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!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Freeze Yer Buns Challenge 2008

Freeze Yer Buns Challenge 2008Okay, chickens, I just can't tell you how excited I am to kick off this year's Freeze Yer Buns Challenge. Last year we had such great participation and I'm expecting even more frozen hindquarters this year.

Because of the economic situation, most everyone is tightening up their purse strings, plus heating costs (oil, natural gas and electricity) are expected to be a lot higher this year than last, so you have even more incentive to hop on board the chapped cheeks express.

This year, 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.

To give you all some additional inspiration, see if you can name the president that made the following speech:

I again ask every American to lower the thermostat settings in all homes and buildings to no more than 65 degrees during the daytime and to a much lower setting at night...

...I must say to you quite frankly that this is not a temporary request for conservation. Our energy problems will not be over next year or the year after. Further sacrifices in addition to lowering thermostats may well be necessary. But I believe this country is tough enough and strong enough to meet that challenge. And I ask all Americans to cooperate in minimizing the adverse effect on the lives of our people.

I know a lot of you can't commit to those types of temperatures and 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. 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 pledging for 62 day and 55 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 I did last year, I will keep a tally of participants (with your high and low numbers) in the right sidebar. Feel free to grab the graphic if you want to promote the challenge on your blog as well.

This year's challenge mascot is the Arctic fox. 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?

270 comments:

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Cindy in Maine said...

Count me in! We're keeping the temperature at 55 at night, 60 during the day, and 65 in the evening (when I'm not so active). Fleece-lined jeans, wool socks, felt clogs, and long underwear keep me toasty during the day. And I love my down comforters at night.

Joy said...

Count me in. I posted the challenge on my blog with the link to yours.

24/7 setting = 62 til cold cold winter hits then 64.

I may be cheating since I have wood stoves to burn???

Danidoodle said...

We're in! We did something similar last year. 57 degrees at night 62 during the day. i hung up a curtain between the living area (kitchen and family room) and the rest of the house (bedrooms, office, baths, etc.) and our just being in the curtained area keeps it warmer. also, a space heater if it's really chilly or baking/roasting and taking advantage of the oven's heat.

Lesley said...

I'm in! We'll go for 67 during the day and 62 at night.

Anonymous said...

Our thermostat isn't very accurate, so we've been watching the temperature in the house and we only turn on our gas furnace when it dips below 62 F. We turn the furnace on for 20 minutes or long enough to bring the temp up to 63 F. We leave the furnace off during the night.
We don't have any kids living here. We wear thermal underwear and so far it's been fine.

Leann said...

Just blogged about this but actually started on the 1st. We are shooting for no higher than 65 during the day and 50 at night. We are dragging out the flannel sheets and blankets this weekend with our first big cold snap. Thanks for the challenge! :)

Sandy said...

What's a thermostat? Wood burning stove is the only heat we use. Dead wood clean up and stacking keeps us busy. Though our $45 year round electric bill could probably be helped with fewer phantom pulls on the electric grid.

SAGE said...

I think we can do 65day/60night, hopefully lower. Just gotta figure out how to keep clothes on a 3 year old who literally goes blue in the lips and still refuses to be clothed.

Marnie said...

Hi from Toronto! We're in for 60 during the day and 55 at night - we might push it lower than that during the day too. Our one exception will be when my Mom visits - she feels the cold in her bones - i think i'll make her some fingerless gloves, fancy wool slippers, and a cherrystone bedwarmer, then maybe we won't have to swelter when she's down! ;-)
a TIP for the newly frozen: we found it helped to do it gradually. It takes about two weeks for our bodies to acclimate to new temperatures.

Jill said...

I'm in. The husband and kids are along by default. We're heating with wood and don't have a thermostat hooked up, but we do have a thermometer. So, let's say 64ish duing the day and 60 at night. I'll let you know what changes in the bitter part of winter. Our high was 36 today in Michigan. Brrrr!

Maya said...

I'm in! But is it cheating if I pretty much do this anyway? Last winter I was pregnant and I think we only turned the heat on about 2 weeks total all winter (Durham, NC). This year I've got the little one so I may have to turn the heat on a bit more often, but 65 sounds fine to me.

Anonymous said...

We are in at my house. Now we live in Fl so this isn't a huge deal to us, but I do find us running the heat every now and then during the winter. So I am making a two -fold commitment. We arent running the heat AT ALL this year and I am going to only run the dryer twice a week (towels and jeans) and hang the rest.

Robin said...

We're in, 63 daytime and 55 at night, same as last year, but "night" now kicks in at 7:30 rather than 9. We're all in bed by 8 these days anyway.

Anonymous said...

Aaaand one more. I'm new to this, being a delicate flower who gets cranky if the temp's not between 70 and 73 (no, I'm not kidding). This is my last horrendously un-green vice, and it's going down this winter. I did 76 degrees this summer, and am pledging 60/55 (day and night) for this winter, though I do have an electric space heater that I'll use sparingly as necessary during the day. It's already not as bad as I thought, but I'm definitely looking forward to the day when I'm used to it!

--Shana in Missouri

Barb said...

We're in for the challenge. We have an old furnace so we're trying 65/58 this year to see if that minimizes the work that the furnace does. Next year we'll have a new furnace - Yippee!

Anonymous said...

We are in.
We bought a electric fireplace which brings our house up to about 18 C (64 F) in the living room. The furnace is set to 17.5 C when we are all home. And during the day, when usually we are at work, and at night it's set to 16 C. I leave it at 16 C during the day on my days off and just keep moving.

Anonymous said...

I'm in in northern NJ!! We keep heat totally off or as low as poss in day (thermostat doesn't have off setting - we pry off cover and watch the mercury tilt off) and raise it to 58-60 at night cos I just can't sleep and then get outta bed before sunup THAT cold :)

We make good use of freecycled down comforters, flannel sheets, knitted coverlets, layers and SOCKS. I plastic our windows and then use heavy curtains at nite only (LL ripped out original windows + storms and put in cheap vinyl replacements so we lost a lot of r value). We hand heavy curtains between LR (w tons of windows and no real heat)and the hallway. Our thermostat is in kitchen (brilliant design, huh?) so useless for regulating the rest of the apt. We have 3rd floor of an old, uninsulated victorian - and we are taking advantage of every trick those oldsters knew :). Includig bedwarmers!

Kathy

Sharlene said...

I am in. My goal is to not have the heater on at all! SHouldn't be too hard in Orange County.

Michelle said...

My apartment has electric baseboard heaters, so it's hard to regulate the temperature. But I pledge to keep the heat in the downstairs below 65 when we're home, below 60 when we're gone and at night, and the portable heater in the bedroom on low.

rose said...

We're in. Hubby likes to keep things at 60 degrees day and night during the cold season. I have found that those microfiber blankets are wonderful to sleep in. They really keep me warm. The right kind of socks keep me comfortable when I'm sleeping. For some reason, if your feet are warm, you just feel warm all over.

Amy said...

We're in... hubby loves the thought of cutting the heat. We have always tried to keep the temp at 68 or below, but why not make it lower.

We also only really heat the main living area, not the bedrooms...kids have gotten quite thick skinned so that always good. I think last winter our bedroom dropped down to 40 degrees at night, but add one "hot" hubby and plenty of blankets and it's nice and toasty!!

Julie H. Rose said...

Hi

That's a lot of comments! My two cents: eliminate your thermostat!

We have a furnace and last year we decided to stop using it. We used a small monitor heater (kerosene) and a wood stove, and closed off any rooms that weren't essential for living.

This year, the monitor heat is broken. Instead of fixing it, we closed off another room. Now we're heating with wood and the kitchen stove. You heard me right. Why not? If I was cooking on my woodstove, it wouldn't be considered odd. It's 99.9% fuel efficient and it also bakes! Try baking with your furnace!

We live in Maine and it can get cold. We keep the house at 60 degrees, but it can get warmer in the room with the woodstove. If I'm feeling cold, I wear tights under my jeans. I wear shawls.Sometimes I wear a hat.

My grandfather wore a nightcap. There isn't anything wrong with that. Thinking one should wear clothes appropriate to summer in the winter is caused by a sense of entitledment. Just my opinion!

Nymari-emplaz said...

I'm in. I just found your blog today and think it's great. We live in central IL USA, we've had a warm season so far and didn't even turn our heater on until last week. We can commit to 64 during the day. We have a programmable thermastate so it drops down below 60 at night (not sure how low).

Yiddishe Mama said...

Here in TN the temps are just now starting to really get cold but even with over night lows being in the low thirties the house has been staying at around 60 (My teen has been sleeping with her fan and the window cracked, BURRR). Weatherizing the windows has really helped this year. I plan to try to keep the heat off until December and then off at night 58 during the day.

z.briedis said...

cant remember if i signed up or not. we keep our thermo at 50 all the time. we live in up up upstate ny.

Corie said...

We're in again too! 62-63 during the day when we're home (lower when we're not); and 56 at night. We use lots of blankets and sweaters! A thermostat that uses a program is very useful to keep temps just where you want them, when you want them.

Liz said...

I feel as though I've been doing this for a few years already! During the winter, which sometimes in the Bay Area of CA, can get quite cool, we keep our stat at 65 degrees while home and 50 degrees at night. Our house rarely gets colder than 50, even if we've been out of town with no heat at all. To combat the coolness of the house, I'll make sure to walk the kids to school, which means a long uphill to get back home. That warms me right up!

Tonya said...

Us Mainers are up for the challenge with 64 during the day and 58 at night. Just don't tell my husband as he will kill me- he's always cold no matter what the temp.

CrunchyChristianMama said...

We are gone during the day, so I can set the daytime temp to 50. When we get home I can turn it up to a balmy 60ish degrees and it will feel nice. I can probably push it back down after everyone is in bed. 55ish sounds good for night. Better late than never! I'm excited to join in!

Walter Jeffries said...

Umm... We're hoping to raise our house to 65°F! That's a downright cozy warm temperature during the day. In our old farm house maintaining above 50°F was considered an achievement. With our new tiny cottage's high thermal mass and passive solar gain it is much easier to keep warm. The cottage stays stable through the winter, keeping above freezing without us doing anything to it even uninhabited as it was through its first winter. A tiny wood fire brings it up to a very comfortable temperature. So the solution, for us, is rather than trying to warm a big space we warm just a small efficient space. By the way, that worked before with the old farm house - in the winters we would close off most of the house moving into the core so there wasn't as much to heat (again with wood). But even then the old place was very hard to keep about the 50's.

Maya said...

I'm in! The last two years with a new baby we kept the house around 65 at night, but so far this year we've been doing 50 at night, 53 the hour before we get up, 50 while we're at work, and 53 again for the hour before we get home -- then we use our wood stove to heat up our 1200 sq ft house. 50 is proving a bit too bun-freezing -- we may bump up the thermostat to 53 & 57.

In answer to the people with young kids wondering how to keep them warm: To keep our son warm he wear's blanket sleepers witha shirt and socks underneath. He has a nice comforter and crocheted blanket he sleeps under, and which seem to sort of "stick'" to the fuzzy sleepers. In the morning when he crawls into bed with us (our own little alarm clock at 7 am) his feet and hands are warm, so I know he's OK.

PiLibrarian said...

I've found that no matter how many blankets & comforters I have on my bed, if the room temp is below 59°F, I have to put on a cap.

Question -- is anybody routinely wearing a nightcap to bed?

Elizabeth said...

We're signing up! 62 day, 58 night. We haven't turned the furnace on at all yet.

Amy said...

Just found this challenge and my family is in! 65 or lower at night and 68 or lower in the daytime.

Glenda said...

Yes, I would love the blanket.

Rebecca said...

The furnace hasn't been turned on at all so far. We're heating 100% with our wood stove here in snowy Nova Scotia. It's mighty chilly in the mornings but we're used to it. Even the kids don't complain.

RedStateGreen said...

We have our winter thermostat at 58 ... but it hasn't gotten that low yet! This looks like a fun challenge. It was around 62 inside during the day today and I felt fine with it.

Anita said...

Count me in again this year! 60 days - 55 nights!
(last year earned me the nickname of "Thermostat Nazi"! lol)

Wooly Baby said...

We are trying to keep our thermostat lower with oil prices so high. I have a new-found love for wool, too. I couldn't find any warm wool slippers for my daughter w/ leather bottoms, so I made my own and am now selling them on Etsy (www.woolybaby.etsy.com). Just wearing a wool sweater allows us to lower themostat by 1-2 degrees. I don't know what # to commit to though since our thermostats are off! Great idea!

Anonymous said...

I'm in, too, but with baby steps. We previously kept the place at about 72-73 during colder weather, but I have been generally keeping it down a little already this fall. I'm going to shoot for 67-68 during the day, evenings and weekends; 65-66 at night and when I'm home by myself; and 70 in the mornings, just for an hour or two. I don't think my hubby will stand for anything lower when he's around, and during the day I don't want to keep the apartment too chilly for my tiny 5 lb short-haired dog, either. If I get her a sweater that she'll wear, I figure maybe I can knock it down another degree or two during the day. Or better yet, maybe I can knit her one, once I work on my knitting as part of Sharon's competence challenge!

-Jenni in Ohio

Katey said...

being in N. Idaho and we are highs in the low 40's.....68 during the day with blankets and sweat shirts...not sure the thermostat is accurate, but it is timed. 62 from 10pm-6am
We homeschool and are home alllll day....also we have electric heat, but are looking into a wood stove

Huggermugger said...

I feel a bit guilty here, since I'm in the midst of menopause and hot flashing like a lighting bug so typically our thermostat is set on 64 or 65 degrees. This is all to my husband's chagrin as he is forced to sit around the house in a parka and says many times he can see his breath.

When the flashes come and I ask him for more air and he has to open a window, he threatens to rent out space in our living room as a meat locker and says freezing ice cubes is never a problem since he just fills the trays and leaves them on the counter top.

So, Cluckity-cluck, we are in like Flint. Our challenge will be on the flip side.

sowbug said...

I can't find the post I just posted so apologies if this ends up a duplicate:

Here in Wisconsin, we're keeping nights at 55; day time when we're home is at 61; day time when we're not home is at 55. We have 3 blankets on the couch and generally walk around with a hat and bath robe. It's sounds worse than it is; you get used to it really fast. Now, when I'm at my parents' house, 68 feels absolutely tropical.

Last year we thought we were all tough keeping it at 66 :).

Erikka said...

Alright, I'm in.

My beau and I will be doing 62 day and 55 night.

Boo-yah!


let's virtually huddle together and share ideas to stay warm.

biscuitwitcheese said...

Me and my husband are pledging to keep the thermostat at 60 day/night. We live in North Texas (Plano, TX) and it doesn't get too terribly cold here. It's been in the 40's/night so far and our old house is pretty well insulated. We've started this by keeping the thermo at 65 day/night. The heater turns on about twice at night, and 0 times during the day so far. I'm already being a wuss and saying I'm cold! I guess when you've lived in California and New Mexico your whole life (like me) you don't really know what cold is! ;P

psuklinkie said...

Because this is my first winter in my new home, Los Angeles, I'm not sure when we'll even need to turn on the heat, let alone how low we can take it, but we'll be trying to keep it off as long as possible and low, when we do need it. Ultimate goal: 55 in the daytime and 60 at night (we work all day and I can't sleep if I'm too cold!). TheBoy, the warm-blooded in our family, will be delighted at the coolness and it'll be nice to use the extra electricity (relying on electric, not oil or gas, to provide heat) at non-peak times.
Right now, I'm not even sure exactly how to use the thermostat. Maybe that'll keep us away from it longer!

Anonymous said...

Count me in too, I have kept meaning to sign up but have been too lazy...so now it's time.

It's 59 in my house right now, and I haven't turned the heat on for the year yet. It's actually pretty OK -- the only time I'm miserably cold is when I'm tired or when my thyroid levels are low so this is pretty OK.

DH put up with the house at 85 before turning on the AC all summer, so it's my turn to 'suffer' and him to be cozy. :)

Molly said...

Our heating system is radiant hydronic so fiddling with the thermostat does nothing. It takes a couple of days to change the temp in a room. Still with the kids out of the house this year we decided first not to heat the downstairs bedrooms, and then wondered how long we could go without turning the heat on anywhere in the house. We still haven't turned it on, although I "cheat" with a small electric space heater on the days I work from home. It's been staying between 56 and 65 upstairs, depending on whether we get any solar heat gain, and ~55 downstairs. We do have a wood-burning stove in the living room and can quickly get the temp up to a cozy 68 in the evenings.

seppie said...

We've been doing it, just didn't "sign up" before. For 9 hours at night, our thermostat is set at 55. It's at 68 for 5 hours a day, when we are getting up in the morning and when we're having dinner and getting ready for bed. The rest of the day, when people are in and out, it's 62. On the weekends, we have it at 64 instead of 62, since we're home more. We're in Colorado, so sometimes it really does feel like we're freezing our buns off! Good thing our house is well-insulated...

Garden4Life said...

I'm in! I'm in Texas, but dh is a polar bear in the winter and has our thermostat set at 63 most of the time. Bun freezin' is what we do best, lol. Bring on the sweat suits and blankets!

Near Water said...

We have an auto thermostat, set for 60 at 7a, then 62 at 5pm (after sundown and evening at rest), then down to 55 at 10p. We did this last year, and the only occasional discomfort was cold hands and nose. I wear a scarf to bed - no big deal. I plan to order some fingerless gloves.

My husband works in an art studio set at 55. He needs an electric space heater with fan for the really bitter days.

Tanya Seaman said...

I'm clearly a little behind the crowd on this. But I've been setting the "wake" temp at 66 and "sleep" temp at 55. Small house, cast iron radiators, and my furnace only needs to take the edge off a couple of times each day. I do wear a hat to bed as it's a bit chilly by late night. I'm hoping to last through winter on just my 3/4 tank of oil. We'll see!

Karen said...

I would love to post this on my blog. Do you mind if I use the picture? Is their a link for this to go to?
Karen
www.gardenchick.com/garden-blog

Melissa said...

I am in ... I will turn the thermostat down to 55 when not here during the day (mon-fri), keep it at 67 when here during day (sat-sun), and at 60 during the night. I have been doing this for years ... I am a hot blooded person, so these temps are comfortable for me!

Liz said...

The thermostat is frozen (sometimes literally, it seems) at 15C (about 60F) day and night. So, if it's not too late, please count us in!

Turboglacier said...

Count us in from Maine. Just stumbled on this post, but in fact had the heat OFF until New Year's Eve (prior to that, just using a space heater or two now & then.) So until yesterday we generally had inside temps around 11C days, 3C at night. Could've gone all winter like that, but I have a new housemate who was skeptical-- so now we have the thermostat set at 15.5 days, 7 at night. It's been great!

Casey said...

Well, we're a bit late, but I'll post what we've been doing since it got cold (we're in SW Connecticut and our first New England winter since we're originally from VA). During the day we're at 65/7, and at night I believe we're down to 62.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Is it too late for me to participate? Winter is just now going into full swing up here in the mountains.
We even get snow as late as May up here.

We'll be keeping our thermostat set for 60 during the day (we've got passive solar with lots of south facing windows, so our temps easily reach in the 70's during a sunny day.)
And we'll set the nighttime temps for 58 degrees.
We use electric blankets at night, though. But at least we're not heating the entire house with propane.

Keep comfie this winter,
Lisa
New Mexico
Central Mountains

m3missy said...

I just found this challenge and I think it's great! We've been living with 40 at night and use either electric space heaters or a wood stove when we're home. I think we had the central heat on (gas) a handful of times at 60 when we have people over or just to take the chill off when we get home in the evening. It's great and super cost effective!

ChefBliss.com said...

Count us in!! Even in our freezing rain we never went over 63 degrees. 60 is our night standard and we go up to 62 during the day. When no one is home we leave it at 55, because we don't want to totally freeze the cats!! :) Believe me, I wear more clothes than ever before in life!! LOL!! During Christmas I even wore my fleece gloves in the house!

Nissa said...

I'm not that hardcore.. I'm thin blooded. We do 68 day and 64 at night. I'm still shivering in my slippers and extra sweaters. brr

carpediem said...

Here in MN, we were at 55 indoor temp day in/day out until the beginning of December when DH insisted we up it to 60...

Interesting to note, our baby girl, 11 months, has yet to "get sick" as we've been told would happen if we let it get too cold. IMHO, she's less likely to get sick if the temp change is minimal... going from 60 to 0 is better than 72 to 0, eh?

This is our first winter like this... times before, we were either top-story apt-complex (no heat necessary, basically) or we didn't care (home rental, newlyweds. Shouldn't've needed any heat anyway LOL!)

Anonymous said...

We pledge 62 day and off at night, we love to sleep with 2 comforters.... TMI
Mel

Laura said...

I'm a bit late joining in, but as its my first year in a house with gas heat I've definitely been trying to keep the heat turned down.

I started with 64 when I'm home and 62 when I'm not or over night. I'm now down to 62/61 when I'm home and 60/59 when I'm not or overnight.

My big double coated dog loves it - finally she's comfortable here in NC.

Anonymous said...

Here's a simple way to reduce your carbon footprint/rate of energy consumption - purchase a countertop EM Induction burner (requires magnetic stainless or cast iron cookware) and use it as often as possible to prepare your food. EM Induction heats the cooking vessel, not the surrounding atmosphere, with an efficiency of ~84 percent - far greater than that of an electric coil, gas, or radiant glasstop. It has a two-fold effect in warmer climates because it doesn't create much surplus ambient heat, thus placing less strain on the the air conditioning system, and it can be used outdoors too. It's a minor investment that can drastically reduce your power consumption, plus it's even easier to control than a natural gas burner.

Malorie said...

This is GREAT! I just stumbled upon this site while amist the jumble, my fiance and I have been doing this for years.
We have lived in appartment buildings for some time now and the one thing they all seam to have in common is baseboard heating. Don't ask me how these so called heating elements have become accepted, as they are not efficient!!
We shut ours off at the breaker box!! Excessive maybe but it has worked for us for years! living so close to our neighbors we seem to get some of their heat, and when it gets too cold we have an energy efficient space heater that we use for the main living area, we hardly turn it up past the first or second setting. I'm so glad to see the response of a challenge like this because most will soon realize how silly we have become to turn the heat so high up in the winter, just to turn around and turn it so far down in the summer.

Anonymous said...

Found your site from the NYT article about not having a refrigerator.

Live in the San Francisco Bay Area and have not use ANY heating or cooling in ten years. Keep waiting for it to get below 48F inside during the winter to turn on the heat and that never happens. Have south facing windows and the rooms heat nicely during the winter.

My house is 3800 square feet and the utility bill for electricity and gas is about twenty dollars a month.

Jen said...

I've been participating, albeit kind of unwittingly. We've been keeping the temps at 64 during the day (with an hour-long blast of 68 degree heat at 8 a.m.) and 58 at night. Hopefully that morning fix of toasty warm doesn't disqualify me completely, but I think this is a fabulous idea.

Angela V-C said...

I wish I had found this earlier. We do 65 during the day and 46-62 at night (depending on our paranoia around our daughter's sleep). I'd really love encouragement to keep it down (and I'll join in earlier next year!)

Carrick said...

I feel like I'm cheating on this one, since I live in LA and found it JUST as it was really warming up.

However, I will say that I had started to switch on the heater after my morning shower just so I could stand by it as I changed into my clothes, but after reading this and seeing if I could do without it, and realized I could, so I haven't turned on my heater since. :) So good work, Crunchy. :)

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