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Monday, October 18, 2010

Freeze Yer Buns Challenge 2010

I can't believe it's already time for the fourth annual Freeze Yer Buns Challenge. I also can't believe it's my fourth year of hosting this crazy challenge. Yesterday was the first day that I turned the heat on in the house as the outside temperature was in the upper 30s and our living temperature was about 58 degrees.

Upping the ante
This year I'm going to be offering some really awesome giveaways for participants of the challenge, so you have something new and exciting to look forward to besides freezing buns and chapped cheeks. So make sure you officially sign up even if you've always just followed along in the past.

The first year we had great participation and last year there were tons of you giving your thermostat the finger. As a result, the challenge got a lot of press, so this year I'm expecting even more frozen crunchy bottoms.

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.

How it works
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.

Pledge to Freeze Yer Buns
To sign up for the challenge, add a comment to this post and pledge what temperatures you will keep your thermostat. This year we're going to try to go a little lower and so I'm pledging for 62 day and 55 night. You are more than welcome to meander through the posts from previous year's challenges if you want to know what you're in for.

As in the first and last 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?

187 comments:

Katy @ The Non-Consumer Advocate said...

You and I are on the same wavelength. I just posted my "No Heat Challenge" just yesterday on The Non-Consumer Advocate.

http://thenonconsumeradvocate.com/2010/10/no-heat-challenge-2010/

Maybe we can share another National Enquirer article again this year. I do have to say that was funny.

Katy Wolk-Stanley
"Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without"

Hippy Goodwife said...

Well, I have held off so far and it has been bloody cold in here! we aim for 64 during the day, 60 at night. bbrrr.....

Robj98168 said...

Geeze another year of frozen rump...
Ok I think I will do as last year, 55 night and not at home, 65 when at home, and bring out the sweats and snuggler blankets to survive. And as always, make the disclaimer: I reserve the right to heat the house when the forseable cold/flu/pnuemonia strikes.

mali said...

We've been "freeze yer buns" advocates in our household for years, all on our own! We are a 60 daytime, 55 nighttime household now, after adding the pellet insert last year. Prior to that, we were 62/58. We're firm believers in down duvets, wool socks, sweaters, shawls, and my kids know to grab a fleece blanket from the pile when they sit down in the family room.

GeekGirl said...

I will just have to observe and cheer you guys on. I don't even have a heater. (I live in South Florida.)

Sending you guys warmth from down south!

Tracey said...

We're in. We keep our thermostat at 53-55 all winter. In all fairness, we primarily heat with wood so we will still be warmer than that at least on our first floor. Upstairs on the other hand gets quite chilly. We are buying insulated curtains to help keep the chill out and we've insulated the crap out of the house which of course makes a huge difference.

Two Flights Down said...

I don't really have a thermostat. At the moment, I'm in a teeny, tiny studio apartment with no central heating--just a small oil heater. I do have a thermometer, though, so I can see how warm it is.

I'll keep the room around 64 during the day and when I'm at home. At night, I'll turn it down to around 55 (or turn it off, depending on the weather outside).

Aydan said...

Hmmm. Last year I didn't use the heat except for the night I had the flu. However, I moved into a new apartment, and it's kind of drafty... I guess I will go for 62° F daytime/57° F nighttime if I need it, but go for keeping it off completely as much as I can.

Brad K. said...

I am shooting for 61 day/59 night to start with. Once I turn off the a/c. We are still getting 80 degree days here in northern Oklahoma, and it has been weeks since the a/c ran (set on 88 this summer).

I just haven't decided whether to light off the water heater this winter. It has been a year and a half. Lots of sponge baths. The propane went dramatically further last year. But there were a *lot* of sponge baths.

Simply Green said...

Alright, so it seems that the heater/thermostat is working this year.

So I'll pledge to keep the heat off in the night, 15 (celcius) during the day, and 18(celcius) when we're at home.

That may change, but we'll start there.

Looking forward to this!

historicstitcher said...

I'm in!

last year I kept the house at 55F say and night, except for rare, temperate visitors. I plan to do the same this year, despite the fact that I have an exchange student living with us. (She has no real excuse to complain - she's from northern Russia, IN the Arctic Circle!)

Lisa said...

We're in again this year. I still insist these temps feel different depending on what the outside thermometer says (and we live in WI), but inside we'll go 62 when home and 57 overnight.

We manage with more layers and hats, really great down comforters, and a wood pellet stove in the only room we really keep warm.

We'll have to turn the furnace up (not past 67 or I roast) when we have guests or I'll have to weather their complaints they should have brought that side of beef to hang during their visit...

shortystylee said...

I'll participate but I'm not sure of my temperatures yet! We weren't in this apartment last winter so I'm not sure of how much heating will be needed. We haven't turned our heat on so far and I haven't seen the temp on the thermostat go below 67F yet, despite many low 40s nights. We have neighbors above and left of us, so I hope we'll get lucky and warm without much actual effort.

The Mom said...

We'll probably continue at 65 day and 55 at night. If I can convince Hubby, we may go lower. I'd like to do 62/52.

Krista said...

I live in the South, so my goal is to not turn the heat on until the temp in the house is below 65. - Probably late December/early January. Then we will keep it set to 65 around the clock, because my thin southern blood can't handle lower! (When we lived in Michigan we kept it on 57 at night and 60 during the day.)

Anonymous said...

I'm in! We usually do this anyway, but it's nice to have another "reason" behind it other then torturing ourselves. :) We are a 62 during the day and 58 at night kind of family . . we'll see if we can go lower though!
heidi b.

Michelle said...

I'm in. We're programmed for 53 overnight and 60 between 5:30 AM and 9:30 PM. I found a down comforter at the Goodwill for 18 bucks! We've got rice filled warmy packs for bedtimes and wooly sweaters for when we're up and about.

Anna said...

You turned your heat on before a Minnesotan! J/K I'm sure the houses out there don't hold heat as well. It's currently 38 degrees F outside and 66 in.

I think I kept things at 67 and 60 last year. And will try to make it 65 and 60. I am a freeze baby and my husband and boys are like furnaces. So we'll see how it goes.

Also it's not really fair because my husband will get the wood stove burning and it will be 90 in the kitchen/dining and 50 upstairs. Our house is horrible, but we're building a new one!

Maria said...

We recently lowered our thermostat to 67 from 68. I'll lower it one more to 66 during the day and I'll think about what to do at night. My youngest daughter is 17 months and changing a diaper is hard when you have to peel off 8 layers of clothing first. I also need to make sure my girls (my other one is 3 1/2) are warm enough to sleep well - sleep deprived toddlers are a bad thing.
If everyone happily adjusts to 66, then I'll lower it again.

Adrienne said...

I'll be keeping the thermostat about 62 again this year... actual temperature is usually colder due to poorly sealed windows. =/ I don't turn it down at night, that's plenty cold enough.

Maria said...

We are up for the Challenge this year too! 58 at night and when we are at work, 65 on the weekends. We have to put it up a little if my grandmother comes over, though. We haven't turned it on at all yet and will hold off as long as we can.

Rebecca said...

I've been an observer in the past, but never signed up. This year it's official!

I'm in central Arkansas and have managed to keep the heat/air off for the past 6 weeks or so because we've had a nice fall, but I'm sure the cold is on it's way. I'll pledge 65 during the day and 58 at night. I have a mutt who wasn't blessed with a very thick coat. Any lower than that and she starts to shiver.

Jennifer said...

I'm right there with you:

http://fastcheapandgood.blogspot.com/2010/08/fall-thermostat-challenge.html

Since Labor Day, I have gone 591 hours (24.63 days) without whole-house AC or heat. You can see my challenge parameters in the link above.

For the record, last year I kept the whole-house heat at 63 during the day and 55-57 at night (space heaters allowed), and I'll probably do so again this year. That seems to be the lowest I can go without weeping pitiously and letting the tears dry on my cheeks!

Sue said...

I am in, 60 day, heater off at night unless there is a blizzard, then I reserve the right to 55 at night. And we havent run the ac or heat since July 15th.

Dea-chan said...

I am in! We still haven't turned our heat ON, but I feel it'll be almost too easy for us in a way, as we're on the third floor of a really insulated building -- we're just gonna steal heat from my LL below us! :-P

I'm aiming for 62-65.

Aimee said...

Okay, I'm in.
daytime 64
nighttime 60

Annie said...

I would love to participate in this challenge! However, we don't even turn the heater on until December and even then, it's not on every day.

Lizzie Bordello said...

I'm starting out trying 62 during the day, 58 at night. I'd like to drop it down even a little more at night, but I worry about my dog - he's a Greyhound with no body fat to insulate him, and he gets cold very easily. I don't want him to freeze his buns TOO much!! :)

Whitney said...

Our goal here is to not turn the heat on until the temps are consistently 66 or less.And then we'll hold the house at 65 to 66. Thats about 7 degrees less than previous years.

Billie said...

Since my ex and I fought over the thermostat last year, I am going to try for the same temperature every day (last year I would find it higher)... 65 degrees.

So far... it has actually been COLDER than that! Our heat hasn't been turned on yet and several mornings I have woken up to 62 degrees in the house! I have to say that is a bit cold in the house and colder than I want to see it day in and day out.

swiggett said...

I'll try to keep it below 70, with a goal of keeping it closer to below 65 by the end of the winter. We bought our first home in April, and are learning how un-insulated it is. It also has a wood-burning stove in the fireplace, so we will look into cleaning/using that (and hopefully knocking a few degrees off the thermostat, as well!)

Anonymous said...

I am in. I have watched and unofficially participated in the past - but 56 all the time is the goal. However, if we get snowed in like last year (D.C. area) the temp goes up in case the power goes out.

Kristin L said...

I'm in! I'll start with 65 for the evening and weekends and 55 the rest of the time.

Since I'm currently and home most of the day, I will likely set the house to 60 during the day and keep a small heater in my office instead of heating the whole house.

Surviving and thriving on pennies said...

I'm in!!!!! This year we plan on using our fireplace most the time. This means no heat during the say unless we have things to do and cannot keep the fire going. At night our thermostat will be at 59 (last year it was 60). I'm excited to do it this year because last year I stumbled upon this challenge late. Going to hit goodwill today to find sweatshirts, sweaters and thick socks. Yeah!

Jennie said...

Anybody got recommendations from quality sources about toddlers and winter temperatures?
I'm convinced our healhty little 1.5 year old can handle 62-65 daytime, specially with long sleeves, socks, etc. Hubby is sure such a temp range would be the death of baby boy.

Kristijoy said...

I'm in. Last year in our new place we kept the furnace at 55. space heater in the bedroom for pre-bedtime and mornings.

Might be able to go lower this year. Right now we're seeing how long till we actually turn it on. Nighttime lows in Portland right now are in the 40's.

Anna Clark (and occasionally Casey Hook) said...

It got done to 53 degrees here the other night, and I did turn on the furnace for the first time. We went through the entire summer with out a/c, and I want to see how far through the winter we can make it with out the furnace.

I won't heat the house unless it gets below 55 inside. I'm the only one home during the day, and I stay active enough that I don't need the heat. At night, well, we can cuddle.

Laura said...

Last year we did 58(day), 52(night) basically. We just agreed to try for 55(day), 50(night). We haven't turned on the heat yet at all. Maybe we are more ready for 50 than we think, I didn't feel the 30 you say we had a bit ago. I will soon put up the plastic shrinkwrap stuff on many of our windows. Our house is a giant piece of Swiss cheese and it helps keep out the humidity.

On the list to sew: comphy warm pants for David, gloves/mittens and maybe another hat. :)

Debra said...

62 day and 55 night sounds great. The rest of the family might complain a bit at first, though...

gylaen said...

We're shooting for 62 during the day, 58 at night. Last year we ended up spending more time @ 64, and I suspect we'll be doing the same this year. We host exchange students. Last year's was from Brazil, this year's from Pakistan... Autumn is cold for them..

Jonalynn said...

This is my first year so my goal is 65 day and 60@night. Hopefully, we can work down to 55 @ night.

The Gringa said...

I have been waging a similar challenge with two friends. Last year, I had an edge because I was in an apartment building and able to mooch heat off what came through walls. Now, all three of us are homeowners and the playing field has leveled. My heavy blankets are ready and I have a new, thick hat to wear. I am not touching the thermostat until inside temperatures dip below 55, and then I will just try to maintain that temperature.

equa yona(Big Bear) said...

It is 64 in here right now, but the back porch captures a lot of heat when it is sunny.
Anyway, I'm in 54 or less at night, 62 or so daytime.

April said...

I will do 62 daytime/evenings when home, 55 nighttime & when not home.

owlfan said...

I'm in again. I will try to lower the temp at night a bit more. Last year, I think I went for 58 at night, I'll try 57 this year. I'll make good use of the programmable thermostat during the day - up to 61 about 15 minutes before DH gets up (the blowing heat makes it reasonably comfortable while everyone gets up and going), then usually about 63 around lunchtime - I'm home, but generally active or gone in the morning, but after lunch is usually computer time. Then evening it goes up to 64/65 for homework/reading/quiet time. I have it programmed to turn down at 10pm - if you get cold at that point, its time to go to bed!

Condo Blues said...

I live in Ohio and won't turn on the heat until the outside temperature is 40 degrees or lower.

I pledge 58 degrees during the day. I work at home, fortunately my computer keeps me warm - for real.

Tristin said...

I'm in. I switched all my heaters off at the breaker a couple of days ago. Lows are already in the 30s. I'm going to try for no heat use. I'm in an apartment with a central water heater with a circulation pump, so I'm not too worried about my pipes freezing. My power bill last month was $5, and I was at home the entire month. I'm hoping to keep my bill that low for the entire year.

Digginout said...

Being cheap I have already placed limits on the thermostat at our house. Well technically I have allowed the heat to be turned on twice this fall. Our indoor temps have been hovering around 59 for days. I told our teenager that when she gets a job and pays the utility bill she will be free to crank it up as high as she likes. For now it's all about layers and warming up when we jump in the car to run errands.

Mrs Mallard said...

We are committing to no higher than 68 during the day and 65 at night. Lower would be fun, but we have a toddler who has not yet mastered the art of keeping the blankets on at night and we have to make sure she doesn't turn into a frozen pudding pop.

Natalie said...

It's still in the 90s here! Do we even live in the same country? =P

How do northerners survive the winter if it starts so early in October? I would fail this challenge if I lived farther north.

Good luck, everyone.

Hazel said...

I'm in!

I've no idea what our thermostat reading is, as it is helpfully graded in numbers rather than in temperature readings, but we have to have a furry fleece blanket on standby when my mum visits as our house is 'so cold'...

We keep the heating off as long as possible- lighting the woodburner in the evenings makes a big difference to that, as it's sitting in the evening when we get chilly.
I almost made it to December last year, but DH caved (we do alternately turn the thermostat up and down as we walk past!) Our central heating runs on oil, which means you can see it disappearing from the tank as you use it. This is a good incentive for DH who would wear a t-shirt all year round otherwise.
Re: toddlers and the cold. Ours used to wear fleecey all in ones so there was no gap between top/bottoms etc to get chilly.
My MIL says DH went to bed in a hat some nights when it was cold and I remember my bedroom being so cold there was ice on the inside of the window when I woke up. It would have been like that when I was a baby/toddler as neither of us had central heating until we were teenagers.
As long as they're dressed properly, they'll be fine- millions of babies around the world have lived and thrived in colder temperatures, I figure. Sorry, I don't think I count as a reliable source of information though!

Gloria said...

Count me in - 64 or less during the day; 58 at night.

PristineSenis said...

Was surfing the 'net and came across this interesting challenge; my boyfriend and I have actually participated the past two years, unknowingly!

We live in a mobile home, which has electric central air conditioning but a gas heater. The gas heater was costing us a fortune, and we decided since we lived in Florida (even if it's north Florida), we should be able to handle a winter without any heat.

This coming winter will actually be our third without any heat. We try to keep use of the space heaters to a minimum (central electric heat is actually probably more economical than trying to run a space heater or two for hours on end, they get expensive!), bundle up, have blankets in every room of the house, and I especially love tossing my clothes in the dryer for a minute or two in the mornings so I can jump into warm clothes from my shower. The only downside we've experienced is humidity... you can't leave much lying around or it WILL get wet. Like the meringues I attempted to make around Christmas... yeah, those didn't work out.

Not really looking forward to another winter of this, but don't really have a choice. It's nice knowing we're not alone, at least!

simply_complicated said...

well, though my heat is technically 'on', it hasn't kicked in yet, even with the frost in the mornings. i've always been a fan of freezing my buns, even before i read this blog... we aim for 17C daytime, and 15C nighttime, with no adjustment on thermostat (the sun provides daytime heat). Gotta love me my wool socks and long undies!

ruchi said...

I suspect we will suck at this challenge but we'll give it a try.

I'm not sure our thermostat even works correctly, so I think we'll aim to keep it off as much as we can. We should be able to keep it off during the night almost the whole winter (except perhaps for a few days here and there). During the day it sort of depends on if I'm working from home or not. I have to be honest, I am just not productive if I'm freezing. But maybe we will try to keep it to 68, and off if we're not around.

Question: Is a space heater more energy efficient?

Anonymous said...

I'm in! I haven't run my heat in 2 years - something easy to do here in the desert southwest. Put a sweater on, dang it! You don't have to wear shorts in January! :) Some people just don't get it...
-Melanie in AZ

pinchofthis said...

We live in Southern Wisconsin and last year we kept the house at 60 degrees all winter.
I'm wondering if we could turn it down at night/during the day when we're at work. The only thing is that it doesn't seem right to heat it up just for that hour or so in the AM while we're getting ready for work, but it's SO cold then....
How do other people handle this?

Erin said...

63 during the day (only when we are home) and 50 at night

I live in Portland, OR and am trying to hold off on turning on the heat until November, only 2 more weeks to go! It's getting hard though, the weather out side has been 39 or so the last few mornings and the house has hovered around 58 - 62 all day long....brrrs!

K said...

I'm going to try not to turn the heat on at all, but if I do I'll keep it to 62 day/55 night.

Laura said...

I've always felt it weird to sign up for the challenge since I never turn on the heat for winter (nor use AC during the summer). I know I mostly get away with it in that I live in sunny San Diego, CA. However, it does get cold here (and hot in the summers). So since I've been following this challenge for a few years now and you said in your post to just sign up if we've been following along, okay, I'll sign up.

Anna Clark (and occasionally Casey Hook) said...

A very small comment, but I feel like sharing.

Last night is was down to 52 degrees in the house, and I burnt a stove full of paper, and it heated the whole house up to 64 degrees in less than an hour! (with the help of the furnace fan, but with out the furnace actually heating anything)

I was amazed- I guess my house isn't as leaky as I thought

Katey said...

We are 'supposed' to have a 'bad' winter again this year in northern Idaho....I will pledge 68 by day, 63 by night....the problem is our thermostat is upstairs so the downstairs is a good 5degrees cooler all the time...great in summer, not so much in winter.

Melissa Anderson said...

This will be my 3rd year participating. Last year 62 all the time. This year we will try for 62 daytime and 60 nighttime.

Green Bean said...

I'm in . . . kind of. We're in a new house and its already freezing - even though it is 75 degrees out! I shudder to think of what it will be like in the middle of February though we did weather the few heat spells quite well. We're going to try to see if we can do 65 here. That's what we did in the old place but for some reason, it feels a lot colder here.

Spidergrrl said...

We're in! We will keep it below 70 degrees. We have a timer on the thermostat so we will run it in the morning for an hour while we bathe and dress then off until the evening. Then we'll run it from 5 PM to 9PM. Posibly less if I'm baking something in the oven because that heats the front room a bit.

Leevelyn said...

Goal: 62 day and 55 at night. More than anything else, I need to install a programmable thermostat.

Aly said...

Delurking to say my family and I are in again this year. We'll shoot for 63 during the day and 62 at night. As strongly as I respond to cold that's a pretty big deal for me, my guys probably wouldn't be pressed if we let it go lower. I'm just not that badass yet. Haven't had the furnace on yet this year and am hoping to leave it off till the beginning of November.

dc said...

Hopefully this won't be the third in a row coldest winter anyone can remember. We always turn our heat down to 50-55 at night and have the vent closed in our bedroom. I guess we'll shot for 60-65 during the day (it's not a digital thermostat.) I'm also buying a small space heater to warm the bathroom up before showers.

Thus far we haven't turned on our furnace, unheard of here in CO but we just had our first light frost one month late!

Carolina said...

I'm in. I HATE this challenge. I can sweat my buns off with the best of them and I haven't used my dryer at ALL for your hang 'em dry challenge but being cold makes me CRANKY. Regardless, I'm in. :)

65 day, 55 night.

Jennie said...

Thanks Hazel, I'll count you as reputable information.
My MIL ended up saying the same thing. Dress the kid in layers, footie pjs, hats etc.

Bureinato said...

Last year I had my place at 55F at night & at work, and 60F when I'm home & up. Going to do that again.

Nijaau said...

I'm in. I'll aim for 62 F during the day and around 57 F at night. I may have to turn it up if any guests or family come. My mom already thinks I'm nuts for air-drying my laundry, so why not go all the way? :)

Lesli said...

We've been 63 day/55 night for several years now. I'll aim to knock a degree off of that this year, so it'll be 62/54. Maybe if I don't tell anyone they won't even notice.

Elizabeth said...

I read my husband this post and he said, "Those people are insane!" and we laughed because our house is about 68' tops (unless it's well below freezing and then we may not get to 60) with a wood stove (the furnace is not working -long story) but we are not doing this by choice. We are total wimps and would have the house toasty warm at all times if we could!(we are very eco-friendly other than that, really!) He sits at a desk at home all day and feels like a sno cone. I work in a very warm commercial kitchen much of the week so it's not as bad for me. The Challenge is just miserable reality for us.

Kristina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristina said...

We're in. I'll keep the thermostat at 55 at night, and 65 during the day. I'll probably end up hibernating in the living room, where we have a fire place. I hate the cold. Oh well.

Beany said...

Count me in! I live in San Diego and don't actually have a heater (but we do have a cosmetic fireplace that doesn't do anything). For really chilly nights, it will be the hot water bottle and snuggling with my husband who is my personal, living, breathing hot water bottle.

Christine F. said...

This year we will keep the house @ 62 during the day and 55 at night. We will try to hold off as long as possible before lighting the pilot on the furnace for the lower level heat. We did end up caving and firing up the Rinnai furnace upstairs last week. We were trying to hold off until Nov 1, but it was just so miserable being in the 50's all day and night in the bedrooms that we caved. We also use a wood stove frequently in the thick of winter when it is often below zero here (we are in NH) so we will try to burn more conservatively this season and turn the thermostat down to 55 when we are using the wood stove.

Jenni- I"m not an "expert" but I do know that my two daughters, now 3 and 6yrs old, survived as newborns in a house that was often in the 50's. My own childhood was a chilly one as well, my father was very stingy with the heat and I think I am the better for it ;) Layers and fleecy sleep sacks are key.

Anonymous said...

I pledge to keep mine at 67 to 68 since last year we kept it around 68 to 69 and at night 60! I will try to get it lower but we live in an older home that isn't really energy efficient and new windows and siding aren't in the budget right now:)


Kim In WV

Sherry said...

I'm in for 62 during the day and 55 at night. Here in South Jersey it hasn't gotten too cold yet so I'm feeling brave. Tune may change in December...

Sonja said...

Oh Wow,
I admire everybody who does this!

I actually turned the temperature in my room up during the last winter - once had a kind of inflammation in a bone of the hand, and now it always reacts with pain when it gets cold - I work/study a lot at my desk, and handmittens just don't work for the typing.
:-(

~ Sonja

Hoggit said...

Hi, have been doing this in UK for a couple of years, reducing our thermostat yearly and training family to opt for cardigans and blankets. Currently I am aiming for 17.5C during daytime and 13C at night.

Good luck everyone!

Farmer's Daughter said...

I'm in! I'm going to pledge for 55 when we're not home and 65 when we are (which is nights and weekends). It's a little warmer than in the past, but we've got our baby this year!

He sleeps in the middle, so we may be able to go even lower at night. We'll see. Glad to participate again!

Lane' Richards said...

I'm going to try this... this is our FIRST year with a brand new energy efficient furnace and no more space heaters! We're excited but still experimenting with what temperatures work best.

I'm also at home all the time and notice even 68 is somewhat cool (with brand new windows). While I can stay warm with blankets, my hands get cold.

55 at night (when we're sleeping) is not a problem since I have a cozy down comforter.

So, I'll say 68 when we're here, 55 while sleeping and 60 when no one is here (we have 4 settings on our programmable thermostat).

Janelle Sorensen said...

I'm talking with my husband right now and we're going to shoot for 65 during the day and 55 at night. I think we can do it. Thanks for inspiring the challenge!

Cindy said...

Just found this site when I was surfing the web and found it quite interesting. We have been participating (unknowingly) since 1993 when we bought the current house we are in. It was all electric and the spin of the meter freaked us out. We put in a fireplace insert, blew a massive amount of insulation in the attic, and I don't think we have turned on any heat but once or twice since. (turned out we had a bad meter) We run ceiling fans that circulate the heat throughout the house. It takes loading the wood stove in the morning and in the evening. In case of really rough weather we may load it a third time. But it takes care of us. Last year we were snow covered over 2 months. The key is good insulation and windows and an efficient stove.

DK said...

This will be my first year participating. I'm going to aim for 65-68 day and 60-62 night. Of course this means that I have to remember to lower it at night as I don't have one of those nice programmable thermostats. I'll probably go lower as we get used to the temps, but it kinda depends on the birds as once of them is very old for a bird and half-naked from past feather-plucking. I may set up a space heater for the room they're in and keep it closed off from the rest of the house. Running a space heater in one room (that has a heating vent and would be getting heat whenever it kicks on for the rest of the house) would be better than heating the entire house, right?

Claire said...

I'm in! We'll pledge to do what we did last year: 55F from 6am-5pm, 60F from 5pm-10pm, 50F at night. We should use less fuel and be more comfortable at these temps than last year because our south-facing front porch is being glassed-in and so will catch some free solar heat for us.

LauriNotLori said...

We're in! This is going to be tough with 5 little ones. We will start with 68 during the day (normally at 72) and 62 at night (normally 72). As you can see from my normal temps, I need to take baby steps as I am used to being warm!

coldhousejournal.com said...

We don't have a thermostat, or a furnace, so we can't pledge to any particular temperatures-- but it's safe to say we're in on the FYB Challenge here in Maine! We've had one small wood fire so far. Indoors has been hovering around 55-59º lately; 30º outside, 52º inside this morning. We're warming up with coffee and french toast : )

gailmom said...

I suffer from fibromyalgia so cold hurts quite a bit, but I'm also a big ole treehugger so...I aim for 68 during the day (about 10 degrees less than comfortable) and drop it to 64 at night. If as the season wears on I can go lower, I will. Summers we inch up degrees until we are at 86 in the day and 82 at night, so I'm sure we can inch a bit in the winter too, it's all in what you are used to! :)

Sarah said...

Sign me up - I won't pledge to a certain temperature since I don't plan to turn the heater on (I live in the AZ desert).

Rachel said...

In the winter we keep our thermostat at 60 at home when we're awake and at 55 when not at home or sleeping. We use featherbeds and a heated mattress pad at night, plus new windows actually make 60 feel quite comfy. We typically use a small electric space heater in the bathrooms for about 20 min/day when showering. We try to use our wood-burning fireplace as well and invested in new fireplace doors for better efficiency when we burn. People think I'm crazy but I like my low utility bills!

I also have to say I kept whining about wanting a programmable thermostat... and then took a closer look at mine a few years ago and discovered I already had one from the previous owners! A quick internet search of the model gave me the detailed instructions for programming it. That's a lifesaver!

Corinne said...

We are keeping ours at 68 during the day and 54 at night

Angie said...

I'm in again this year - though as of right now my hubby and I are trying to keep the AC off still. ha! Hoping not to turn on the heat until end of Nov / Dec. :)

Leslie said...

I'm in! I did it last year as a lurker but decided to sign up this year. I have the thermostat set at 59 right now (it snowed here in Colorado today) and plan to maybe inch it up to 61 if there are too many complaints!

DramaMama said...

This will be at least our 3rd year officially signing up. We keep it at 65* during the day and 58* at night. And we live in southern WI near the lake! I am thinking of actually trying to keep it at 64* since I am the only one home, but we will see. This is the first year I will have no kids home for most of the day. In the past, I have felt bad for them and set it at 66*, which doesn't sound like much but it was enough to notice a difference. Anyway - looking forward to tips on keeping the house warm =)

Stephanie - Green SAHM said...

We'll be giving it a try. I hope my husband's office stays as cold as he was grumbling about all summer. 100 degree F days he was wearing sweaters at work and complaining of cold fingers because his side of the office gets so cold from the AC. If that holds true for winter, I'll have more luck turning the thermostat down for winter because he's well adapted to cold. Had lots of trouble turning the temps up to keep the AC off during the summer because he couldn't take the heat.

I'll be dropping the temps bit by bit to figure out our balance this year. 68 is already our max, not sure what it's set to for overnight, other than it doesn't tend to turn on then anyhow.

Kitty said...

I love the cold weather, so this really won't be a hard challenge. Of course I live in the Sacramento valley where the weather stays around 50s during the day and low 40s to 30s at night.

Anonymous said...

Count me in! I plan to keep my thermostat at 60-62 during the day and turn it off during the night. Last year we rarely turned up the themostat past 60, but this will be the first year I will try going WITHOUT at night, but I have a new down blanket that should help!
My only concern is what to do when we have company...
Shannon

Tracy said...

Living in North Central Washington can get super cold in the winter but we try to keep it at 64 during the day and 57 or so at night. We actually sleep better if it's cooler at night so that part is easy! Am I entered in the contest by simply posting this comment?

Yart said...

I will pledge to do 62 during the day and 58 at night... But I won't turn the heat on until it gets down to the 30's as a constant. Right now it is only going to the 40's at night and 60's during the day. Last year I had to turn the heat on by Oct. 11th, so we are already doing better.

Diane said...

We've been keeping the house at about 63 during the day and 55 at night on average. We don't have a furnace or a thermostat and heat with wood. So far we have a "one load" fire in the mornings and then in the evenings we stoke up the stove for several hours. This works well when it's sunny, but a little extra burning might be needed when we lose the solar assist.

Lisa said...

This will be the second winter my family has joined the challenge. I must say, we are much more tolerant of the cooler temps than we were the first few months. We do not turn the heat on at night and have it set at 60 when we are home during the day/evening (warmer when guests are in our home). Dressing in layers is the key.

Barbara said...

We have always kept our thermostat relatively low, but I love a challenge so I'm jumping into the 'Freeze Yer Buns Challenge'! We are going to keep the main living level at 62 during the day and 58 at night. The other levels will be set to 55 unless we plan to spend time on those levels and then we'll revert to the main living level temperature. We'll turn the bedrooms up to 60 at night. Sounds confusing but I think we'll manage.

Peace!

Sisley said...

I'm renting a log house in Colorado this year with big southern exposure windows. During the day the solar gain keeps it naturally heated around 68, so I keep the heat off. The logs retain the heat for a few hours after the sun goes down so I have the heater programed to turn on around 9pm for 62 degrees. We also close off and don't heat the guest room, office and dining room since they aren't used on a daily basis.

Erika said...

I'm in again! I'm aiming for 59, with a bump-up max of 62 in the evening. I'm hoping to efficiently cut off our un-used areas better than currently too... and to bake more :-P

--Erika

Leigh said...

I'm in this year as well! We're having two new exterior doors installed in a week, so the house will be wayyyy less drafty. We don't have central air, so we end up just turning the heat on in the actual room we will be spending time in. And then we only turn it up between 60 and 63. We rock blankets and leg warmers baby! :)

Bureinato said...

Not sure if I signed up, thought I did, but don't see my comment. I'm in Denver and just turned on my heat today. 60 daytime when I'm home and 55 nights & when I'm out.

panamamama said...

I will participate. Not sure how low I can go. We shall see. Still on the a/c here in Arkansas but maybe this is the last week... Think maybe I can handle it colder than my family so no promises on actual temps yet.

colenic said...

This is an awesome idea. We do 60 when we are home and awake and 55 at night and when we aren't home- love our programmable thermostat....

Amy said...

We normally keep the thermostat at 50 at night and 65 during the day when we are home(60) otherwise. For my personal challenge, I am going to not use the space heater in the bathroom when I take a shower unless the bathroom temp falls below 60.
We will see how it goes. It has not yet gotten cold enough to light the pilot or pull out the space heater.

Summer said...

Up to 65 weekends if we are home, 63 weeknights, 55 for nights, mornings and days when we are out. This is what we did last year. Higher with company because I don't want to subject guests to the cold.

Whitney @ Nesting Season said...

This is our first winter in this old, drafty house, so I'm not fully sure what we're getting into. I'm going to aim for 64/60, with potential adjustments for welfare of small children and comfort of guests.

Kim said...

I've particpated in this challenge the last several years...and it's been pretty great. (If met with some disregard by visitors to my home.) But during previous years, I was living in Alaska, where it was actually a challenge.

I've just moved to NC for grad school...and even though I plan on particpating (consider me signed up!) I gotta admit, I'm pretty convinced it's not going to be a challenge. Not only have I not yet turned on the heat (nor have I come close to even considering it) but there are still plenty of days where I'm having battles in my head over just how low (high?) I can justify setting the AC. Adjusting to this climate has been VERY hard for me, and just when it seems it's cooling off some (daytime temps to the low 70's/high 60s nighttime temps no lower than the mid 50s) the temp jumps right back up to the 80s or higher.

SERIOUSLY...I CAN NOT BELIEVE that it is November. And for none of the usual "I can't believe hoe quickly this year has gone" reasons...

If this keeps up, or even if it cools off down to the 50s, I'm pretty sure we'll be able to go the whole winter without turning the heat on. At most, I suspect we'll just barely turn it on.

Deanna (Silly Goose Farm) said...

I pledge to not use my thermostat at all! I live in an 1880's Victorian farmhouse in Upstate New York (with all new windows, yay!). We heat our house with a woodstove and a fireplace. There is nothing better, and it warms right to the bone. All of our wood comes from within a 50 mile radius of our house, much of it coming from our property.

Katie said...

I'm going to try! But I don't know what we will need because we're in a new apartment. But fleecy throws all over the house!

SwingCat123 said...

In the VA suburbs of DC were just getting our first frosts but the wind has been at it for weeks. Last year I had the kind of thermostat that you slide a bar so I just aimed it for just short of 70. This year with the digital I am going for 65 during the day. The challenge will be to keep my year old clothed...she prefers no socks and tank tops when playing around the house.

Runningirish said...

Already starting to freeze in NE! I will be seeing how long I can hold out before turning on the heat.

Elizabeth said...

Ugh, I have orchids so I can't go too low. I think 65 during the day and night would be ok; might need to increase it during the day if the orchids start to poop out.

klj said...

I am going to commit to 65 day and 62 at night.

esp said...

We'll join. I need to check the thermostat, but I think we currently run 67 when people are home and awake, and 65 when they are asleep. We can probably drop 2 degrees at night and a degree during the day.

Natalie said...

I just bought a house, and want to start the challenge! We will aim for 65 day and 61 night.

RI Rie said...

I just searched this topic out..last year we were very good..this year I HOPE to be better ( we have insulated the attic since last winter ) My heat came on today because inside temps went below 57..I aim for 57 until 3 PM ( I baby sit after school and the kid doesn't handle my temps well)I run a space heater in the room he plays in and I bump the house up to a balmy 60. It's only Nov 1 I was really hoping to hold off for another couple of week.s

kidk4m said...

Counts us in again~
61F from 5:30am-7:30am
58F from 7:30am-4:30pm
61F from 4:30pm-7:30pm
58F until next morning.
Bedroom is at 57F day/night.

I'm at home all day-and if the hat/sweater/long johns aren't working for me-I'll be using the small space heater I have in my office. As long as there's no snow on the solar panels-it will cost less than using oil.

We're in northern VT.

:)

Melissa said...

Count me in again this year. The thermostat is set to 55. Only the pets home during the day and they like to cuddle in the bed while we are gone.

Jazkabor said...

I have always done my best to not use electric heat because of cost. Ever since I got my first apartment. When ever I have rented a house it has been quite a bit harder, without neighbors to help insulate.

Getting married started the thermostat "fight". But last year the economy helped me win. Haha.

Last year was the first year we did wood stove only, with a little help on the super cold nights from space heaters in our bedrooms. We couldn't help but worry about the kids, but saved by putting them in the same room at night for the winter.

This year will be again, wood stove only. I need all the helpful tips I can get!!
I would love to cancel the space heaters! So I can keep our PGE bill at $65 all year round.

Connie Krebs said...

Ok, we are going to do this too!! It will not look as impressive as other pledges because a)we live in Cleveland on the lake which gets the brunt of the snowstorms and b)we are expecting a new baby this month BUT I think we can keep the thermostat at 67 during the day and 60 at night.... hopefully that will make at least a little bit of a difference.
(However, if I am freezing during those lovely 2am feedings, that thermostat will be going up a tad!)

Erik said...

I didn't sign up for it previously, but that was mainly because I have only been reading the blog for a few months now. When I was living by myself in 2008 I kept the heat at 55 all day and night since that was as low as the thermostat would go without being off...but now with my girlfriend I think I'm going to have to fight to get it below 65 but I'll try to break her! especially since we have electric heat now and it's crazy expensive...

cpcable said...

I participated last year, but never officially signed up. For the winter of 2009/2010 we dropped the thermostat down to 65 across the board--day and night. This was a huge change for us, as the year before we averaged 72 during the day and thought nothing of clicking it up to 74 if we felt "extra cold." This year my pledge is to go down to 64 during the day and 62 at night. We haven't turned the heater on yet (I wanted to delay turning it on until November--success!), but these have been the temps that our house has been holding "naturally" and it's been completely comfortable so far. My one disclaimer: we will have a newborn in February, so I completely reserve the right click it up a degree or two, but am also busy knitting lots of wool sleepers and hats! :)

KatieB said...

I love this challenge. I will be keeping day time temps at 68 and night time at 62. I live in MS, and summer just ended. Our daytime highs are still in the mid to high 70's, and a few days ago, the high was 81. So, right now, I don't run the AC or the heat. When it does finally get cold, I'll be happy to wear layers and use a space heater to heat the room I'm in.

Holly said...

I'm in. We are lucky enough to have programable thermostat and a dual zoned house. So the living areas and bedrooms have seperate zones. I love it.
But all in all we range from low58-high64 when we have company over. But mostly hovering around 62. At least that is how last winter went. I am hoping to get a wood stove insert this winter using fallen trees for the wood... But right now I might be dreaming.
I am prepared to become comfortably numb. (and I should mention so are my husband and 3 smallish kids)

Issa said...

I don't know if I count as being "in" or not. I exclusively use a wood-burning stove to heat my home, all with local, downed wood that my partner and I have gathered ourselves. There's not much I would do to use less fuel, since we're using so little already. The stove is in good working order and the wood is seasoned hardwood, making efficient burning. We wait to ever fire the stove up until the house is staying consistently under 60 degrees. If temps are still generally above 50 in the house, maybe we'll just start up one fire in the morning. Eventually, we're burning most of the day with the house never rising above 65 and sometimes falling under 50 at night.

I don't really feel like I'm freezing my buns, either. I think I enjoy experiencing the difference in seasons, even from within my house. I didn't use A/C this summer, and my inside temps got close to 90, but it was strangely comfortable. The reverse happens in the winter. 60 degrees feels fine, and 65 feels downright toasty.

Anyway, I'll definitely be following along with this challenge, but it's not much of a challenge for me.

Kimberly said...

I'll nudge my thermostat down a degree. Maybe I'll buy some of those gloves that let the ends of your fingers stick out so that I can maybe go two degrees down. HATE being cold, but love the EARTH.

A said...

I'm in this year -- starting down a degree from last year; 64 mornings and evenings, 60 nights and midday, or lower if just my husband is home (he loves the cold and would probably have the windows open all winter if I let him...). We're in Minnesota.

Sarah C said...

I'm in! We've been doing this for years, much to my husband's dismay. Wimp.

We turn the heat off when we leave the house, and totally off at night (except for the kiddo's room) and our bill is still outrageous. Stupid drafty apartment.

namastemama said...

We're in. Just turned the heat on and had to call the repair man. We've already had a freeze and now it will dip down to the 20s at night. Shooting for 63 at home. Haven't found the right night temp yet. Know we froze last night when the heat wasn't working. Not sure what the house temp was but even with 4 blankets I was COLD.

Nic, SD said...

Hey! It's really not much (everybody else's numbers look so impressive!) but my goal for this winter is to keep it set to *cough*under 70*cough*
I know! I'm blaming husband, here. He's got maybe 5 extra pounds on him, and it's just not enough insulation! We've already swathed the windows in bubblewrap, but perhaps I need to look into swathing him in it as well...
Anyway, the plan is also to turn it down a notch or two, periodically, as we go, and get used to it (and hopefully he won't notice that way!).
So, if that counts, well, count me in.

gloria said...

This is my first year for the challenge, but I have to admit that I've been lowering the thermostat every year. I agree that one can get used to a lower thermostat because right now I'm freezing at 67, but by the middle of the winter, I'm fine with 62 ... or even lower. I'll be setting it at 62 when I'm here during the day, 65 to 68 in the evenings when hubby's home or we have guests, 58 at night, and off when not at home.

Thanks for making this a fun, friendly, and public thing to do!

Ginny said...

We are doing 60 during the day & 55 at night right now. It will probably go up to 62 - 64 when it gets a bit colder, but I tend to keep it at 55 at night. This is our 3rd year really watching the heat, even though we have been keeping it lower for several years.

We made it to 11-2 without turning it on at all & the last few days only once in the morning!

Me said...

I'll join your challenge! except we have been doing this so long that we don't even think we are freezing our buns off! I am usually home alone during the day and keep the temp at about 58 degrees. We actually turn "up" the heat to a balmy 62 at night so the kiddies don't get too cold in their beds. But our goal every year is to not turn on the heat until Nov. 1 and we nearly make it every year. As we say "Say NO to the oil barons!"

Jennie said...

I did comment, but I forgot to explicitly state this.

We're in! Zone 4 Iowa makes this challenge truly a challenge, but we're tough.

We aren't decreasing any as we have a toddler to deal with, but I think we can maintain our 65 in the day and 60 at night.

LHT Rider said...

Sign me up! We're setting the thermostat at 61 F when we're home & 57 at night.

I didn't realize until recently that down blankets come in widely ranging levels of warmth. Our old down blanket was apparently lightweight and required adding extra blankets. Our new "extra-warm" blanket is keeping us nice and toasty!

caron said...

I will take the challenge again this year. But I am already hating it!!!!:) There is snow on the ground her in Eastern MA. SNOW!!! I'm keeping it at 55/day 52/night. Time to get the woolies out.

Sandy said...

Love your challenge! I linked to it on my blog Modern*Simplicity today while discussing ways to save energy this winter.

http://www.modern-simplicity.com/2010/11/winters-coming-10-tips-for-saving.html

Lily Girl said...

I'm in! 62 during the day, 55 at night. For now though, it will just remain off.

James said...

Time to get cold again. I was pulled into the publicity last year when USA Today tracked me down for their story - woohoo, my 15 minutes of fame! We've had some disagreements in the family since then, but have come to the following agreement:

58 degrees during the hours between getting up and going to school.

58 degrees between the 5 p.m. and 9 p.m..

45 degrees at all other times (my programmable thermostat, unfortunately, won't go lower than that).

Last year we didn't even notice the heater broke until it got down to 42, so I think this is a very doable commitment. Plus, when we had a guest over and I bumped the thermostat from 58 to 62, my wife was complaining about "how hot it is in the house" within an hour. Love her!

Anardana said...

I am moving from an apt to my own home later this month, and I am excited to have control over the thermostat! I'm going to keep it at 65 during the day and 60 at night.

Earthdrummer said...

I'm in.
64 day time.
55 night time.

Ohio Mama here. Looking forward to NOT filling up the propane tank!!

Maggie Sullivan said...

My husband and I are in a somewhat unique situation - we have a solar furnace on our house that gives great heat during sunny days with just the use of a 90 watt fan. So right now we have our main thermostat at 52 and then the solar furnace kicks in around noon to bring us into the high sixties all afternoon and into the evening - as long as it's sunny. I'm getting used to life in the low 50's but it is a bit chilly sometimes. I think I'll make a few of those bed warmers for Christmas!!

Megan said...

58 overnight; 62 when I'm home.

I'm so happy to find this and like-minded folks! I was feeling alone in wanting to challenge myself not to use my heat as much. I had already pledged to not turn it on until December 1 at the earliest. So far so good, but the warm fall temps in Chicago have been helping quite a bit.

Cheers, Ms. Chicken!

Laura C said...

This is the first I have heard about the Freeze Yer Buns Challenge, who knew I had been participating for years. I am not quite where you are I get to 65 during the day and 55 at night. It's a struggle with the family, but i acutally prefer the cold. I didn't even realize I was going green, i was merely trying to save some green. Does anyone know how cold you can go before pipes would freeze?

Jack said...

Here in an electric-heated house in NE Connecticut we're aiming for 55 degree days and haven't had to turn the heat on yet. (No kids to worry about either.) We have never used heat at night. We wear thermals and good socks at home during the day. It's like camping.

I'm glad to have found your blog- it'll help a great deal. I thought I was just weird by myself in this. ^_^

Kristin said...

Since moving to a house two years ago from a small apartment, we saw how quickly a heating bill can skyrocket. I could say we are trying to be green, but it is more about saving green. We have always kept our thermostat at 53 and then at 60 for two 2-hour windows of the day. Sweatshirts, blankets, and a space heater do the trick.

However, sometimes there is nothing more I want to do than go and crank the thermostat up to 70, just not to have a cold nose!!

Quinault said...

My family has always had our thermostat set to 60-63 in the winter. Since we are on a concrete slab it isn't wise for us to turn down the temp at night. It takes more energy to re-heat a concrete slab to "regular" temp than it does to maintain it at a certain temp.

Katy said...

I am in. Its still like 70 degrees out, but when winter does arrive sometime next month... we will try keeping it at 60 during the day and 55 at night.

karyn said...

Count me in! We're doing 60 at night and when not home (unfortunately, our thermostat won't go any lower than that) and 62 when we're home.

Maddie said...

As long as the outside air temerature is above freezing, I leave my heater off at night and while I'm out of the house. Below freezing, I leave it at 50 as that is the lowest it will go. When I'm at home during the daytime I try to keep the temperature at 65.

sarah said...

we are in! we will be keeping the thermo set at 65/day and 60/night. unfortunately that is actually abt 8 degrees cooler due to a drafty house :/

Ellen F said...

I don't know if it's too late to sign up, but every year I try to knock the heat back as much as possible, so I might as well post.

I work from home, but I handle cold better than the rest of my family so I try to challenge myself. Last year I had it on 59 during the day, this year it's on 55 and I'm going to test to see if I can do lower. I do have a heated throw blanket now, so that should help.

I programmed the thermastat to do 62 instead of 64 during the early morning and evening, lets see if my family notices. ;) 50 at night.

summary: 62/55/62/50 morning/day/evening/night

SherryGreens said...

I just found your blog! What a great challenge. I live in Canada and we just had a really bad cold snap, and that is when I decided to turn 'er down. We threw on sweaters and fuzzy socks, but my husband is not on board and keeps turning it up. It is so annoying! What to do? How can I convince him? I only turned it down to 20C (68F)... It was -27C (-17F) at the time... Maybe my house it too drafty. Any ideas?

twilightrain6139 said...

Hello...I am new to this but love the idea since we rarely use heat. My family and I pledge to NOT use ANY heat unless the temperatures outside are below freezing. In which case the temperature is below freezing, we will only have our heat to 50 degrees during the day and off at night. We have lived by this ourselves for the last 3 years. Yes, we get a bit cold. I complain the most, my 12 year old son 2nd most. My boyfriend and 4 year old daughter never complain. We all have sweats, slippers, and robes. When we get really cold, we warm up in a hot bath, blow dry our hair, and curl up under our blankets. :)

Anonymous said...

HI ,I am a newbie.Last few years my sister and I got into it, over the thermostat.It really got to me when she would tell me .....U are goona break the furnace and then you'll be sorry. That was upsetting since all I wanted was to lower it. OK My aim is 65.5 /day 62/nite. Wish me luck!>>>R

Shannon Hays said...

I'm going to try using almost no heat again this year. I live in the SF Bay Area, so with some extra clothes and blankets and a sleeping buddy hubby we should only need to warm up in front of the wall heater after our showers.

Linnea said...

Living in Michigan, we certainly use the heat some. We keep it at 62 during the day and 55 at night. Long undies and hand warmers for all.

The hardest thing for us is how HOT it feels to go in stores. Seriously, thermostats should NOT be set at 75, but many peoples' houses, stores, the library etc are just too hot.

Alien in the attic said...

Woohoo! Husband and I are doing the challenge again this year.

It's finally started to get cold here in North Texas. So here's our stats

Day: 65 (heater rarely ever turns on during the day out here)
Night: 60

The days are much warmer than nights in North Texas unless of course some sort of crazy cold front moves in. So happy that husband has been adamant at keeping the thermo well regulated!

Good luck to everyone and happy freezing!

Ryan said...

Sorry to be late; just found you! We'll be aiming for 45F day and night. Haven't had to turn it on yet!

urbanhomeschooler said...

Okay peeps. I'm a bit of a lurker and have been following the Twitter feed. I'm in on the Freezer Buns but may sound incredibly lame in saying I'm moving my thermometer from 69 to 68 degrees during the day. We turn it off at night. We entertain a lot and keeping guests comfortable is a high priority. Does anyone else have tips around this?

Heather said...

Well, I had to do some converting, since I live in Canada and use Celcius.
We normally keep our thermostat around 20 degrees (68F) during the day cause I get cold easily! I will try keeping it at 18 degrees (64.4F)
At night we put it down to 15degrees (59F) but since we have a nice big fat duvet, I'm sure we can go down to 14 (57.2F) or even 13 (55.4)

laura said...

Love iT! Unfortunately here in Houston we use WAY more electric in summer, I leave the ac at 78 and am always sweatin' but it helps keep the electric bill around $200/mo for a 2000 sqft home at 14c per kwh. In winter we keep the temp at 68, which I will try to creep lower as the season wears on, but we also have warm days here too. Today Dec 11th we have a high of 78 so I wont have the heat on, but the warm days make it harder to adjust when a "cold" 30 degree front rolls thru! :)

Kat said...

Does it count if I don't have a heater? I'm participating by default :) My home stays at a somewhat comfortable 60* in the winter (I'm in Orlando, it gets to the 20s and 30s) so I'll happily participate :)

Jenette said...

This is out first year to try to lower the temp. We were keeping at 70 for day and 68 for the night. I tried for 60 but we settled on 63 for day and night and off when we are gone. So far not too bad except my son wont keep blankets on and wakes up.

Janie said...

Well..here it is Dec 18...I don't remember when we turned the heat on (it was late) but it was turned on at 60. Now it is up to 62. I plan on keeping it there (I have done it in years past) until the frigid Jan/Feb temps...although they say we are getting them now.
Generally what I do is start out very low and as winter progresses, turn it up one degree at a time.. If we have enough wood to hold through winter then I don't turn it up...
I haven't been turning it down at night. We live in an older house, it is over a dirt crawl space and the floor (or the ceiling over the crawl space) is not insulated. So the cold that comes up through the floor is quite damp feeling.
If I had the money I would have it insulated. A few people have told me it's "easy" I can do it myself..but I am 64 years old and not about to crawl on my back on cold chilly soil to do it...
and I try to resit putting it up if someone is sick, because it is OH so hard to return it back down again...(haha!)(but if it is bad..flu or bronchitis I do feel it is necessary.)

BellaMia said...

We dropped the thermostat completely during the day and just used our fireplace to give us a bit of warmth. It really brought the family together - :). The downside is that in our area we had to be aware of air quality and no burn days.

Chris Sorensen said...

A bit late in finding this, but it looks like I've been participating already...

Thermostat has been set to 50F around the clock since about the middle of November (little need for heat prior to that, and down from 57F last year), but manually switched off most of the day (as opposed to being left on all the time last year). I turn it on from 5:45 to 7:00 a.m., and 5:30 to about 8:30 p.m.

Overnight, the house falls to about 45F, but has gone as low as 43. During the day, it drops to 47-48.

Outside temperatures have recently ranged from the upper 40s during the day to 15-25 at night.

No whole-house supplemental heat like a fireplace, but I do use a space heater when working at the kitchen table - which often raises the temperature to 51-53 - and ceiling fans to keep the warm air circulating downward.

Net result: a lot less energy used, and utility bills so far well under half of what they were a year ago.

nm3u said...

Great Idea! I have heard that Gypsies can sleep naked on the frozen ground, while others will freeze to death.

I'm not a Gypsy, but I like the idea. I almost never use A/C, even when it is 100+F. I find with a bit of window blind adjusting and opening just the top of the upstairs windows, it acts like a cold well - the cold settling to the lower areas while the heat goes out the windows.

I haven't found a similar effect for the winter heat, other than to remember that in the summer folks like to keep the A/C at 60F, and they say that is almost too warm. Well, if it's almost too warm in the summer, why not the winter? (Oh, and I keep the bottom of the window open in the winter, not the top like in the summer.)

I keep a window open all year round. It gets too stuffy closed up. The house is well insulated and has insulated windows. (I would have liked to get the triple pane Argon filled, but these work almost as well.) It gets a little drafty if I don't use a draft dodger (a rolled up rug in front of the bottom of the front door.)

I use a thermometer, and adjust the electric furnace depending on what the real temperature is. Seriously, you can have the thermostat set on 40F, but if you use space heaters, too, what are you really accomplishing? Usually, the furnace is more efficient than hair dryers, space heaters, or even fireplaces. So, why not just observe the real temperature?

It was 2 weeks into sub-freezing temps before I needed to turn on the heat. It was only down to 55F inside, but I was concerned that the pipes would freeze along the outer walls. I set the thermostat to 64F. It kept the house at 60F, cycling on for about 2 minutes an hour.

I live and work out of my home, so I'm here on and off most of the time. I keep an eye on the temperature downstairs, and keep it at between 50F and 60F. That means the thermostat is set to 65F, and for the last couple of weeks, at 20F outside, it cycles the furnace on about 1 minute an hour. I don't want to keep it any lower, because, again, I am concerned that the pipes will freeze. (They froze a few years ago, and it was a mess.) This means that my upstairs office and bedroom are usually a very summer warm 65F (night) to 70F (sunny day). No sense fighting Physics, I just try to understand how to let it do it's thing to my advantage.

Ami said...

We've kept our thermostat set the same every year, but made efficiency improvements each heating season. There's always a long way to go with a 200+ year-old house.

Baby girl is sleeping well at 62, unlike toddler son at her age, so we will back the heat down overnight to 60. Space heater available if necessary.

We've been at 64 during the day, but I'm adding a humidifier so it *feels* warmer, and then back it down one degree at a time.

sara said...

Just found your blog :) My thermostat is already set to 62 so I'm off to a good start :) We're also headed into Michigan winter so the temps outside are about to drop.

smccobb said...

Love this challenge. When I was a kid we called this "Mom's trying to make us freeze to death!" Now, as a mother of two boys I am the total control freak over the thermastat. During the day, no higher than 65 (both my husband and I work at home) and 55 at night. My boys bundle up in sweatshirts to sleep but never complain about being cold. I love the idea of putting less pollution out there and also saving some $$.

Ashley said...

I'm doing this again this year and right now we're down to 68 in the day and 66 at night. My husband is not on board with this and keeps trying to turn the thermostat back up so I have to be sneaky! LOL
As we adjust I keep turning it back bit by bit. We were at 72 and 70 so I think we're doing pretty good!

BluElf said...

Our household is joining in this year with the thermostat mostly set for 55-58'F both day and night, unless it's really, really windy outside or for some reason I need it a little warmer (like guests or a project that has me working in the cooler areas of the house) and then I turn it up to 60'F or more. Usually we have it around 57'F downstairs where the thermostat is and about 63'F upstairs where the office and bedrooms are. (Until we move in a week or two.. lol Then the downstairs will be the basement and the thermostat will be on the main floor and we may need to adjust it up a little bit.) This challenge sure invites one to enjoy the wearing of nice sweaters and comfy socks! Oh, and baking and home cooked meals that heat the house! lol

lulu said...

Well, we usually have it set at 65 day and 61 at night. Our dog seems to shiver if it's too cold and I like the heat turned up if we're taking a shower. I am inspired tho. We will shoot for 64 in the daytime and 60 at nite.

txwoodfords said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sophie said...

What a great idea I know its almost April but I am going to try this for the rest of Feb and March!

farmgal said...

I just found your site, and I know that I am running late on this but I am so in for the freeze your buns challange. We live in Canada, and we have the heat off for about six months of the year and we keep the house at about 60 all winter long, most folks that come to visit freeze, but we are used to it, and we dress for it in the house.

Dalton said...

This will be my first year but I am up for the challenge. I pledge to at least turn my heat down a degree or two and experiment turning it down even more at times.
Thank you for thinking outside the box and challenging your readers.

brad said...

Looks like I'm late to the party but we've already been working on this over the cold season because PG&E was given a discount incentive. We're already tracking at ~ 40% below a 'comparable' house in our area but we have a lot we can do and more improvements to make.

I have to tell you - 55 is COLD! Not sure if we can do that yet but we are doing OFF during the day and about 66 at night.

A question for you- the dogs and car are fine, but we have a pet cockatiel that needs to stay warmer - have you seen any creative ideas for keeping him warmer while we allow the house to be cooler?

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