Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thermostat Check: Winter 09


Winter's coming to an end..I hope.  It is supposed to be a balmy 50 degrees here in Michigan today.  But I have no doubt the cold temperatures will be back.  I was reminded of this when I overheard (I know, I eavesdrop a lot) a conversation at the gym about what people keep their thermostat at in their home.  Which got me to wondering (because I really am that nosy) what do you keep yours at?

Just in case you were wondering, the people in the gym "know it's crazy, but keep it at 68 at night."  I do not think that's crazy at all because, as you can see we keep our thermostat set between 66-68 degrees F during the day and 64-66 at night.  In all fairness we have a wood stove that heats the main part of the house most days.  But we are out of wood for the season so we are just bundled up in slippers and sweatshirts, keeping ourselves cozy while we keep the house, and the Earth cool. 

I found this lovely website called It's the Planet Didiot! Which is not only incredibly informative, but also really kid friendly.  There I found these stats on thermostat settings:
  • Heating and cooling your dwelling uses more energy and drains more energy dollars than any other system in your home.
  • 45% of your utility bill goes to heating and cooling.
  • 150 million tons of CO2 are emitted into your atmosphere each year by heating and cooling systems in the U.S., adding to global climate change.
  • Heating and cooling systems in the U.S. generate 12% of the nation’s sulfur dioxide and 4% of the nitrogen oxides, the chief ingredients in acid rain.
And don't even think about space heaters, which would use at least 235 lbs. of coal to heat the average US home for a month.

So fess up...what's your thermostat at?  Could you break out the sweatshirts and turn it down a little?  Or for our Australian readers, up a little?  Where is a good place for the line between self-sacrifice and frozen toes?

13 comments:

Amy said...

Interesting information- I never thought about the space heater, thank you for sharing that, Willo! We keep ours at 68 during the day and drop to 66-67 at night. Our furnace is giving us fits though and the other day I woke up and it was 59 in our house and I didn't even realize it until I felt my nose :) I think we could definitely drop the thermostat even more just based on that :)

PS- I always appreciate your sweet and thoughtful comments. Thank you so much!!

Sara said...

We have ours set to be 68 during the day if we are here and 65 over night. I am sure we could go down a couple of degrees. It's my own fault... I get too old and go turn it up. I should just go put a sweater on instead.

Over Coffee - the green edition said...

Ours is set at the same temps as yours. It is also located close to the door we exit from so we always remember to switch it off before we leave. It does have timers and settings but I feel more comfortable turning it off….

Owl and Fox said...

It's getting colder, finally, down under, but I've resisted putting the heater on so far. I have 4 snuggly cats to keep me going, and a blanket too :) Once it gets too cold we keep it on 16C(around 60F).

We have evaperative cooling, much cheaper to run and a LOT less power used. It stays around 26C on hot days, but anything over 35C outside temperature it becomes useless, and seems to make the heat inside worse!

Debbie said...

We keep ours at 70 degrees at all times, I guess i'm bad!!

Pam said...

Here in New Hampshire we use a programmable thermostat. At night it's set for 55. Between 6:00am and 8:00am it's set for 65. After 8:00am it goes down to 60 but we use a gas parlor stove when we are in the living room reading. We have a propane stove in the room we use for school. So we are able to turn these two stoves off when we are not using the rooms. At 5:00pm the furnance comes back on to 65 until 7:00pm.

Having the programmable thermostat has saved us money as well as having the ability to only heat the rooms we are using.

Shauna said...

I am new here! What a great blog :)

Ashley said...

Stopping in from SITS :)
We used to keep our thermostat no higher than 66-67 in the winter pre-baby. Now it rarely ever goes below 68. His room is generally always a degree or two cooler than the rest of the house, so can't let it get too cold for him!

Nap Warden said...

We keep it pretty darn cold in our house. We range from 60 at night to 68. I am always wearing a big sweater:P

Eva said...

we can't really regulate our heating as all the hot water for the nearby homes comes from a nearby powerplant. but our appartment is in the middle of the building and we have the heat turned completely off all the time because there is enough heat coming from the neighbouring appartments. it doesen't save us a lot of money because the bill is shared among all apartments, but it certainly saves energy.

Willo said...

Wow! It sounds like you ladies are doing wonderful! Unless are warmer users just didn't fess up? :) Keep up the good work and we will check back in the dog days of summer to see how we're doing on the other end!

Condo Blues said...

I have a programmable thermostat I keep the default settings: 68 degrees at 6am, 58 at 8am, 65 at 6pm, and 62 for sleeping at 10 pm.

Renee said...

I keep ours at 62 during the day and we just wear a sweatshirt and jeans with socks. During the night I try to turn it down to 58 if I remember and if I don't well it isn't a big deal.