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Monday, October 19, 2009

Freeze Yer Buns Challenge 2009

Holy smokes! It's nigh time for the third annual Freeze Yer Buns Challenge. The first year we had great participation and last year there were tons of you giving your thermostat the finger, so this year I'm expecting even more frozen crunchy bottoms.

Because of the economic situation, most everyone is tightening up their purse strings, plus heating costs (oil, natural gas and electricity) aren't exactly cheap, so you have even more incentive to hop on board the chapped cheeks express.

This year, as per usual, we'll all share hints and tips for keeping the thermostat low without really freezing our buns off. For those of you who use a form of heating without a thermostat, you are still invited to play. The challenge for you is to use less fuel.

Since I know a lot of you can't commit to as low temperatures as others, it's just fine if you pledge to drop it down one degree or so from where you usually keep it. Even that makes a huge difference. You'll find that, as the winter wears on, you'll be able to drop it lower as you adjust to the new, lower temperatures. So, if you don't want to take the icy plunge, don't feel like you have to drop it 10 degrees right away.

To sign up for the challenge, add a comment to this post and pledge what temperatures you will keep your thermostat. I'm wimping out this year and pledging for 65 day and 58 night. You are more than welcome to meander through the posts from last year's challenge if you want to know what you're in for.

As in the first year, this year's challenge mascot is the Arctic Seal. That roly poly little snow covered baby seal needs our help. Help prevent his extinction by preserving the Arctic environment by using less energy, reducing the amount of CO2 added to the atmosphere and stopping global climate change.

How low can you go?

105 comments:

Just trying to be green said...

Well, the temperature has dropped already, but I haven't turned on the heat, so it's hovering around 62 degrees here. More blankets, and sweaters here. Oh, and playing with the dog to get the metabolism going in the morning.

Green Bean said...

65 in the day, 50 at night. Same ole, same ole.

equa yona(Big Bear) said...

I am trying to keep it at 62 day and whatever "lo" is on my heater at night, around 54. No central heat and it does hit -25 here on occasion so we'll see. It gets damn chilly upstairs without heat.

koolchicken said...

I have the opposite challange here in HI so I suppose I'll play along in my own way. I'll continue to forgo the A/C and remember to turn off the fans when I leave a room.

Dea-chan said...

We've got a solid 55 in my house. As this is pretty damn cold, we've got exceedingly thick curtains everywhere, and have covered walls with fabric and foam to help trap heat. We've also got a ton of blankets, and bought new fuzzy fleece sheets for every bed. Here's to the winter!

Robyn M. said...

We're at 60*F and holding. So far, no worries. Last year we had no problems maintaining this temp until X-mas, when our family came to town and we turned the heat up to 65*F so that we didn't have to endure constant b*tching. After that, going back down was really hard.

The Mom said...

The last few years we've been 65 day and 55 night. This year I'm trying for 62 day and 52 night. Hubby isn't thrilled, but he'll live.

Beany said...

Again I'm going no heat. But this time, I'm in San Diego not Philadelphia, so it should be easy peasy. Besides, our one heater in the dining room is highly ineffective. We do have one electric blanket for emergency needs.

The Raven said...

Count me in. We'll be at 59. Those of you who go lower are braver than I am right now... Good for you!

Things have been so cold this week here (we're trying not to turn on the heat at all yet) that my son has been complaining about practicing the violin since the strings are so cold!

shymom said...

65 by day and off at night (except on those rare freezing nights where it will be at 50 --the lowest it will go).

Michelle said...

I'm in. My thermostats are programmable, bless the gas company. I have them set for 55 from 10 PM - 6 AM, 62 from 6 AM to 10 AM, 60 from 10 AM to 6 PM, 62 from 6 PM to 10 PM. And - I'm so excited about this - I'll be getting a wood stove installed within about a month, after 9 years of planning, plotting, scheming and dreaming. Woo hoo!

A Fancher said...

We're going with the 65 day and 58 night.

Tree Hugging Mama said...

This is a constant source of contention in my house. The two little ones 7 (nearly 8) and 11 run around in t-shirts and undies in the winter and complain they are cold. Two years ago I made each a lovely warm bathrobe.

When I am home the heat is set for 60 (and I boil a pan of water to add moisture) and when I get cold I turn it up to 63. However when I get home from work I often have to turn it down from (gasp) 65 or 68.

We have a smart thermostat (which I have to set again) which allows us to turn it on to 63 about 15 minutes before we all get up. Turn it off 30 minutes before the kids get on the bus for school. Turn it on again 15 minutes before they get home from school. and so on.

At night we set it to 55, but I am willing to turn that down to 50 this year over the course of the winter.

I need to winterize, as its already been cold here. We didn't get all the windows switched out this year. So I am putting up plastic on all the windows and seeking heavy blankets at the Thrift Store to put up behind the curtains to help with the heat.

Billie said...

Our heat hasn't turned on since we switched over to heat. The house is staying 66-70 degrees.

I believe that the furnace should kick on when the house drops to 64 degrees with the theory that we should average 65 degrees in our house. Our thermastat is fairly old so no programming it for day and night temperatures and the dial (not digital) is not really conducive to dialing it up and down for day/night.

Allisone said...

I'm in again - 62 degrees. At the end of last year (our first time, @65) that we could go lower with out problems.

Radioactive Duck said...

I'm going to commit to nothing above 64, which is the current setting after I broke down and turned on the heat for 48 hours. Hopefully I can edge it slowly lower as the winter wears on.

armywife_gnr said...

This will be my first year joining. We just bought this house and it is heated with oil. We live in New Brunswick Canada and our winters get very cold. For the months of OCT NOV and DEC we plan on keeping it at 15-17 degrees. Right now our furnice is not working and it is +5 outside but +13 inside. We have a baby due in Jan so heat will be turned up to approx 17-20 degrees. Last year we held even between 20-25 degrees.

Bureinato said...

Last year I had my thermostat at 55F most of the time, and up to 60F when I was feeling wimpy. I'm going to do the same thing this year.

I have a thick down comforter on my bed. And around the house I wear wool socks, fleece pants, long sleeved T shirt, and a wool shirt. When I'm sitting reading I've got a blanket and a cat on my lap, and when I'm moving around I'm warm enough with all the fleece and wool.

I've been buying mens wool work shirts from the thrift shop, they are a fabulous insulating layer.

Farmer's Daughter said...

I was just wondering this morning when you were going to get this up and running again!

I'm pledging 50 during the day (when we're at work) and 55 when we're home. We'll also have the wood stove going, so it will be more like 60 when we're home.

I keep on waiting for my pregnancy hormones to kick in and make me HOT but that hasn't happened yet!

Aydan said...

My thermostat runs between 72° F and 76° F. As in, if you turn on the thermostat, you can only set it between 72° and 76°. Somehow, I don't think pledging to keep it at 72° would have the desired effect...

I haven't turned it on yet, and it's been cold here. My goal, I guess, since I can't do a temperature thing, is to not turn it on at all until at least November (it's only two weeks, but I decided this a while ago) and then keep it on for as little as possible. I'd like to only run it at night, before I go to bed, but we'll see about the mornings.

eatclosetohome said...

Am I crazy? We keep the thermostat at 63 when we're home in the evenings, and it feels fine. If we use the fireplace instead of gas, it feels cozy at 63...but if we overshoot and the temp gets up over 66 or so, I start feeling *colder* and want to throw more wood on the fire! My theory is I move from heat conservation to heat shedding at that point. Anyone else notice this? Could it be a "selling point" that if you keep your heat at 70, you might actually be more comfortable if you turn it down to 63?

Adrienne said...

This is my first year participating, after moving out of my overheated, furnace-not-controlled-by-me apartment. Let me tell you I have been freezing already. The new apt. has a non-digital thermostat and it's kind of hard to relate what it's set to to what the temperature actually is. At any rate, I'm aiming for 60 at night and when I'm at work (sorry cats), 64ish when I'm home. I started out aiming for 60 all the time but it was too blankin' cold. If my nose is cold, it's too cold, no matter how many clothes I have on. I also have a space heater which I use selectively to warm the room that I'm in.

Katherine said...

We settled on 65 days 60 nights last year so will try for 64 days 59 nights this year to make it a bit more of a challenge.

Of course most of the house is a good ten degrees colder (or more when it's windy) than the thermometer setting, so I'll go lower at night if I can figure out how to get the upstairs as warm as the downstairs and in general if I can get the windows better insulated.

Anonymous said...

We are set for 55 at night and during the day when everyone is at work or school, 62 for 1 hour while getting ready for work, and 60 degrees evenings and weekends. May turn up a little when tempatures go below 0!

Melissa Anderson said...

We have our thermostat set for 61 all the time ,except about 1 hour in the morning when we are getting ready it is set for 62. We've gone down from last year keeping at 62 all the time. I'm sorry to say that we had to turn it on about a week ago when the high was 37. Now it's a little warmer and it's not running so often.

Ori said...

Out on long island here, in New York, our house is heated with oil.

$$$!

So, we've got our thermostat set for 58, and plan to keep it there all winter; day and night.
There's a fireplace in here, but we only burn what we can find; fallen tree branches, and old shipping pallets. Going out to cut wood should warm us up plenty of we need it!

Sarahmeowmeow said...

Last year we kept it at 59 during the day and 57 at night, with the exception of about an hour in the morning when we're nekkid (then we turn it up to 62). I plan on doing the same this year. Also, we haven't turned on the heat yet, even though we've had lows in the 20s. I'm kinda compulsive about not turning it on until Nov. 1 or later if possible. Good luck to everyone!

gylaen said...

We're going to try 62 the day, 57 at night... but it's going to be tough... we've got a 16 year old exchange student from Brazil living with us for the year and she's already amazed at how cold it is!

Lisa Sharp said...

We are having great weather at least for our electric/gas bill. Nothing has been running for about a week. This is very rare in Oklahoma.

We are living with the in-laws right now and my MIL has health issues and is always cold so we can't turn it down as much as we would but we are trying to keep it at 66-67 during the day and 68ish at night (she can't have many blankets on because of pain so can't go colder at night).

When we move it will be kept much colder.

Michelle said...

We have baseboard heaters in our apartment. I have a thermometer on the living room wall and it has to be 65 or lower and we actually have to be cold before I'll turn the heat on. DH turns the heat on in his "office" more often but I've trained him to wear more clothing and turn it on for 30 minutes or less. It doesn't work for us to keep the heaters set where they'll turn on if it gets "too cold" (they'd be on way too much) so we just warm the room(s) up some when needed. The new windows our complex got this year should help a lot.

MichL said...

For those of you who don't have a programmable thermostat, you should consider getting one. Just last week I bought one for $25 at Home Depot and it was really easy to install. It lets me set four different temperatures for each day (morning, daytime, evening, and sleeping). Our old thermostat was really inaccurate, so I was always getting up and down to turn the heat on and off. This way is so much nicer!

Robj98168 said...

Like green beab says same ole same ole. 65 during the hours I am home 55 when not. And Iam having a love affair with the slanket/snuggie.

Robj98168 said...

Like green beab says same ole same ole. 65 during the hours I am home 55 when not. And Iam having a love affair with the slanket/snuggie.

Robj98168 said...

P.S. In difference to Vanessa Farquharson, sleeping naked is not green it is cold babe. Yup robis now not sleeping naked no maore . he wears a t-shirt and flannel lounge pants. Now picture that.

Tree Hugging Mama said...

Tinkered with the thermostat. Its now set to accomodate this years bus schedules. I am hoping this will help in the never ending battle of my trying to save money and rescources, while everyone else doesn't want to be bothered with wearing socks/slippers and a sweatshirt.

Aydan said...

Someone mentioned wanting to insulate their windows. I've been thinking of putting bubble wrap up on one of mine. It is plastic, but most people probably have some lying around. Apparently if you mist the window with water and then put the bubble wrap on, it sticks. This might help reduce heat loss in rooms you don't use as much in the winter, or maybe you use the room but don't need to see out the window.

Michelle said...

We live in MN and did not turn our heat on until nearly December last year, relying instead on our wood buring fire place. It is enclosed and we have vents and fans that pull the air throughout the house. This year I am not feeling cold until the termastat hits 64 or so, but the kids and hubby get there sooner than I. We are well stocked with wood and hope to make it most of the winter without using our gas furnace. I realize that wood still emits nastiness, so we do try to keep it down as low as we can and we generally do not feed the fire at night.

Anonymous said...

I'll pledge to no heat like I did last year. Since we live in Arizona and rely on a/c in the summer so heavily, I think putting on a sweater in the winter is the least I can do. :)
-Melanie in AZ

Kelly said...

I just moved from Hawaii to Northern New York, so there's no guessing what temps I'll be able to withstand this winter. I'll follow along with everyone, though, and see how low I can go!

motheralice said...

I'm in- We started out at 65 and have been slowly lowering by degrees. At 63 now (which is freezing for me so it may take me a bit longer to adjust.) I figure we'll see how low we can get and still be able to function. ;)

Veronica said...

I'm in at 65 degrees. I have a space heater that we use when we feel cold. I also bought a pair of thermal underwear. I'll be warm all winter. :)

RedStateGreen said...

We've had the thermostat at 58 in the winter for the last couple years now. It's not bad. I'm in!

kidk4m said...

Count us in!!
We live in northern Vermont...already have seen mornings in the low 20s :(

6-8am; 4-9pm: 60 degrees
58 degrees the rest of the time.
56 in the bedroom (at the moment, this zone is turned off; currently 58 in there).

Since I'm home all day working on the computer, might have to invest in a portable heater. Hat,fingerless gloves etc. still left me chilled last winter.

Allie said...

Whee! I've been excited for this challenge for a month now. I'm totally in. My pledge is to not turn on the heater at all. Same as I did last year (and I guess it's good, because I no longer even know if our heater works since it hasn't been used in almost 2 years).

We will use the two mini space heaters we have when it's super cold, but mostly will just use sweaters and blankets. Plus we have added a dog to the list of creatures who can help keep the bed warm (now there's a dog and cat).

Allie said...

Oh, I forgot one question: will there be an html cut/paste like w/ other challenges? This is a really cute logo for the challenge.

Cheap Like Me said...

I'm in although we've already had a lotta cold in Denver! We do 64 days (I am working at home) and 58 nights. Thermostat says 68 in the evenings, but the actual air temperature is 64 then. Any lower and my fingers turn blue. :(

We are doing a weekend winterizing challenge at my blog if anybody wants some inspiration/teamwork/how-tos.

Missy said...

Okay the past few years we have participated so why not agian? Except this year we'll be participating in a house thats just had insulation blown into it..so maybe we won't totally freeze!So 58ish when we are home 55 at night.

anisaschell said...

Right now I'm running 66 during the day and 60 at night. I'd go lower but the babe is only 4 months old, yet. We'll probablyy let it creep lower as the winter progresses!

greenspell said...

65 days, 55 nights

Turboglacier said...

Just came across your challenge! We over here at Cold House Journal (in Maine) had the thermostat OFF last winter except for Jan & Feb. This year we are moving to a house with no central heat at all, so no thermostat. We pledge to kiss every log before it goes in the woodstove, and generally adhere to the spirit of the Challenge!

brushfiremedia said...

We generally stick with 62-64 daytime 58 night time. We do have a woodstove that we'll crank up for supplemental if we have a cold snap. We'll keep it the same again this winter. (Locale: Maine)

kaat said...

yeay we're back to Freezing our Buns!

We're in at 59 day and night. When it dips below that, we light the new wood stove, and then it can get quite a bit warmer, but I am getter better at regulating the fire with each lighting!

Anonymous said...

We will stay low, but not as low as last year (60 at night) as we now have a new baby -- he's only one month now -- so we can't go super cold. I think somewhere between 64-66 during the day and night . . . we shall see!

Any advice on going super low with a tiny baby in the house? We swaddle, but I'm not sure how cold would be TOO cold.

Erin

Gracia Fraile Donet said...

It's 80F in my home right now, so it will be a long time before I turn on the heat... However, during summer, we were very good and didn't turn the A/C on until it was over 87F inside (which happened yesterday, by the way)

James said...

My in-laws visited a couple weeks ago, so we had to crank it up to 65F. Thought that stunk... since then, our New Hampshire home has been heat free.

It's 54F in the house now... we'll see how far I can convince my wife to go!

Tanya said...

I think I'm getting wimpy, I don't want to lower it from previous year - which is 14C night /18 C day(about 57/64). The house is also drafty so that's the temps at the thermostat but the uninsulated back room sometimes needs a boost of heat ala space heater.

Jen said...

We're trying to stick with 58 at night and 64 during the day. I don't mind the night temps, but living in a drafty 1920s farmhouse makes 64 feel extra chilly.

Paige said...

Do you consider it cheating if I use my wood stove and wood from naturally felled trees?
I've made a practice every winter to use oil lamps and not lights, and the wood stove for heat, not the heatpump.

GreenieJoy said...

I'm going to try to take part in this challenge! I am always cold and tend to really crank the heat up every year but of course it is not very environmentally friendly. This year I am looking into insulating are windows and bundling up as to not use the heater this year

norapinephrine said...

I'm aiming to keep the thermostat as low as 15C at night and 19C during the day, unless we have guests.

mara said...

We are set at 62 by day, and 58 at night. When we have holiday visitors, we push up to 65, and the kids and I feel uncomfortably hot, but the visitors are still too cold.

A. Moore said...

I'm going to try sneaking the heat down to 65, and 60 at night. The husband complains quite often at 68, so we'll see how this goes.

greeen sheeep said...

We got a new furnace this year and switched from fuel oil to natural gas. Consequently, I am actually turning the thermostat up! Last year we suffered through 55 degrees day and night. This year we settled on 62 day and 50 night. If you average it out, it is only a one degree increase. Right?

Corinne said...

We will be keeping it at 18 at night, and 23 during the day.
Brrr..but we've done for the last two years, so we can do it again.

Vern said...

I'll pledge no heat unless the indoor temp drops below 50. That may only happen 3 or 4 days in a typical Winter. We're on the Texas Gulf coast. The winters are mild and I never heat more than a few days a year. We let the temp drop into the 50's and wear warmer clothes and use more blankets. We have a lot of no-heat days in December and January that are 55-60. No heat is the least I can do to assuage my guilt from the A/C season...

April said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maureen said...

Can we still join??? We'll go with 65 during the day, 55 at night.

K @ Prudent and Practical said...

I'll join! Right now it's 65 during the day and I think 58 at night. Our little dachsie hates it - I think he needs a homemade Snuggie :-) I see quite a few bloggers going under 55 at night. I might try that tonight.

Mark said...

Were in! We live outside of Ithaca NY and we havent turned our heat on yet this year. If it stays this warm we wont have to. I pledge not to turn it to more than 60 but Ill only go that warm when its really cold out (like -20).may

Lauren said...

I am so grateful I've found you all! My peers have made me feel as if I am crazy for keeping the thermostat at 60 degrees throughout the winter months. This has inspired me to try 55 degrees through sleeping hours - wish me luck!

Melissa said...

Well today is our first snow of the season. It is 32 outside but we have not turned on our heat yet. We have a wood burning stove in the basement that we have just started up. We get wood for free from local companies who take down dead trees.

TheGreenestDollar said...

Thanks for organizing this great challenge! I work at home, so I'm shooting for 63 during the day and 59 at night.

James said...

After committing to this, I literally missed it when the furnace broke. See how cold it got before I called the repair man? Check out the link... ;-)

Julie Andrea said...

-12C last night, NO heat on yet in the living room or bedroom, heat in the bathroom set at 22C. A little chilly in bed, put on some fluffy sox and pulled the blankie up a bit higher.

I live in an apt. facing south, and the apts. around me help keep my apt. warm. We don't pay extra for our electric heat, but still .. why waste it?

Hugs, if you want one,
Julie Andrea
(smilin' before the storm in NE Ontario)

Allison said...

I'm in! I live in northern Virginia and haven't turned on the heat yet. When I do, I'll start at 64 during the day when I work from home, 60 at night with the goal of lowering both a degree or two as I acclimate. I have a gas fireplace that I can turn on for a few minutes to take off the chill, but it's been setting off the smoke detector so I need to what's going on before using it again.

Anonymous said...

Our thermostat is always set at 62 because that is what temperature it keeps if the furnace is on and the dial is turned all the way down. We wear dress warmly. Our cats don't much like it but you know it really is healthier for people to keep the thermostat low in the winter than unnaturally high. It is better for your metabolism! People who turn their heat way up and wear shorts in their house in the winter drive me crazy!

Anonymous said...

Just saw the challenge now, on The Greenest Dollar, but think we qualify, we live in west michigan and we have yet to turn our heating system ON!
we have elected to keep it off this season for a number of reasons:
1. we rent a summer house that is leaky as all heck and were hit with HUGE bills when we first moved in, little over a year ago
2. we have access to free wood: we gather dead wood on a friend's property, in a very green way (great way to get outdoors and get some exercise going;-)
3. we figured, we have plenty of warm clothes, that we've already payed for, so we use them! lots of layers, keeps us going!
4. i personally get very congested in a heated area, so when i go to bed, i open a window in the bedroom for the fresh air - what a difference that makes to how i feel in the morning!!!! my head is so much clearer.

sending y'all warm and toasty smiles 8-)

Kathy said...

Woohoo! We plan to keep it at 56 or lower, except for a few rare days when the bathroom temps drop down too low to shower - then we will raise it to 62!

Out thermostat is in our warm kitchen, so this means the bedroom is colder - but that's what carpet, curtains and down comforters are for!!

Erin - when my son was little they had those fleece "sleeper sacks" that covered baby from neck down - pair something like that with a little hat and baby should be fine ;)

cpcable said...

It's my first year to turn it down, so we're starting slow: 65 during the day and 63 at night. So far, so good.

Kristen said...

Hi, I'm new and I love reading this because I've been doing it for years and everyone thinks I'm nuts! I do 60-61 when I'm home and awake, and let it go to 58 when we're sleeping or out of the house.

I also didn't turn on the heat until 12/1, which completely beat my prior record of 11/10. Again...I view using as little heat as possible as a personal challenge ( to my children's chagrin), and it's nice to read a group of people trying for the same goal!

Crunchy Chicken said...

Hey guys,

Are any of you Freezing Yer Buns in the DC, VA, or MD area? I've got an international news correspondent doing a story on my challenge and he wants to talk to you...

Kate in NY said...

We are going for 64 by day and 60 by night. Doesn't sound too challenging compared to some of you, BUT - - - our very old (1837) drafty farmhouse has only one heating zone. So what is 64 in the room with the (one) thermostat is probably more like 58 in the far bedrooms of the house. We've looked into updating, but can't really manage it at the moment. So we just keep it on the low side and bundle up at night.

Kate (one hour north of NYC)

COTAgreen said...

Shooting for 62/60. The 62 during the day is for me as I am recovering at home from foot surgery. After I return to work it will be 60/62/60.

stephanie said...

Just lowered the thermostat 2 degrees, and don't notice a difference. Yay! We live in a drafty old house too, ca. 1850. Sometimes I'll use a space heater, but only when it's super-cold out.

So the thermostat is currently set to 62 day (when I'm home), 67 evening (when hubby's home), and 55 night (when we're under a very warm quilt).

Alissa in KC said...

Between 11pm-6am (sleeping) and 8am-4pm (out of the house at work... I keep it set at 50. It usually will stay warmer than that until its below freezing (like last night- but that is what a down comforter is for, right?) At awake, at home hours, I keep it set between 60-62 and supplement with a space heater if really needed. The basement living area will stay a little warmer and i spend most of the time there. Thermal socks and polar fleece pj's help me stay cozy then.

Anonymous said...

I have also been doing this for many years. I was raised in a big brick house in England where we only had one small heater in one room. All of the bedrooms were cold, so we had warm clothes, lots of blankets, and I loved my hot water bottle. So doing it now at 57years of age is easy for me. I don't need to save money i simply enjoy living like this.

Striving for a Simple Life said...

Just below 60 at night and around 55 when we're at work. If we're home during the day, between 60 and 65.

Ramos Family said...

I have 2 little ones in the house, one being a baby, so I can't set it as low as I would like it. We go with 65 during the day and 59 at night.

CrunchyRie said...

I just stumbled on to this site while researching healthy house temps. This is our first winter in our new house and an energy audit found we have NO insulation. We can't afford to insulate until next year so we are toughing it out. We have a brand new 96% efficiency boiler and brand new baseboards but it kills me to have all that nice heat leaking outside. We are currently set for 59 during the day and 57 at night...my poor birds need thermal underwear LOL...I'd like to go even lower but people think we're trying to kill the kids! The funny thing is that once you get used to this 64 feels too warm..I had to heat to 68 for holiday guests and I was dying.s

Anonymous said...

I have my thermostat set to 60 this year because I have a sick kitty in the house....in years past it was at 55 or 58. The thermostat is behind some curtains on the wall so set at 60, it is usually 55 in the house. You just put on extra layers and a ski hat. I live in Wisconsin.....I usually don't turn the heat on first thing in the fall until it gets to 49 in the house. Do use a space heater when taking a shower...THAT is the hardest to endure--a cold bathroom when getting out of the shower.
It is just mind over matter--and the thrill of paying a lower heating bill!

Claire said...

Wow, we've been participating all this winter and didn't even know it! We started with 55F all the time except during bathtime, when we set it to 62F for a few hours while our hair dries. That was fine through November, furnace hardly came on at all. Once it really got cold in early December, we set the thermostat up to 60F from 5-10pm, let it drop to 50F from 10pm-6am, and set it for 55F from 6am-5pm. Key to making it for me is lots of layers, wool sweaters, long underwear, wool socks and silk sock liners. Also a fleece coat with a hood.

Anonymous said...

us too! we average 55 all the time (right now its acually 60) and are only using a wood stove. refuse to turn natural gas back on and pay the 500 a month heating bill. averaging 100 a month in wood :) using space heaters in the bedrooms since it drops to 48ish overnight and doubling blankets. Working well for us in indiana :)

homebrewlibrarian said...

This is the second year of keeping the heat set low. The building has baseboard radiators using a common natural gas fired boiler for all three units. My thermostat isn't accurate but with other thermometers I've found that the temperature floats between 53 and 55 F. Layers are a must plus I got these FAB boiled wool slippers that paired with ragwool socks keep my feet nice and toasty - as long as I keep moving. Inactivity leads to cold extremeties pretty quickly. I could lay in bed but my hands get cold if I read or knit. Hot water bottles in bed help!

Kerri in AK

Laurel said...

I just read about this in the Times. We're in Crested Butte, CO and very thrifty with our heat. This is our second winter in a row setting the thermostats at 50. We do have a wood stove and some good Southern exposure, so if it's sunny, it can get toasty. I also bake a lot of bread, so the oven helps warm everything up. Keep up the good work everyone!

Anonymous said...

Good morning, everyone! I work for The Weather Channel and LOVE the 58 degree challenge. I'd love to follow this stunt with a quick story on our network's weekend morning show until April. If you're interested in talking to me, email weekendview@weather.com.
Thanks, Weekend View Team

Anonymous said...

Hey everyone. I work for The Weather Channel and love the 58 degree challenge. I want to follow the story on our weekend morning show until April (quick updates each weekend from different people involved in the challenge). If you're interested, email weekendview@weather.com.
Becky

K6 said...

We're in NJ ... it's been lurking around the high 20 to low 40s and I'm finding the comments of temps of 65 degrees quite comical ... No wood stove here folks ... we keep it at 58 during the day and 54 at night. Lovin' the low gas bills and hate the dry air that the heater brings. It gets a little chilly sometimes and my neighbors don't hang out long (lol) but hey ... I'll bet they'd love my bills! Oh - and no air in the summer either - cha ching!

Hank (grew up in Everett, WA) said...

I keep the thermostat at 60 night and day because I don't like it any warmer.

I would like to set it at 50 at night, but my Lennox gas furnace instructions say not to set it below 60. Something about it doesn't run often or long enough below 60 and can cause damage.

ANY COMMENTS????????

Suzanne said...

We live in Oklahoma, and the temps can get close to zero or be in the 60's in the winter. I only turn the heat on for about 10 minutes in the morning when my daughter is getting dressed (in a small bathroom that heats up really fast). The rest of the time, as long as my pipes won't freeze, we rely on scavenged wood I collect for a fireplace insert, and I'm even frugal about how much wood I'll use. We spend many evenings in front of the insert, dress in layers and have adjusted well to our house being anywhere from 45 to 50. Anything above 50 is a heatwave. I never heat the house with wood or furnace when we are not there. I really enjoy reading these posts!

Crunchy Chicken said...

Anyone interested in being interviewed about this challenge and you live in the DC/Baltimore/Philly area? Let me know!

----------
"I'm a producer for France 2 TV's United States bureau in Washington, DC and I enjoyed reading about the Freeze Yer Buns challenge that you created in the New York Times.

We're planning on doing a TV story on environmentally-conscious like you who lower their thermostat to the max. in the Winter, but unfortunately, we won't be able to go to Washington state in the near future.

I was wondering if you have friends or "fellow-crunchies" in or around Washington, DC or Baltimore, Philly even whom you could recommend for an interview? Ideally, we're looking for participants to your challenge!"

Liza said...

I somehow came across this site while reading an article and it peaked my curiousity as I sit here in a tank top while my thermostat is at a constant 62. And yes, I have a second thermometer to verify that it truly is 62. It is amazing what the body can get used to if the mind is willing! :)

cheryl said...

By choice I, also have my heat down real low. During the day it's at 62. And at night I keep it around 58. I've done this now for the last 3 yrs. It's to the point now where I don't even notice that it's this low when I get up in the morning. I've gotten used to it. I have a down comforter that I use for my bed and I have 2 dogs that sleep in bed wiht me and keep me warm. I have a fan over my bed and just about every night I get so hot under the covers that I have to turn on the fan.

cheryl said...

FYI: I live in Rochester NY and it's been below 20 for many a day here. And even though I have my heat down so low.....my gas and electric bill for this month is $276. And I've got a 95% efficient heating system in my house. Now I'm going to train myself to see in the dark!!!

The Meat Locker said...

We live in Michigan, keep the thermostat at 57. Friends refer to our house as the meat locker. We love it and are used to it after dialing down for the last few years. I have a couple pairs of thin polarfleece gloves I cut the tips off. I use these if my hands get cold, work great for computer work. Electric blanket on the bed, turn on for 5-10 minutes just to warm it, do not leave on. Lots of blankets and wool. Shearling slippers with socks are the best. We do turn up the thermostat slightly to the low 60's if friends come over. Most know to bundle up if coming to our house! We feel better in a cooler house. growing up My mom never turned the thermostat past 65, and down to 60 at night. We are now so accustomed to this temp it is hard to go to a house that is 70 degrees. And it just seems SO wasteful when we are there, hard not to speak up and ask WHY so hot in here? Fortunately my office is fairly cool. Most of my co-workers have small heaters under their desk though. 57 seems to be the magic number for us! I think it is better for your health, saves money, and is not wasteful.

Anonymous said...

Goodness, I wish this was an option for me. Unfortunately, I live in a rather old apartment and it's been suggested that we keep our thermostats at about 70 in the winter to keep the pipes from freezing. I know it seems outlandishly high given your commitment of 50-60, but the pipes are along the walls and mighty quick to freeze. Having had the building furnace cut out when it was -40something (-50f) without wind chill, I just wouldn't want to risk having that happen in addition to heaps of damage.

But the second it starts to warm up the heat is getting turned way way down.

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