Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Turn down your thermostat

You turned it down to what?Since I started trying to curb our energy consumption, one of the big things I've done (besides not using the clothes dryer) is keeping the thermostat low during the day and real low at night.

This is a big deal for me, because I am always freezing. My husband and I have temperature tolerances on totally opposite ends of the spectrum. Especially at night. So recently I'm letting him turn the heat down to 60 degrees at night.

But during the day I'm actually lowering it more than he normally does -- to about 67 degrees. It hasn't been all that bad. I suppose if I wanted to make more of an impact I would set it much lower, but I can't function when I can't feel my hands and feet.

Soy heatWhen we moved into our house last year I was a little concerned because the heating system runs on oil (our previous house used natural gas). I did a little research and was excited that we could get a mix of biodiesel to heat our home. So, we signed up for BioHeat. It's a bit more expensive, but well worth it.

And, now for another poll (because they are so fun)!


P~ said...

Another really good idea is to invest in one of the digital thermostats that are available at the home improvement stores. You can pre-program all of the day parts to automatically heat/cool your house and they work much more efficiently. Another really good thing that we've been doing in our home is to turn the fan to ON rather than to AUTO. This circulates the air in the house all the time instead of only when the furnace or A/C is on. You will be able to eliminate a lot of the hot/cold spots in your home by doing this, as well as taking better advantage of the passive heating and cooling that happens naturally in your home.

El said...

P~ is right, but only if you have a forced-air furnace. If you have a boiler and radiators or a gravity furnace (in other words, heaters that need to be "on" to be efficient) then dialing up and down is the best way to go.

Hey, CC: I am curious, have you looked in to purchasing your electricity from renewable resources? Some companies offer that option too. Unfortunately, I live in a dark hole and can get neither renewable sources of electricity nor BioHeat. But I am so glad you're mentioning them.

(And incidentally, your picture just cracks me UP!)

Crunchy Chicken said...

el - good point on the other furnace types and I really need to figure out how to schedule our digital thermostat as p~ mentions.

Yes, we are signing up for Seattle City Light's Green Up program (see previous post about it). So, 100% of our electricity will come from renewable energy sources.

Unfortunately, we still have that oil heater, but our oil company is planning on increasing the percentage of biodiesel in the mix in their BioHeat program soon. They just need to make sure (since biodiesel is a solvent) that it doesn't gum up the furnaces. Or something like it.

I felt the need to change a few things (like my picture and removing my name) with all the traffic I've been getting from the No Impact Man's site -- I was getting some hate postings which are always great fun!

El said...

Well, that's certainly upsetting about the freakmail you've gotten. People should just behave; keep their opinions to themselves.

Oil heat, surprisingly, is fairly efficient (efficiency being defined by units burned to create calories of heat), so don't beat yourself up too much. This year we spent $600 for a tank of oil, but when we lived in the city, we easily spent two-three times that in gas. Granted, Minnesota is colder than Michigan, but our house is a LOT bigger and more drafty.

QT said...

We have oil heat too, and I don't think we have the BioHeat option - I will definitely ask. We belong to a farm co-op and they seem to respond to requests pretty nicely.

As for the thermostats, I was raised in a cold house so my first inclination is always to put a sweater on first, turn the heat up last.

Greenpa said...

I hear what you're saying about spousal variations- it can be a pretty big deal over the years. You might want to look into wood pellets. Should be easily available in the Pac NW- here in corn country, it's actually cheaper than fuel oil. Of course, you'd have to put in a new system; pretty expensive.

I've lived with a wood stove for decades, and love it. A big part of why is- the radiant heat. The air temp in the Little House can be pretty cool; like down to 40 in the morning in the winter- but if you're standing near the stove, cooking, etc- the strong infrared output warms YOU directly. And you can choose your heat level by moving closer to or further from the stove.

Dry wood pellets CAN burn very cleanly, too- and of course they're not fossil fuel. Just another option for folks to consider-

jmelyn said...

I guess living in a slightly warmer climate than Seattle helps. But seriously--I freeze at night! If I had my druthers, I'd keep it at 72. Yes! 72! Jase would actually turn the a/c on to get it to a nice and chilly -20. Just saying.