Wednesday, October 14, 2009

How low can you go?

Around here, many people try to keep from turning on their heat until November 1.  Its an arbitrary date more or less, but many people repeat it each year as a goal.  It seems like one of those guages used to show how rugged or in some cases, cheap you are.  In my case I try to see how long I can take it to try to keep our fuel usage as low as possible.  We live in Southeastern Mass and as a result have oil heat.  Most everyone around here does.  Even if they have a wood stove, they usually have an oil furnace as back up. 

Unfortunately we don't have a woodstove.  Its one of those things I wish I could have, but for many reasons that I won't bore you with, it is not possible.  So we wait and wait as long as possible to turn on the heat.  Hubby is almost always the first one to break down and turn it on.  This morning was his breaking point.  We've had colder than normal temperatures for the whole week with things predicted to get even colder in a few days.  We're actually having mid to late November weather right now. 

So Hubby had turned on the heat and after about a half hour with some warmed up toes, his cheap side kicked in and he turned it back off.  I've been trying to turn down the heat a little more each year.  When we lived in an apartment, the heat was part of the rent and we kept it at 72.  Just the thought of that makes me sweat now.  Last year we had it set at 65 during the day and 55 at night.  Now, when I was a kid we didn't have much money.  My parent's kept the heat at 62 for day and 52 at night.  I swore for years that I would never do that, and yet that is what I would like to do this year.  Hubby isn't very happy with that though.  He grew up with a house at 72 and everyone wandered around in very little clothing.  (His mother is famous for greeting people in her underwear.  Frightening!)  He feels that the house is as cold as he can take and would like me to leave it as is.  So, in the name of marital harmony, I will leave it alone.... for now.  I can't guarantee that I won't change it in a few weeks though.  The cheap/green side of me is strong.  I am Scottish hear me roar!

So, am I the only one struggling with the heat?  What do you keep your thermostat set at?


Fairly Odd Mother said...

62! OMG, I would freeze. I remember my parents keeping it at 65 for money reasons and I thought that was too cold. We have those thermastats that can be programmed, so it goes up to 68 downstairs in the day but down to 62ish upstairs. I remember John would try to put it into the high 50's at night down here but it was ridiculously cold when I'd come down to make coffee and took forever to finally heat up, so I squashed that. It may drop to 60 at night downstairs; 62 upstairs. I don't even turn off the heat anymore, just wait for it to kick on at some point---it was a couple of weeks ago that it did it. We have natural gas forced hot water and no central air, so we don't pay very much in the summer; maybe that's why I feel justified in the winter to be fairly warm.

kitsapFG said...

We keep the heat thermostat set very long so it only kicks on if we are not firing up the wood stove and the temps dip down a lot. Generally, it kicks on around 60 degrees. I do not move it up or down... just try to avoid having it kick on at all by using the wood stove if it is cold enough. 60 is as low as I can set it because my husband and daughter complain too much if I go lower. Interestingly enough, my mother has always kept her house REALLY warm - generally as hot as the face of the sun - however, while I do not really like to get cold, I don't mind it much cooler than she would have ever tolerated.

The Mom said...

FOM, its been a slow process to get the heat set this low. We did it in small increments over the years. I would have frozen if we did it all at once.

Kitsap, I do envy your woodstove, its funny how we all have different levels that are ok for us.