a fleece hat sometimes.

We capture as much solar heat during the day as we can opening all the blinds and closing them when the sun is no longer pouring in...we have very nice insulating blinds that work well keeping heat in and cold out in the winter and vice versa in summer.

Anonymous said...

It is -5 degrees outside right now. The thermostat is set to 66 during the day on weekends, 55 at night, and 59 during the weekdays. And we haven't touched today! We are wearing lots of layers and snuggling under blankets.

fullfreezer said...

We have it set for 60 at night and when we're away and 65 when we're up and/or home. We have done well sticking to that- except for last Tuesday when the kids didn't have school because of ice and my daughter upped it to 68. GRRR. I guess they got a bit chilly when it dropped to 60 (I forgot to reset the program before I left for work). After a few complaints, it hasn't been too bad. Our weather has been all over the place. It was 46 this morning but is forecast to drop to 2 overnight with windchills reaching -21! BRRRR!! It's going to be a cold walk to work in the morning.

Maeve said...

I am not enjoying this challenge AT ALL. Being cold (not chilly, COLD) makes me absolutely miserable. Given that it is -15F at 10am here, we've turned our heat up to 68, and if the furnace ever gets caught up, I might even turn it up to a daring 70!

The one thing this challenge is showing me is that I would much prefer to get our house well-insulated, so that we can heat it to a comfort level that WE prefer, while minimizing overall energy usage; than to set my heat down severely.

Anonymous said...

We are keeping with the 62 during the day and at night. We tend to go up to 68 when the kids get home until we go to bed. It has been a bit chilly, especially early this week when we had 3inches of snow in Louisiana!

Ecodea said...

Crunchy, I was wondering if there is an environmentally safe way of disposing of old photos (or reusing or recycling)? If you know of something, could you post about it?
Thanks,
Andrea

BerryBird said...

We have pledged 55 at night and during the day when we're working, and 62 on evenings and weekends when we're home. It's been cold here, of course, but we've easily stuck to that pledge, having kept our heat low like this for years (pretty much always). Our typical "outfits" around the house involve long johns, jeans, two pairs of wool socks, wool clogs, a turtleneck, a fleece vest, and several layered sweaters and/or sweatshirts. Then if we get chilled, we'll add a hat and/or blanket.

We'll likely turn the heat up a few degrees for an upcoming holiday family gathering -- most people simply don't layer like we do. Layering is key.

Latte said...

boy oh boy...I must be a wuss! In years past our stat was always 72-ish all year round. This past year we wanted to save money as our electric bill has doubled over the last 9 years that and I am a green freak so here I am in fuzzy socks, big robe and long p.j.'s still cold and the stat is on 68!!! You guys have so got me beat! I don't plan on lowering it any more because 4 degrees in one year is enough for me, but I think it's neat your challenging many to lower the stat.

Latte

katecontinued said...

No thermostat because I am in a mobile home without HVAC. I am not suffering because it is Southern California and I turned on a space heater for the f1st time for a couple hours yesterday and again right now - just to bring the thermometer up to 65 for daytime.

I have needed to wrap a blanket around me the last couple of days and gloves are next. I sleep like a baby at 50-55 degrees though.

Segwyne said...

Our house seems more drafty than it was last year. I have the bedroom thermostats set to 60 instead of the pledged off, and I think that is about where I have the downstairs heater set, too, instead of off. It just seems so much colder this year than last. When I go other places, though, and see that they have the temperature set low, I am more comfortable than others in the same room. Our church has set the thermostat down to 65, and I see people wearing their parkas during service, while I can wear simply a long-sleeved shirt. I am reaping the rewards of being adjusted to a cooler house when I go out somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

Maeve and Latte, I'm struggling along with you. Most of the time, I keep the thermostat at 67 but on days when we need to do a lot of computer work, we find ourselves inching it up to 68 because our fingers get cold. On the bright side, I turn it down to 66 when just the dog will be home for several hours.

--Ave

Kim said...

Temperatures have been hovering around 0 all week (below zero today) but we've kept the thermostat at 60. It's been COLD though....the living fireplace has been turned on quite a bit...

mudnessa said...

while i have been quite cold at night i cant really complain, im in southern california so relatively its not cold. the bedroom does get overly cold compared to the rest of the apartment because it is a corner room and facing the wrong way, we barely get any sun on it.

also the downstairs neighbor apparently moved here from antartica because she always has her windows open so we are not getting any "free" heat from her but i guess thats a good thing though. unlike everyone else in the complex that has their heater or ac on all the time. i swear i hear the things rubbling away and see windows and doors open.

Allie said...

Well, it turned out in my favour that I signed up for this challenge, because I think the heater is actually broken anyway. Plus, my gas bill is the same now as it is in the summer, when usually it triples. I will be doing this challenge every year now.

That being said, it's been abnormally cold in Houston. We've had below freezing temperatures several days, and even got snow this last week! We bought two space heaters, one for the room we sleep in, and one for the TV room (we got the little bitty Holmes ceramic ones they sell at WalMart for $20). With the space heater at half power and the door closed, it gets HOT in here. For sleep, we use a couple blankets and the one space heater also just at half power, and it's the perfect temperature to sleep (with the added bonus that the cat is chilly so he sleeps under the covers to stay warm).

The only thing I find bothersome is that we have no floor rugs (and I'm too cheap to buy them right now) on all tile floor, so the feet get cold if we're not wearing socks. Oh, and that my house is all windows so the insulation is completely ineffective (until I get around to buying thermal curtains someday).

It's also encouraging me to bake more, which is a bonus. This challenge totally rocks.

Green Bean said...

So far, so good. I'll admit that it does feel colder than last yr but I think it is just adapting. Last yr, by Feb, I turned off the heat completely bc we were so adjusted.

kelley said...

today's our first really cold day, but we're holding up all right. we actually turned our heat off last night, and i still woke up hot and had to take off a layer. so, we're doing awesome, but apparently the trick is to live in a place with good heat retention.

Elizabeth said...

We still haven't turned on the central heat, but have started using space heaters. It's been cold in St. Louis, but nothing too extreme. Expecting an ice storm tomorrow. I'm loving the Challenge! I read the posts from last year's Challenge, and was wondering if there will be T-shirts again this year. Any ideas?

Kelsie said...

I think I'm keeping it below my pledge levels...62 during the day and 55 at night. I made some rice bag warmers and I LOVE my flannel shirts. We're actually staying really cozy, despite our below-normal November/December tips, and the best part...our natural gas bill didn't make me cry! :)I do use a space heater when I take baths or showers. We had a Christmas party and turned the heat up to 65 (woohoo!). I was SWEATING.

Erika said...

I pledged 55. Turns out, we have a problem with moisture that quickly becomes a mold problem if we don't keep the house around 60 - 62, so... we're keeping the mold/moisture problem in check with our temps in that range.

It's downright chilly here tonight, so 62 feels extra-warm when I come in from a walk outside!

--Erika

Krista said...

I pledged to try to go the whole season without using my furnace, but had to turn it on twice. Each time, it was set on 55, and only ran long wnough to take the chill off.

As a side note, I had all of my windows open today and tomorrow is it supposed to be 72.

Here is a great tutorial for window quilts, for anyone who is interested. I wish I had found this when I lived in Michigan!

Katey said...

we are keeping it at 68 during the day and it keeps kicking in...the high is like 3 degrees.....at night it is at 62 and again it comes on pretty often we are in these cold temps until the end of next week :(

camp mom said...

We've been keeping house at 60 during the day and dropping it to 55 or so at night. Despite double digit below zero. We just add a few layers during the day and have alot of blankets. We spend alot more time in the same room and shut off rooms we aren't using, baking later in the evenings.

Robj98168 said...

It goes pretty good down here in the south- you know! I pruchased a second pragrammable thermostat (don't have central heating)for baseboard and fanforced wall heaters and found out it works pretty good to have the programmable in the living room and kitchen/dining room. HAve yet to rise above 65 during the day or at night before bed- then it autmatically turns itself down to 55 at bedtime and when I wake up it turns itself back up to 65. My dog - the old blinf one loves it!If we get chilly, dpike and me just snuggle in the throw blanket on the couch!

Jessica said...

I pledged 60 during the day and 55 at night, and have been keeping to it pretty well so far. But girl, I am Cap Hill myself and balls to this, I just turned the heat up to 65. The nice thing is that 65 is a treat, since I've been keeping it so low so far! It's downright toasty up in here. So I guess it worked, eh? I might suck it up and buy an electric blanket this week if I can track any down.

TheOrganicSister said...

We pledged 65/60. It has just started getting cold here (may even be snowing this week...in VEGAS!) but we've managed to keep our heater completely off.

It's registering about 59 downstairs and 63 upstairs. We're dressed in layers, bundle with blankets and occasionally use a small heating pad at night. Otherwise we're cold and just trying to acclimate.

I'm actually pretty proud of myself. This is the coldest my house has ever been and I feel no where close to turning the heat on yet. :D

Kaat said...

We're doing well! I wouldn't have thought so, being "the coldish person" in the house, but I totally adjusted to a day temp of 63 and a night temp of 58 (we're going to bring the last one down a bit, to 55).

And it's been cooooold here (Eastern Mass). And isn't it strange, how even though you keep the inside temp stable, the outside temp still affects you. You look at the thermometer nailed to the tree and go "brrrr, 15!" and you're shivering through your morning tea!

But I've acclimatized. I never thought I would, but once it was off my mind, it was off my body too, so to speak.

Carmen said...

So we are doing 63 when we are home during the day and 58 at night and while we are out of the house. My kids have learned that you can do some jumping jacks to get your blood flowing and stay warm.

I have to say, I am VERY cold. I'm comfortable with like 72 degrees. 63 is cold for me. Every now and again I get weak and turn it up to 66.

I use a heating pad in my bed at night to warm up my fingers and toes.

Good news is our electric bill is about half it was last year. Yeah!

Yiddishe Mama said...

we have an "interesting" situation as we live in what could be called a duplex but actually someone just closed in the carport and made a tiny apartment out of it. Anyway all of the ulitilites are on one meter which We pay and the Landlord pays a percentage to compinsate for the appartment's usage only this woman refuses to buy the propane that her apartment uses and instead chooses to use elec. space heaters so she won't have to spend the 70.00 to fill her tank with propane. This drives me crazy. The LL has spoken to her and bought one tank of propane for her but we'll see. Right now we turn the HVAC off at night and set it to 55 daytime but right now @9:00 am it is reading 65 after being off all night so it is rather toasty to me. My 15yo DD runs around all day in shorts and a tshirt and sleeps with a fan on so I guess no one is hurting here.
Sorry for the rant and long post but it really does grind my gears.

TurtleSoup said...

I pledged 65 during the day and 55 at night. We were doing fine with that, then the heater broke and has to be replaced. We've waited5 days now for the men to come. We've had some days as high as 65 and some nights as low as 21 degrees, but we are surviving just fine. We had our attic reinsulated during the summer. I think it has helped keep the house temp in the 50's even when it is really cold. The children haven't complained at all. We have lots of blankets at night. My father in law is visiting, so we bought a small space heater for him. It will be nice to have the heater working for when we have company, but it's been amazing to realize how OK we've been. Let me just end by saying I am cold blooded by nature. I feel cold easily and thought this would be really really hard. I've worn tights under pants, layered shirts and occasionally have to put gloves in the house, but I'm not miserable like i thought I would be!I think a lot of it has to do with our expectations. We expect to be a little chilly, so it doesn't bother us. When we expect a constantly comfortable temperature, the slightest aberration is unbearable.

Katy said...

I vowed not to turn my heat on this year because the last few years out winters have been mild. But this year, we have reached freezing tempertures. That in itself is an animiaolly, but the fact it happend on December 7 is even weirder.

We have chucked the NO HEAT plan and gone with keeping it on 55 when we are at home. That is, when its cold. Yesterday we had a high of 70 and by tonight we are suppose to be down to 33 again.

Jill said...

We're doing pretty well. It's been cold, windy, and snowy in Michigan so far. We're heating with wood only and don't have a thermostat. We have a thermometer on the wall and it usually reads between 62 and 66 in the day and as between 55 and 60 at night. We have a small space heater in the bathroom we use in the mornings (the ceramic tile floors are freezing!!!). I stay home with our 17 month old son all day and our 4 yr old daughter is in pre-k half day. My husband seems happy enough with the temps and he's thrilled about our utility bills. We all wear lots of layers and have no complaints. I've been knitting earwarmers and handwarmers for Christmas. My mom keeps a pair of slippers here for when she visits. The kids have bed rooms upstairs but we let them sleep in the living room right now. We were having a hard time getting the heat up the stairs and making the bedrooms liveable. It's okay... they think it's like camping.

scifichick said...

We've been doing very well, I think. We had some below freezing temperatures, but the condo stays pretty warm. Wearing wool socks and sweaters helps. I only turned the heat on in my son's room one evening because he was sick so he was feeling colder. And the heat it on in the bathroom. Other than that, we haven't turned the heat in the living room yet, or my bedroom.

kidk4m said...

Well Crunchy,we may not be freezing our buns off..but everything else is feeling pretty cold! We live in northern VT and even though our home is very tight-when the temps get below 15F-keeping the temp at 58F is a bit of a challenge.

We pledged 61F (6am-8am; 4pm-8pm);58F the rest of the time. 56F 24/7 in the bedroom and basement (on different zones).

Has never been a problem-because those 58F temps were while we were at work. Enter the economy and one layoff..and now I'm home during the day. I'm in lots of layers on those below 20F days but I've managed to tough it out..even working out later in the day so that I can take my shower after the heat turns on in the afternoon.

Today the outside temp was 40F!!! House stayed at 60 all day...felt warm and toasty!Didn't even need my hat!

I have toyed with the idea of getting a space heater for my feet (since now 99% of my day is spent taking classes on-line)-but can't decide if I want an oil-filled one, ceramic or what. Summer might be here before I finally make up my mind on that one.

Based on latest oil bill (57 days worth)-we've been averaging .78 gal oil/day. (We have oil hot water & heat). We do have solar preheat and solar panels-but they are currently covered with snow an ice so aren't being much help.

Natalie said...

I pledged to do 67 during the day and 65 at night. We've actually done very well at not setting the thermostat higher than these temps. Problem is, we learned that our apartment apparently has no insulation. It's like opening the fridge when you put your hand next to one of those cracks! Ack! We caulked major cracks near the windows, put up insulation strips around the porch door, and installed those plastic window coverings for insulation on all of our windows. I think we should receive a rent rebate :) If these items don't work, we're going to put up drapes as well. And let me tell ya, we get temps in our spare room down to at least 54 at night. So yeah, we're definitely freezin' our buns off!

Anonymous said...

We've kept our heat at 60. We've learned to bundle up and when I'm chilly, I go for a quick walk (I walk 4 miles total every day). When I come back, 60 degrees feel mighty warm. Last month our utility bill was the lowest on the street, lol. I've been keeping the drapes and blinds closed to help keep the chill of the windows isolated to the other side of the drapes. It helps. I also bought fleece pajamas for us. With the down alternative comforter and a couple of fleece blankets, we're very comfortable at night.

jennconspiracy said...

I finally have a gas wall unit in my apartment - 3700 BTU and it looks HUGE. I keep it set around 55 during the day and up to 68 at night.

After no heat for 3 years, I'm not suffering seeing my breath in bed. Brrr!!!

Hopefully this will reduce the amount of mold on the walls and in my closets!

Andy & Erin said...

This challenge is awesome! I didn't officially sign-up for it, but my husband and I decided to try 65 day/60 night. In years past we have kept the stat at 68ish. The 65 during the day is no problem (as long as we dress in layers), and I think I'm going to take it down to 64. We'll see from there. Here's the problem...we are down to 63 at night, but our toddler daughter keeps waking up cold in the middle of the night. Last night she slept in socks and cotton footed pjs with fleece footed pjs over that. She doesn't keep the blankets on....she's a bit of a wild sleeper. My husband and I have found ourselves waking up at night quite warm with the stat on 63. I'm sure we could take it down to 59 or 60 at night if we could keep our little one warm. Any ideas?

Nicki said...

I tried for 58 at night and 60 during the day, which works great for the room the thermostat is in but not for the rest of the apartment. Setting it at 62 means that it is around 57 where the pipes are. I don't want to go much lower than that for fear of freezing the pipes.

RedStateGreen said...

We've been at 58 night and day so far. It's 19 right now outside, 58 inside, and no complaints.

At first the kids did complain first thing in the morning, but I agreed to turn it up to 65 in the mornings (I get up a half hour before they do). I turn it back down once they go to school.

My husband likes it cold, so he's fine with it.

Gina said...

We've kept the heat off entirely until now. With temperatures in the low 40s last night and a *very* poorly insulated house we did put a space heater in our son's bedroom last night set to 60 (the lowest it will go - I think he would be fine at 55). While we dress him in three layers (onesie, long underwear, fleece sleeper) he will not tolerate a hat or sleep sack and is still hit or miss at keeping his blankets on so the extra heat is probably necessary for now.

Otherwise, we're doing just fine with five blankets on our bed, two cats (i.e., bed warmers), lots of soup and baked goods, and sweaters/fleece. My only problem is that I am five months pregnant and I would really love some proper long underwear but I can't find any in maternity!

thetinfoilhatsociety.com said...

It's 56 in the house right now, down from a high of 61; it's in the 40's outside. I have the space heater on in the computer room because that's where I am right now but when I leave it goes off. DH is getting a little freaked out; he walks around in a t shirt and sweats without socks and bitches about being cold! I keep telling him to put some damned clothes on :)!

Lesli said...

I have the two furnaces...the short story is one is essentially off (at 55 degrees) when the other is on (upstairs on at night where the bedrooms are, downstairs on during the day), so, going from the "on" temps, I had pledged a high of 64. Well, I've ended up doing a high of 63, but sometimes as low as 60 during the day if I'm heated up by cooking/cleaning/playing with the kids. I also remember (usually) to turn it much lower if I'll be out longer during the day. At night, I have it set to drop to 62 upstairs from 12am-about 6:45am, then up to 64 briefly for wake-up time. And I'm in the Midwest, where we're looking at the negative wind chills right now. So I'm feeling like we're doing pretty good! Last year the heat was set up to 68/69 for a high, and never near as low as 55 (both were always running to some extent), so this is quite a difference for us.

Wendy said...

So far, we haven't used the furnace at all.

The thermostat is set for 55°, but we've been using the woodstove as our primary heat source, and so the furnace has not kicked on at all.

That said, we were without power for four days, and used the woodstove exclusively.

camelama said...

I've joined the pledge, but as I have a no-temp-listed dial-controlled, in-the-wall electric heater, I can't tell what temps I've got it set to. But I completely disconnected the heater in the bedroom, so my heating bill is 50% less right there! I do have it low enough that I started worrying about the pipes in the bathroom three rooms away - so am keeping the one heater on during the nights while we are in the middle of a record-breaking freeze! Once we're back up in the high 30s, I'll leave it off more. The pipes are wrapped/insulated etc but it freaks me out, really it does. I leave the bathtub faucet dripping a bit so that the water is always moving. (Don't worry, it drips into a bucket, and I use the water for housecleaning and watering plants)

I have lots of blankets on the bed, can see my breath at night, but even if I didn't have all those woolen and space-age-fleece blankets, I would stay toasty because the cat loves to sleep on top of me. :) 10 pounds of hot furry purry happiness keeps me warm!

curiousalexa said...

(suburban chicago)

the upstairs stays around 60F; I'm not sure what downstairs is set at.

We have problems with the upstairs bathroom pipes freezing during cold blasts (pipes run along outside wall and get hit by west winds), so in the past I've pointed a space heater at that wall during extreme weather. I will sometimes use the space heater to pre-heat the bathroom prior to showering as well, but mostly I just try to take showers in the afternoon before sunset.

long underwear came up in conversation last night, and I observed I own 5 pairs, all different weights. I have more long underwear than pants (3)!

still need to put plastic on bedroom window. can't see outside today for the frost.

Kristen@TheFrugalGirl said...

We've been keeping ours at 65 during the day and 63 at night. That's a big adjustment from the 70 we used to keep it at 24/7. I think I could go lower, but my husband would organize a revolt, probably! He's much less tolerant of cold than I am, and 65 is huge stretch for him.

jimbolini23 said...

I've had mine on 55 when I'm home and 50 when I'm out, 'though I turn it up to 60 when my girlfriend stops by. I find it weird that, if I'm busy, 55 feels fine (sometimes t-shirt fine); while other times, I feel f-f-freezing!
I almost always crawl into bed with my hoodie sweatshirt on, then jettison it as the bed warms up.

Condo Blues said...

I have mine set at 58 during the day and it goes up to 62 in the evening and down again after we're in bed. My new habits are paying off - I reduced both my November electric and natural gas usage by 75% in my 1400 sq. ft home http://condo-blues.blogspot.com/2008/12/20-home-utility-reduction-challenge.html. I'm doing the happy dance!!!

Riana Lagarde said...

it's 43 in our house. so cold that you have three layers on and you see that sweater laying on the bed and think hmmm i should put that on too.

we had to turn on the electric wall heater in the baby's room, her room is a blast of hot air when you walk in: 54 degrees. i kid you not. and it's making our electric bill skyrocket just to keep it there.

the only room that is warm is the kitchen were we have a hearth, we just hang out there all day and cook and crack nuts.

at night, we snuggle, use lots of comforters and wear polar fleece hats. the baby has three layers and a polar fleece sack a bebe, she is super warm and cozy.

next year, our dining room fireplace will be built with a system that go into each room to keep everyone warm. dreaming of next year while freezing our buns off this year!

Maya said...

We upped our thermostat a few degrees, so that at night it is 55, not 50. An hour before we wake up the house is brought up to 58, and then we wake up and get the wood stove going. We've been burning less wood, just a fire in the morining and one at night, so the house is around 65 while we're up and around... Ptty training the baby, so we need it warm enough for him to be naked from the waist down! As far as electricity bills go, we use 100% green energy from our provider, live in 1100 sq foot house, and it usually costs between $100 and $130 a month depending on what home projects we're doing (saws, compressors, dehydrators, they all use a lot of extra energy, apparently.) I used to be able to keep it closer to 80 or 90$ but since the price of elecricity went up in the NE last year, this is where our bills find us...The more I cut back on use, the more the price goes up, and so my overall cost stays the same.

Jennie said...

The thermostat has been at 63, and I'm still working on hubby to get it down to 60 at night. I think our bedroom is probably at that, it doesn't heat up as much as the room with the thermostat in it.

Molly said...

We finally broke down during the cold snap and turned our boiler on, but we are still keeping the thermostats at 60, and the woodstove going when we are at home. I got a pair of Sorel sheepskin slippers from Zappos and they make all the difference in the world. If your feet are warm you can stand pretty much anything!

Anonymous said...

We've been doing better than I expected, but we are starting slow, trying to keep the thermostat at 67-68 most of the time when we're home. My husband has claimed he's cold a few times, and has turned it up a couple of degrees. Still, even then, I figure we're below where we kept things in the past (shamefully), and by a couple of degrees. Lately I've been sneaking it down to 66 degrees sometimes, particularly at night. I actually like to sleep in cool temps, and would go lower, but my husband complains of sinus issues if it's too cool...

Jenni in Ohio

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