The Money Mustache Community

General Discussion => Throw Down the Gauntlet => Topic started by: sununderwood on October 11, 2013, 07:44:09 AM

Title: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: sununderwood on October 11, 2013, 07:44:09 AM
I am trying to go as long as possible without using heat. I probably have it logistically easier than most because I live on the first story of a house with apartments above and below that use heat, so I don't fear any pipe freezing complications. I also think those apts insulate me pretty well.

It's snowed twice already here and it's been in the 20s at night, as low as the 30s during the day. So far so good with Clothes, but we'll see if I can make it in negative temperatures. Last winter the highest I turned the heat was 58. I believe that acclimating to cold is easier than acclimating to hot, and I live in a place where it's much more cold than hot.

My electricity bill in the summer was around $15 a month, gas $10-15 a month. I hope to make it only slightly higher in the winter! Anyone else doing this?
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: NinetyFour on October 11, 2013, 08:14:46 AM
I'm in.  I have not yet turned on my heat.  I live in a 650 sq ft house, with a gas "fake" wood stove.  It was 52 degrees F inside this morning.  I bundled up, had hot coffee, hot cereal, and did pushups.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Spork on October 11, 2013, 08:23:10 AM
We had our thermostat set to "auto" for 2 hours last winter (when guests were over and there was an unexpected snow and they were all wet from playing in it).  The rest of the time it was off.  I don't see this as a problem.

caveat: I live pretty far south and I heat mostly with a wood stove
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: cats on October 11, 2013, 08:27:40 AM
We live in an area that doesn't get too cold over the winter (might dip below freezing a few nights), so I'm hoping we can go heatless all winter.  Last winter I had a roommate who always ran a space heater on her dog, while the boyfriend lived in a super drafty and shaded house.  This year we are in a small study with what so far appear to be fairly solid windows, so hopefully not so much seeping of heat out.

So far we haven't even had to break out the sweaters in the evenings or an extra blanket for the bed, which I am super psyched about!  Without heating, our electric bill is <$15/month, hoping we can keep it that way!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: kdms on October 11, 2013, 05:45:42 PM
Our usual goal is to go from Easter to Thanksgiving (Canadian, so this weekend) with the furnace turned off.  As of yet, we haven't managed the Easter part, because winter usually just clings like grim death to the Ottawa Valley (and we're just sick and tired of fishing through the slush for the last hidden bits of the woodpile) but it's been unseasonably warm this fall so far so I'm going to push the optimism to November 1st.  We still haven't had a serious frost, which is very unusual (although good for the garden.)  DH has been killing himself to cut and split wood for the woodstove so we can delay the inevitable as long as possible, but heating 2700 sq ft in winter averages of -10C to -25C isn't easy.  If we can make it to Christmas without turning on the furnace, I'll be really impressed, especially as there'll be a new infant in the house in around a month's time.  I suspect motivation to keep the stove going will be directly related to how much sleep we're not getting.  :D
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: NinetyFour on October 12, 2013, 12:34:24 PM
It was 48 degrees F in my house this morning!!  It has now warmed up to a balmy 51.  I am thinking of roasting some beets and carrots in the oven, just to warm the place up some more!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: NinetyFour on October 15, 2013, 10:35:11 AM
52 degrees F in my house this morning.  My goal was to make it to October 15th without heat, and I did it!  A few minutes ago, I turned on the pilot light for my fake wood (gas-powered) stove.  I am hoping to make it another 5 days or so without actually turning on the stove, but the little bit of heat from the pilot light should help a bit!

Still bundled up in my hat, long sleeved fleece, sweats, smartwool socks, and down vest!  Feeling pretty badass!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: DocCyane on October 15, 2013, 01:43:36 PM
Living in Los Angeles. Used the heat once last winter, but did use a space heater so the animals could be comfortable. We plan on going without heat again this winter.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: RMD on October 16, 2013, 07:28:04 AM
I'm in!  Kansas has been unpredictable weather-wise for the past several years.  A couple years ago we had neighbors mowing their lawn a week before Christmas.  Who knows what this year will bring.

I did drag out the electric blanket last night.  My feet were cold and I could not get warm even with wearing socks...but if it gets us through the month without turningthe furnace on, I'll take it.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Ottawa on October 16, 2013, 07:53:59 AM
Our usual goal is to go from Easter to Thanksgiving (Canadian, so this weekend) with the furnace turned off.  As of yet, we haven't managed the Easter part, because winter usually just clings like grim death to the Ottawa Valley (and we're just sick and tired of fishing through the slush for the last hidden bits of the woodpile) but it's been unseasonably warm this fall so far so I'm going to push the optimism to November 1st.  We still haven't had a serious frost, which is very unusual (although good for the garden.)  DH has been killing himself to cut and split wood for the woodstove so we can delay the inevitable as long as possible, but heating 2700 sq ft in winter averages of -10C to -25C isn't easy.  If we can make it to Christmas without turning on the furnace, I'll be really impressed, especially as there'll be a new infant in the house in around a month's time.  I suspect motivation to keep the stove going will be directly related to how much sleep we're not getting.  :D

I'm in...but will only compete with people in the same climatic zone!  :-)

So far we haven't turned the furnace on this fall...we were talking about how long we can go over the Thanksgiving weekend.  These sunny days have been excellent for heating the house up during the day.  Our house has full southerly exposure with approximately 1/3 of the wall's surface area in windows!  The coldest the house has been in the morning so far was 17.5C (63.5F).  An inside temperature of below 15C (60F) starts to get a bit iffy...

We will be hugely dependent on what the weather does...it looks like after this upcoming weekend we will see a major cold trend setting in...9C (48F) high and 0C (32) lows...so I suspect the furnace will be coming on then. 
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: kdms on October 16, 2013, 11:20:11 AM
Our usual goal is to go from Easter to Thanksgiving (Canadian, so this weekend) with the furnace turned off.  As of yet, we haven't managed the Easter part, because winter usually just clings like grim death to the Ottawa Valley (and we're just sick and tired of fishing through the slush for the last hidden bits of the woodpile) but it's been unseasonably warm this fall so far so I'm going to push the optimism to November 1st.  We still haven't had a serious frost, which is very unusual (although good for the garden.)  DH has been killing himself to cut and split wood for the woodstove so we can delay the inevitable as long as possible, but heating 2700 sq ft in winter averages of -10C to -25C isn't easy.  If we can make it to Christmas without turning on the furnace, I'll be really impressed, especially as there'll be a new infant in the house in around a month's time.  I suspect motivation to keep the stove going will be directly related to how much sleep we're not getting.  :D

I'm in...but will only compete with people in the same climatic zone!  :-)

So far we haven't turned the furnace on this fall...we were talking about how long we can go over the Thanksgiving weekend.  These sunny days have been excellent for heating the house up during the day.  Our house has full southerly exposure with approximately 1/3 of the wall's surface area in windows!  The coldest the house has been in the morning so far was 17.5C (63.5F).  An inside temperature of below 15C (60F) starts to get a bit iffy...

We will be hugely dependent on what the weather does...it looks like after this upcoming weekend we will see a major cold trend setting in...9C (48F) high and 0C (32) lows...so I suspect the furnace will be coming on then.

You're on!  Sounds like we've got really similar setups.  South facing house, two-story glass windows on the front (solarium so it actually acts as a bit of a buffer to the actual house).  We're having to start considering the shock factor of the tile floors first thing in the morning when we come down the stairs - barefoot or socks?

Only tv channel we've got on pretty much all the time these days is the weather channel - and we've also been watching that system that's pushing it's way eastward for a couple of days now.  Got the woodpile covered up last night, and we definitely have to pull up the rest of the tomatoes (silly things are still ripening outside) and pick the rest of the cucumbers....can't believe they're still growing.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: oldtoyota on October 17, 2013, 08:04:09 AM
I will do this. I checked the weather and am happy to see moderate temperatures for the next few weeks. If I can make it to November or even into November without heat, I will be really happy.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: NinetyFour on October 17, 2013, 08:08:05 AM
I'm still in.  52 degrees in my house this morning.  Hot coffee, hot cereal, down booties, down jacket, buff, hat, fingerless ragg wool gloves.  Toasty warm!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Ottawa on October 17, 2013, 08:10:28 AM
You're on!  Sounds like we've got really similar setups.  South facing house, two-story glass windows on the front (solarium so it actually acts as a bit of a buffer to the actual house).  We're having to start considering the shock factor of the tile floors first thing in the morning when we come down the stairs - barefoot or socks?

Only tv channel we've got on pretty much all the time these days is the weather channel - and we've also been watching that system that's pushing it's way eastward for a couple of days now.  Got the woodpile covered up last night, and we definitely have to pull up the rest of the tomatoes (silly things are still ripening outside) and pick the rest of the cucumbers....can't believe they're still growing.

My wife informed me this morning that we will attempt to reach November 1st! She just says "Put on wool socks and long underwear!" See attached weather outlook until end of October...

 
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: NinetyFour on October 17, 2013, 08:13:48 AM
You can do it!  Jumping jacks and pushups are useful in the cool mornings!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: oldtoyota on October 20, 2013, 07:15:05 PM
It is going down to 39 F tonight. I am nervous! I've got warm pjs and flannel sheets.

I would like to make it to November 1, too.

I noticed warm sunshine coming in the kidlet's window today, so I am aiming to be a bit more strategic about letting the sun come in to heat up the house. Hard to get out of the summer habit of trying to keep the sun *out*.





Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: NinetyFour on October 20, 2013, 07:24:06 PM
I am excited that, for the next week, the lows will be in the high twenties (F).  That means I should be able to make it for at least one more week with no heat.

Last night, I was visiting a friend, and slept on the couch.  I got HOT during the night, because I wasn't used to being in a house with temperatures above 65!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: olivia on October 20, 2013, 08:31:35 PM
So far we've managed to keep our heat off.  We're in the northeast and it's been pretty mild, so no issues.  This week is going to be the chilliest week yet, so we'll see if I can hold out!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Abe on October 20, 2013, 09:02:46 PM
We live in the Chicago area and keep our thermostat programed to 55 except for between 6pm-10pm, where it is 65. The insulation is good enough that this will keep the apartment higher than 60 all day until mid January. Our heating costs  end up being about $30-50 / month from November to April.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: RMD on October 21, 2013, 03:46:28 AM
I had to cave this weekend.  :(  The 5yo was cold enough that his nose was constantly dripping and he insisted on wiping it on his sleeve.  He also resists wearing layers...and well, I have to pick my battles.

On an interesting note, I've found our house likes to be cold more than warm.  Meaning we can go longer without turning on AC in the summer than we can without turning on heat.  Not sure how this works exactly, but am assuming it has to do with shade trees.  We don't get much direct sunlight.  On Saturday morning our indoor temp was 52F and I did some baking and was able to move it up a bit, but not much.  Later in the day we noticed that it was warmer outside than inside.  Due to DHs seasonal allergies, opening windows isn't a good idea.

So, we made it to the 20th and we are currently trying to find the non-nose dripping temp break and will strive for that during our hours at home.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: kdms on October 21, 2013, 04:46:30 AM
My sympathies for the nose-dripping...I totally understand that situation.  Happens to me every single year when it goes from either hot to cold or cold to hot, and I have yet to find the temp balance to eliminate it. 

I'm lucky my 3yo inherited his daddy's nose in this particular case.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Ottawa on October 21, 2013, 05:54:15 AM
Update:  Furnace remains cold and idle!  We continue to hope for sun during the day to heat up the place inside...

Monday Morning (I have an indoor/outdoor digital thermometer...apparently Canadians are weather obsessed...down to the decimal place)  :-)

outdoors = 2.8C (37F)
indoors = 18.8C (66F)

No problems at all so far...but the forecast for the next 7 days...yikes.

Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: RetiredAt63 on October 21, 2013, 06:11:42 AM
I'm in!  Ottawa and KDMS, I am in the Ottawa Valley, closer to Montreal, so a bit colder than in town.  House this morning was 15C, lately it has been 18 but the weather has turned.  Winter PJs and flannel sheets are out, summer stuff put away.  Wool-lined moccasins for slippers do wonders.  I also have some incandescent bulbs stashed away for the bathroom so the room warms up for showers.   My version of zone heating.

My silly dog is finally blowing her summer coat and the winter one is already growing in, which makes grooming her not so fun.  She loves the cold, a howling blizzard is just perfect.  I am doing lots of knitting.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: oldtoyota on October 21, 2013, 07:40:24 AM

On an interesting note, I've found our house likes to be cold more than warm. 


Is your house made of brick?
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Emerald on October 21, 2013, 07:57:40 AM
Mine has been off since early September.  I'm shooting for mid-November.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: RMD on October 21, 2013, 07:36:49 PM

On an interesting note, I've found our house likes to be cold more than warm. 


Is your house made of brick?

No...we have brick facing on the front ground floor...the rest is wood.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: oldtoyota on October 21, 2013, 08:06:39 PM

On an interesting note, I've found our house likes to be cold more than warm. 


Is your house made of brick?

No...we have brick facing on the front ground floor...the rest is wood.

Ah. Our house is brick, which means cold in summer and winter for the most part. I thought your home might be cold for similar reasons.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: olivia on October 22, 2013, 01:29:47 PM
I got my husband in on this challenge which is awesome.  Last night it was chilly in the house and I was about to cave but he wouldn't let me turn it on!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Rural on October 22, 2013, 06:31:24 PM
Our passive solar heating is working quite well so far. We're due our first hard freeze Friday night, so that will be the real test, but this place didn't get below the mid-50s at night in the worst of last February without any heat installed at all, so I think we may do okay. I'm a wuss about temps below about 60 when I'm working from home and sitting at a computer, so we'll see. So far no heat other than a space heater for 20 minutes or so while showering n the mornings (I'm a wuss about wet, naked, and cold, too...) Temps have stayed between 63 and 68 in the house so far this fall, with no climate control and outside temps ranging from 40 to 83.

We did have to run the AC more than we'd hoped this summer, so it will be nice if the winter is better. The AC thing was humidity and mold rather than temperature, so we're still hoping it will stabilize once the concrete cures more.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: kdms on October 23, 2013, 01:41:35 PM
So far so good....DH has asked two evenings in a row now if he should build up a fire (does that count for this challenge?) but nobody's mentioned turning on the furnace except the cats, who are pointedly parking their furry butts over the vents waiting for hot air that isn't coming through.....

Definitely getting harder to say no to an evening fire.  0C outside when I left the house this morning; 18C inside.  We installed 30 new windows last fall, and they've made a huge difference, clearly.  So far, only two changes made - flip flops instead of bare feet (tile) and the bedroom ceiling fan direction has been reversed, so that cool air is no longer blowing down on us at night (we all breathe better with the moving air).

I'm just glad it's not snowed yet...still have potatoes to dig, garlic to plant and pumpkins to bring in this weekend.  :)
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Spork on October 23, 2013, 01:56:08 PM
So far so good....DH has asked two evenings in a row now if he should build up a fire (does that count for this challenge?)

I think fires are perfectly legal (especially if the wood is free).  Be aware that, depending on your setup, fires may make your house warmer or colder.   Most fireplaces are made to look pretty, not to heat.   If there isn't a heat exchanger and/or if the air supply for the fire comes from inside the house: your fire may make your house colder by sucking the warm inside air up the chimney.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: kdms on October 23, 2013, 04:10:57 PM
Oh, the wood's free (we collect off Kijiji :) ) and we've got woodstoves that do a marvelous job of heating the house, provided we use fans to circulate the heat.

We've had the sucking holes you're referring to in past homes and that's (usually) the first thing we've 'fixed' when we've bought the place....replace it with a wood or pellet stove.  If we're going to make fire, it's going to be useful, darn it!  lol
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: abhe8 on October 23, 2013, 05:06:51 PM
i'm up for the challenge! we live in mid - mid - west. we havn't turned the furnace on yet, but do use the fireplace. tell me more about the fireplace making things colder. we have a big brick hearth and fireplace with a wood burning insert. the insert has a fan to blow out the hot air. but it really heats up our house. i can build the fire from about 5pm to midnight, temp will go from 65 to 80 and then by the next am its back down to 68 or so. we do have good souther exposure with tons of windows and that warms the house in the daytime.

hmm....so since the fan on the fireplace insert is drawing on my electric bill, i'm not sure if that really "counts" or not. our furnace is on propane and my goal is to make it another month with just the fireplace. the wood is free, was cut/stacked when we bought our house/property last year. we also have a few (huge and small) dead trees, so should have wood "free" (minus dh's labor) for this winter and next.

but back to the fireplace making the house colder...tell me more? what are the holes you speak of? our house is pretty drafty, a far cry from "sealed up tight." (we are working on it, but likely no big improvements until next year).
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: zinnie on October 23, 2013, 05:22:43 PM
I need to do this. We live in San Diego, but have an old house with no insulation nor the ability to add it and it gets chilly in there fast!

I need to toughen up and not be bothered by 50-degree indoor weather. We are going to see how long we can last this year with no heat. Good challenge :)
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: daverobev on October 23, 2013, 05:43:57 PM
Also in the Ottawa Valley, but west of Ottawa.

We have our heat on! We got it serviced almost three weeks back... but the guy took a piece to get a replacement and.. well, the replacement only came in yesterday. So this afternoon the owner came and put the new bit in, and oh so warm and cozy.

It was cold the last couple of days. We have a couple of electric heaters we've used sporadically. Honestly, it would've been fine but we were away overnight on Sunday - so no body heat, no cooking, nothing - and the house was COLD on Monday when we got home.

Anyway, the furnace itself is on now, so I'll leave the thermostat at about 15 (degrees C, which is what, 59F?) and supplement with small amounts of electric heat where I am.. maybe. We also have a baby due in (gulp) a month so I suspect our heating bill for this winter will be higher than last!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Spork on October 23, 2013, 10:53:45 PM
i'm up for the challenge! we live in mid - mid - west. we havn't turned the furnace on yet, but do use the fireplace. tell me more about the fireplace making things colder. we have a big brick hearth and fireplace with a wood burning insert. the insert has a fan to blow out the hot air. but it really heats up our house. i can build the fire from about 5pm to midnight, temp will go from 65 to 80 and then by the next am its back down to 68 or so. we do have good souther exposure with tons of windows and that warms the house in the daytime.

I would guess the built in fan is your heat exchanger... and you're probably not losing heat with that setup.  A "normal" fireplace makes a hotspot where it lies... but it also creates a draft that goes quickly up the chimney and draws the air from the room with it.  (An alternate source of air for the fire can solve this issue, too).  The chimney draft causes air to be pulled in from outside: through leaky spots in your walls or your HVAC air inlets or where ever the path of least resistance lies.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Ottawa on October 24, 2013, 08:10:29 AM
Update!

Trending colder indoors and out!

This morning saw minus 1C (30F) outside and 16C (61F) inside...there has been no talk of caving in yet!  However, without sunny days....to recover some lost heat inside (cloudy and windy today), it will only be a couple more days until the inside is only marginally warmer than the outside...which will be 6-7C (43F).  I don't think we will be able to continue if that is reached...not sure at what indoor temp we'll pull the pin...will keep posted!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: RetiredAt63 on October 24, 2013, 10:22:24 AM
Updates - I caved - it was 14C in the house this morning.  It is not the house's fault, it can be -20 and sunny and no wind and the furnace doesn't come on - but it is cold (frost last night, 5C right now at noon) and overcast and windy and the house has been losing more heat each night than it has gained during the day.

I did reset the programmable thermostat - this is my first winter at home, I used to turn the heat way down.  Knitting and music practice do work to keep fingers warm, but don't do a good job of warming them up in the first place.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: ScienceSexSavings on October 24, 2013, 12:28:26 PM
Montreal girl, checking in! I'm fully expecting to make it into November, it's just a question of how far into November. I live alone in a small basement apartment with north and east facing windows, so there aren't a lot of natural heat sources for me. So far the place has been staying close to 20C on it's own, and I have no sweet clue how. My unit is on one side of a duplex, and while I'm sure there's an apartment on the other side of the duplex as well, my ears are telling me that I'm next to a stairwell on the south side, and there's a garage behind my unit on the west side, so I wouldn't expect much heat to be coming in from there. Due to the laws of physics, I shouldn't be getting much of anything from the unit above me, either. The windows are shit, and the foundation doesn't look great, but I'll take the mysterious warmth!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: hoodedfalcon on October 24, 2013, 04:58:23 PM
Okay, so I am a superwimp. I was trying to go until November before turning on my heat. I live in a very old and poorly insulated house, and this morning the temps inside were in the 50s. Right now it is at 61 and it's really hard not to reach over and flip that switch (just for a second..). How long does it take to acclimate? Will 60 start to feel comfortable if I just keep at it?
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: daverobev on October 24, 2013, 06:47:21 PM
Okay, so I am a superwimp. I was trying to go until November before turning on my heat. I live in a very old and poorly insulated house, and this morning the temps inside were in the 50s. Right now it is at 61 and it's really hard not to reach over and flip that switch (just for a second..). How long does it take to acclimate? Will 60 start to feel comfortable if I just keep at it?

IMHO it just depends on what you're doing. Doing 'computer stuff' for any length of time I find really hard, simply because my hands get so cold. But if you're cooking, watching TV it's fine. Blankets are GOOD - whenever you sit down, pull one over you!

Also thermal underwear. Makes a huge difference to your core - but again, doesn't help if you're typing/mousing sitting at a desk...

Ours is now on and comes on when the temp gets below 16 deg. C or so. But that is where the thermostat is - which is in the center of the house, probably the warmest spot! By the windows in the kitchen is chilly.. today I worked on stuffing stuff into the cracks to stop air flow...
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: hoodedfalcon on October 24, 2013, 08:49:05 PM
Okay, so I am a superwimp. I was trying to go until November before turning on my heat. I live in a very old and poorly insulated house, and this morning the temps inside were in the 50s. Right now it is at 61 and it's really hard not to reach over and flip that switch (just for a second..). How long does it take to acclimate? Will 60 start to feel comfortable if I just keep at it?

IMHO it just depends on what you're doing. Doing 'computer stuff' for any length of time I find really hard, simply because my hands get so cold. But if you're cooking, watching TV it's fine. Blankets are GOOD - whenever you sit down, pull one over you!

Also thermal underwear. Makes a huge difference to your core - but again, doesn't help if you're typing/mousing sitting at a desk...

Ours is now on and comes on when the temp gets below 16 deg. C or so. But that is where the thermostat is - which is in the center of the house, probably the warmest spot! By the windows in the kitchen is chilly.. today I worked on stuffing stuff into the cracks to stop air flow...

I think you are right. I was doing computer stuff, and my hands were freezing. I took a nice hot bath and I've been toasty warm ever since. I still think I am a superwimp, but I think I can make it another week! And then maybe another!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: kdms on October 25, 2013, 04:53:42 AM
Also in the Ottawa Valley, but west of Ottawa.

We have our heat on! We got it serviced almost three weeks back... but the guy took a piece to get a replacement and.. well, the replacement only came in yesterday. So this afternoon the owner came and put the new bit in, and oh so warm and cozy.

It was cold the last couple of days. We have a couple of electric heaters we've used sporadically. Honestly, it would've been fine but we were away overnight on Sunday - so no body heat, no cooking, nothing - and the house was COLD on Monday when we got home.

Anyway, the furnace itself is on now, so I'll leave the thermostat at about 15 (degrees C, which is what, 59F?) and supplement with small amounts of electric heat where I am.. maybe. We also have a baby due in (gulp) a month so I suspect our heating bill for this winter will be higher than last!

We're also the west side of the valley, and it's interesting that you should mention a new baby - our second is also due in a month at the end of November.  However, we're actually anticipating the heating bill to go down, because I'll be home to keep the woodstove going during the day.  I suspect our ability to hold out on turning the furnace on right now is because I'm the wimp about being cold, and having the natural built-in heater is definitely a bonus right now....we'll see what happens when I can actually see my toes again.  :D
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: oldtoyota on October 25, 2013, 06:41:18 AM
If it's going down to freezing tonight, would it be dumb for me to continue this challenge? I am wondering if the water pipes will burst or not.

Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: oldtoyota on October 25, 2013, 06:43:33 AM
Also in the Ottawa Valley, but west of Ottawa.

We have our heat on! We got it serviced almost three weeks back... but the guy took a piece to get a replacement and.. well, the replacement only came in yesterday. So this afternoon the owner came and put the new bit in, and oh so warm and cozy.

It was cold the last couple of days. We have a couple of electric heaters we've used sporadically. Honestly, it would've been fine but we were away overnight on Sunday - so no body heat, no cooking, nothing - and the house was COLD on Monday when we got home.

Anyway, the furnace itself is on now, so I'll leave the thermostat at about 15 (degrees C, which is what, 59F?) and supplement with small amounts of electric heat where I am.. maybe. We also have a baby due in (gulp) a month so I suspect our heating bill for this winter will be higher than last!

We're also the west side of the valley, and it's interesting that you should mention a new baby - our second is also due in a month at the end of November.  However, we're actually anticipating the heating bill to go down, because I'll be home to keep the woodstove going during the day.  I suspect our ability to hold out on turning the furnace on right now is because I'm the wimp about being cold, and having the natural built-in heater is definitely a bonus right now....we'll see what happens when I can actually see my toes again.  :D

I found a baby to keep me quite warm. They are little furnaces.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Ottawa on October 25, 2013, 06:49:07 AM
If it's going down to freezing tonight, would it be dumb for me to continue this challenge? I am wondering if the water pipes will burst or not.

Depends on what your inside temperature is...and perhaps where your water pipes are in relation to the house exterior.   Perhaps move a thermometer around to various parts in your house to see where you are at.  I don't think you need to go below zero inside your house...although that would be extremely badass.

Update:
This morning it was 15.5C (60F) inside and -1 (30F) outside.  I am quite surprised that the interior temperature is staying this high.  I must disclose, however, that we are in a townhouse with neighbors on each side (east/west).  So, we will definitely be getting benefit from them.  Currently it is sunny outside, which will be boosting the indoor temperature.  I'm still in!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: daverobev on October 25, 2013, 09:19:20 AM
Yup having neighbours with their furnace set to 'tropical' certainly helps!

Pipes are unlikely to burst at 0, -1, -2 - the heat you're generating just by living, cooking etc will stop the freezing; as will using water, it brings the cold stuff through and slightly warmer stuff from down below. Thermal mass and all that. But if your basement is getting down to 2, 1 then yeah... turn it on!

Ours is coming on for a couple of minutes at a time, that's all. I've got a t-shirt, shirt and thick hoodie on now so I'm pretty comfy.. had to get up and put thermals on in bed last night though (our bedroom is the coldest room in the house... I need to get some HVAC pipe mastic and seal some stuff up... but there is a vent on the outflow of our furnace?! Like... two feet away from the burners! I don't get it..)
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: oldtoyota on October 25, 2013, 09:21:49 AM
Thank you for the advice. I won't stress about it then. Of course, the hot water for showers, etc would help. Do not know why I forgot about that.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: brand new stash on October 25, 2013, 09:40:43 AM
Our house was 57 degrees this morning.  Its supposed to be in the 30's overnight the next few days, and not get up above 60 during the day.  So I think it will just get colder over the next few days.  I had been hoping to get through October without using heat, but I'm beginning to worry we won't make it.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: NinetyFour on October 25, 2013, 04:34:52 PM
Don't know if you saw it upthread, but about a week ago, it was 48 F in my house.  I survived without turning on the heat.  Since then, it has been in the low 50's in the mornings.  Still haven't used heat.  I'm kind of getting used to it--sometimes I actually feel too warm...so I unzip my down jacket slightly.  I have also been wearing a hat, a balaclava, a Buff, and down booties.  Toasty.  I hope to make it to at least Nov. 1 without heat.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: oldtoyota on October 25, 2013, 07:32:12 PM
Our house was 57 degrees this morning.  Its supposed to be in the 30's overnight the next few days, and not get up above 60 during the day.  So I think it will just get colder over the next few days.  I had been hoping to get through October without using heat, but I'm beginning to worry we won't make it.

When I came home and saw our house guest in a winter coat and hat, I started to think maybe it was time to use the heat. I compromised and turned on a space heater. Which is worse--electric heat or gas heat?

I am wearing many layers and am so proud I've not caved. I'm hoping we can make it despite the house guests. Since I turned on the space heater, the hat and coat have come off.

Tomorrow, we're be out a lot in the day. I'll leave the curtains open to get a bit of "greenhouse effect" and hope that warms things up.



Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Rural on October 26, 2013, 07:45:51 AM
Caved last night as we went to 26F overnight and the pipes that serve the kitchen sink and dishwasher are in an exterior (not underground) wall. That will will be part of our enclosed atrium/ greenhouse eventually, but ATM it's still an open courtyard. The walls are foamed in and six inches thick, so it was probably fine, but the downside of the foam is that if a pipe bursts, we have a major disassembly job on our hands to repair it. We decided not to take the chance.

So it's 62F in the end of the house with the heat on, 57F on the end without, and we have discovered it's past time to install ceiling fans, since much of the heat is at the ceiling. Sun's out, though, and everything is starting to warm up nicely. The heat pump is kicking on only for about five minutes every hour or so, and I expect it will stop now that the sun is hitting the wall it's on.

We don't have another freeze  in the ten-day forecast, so we'll turn the heat back off again once it goes above freezing out there today.

On the bright side, the frost on the roof did not start to melt until the sun hit the roof. Insulation is working.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: olivia on October 27, 2013, 08:25:47 PM
You all beat me, I caved when it got down in the 30s here at night last week.  My husband was willing to keep it going but I was freezing and turned it on!  I've set the thermostat to 65 at night, 68 during the day...any colder than that and I'm miserable.  (At 68 I still wear sweatpants, t-shirt, sweatshirt and sheepskin boots.)  But given that we have a very small place, and it's a rowhouse, the heat hasn't actually been on that much.  I'm excited to see what our gas bill ends is going forward.  Last year I definitely had it higher, low 70s if I recall correctly. 
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: NinetyFour on October 27, 2013, 08:38:55 PM
Cold temps are on their way here.  Supposed to be 22 and 21 (F) on Weds and Thurs nights.  We had temps like that a couple times earlier this month, and I made it with no heat, but it wasn't exactly pleasant!  I am still hoping to make it until at least November 1.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Ottawa on October 28, 2013, 09:03:49 AM
We have really adapted to the decreasing house temperature...we did not expect this.  A respite:  The weekend saw our inside house temperature go up to 17C from a low of 14.6C late last week.  No doubt a combination of body heat and a little baking!  I'm fairly confident we can make it, though we are supposed to go down to -9C tonight (16F). 

I think one of the important things is that we haven't been sitting around - we've been constantly moving and staying busy. 

Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: NumberCruncher on October 28, 2013, 10:23:38 AM
When I came home and saw our house guest in a winter coat and hat, I started to think maybe it was time to use the heat. I compromised and turned on a space heater. Which is worse--electric heat or gas heat?

electric heat is generally worse, but heating a small space with a space heater is better than heating a larger space with gas. (heating a room vs heating the whole house for example.)

Haven't turned on our heat yet :D  It's around 60 and not too bad. Right now the thermostat is set at 50. I'm a little afraid to put it any lower for the pipes, but thinking it would still likely be fine at 45 or so.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: hoodedfalcon on October 28, 2013, 10:38:54 AM
I totally wimped out when it got around 55 inside. But I am definitely going to keep it set at a lower temp than in previous years. I am going to see if I can acclimate to 62, but I might go up to 64 for when I am at home.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: brand new stash on October 28, 2013, 10:59:39 AM
I totally wimped out when it got around 55 inside. But I am definitely going to keep it set at a lower temp than in previous years. I am going to see if I can acclimate to 62, but I might go up to 64 for when I am at home.

Me too, I wimped out this weekend when the house hit 55, and we set the heat to 62. 
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: oldtoyota on October 28, 2013, 11:10:54 AM
When I came home and saw our house guest in a winter coat and hat, I started to think maybe it was time to use the heat. I compromised and turned on a space heater. Which is worse--electric heat or gas heat?

electric heat is generally worse, but heating a small space with a space heater is better than heating a larger space with gas. (heating a room vs heating the whole house for example.)

Haven't turned on our heat yet :D  It's around 60 and not too bad. Right now the thermostat is set at 50. I'm a little afraid to put it any lower for the pipes, but thinking it would still likely be fine at 45 or so.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: RetiredAt63 on October 28, 2013, 06:12:32 PM
I caved a few days ago, and I am glad I did, I finally got over a lingering cold.  Now that the sun is back the house is not needing it - today the thermostat was at 17C (that is daytime, night is 15), the house was at 21.  It felt tropical, especially after working outside (5C and windy - but sunny).
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: sununderwood on October 28, 2013, 08:21:15 PM
Feels like: 11 degrees F outside right now, snow off and on all day, and still going strong without heat. Yet another benefit of biking is that biking in such weather with 20 mph wind pushing you all over makes you love the shit out of how warm and comfortable your unheated home is. It is 52 degrees F inside and I feel toasty. Yes, you will acclimate! Give me all you got, Montana.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: NinetyFour on October 29, 2013, 05:44:20 AM
Good for you, smai!  I have noticed that I have been acclimating as well.  It is 56 F inside my house this morning, and I am too warm!  I just had to take off my hat and my Buff.  Cold front is coming through, though...
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Ottawa on October 29, 2013, 06:50:22 AM
Good for you, smai!  I have noticed that I have been acclimating as well.  It is 56 F inside my house this morning, and I am too warm!  I just had to take off my hat and my Buff.  Cold front is coming through, though...

awesome stuff!    Woke up to 57F in the house this morning!  Sunny day today though...and temperatures going up at end of week to almost 60 outside! This brings up the possibility of going beyond November 1st which we didn't expect we'd be able to do! 
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: oldtoyota on October 29, 2013, 07:04:26 AM
Still going strong here. We're warm and toasty at night. I used space heater a few times--not sure if that rules me out here or not...but I still have not turned on the heat.

Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Half-Borg on October 29, 2013, 09:14:52 AM
I'm also going without heating.
It's currently 55F outside and 60F inside.
I hope to make it through Mid-November
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: DTown on October 29, 2013, 09:57:19 AM
I'll join. I moved into a new house with roommates not too long ago. We turned on the heat when it started snowing outside and the inside temp dropped to 55F. Now we keep the house set at 60F, but I live in the cooler basement where it is 58F. It took a couple weeks for me to adjust, but now its not a big deal at all. I just wear long underwear and socks all the time.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: dorkus619 on October 29, 2013, 10:41:42 AM
I'm a wimp compared to you guys. When the inside temp got down to about 58-60, I was too damn cold and caved. I programmed the thermostat (online) and noticed last winter I had it set to 68 when we were home!! yikes. Well I can certainly do better than that. I've got it at 59 overnight (with me, BF, and dog in the bed, it's HOT!) 64 when I wake up and get ready for work (Ultimate wimp time), 58 during the day while we're at work, and then 63 during the evenings.

I've tried to do the curtains thing - open during day, closed overnight. Doesn't seem to help much because of all the trees, I don't get much sun. Should be better when all the leaves fall I guess.

Anyone know what the threshold is for the difference in high and low temps? Like at what point is it not energy efficient to heat the house back up after letting it drop during the day or overnight? Is a 10 degree swing too much?
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: oldtoyota on October 29, 2013, 11:17:54 AM
I'm a wimp compared to you guys. When the inside temp got down to about 58-60, I was too damn cold and caved. I programmed the thermostat (online) and noticed last winter I had it set to 68 when we were home!! yikes. Well I can certainly do better than that. I've got it at 59 overnight (with me, BF, and dog in the bed, it's HOT!) 64 when I wake up and get ready for work (Ultimate wimp time), 58 during the day while we're at work, and then 63 during the evenings.

Don't feel bad. I basically have no body fat and get cold fast. I've been bundling up. If I can do it, you can eventually get there. =-) Warm showers to heat up the body can help too.

Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: daverobev on October 29, 2013, 11:47:58 AM
I have one thing to say:

Get a vest!

Or whatever - HUGE difference between my normal, t-shirt + jumper, and t-shirt + shirt + jumper!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: kdms on October 29, 2013, 11:57:32 AM
While we haven't used the furnace at all, from reading the other posts, I don't think we're really following the spirit of the challenge.  I think we caved around a week ago when we started using the woodstove to keep the place above 14C, which is when we start putting sweaters on.  The stove can get the whole house up to 24C easily and the insulation is so good (thank god) that we only have to use it every other day to keep it comfortable.

We're not paying for the electric furnace, at least, and the wood was collected for free, but we're definitely not keeping it below 60F.  We did turn the breaker on the other day and set it to 10C so that in the event that we decide to go somewhere for a few days nothing freezes, but I think we've adapted this challenge in our household to see if we can go the whole winter on just the woodstove and keep the furnace from kicking on at all.  :)
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: NinetyFour on November 01, 2013, 04:19:39 AM
My goal was to make it to Nov. 1 without using the heat.  I made it!!

I probably could have gone another 4 - 5 days without it (next Tuesday, temps are supposed to fall to 13 F), but it was 48 F inside my house this morning (again), so I relented and fired up the gas stove.  The thermostat is set to 52 F.  It is now a toasty 54 F in here.  This allowed me to unzip my down jacket.  :)
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Rural on November 01, 2013, 06:53:27 AM
We've turned the heat off again for the last several days, and it looks as though we may not need it again for the ten days the forecast covers. It'll be near freezing Saturday night and we may get chilly, but Sunday's forecast is for full sun, so things will warm up in here quickly. Other than that, we're highs in the 60s and lows in or near the 40s with partial sun, plus the leaves turned this week (mountain autumn color out my windows, OMG), and in just a couple of weeks we'll be getting more of the sun into the house as the shade falls away.

So we heated for 36 hours in the third week of October, but then back off again until at least the 10th of November, it looks like.

We are running a dehumidifier though; inside humidity back up near 70%. I'll open windows in the afternoons when the temps go up to try to drop that without spending on it.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: oldtoyota on November 01, 2013, 07:45:01 AM
I saw this thread pop up and then realized that we made it! It's November 1. Woot.

Today, it's 70 F. At this rate, we might make it at least partway through November.

Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Spork on November 01, 2013, 12:06:00 PM
I'm cheating.  It's 73 out today.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: oldtoyota on November 01, 2013, 01:07:24 PM
It's November 1 and we still haven't turned on the heat. Shooting for November 15 now.

I like this. I will shoot for that too.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: BC_Goldman on November 01, 2013, 02:35:22 PM
My HVAC unit has been switched off at the breaker since probably June. Weather has been cooler recently but the lowest indoor temp I remember seeing is 58 F. Right now it is 70 F inside and 69 outside. My biggest problem is sleeping since I don't sleep well when I'm cold. I have a couple of warming bags made by my mom. They are filled with rice and you toss em in the microwave for 5 min. I've used them a couple times and it helps with getting the bed warm. Lowest outdoor temps have been in the mid to upper 40s so I'm curious to see what happens when they dip below freezing for a few days. Since I live in a condo I can at least get some heat and insulation from the units below and beside me.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Villanelle on November 01, 2013, 02:52:03 PM
Husband turned on one radiator (fairly low, to 2 out of 5) briefly a couple times, but we are still going strong with almost no heat.  We've hit the mid 30s (lows) a couple times, and are frequently in the mid to low 40s.  Actually lows are not really a problem as I like it cool when I sleep, though husband isn't quite as happy that way and I'm debating the purchase of a new comforter to get him on board with no heat in the bedroom all winter.

But during the day, I'm adding layers as the temps decrease, and I find that a good run up and down the stairs a few times when I'm really feeling the chill helps a great deal.  Also, a scarf and hat as necessary, though we aren't there yet, and thick wool socks inside my slippers.  I also have a buckwheat (I think?) filled neck pillow that I can pop in the microwave and wear around when I'm really chilled.  And drinking warm water does wonders.

And while it looks a bit silly, I find that adult onesie-style pajamas keep me warmer than separates. I sometimes wear a layer under them and/or a fleece over the top.  But I think the onesie works on the same principal as mittens being warmer than gloves. So that's more normal winter house outfit.

I found last winter that I could be not-uncomfortable even when I could sometimes see my breath in the house.  IDK what the indoor temps were (radiator heating, no thermostat), but I'm quite certain they often hit the high 30s, or less. 

We also hang a heavy curtain in the winter to close the open floor plan living/dining.  That way, we only heat the living room.

I love hearing people complain about spending 2500Eu (~$3400) to fill up their oil tanks annually or more, while mine is still about 85% full after nearly a year.   
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: zinnie on November 01, 2013, 05:33:28 PM
Still going strong, but our low has only been 62 inside so far. It feels chilly! Footie PJs are a good idea--the worst part is that the floor is so cold.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: NinetyFour on November 01, 2013, 06:02:39 PM
Down booties are key.

http://www.rei.com/category/40003531
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Mr. Minsc on November 02, 2013, 06:17:31 AM
I'm on wood heat there, still, I keep the thermostats set no higher than 17C.  Personally I could go lower but there are others in the house.  Generally I just add on extra layers and I'm good to go.  Another trick I find to keep warm is to go outside and find work to do.  When you head back in your "cool" house will feel nice and warm. :) My computer is located in a smaller bedroom/office so the heat off my iMac tends do do a nice job (yay for slopped ceilings chopping down the room volume ;).
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: ScienceSexSavings on November 02, 2013, 06:44:31 PM
I'm still heat-free here :) Indoor temp is staying around 19-20C, and I still don't know why. Small space heats very easily when I'm up and moving, so that's great!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Ottawa on November 03, 2013, 04:30:35 PM
It's official!  We folded on Sunday November 3rd!  It was 57F in the house and dropping.  We have now set the furnace to 57F overnight and during the day (when at work) and bump it to 64 between 5-8pm and weekends...

Good Luck!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Emerald on November 05, 2013, 08:49:41 AM
Mine has been off since early September.  I'm shooting for mid-November.

I'm still doing fine without heat.  Low's have been in the 40's, but I have a space heater for the living room and a very touchy-feely mutt who likes to sit/sleep on me. 
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: sununderwood on November 05, 2013, 06:25:41 PM
I love reading these responses. It's like talking about the weather with my co-workers, except I am tearing across the words trying to find out what happens next, full-body excited and flailing my arms and screaming back YEAH! yOu CAN DO IT!! Congrats to all who met their goals.

48 degrees inside the ol apartment this morning.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Villanelle on November 06, 2013, 02:21:11 AM
Living room was 38 when I got up this morning and with rain and clouds, I am not going to get much help from my South facing windows today.  I caved and turned on radiator on at 2 out of 5 to take the chill off.  It's 10:15 am now and I'm going to turn it off, but today is going to test my acclimation!  Off to make some hot tea...

Has anyone used an electric mattress pad here? It got down to 61 in our bedroom last night. I make sure my husband is warmly dressed before bed, but he tends to kick away the blankets and hot water bottle. Would an electric mattress pad help and be cost-effective, or should I just cave and turn on the heat?

Before I moved to a place with different electricity, we did have an electric mattress pad.  It was a gift, and I was skeptical, but it helped with heating costs.  I tend to get very hot when I sleep, so I'd turn mine on about 15 minutes before bed so I didn't have to climb into freezing cold sheets, and then I'd turn it off when I got into bed.  That was enough for me and I could happily sleep in a freezing bedroom with just that (and heavy and layered bedding, of course).  Husband needs a little more heat than that, so he'd leave his on low all night.  The dual zones was ideal.  I couldn't tell from your post whether your husband kicks everything off because he's hot, or he kicks it off because it's too much and he's cold.  If he's like me, then he needs that stuff to get started, but warms himself well though the night, in which case I think the mattress pad (or even just a heating bad or a few hot water bottles used to pre-warm the bed) would be ideal because it can be used to start out and then turned off or down. 
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Kriegsspiel on November 06, 2013, 05:08:03 AM
I haven't buttoned up my apartment in a month now. I leave the screened balcony door open all the time to take advantage of the beautiful Texas fall weather. I sleep with the window open too. Don't mess with Texas!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: oldtoyota on November 06, 2013, 06:25:42 AM
November is going fast, it seems. I changed my goal from Oct 31 to November 15. It's hard to believe six days passed by already.

Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Rural on November 08, 2013, 07:34:07 AM
It's all over here, as I've determined I'd rather be warm than rich. :-)

We're still not seeing it run very much, but we're keeping the house at ~64F. The sun does it all during the day, then the heat pump helps maintain at night.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: RetiredAt63 on November 08, 2013, 07:32:47 PM
I caved a while ago, but the effects are long lasting.  I have the thermostat set 20C cooler than last year and I am fine.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: OOBER on November 09, 2013, 05:37:27 AM
I totally wimped out when it got around 55 inside. But I am definitely going to keep it set at a lower temp than in previous years. I am going to see if I can acclimate to 62, but I might go up to 64 for when I am at home.

I already lost this competition since I turned mine on a couple of weeks ago before seeing this thread. But The wife and I have a competition with her parents for whoever turns the A/C or Heat on LAST in its respective season wins. It is actually quite fun, we make a big deal out of it. (we almost always win)

Last year, we kept the house pretty steady at 68*. This year so far we have kept it at 62* with an electric blanket on the bed and two small space heaters so we can heat just the office or TV room when needed.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: EK on November 09, 2013, 06:09:26 AM
We turned the heat on a couple weeks ago, but last night was the first night it really felt wintery here to me.  The heater is set at 60- you would think the temperature in the house was more like -10 the way my husband was complaining though!!  So far I'm holding fast to 60, but I don't know how long I can take the complaining!!  We shall see.  Hopefully he will acclimate.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Dee18 on November 09, 2013, 09:30:37 AM
54 inside this morning.  I'm ready to turn on the heat but my daughter wants us to try to make it until Dec. 1 st!   I think Veteran's Day is more likely.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: oldtoyota on November 09, 2013, 09:37:42 AM
Six more days to go!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: ScienceSexSavings on November 09, 2013, 05:19:52 PM
I can't believe how well this is going! I think I can easily hit mid-November, maybe even the end of the month.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: cdub on November 09, 2013, 10:45:37 PM
I am trying to go as long as possible without using heat. I probably have it logistically easier than most because I live on the first story of a house with apartments above and below that use heat, so I don't fear any pipe freezing complications. I also think those apts insulate me pretty well.

I grew up on the east coast so I know what cold and snow is - but I've been living in Los Angeles for the past 13 years and I'm not a complete wimp.

It's 65 in our house and I'm FREEZING. But of course I don't put on the heat I just get some blankets or some warmer clothes.

I just think it's funny. My wife had this conversation with her mom last week.

"It's getting cold - getting down to the sixties." - my wife in SoCal.

"It's getting warm - getting into the sixties" her Mom in PA.

Gosh we've become such wimps. But I won't turn that heat on unless it gets into the 50s at night in the house - which it hasn't yet.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: RetiredAt63 on November 10, 2013, 05:08:15 AM
Winter is here, snow last night, cold rain this morning but the ground (and deck, and driveway) are still white.  Our nights lately have been well below freezing, and the days mostly grey.  This does nothing for passive heating.  Today sunrise was at 6:49 and sunset is at 4:30,  so the days are short and getting shorter, and now that we are back on Standard Time, the days get dark too soon.   I want to be a Snowbird.

(Actually, a nice sunny day with no wind at -10C and lots of snow is great, cross-country skiing with the dog is fun).  It is the dreariness of it all right now that is depressing.)
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Rural on November 10, 2013, 05:20:46 AM
This challenge has made me realize we'd better budget more for heating once we retire than we spend now. I've acclimated quite a bit, but 64F is about my lower limit. I've realized I'm finding the point at which I value comfort over the free time the money could buy me when I start going in to work sooner than I have to because it's warm there.

Luckily, we hold steady at 64 or higher any day when the sun is out and temps are reasonable. We have three nights in the 20s coming this week, so we'll see how the place handles real lows. Based on how it did last winter with no heat installed, if I could live with low 50s inside, we'd never have to add artificial heat, but I can't.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Villanelle on November 10, 2013, 01:34:57 PM
Been out of town.  Returned to 2C at 8 pm, so it will dip below freezing tonight.  No heat on at the moment, but my toes and fingers are cold.   If I can make it to bedtime, then I'll be golden.  In fact, I'm thinking of turning in early and reading a book in bed so I can be nice and warm, and leaving the post-travel laundry and other projects until tomorrow.  Of course, by tomorrow there may be snow on the ground.

Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: oldtoyota on November 10, 2013, 07:19:48 PM
Six more days to go!

Our apartment is at 59 right now and we're still going strong!

Woot! Congrats!

I read the DC area is going to get a cold snap. On Tuesday, it is supposed to get down to below freezing. I might turn on the heat at that point so the pipes do not freeze.

I'm currently 10 days beyond the original goal so feeling good!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: BC_Goldman on November 12, 2013, 10:06:10 AM
So far so good. I seem to be getting passive heat gains from the surrounding condo units. Outside temp according to weather app is 38 and my thermostat says it's 62 inside. The true test will be when the temps Stay around freezing for a long period. Lowest I've seen so far has still been 58. Part of me wants to see if I can make it all winter without turning on the heat. I also need to find a manual for my HVAC unit to see if I need to do anything to relight it. I turned off the breaker and gas feed this summer when I was taking the no AC challenge.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: oldtoyota on November 12, 2013, 12:50:13 PM
It will get below freezing today so I think we'll turn the heat on. Pretty cool. We made it 12 days beyond our original goal!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: sununderwood on November 13, 2013, 09:03:41 PM
http://imgur.com/hGsTsng



Boom Shaka Laka.



Edit: it's sideways cause I'm a doofus. Sorry.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: NumberCruncher on November 14, 2013, 06:34:43 AM
http://imgur.com/hGsTsng



Boom Shaka Laka.



Edit: it's sideways cause I'm a doofus. Sorry.

wow - what kind of usage is that for? We use just about as much as MMM but pay twice as much T_T 

Gas bill that came in was $10 for us - minimum monthly payment :)  Gas just turned on this morning so it was a balmy 52 degrees when I woke up.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Emerald on November 14, 2013, 07:16:18 AM
I made it thru two nights in the 20's, but only because my heater failed when I tried to start it.  I made it to Nov 13, which means I won't get a gas bill till January.  Nice.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Half-Borg on November 14, 2013, 07:24:01 AM
I turned the heat on two weeks ago, to keep my aparment at 60F when I'm home. Very bad insulation! (it's rented so I can't do anything about it)
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: NinetyFour on November 16, 2013, 07:57:11 PM
I caved in on November 1.  After the indoor temps got to 48 F a couple of times, I decided to use heat to at least get the temps into the upper 50s!  Our outdoor lows have been in the low 20s for a couple of weeks now, so yeah, having the heat on is nice.  It also makes it a bit easier to go outside and bike to the ice hockey rink (like I will tonight at 9:30 in a cold rain)!

Great job, those of you who are still going without heat!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: sununderwood on November 21, 2013, 07:28:43 AM
Still holding out. Few inches of snow outside, feels like -3 degrees F outside, 42 inside. If I had to do more than sleep in warm blankets or spend a couple hours in the evening at home I don't think I could do it, nor if there was anyone I was taking care of!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: zinnie on November 21, 2013, 08:31:51 AM
I probably don't really count in this challenge, as it hasn't dipped below 54 outside yet, but we are still going strong. I feel pretty comfortable in mid-to-low 60s in the house so I must have acclimated. Last year this time we were absolutely running the heat already. We are currently discussing not using heat at all, ever. This is a huge step!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: fauxjargon on November 21, 2013, 04:49:53 PM
I'm sitting comfortably in Canada in 10 C (50 F).  I wear slippers, a hoodie or sweater, jeans and a t-shirt and just feel pleasantly cool.  My apartment sits at around 10 C above the average outside temperature for free, so I am just barely heating right now.  I don't plan on getting any colder though.  Part of the issue is that I live alone in a big apartment (in my city big =/= expensive, it means old and cheap) with next to no insulation (single pane windows and plaster/brick wall).  However I am going to re-install (with landlord permission/reimbursement) a pair of interior doors that will allow me to only heat my bedroom and one 9x13 room I spend the rest of my at-home time in.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Kriegsspiel on November 23, 2013, 03:31:21 PM
Watching the OSU-Indiana game, i thought about this challenge. Looks like it's snowing up there in the midwest, might make it tough. Embrace the suck!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: mpbaker22 on November 23, 2013, 04:04:18 PM
Always good to see the heat on and windows open at the local public housing building.  I am sure glad my tax dollars are going to good use.  Don't worry though, it's only 30 degrees outside.(http://i1348.photobucket.com/albums/p722/mpbaker22/P1010673_zps9516d3db.jpg)
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: ScienceSexSavings on November 23, 2013, 04:56:04 PM
Still holding out - aiming for December now, maybe even Christmas break if all goes well! I'm still a wussy though, because my apartment stays between 17-20 C with just cooking, showering, etc. Got my power bill, and my consumption is averaging around 7-8 kWh/day. It'll be interesting to see how that changes when the winter really hits.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: sununderwood on November 28, 2013, 08:05:27 AM
Always good to see the heat on and windows open at the local public housing building.  I am sure glad my tax dollars are going to good use.  Don't worry though, it's only 30 degrees outside.(http://i1348.photobucket.com/albums/p722/mpbaker22/P1010673_zps9516d3db.jpg)

Maybe they are all subscribed to this challenge and trying to out badass us all.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: plainjane on November 28, 2013, 11:01:36 AM
Always good to see the heat on and windows open at the local public housing building.  I am sure glad my tax dollars are going to good use.  Don't worry though, it's only 30 degrees outside.

I did that too when I was in a dorm during university.  They ran the building heat _really_ high.  I turned off the radiator in my room, wore t-shirts & shorts, but it was still too hot, and I had no other control options I was aware of.  Other people complained they were always cold & wore double socks, so turning down the building heat wasn't really an option.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Connemara on December 01, 2013, 05:18:12 PM
I was using my heat for a few weeks but I've decided to stop and officially begin this challenge. I'm on the third floor of a walk-up brownstone and seem to be doing well with passive heat only. It has been below freezing recently (mid 20s to low 30s F) and it rarely dips below 60 in my apartment.

Between pajama pants, wool sweaters, and a down comforter, I'm doing just fine.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Villanelle on December 03, 2013, 08:45:27 AM
Came back from a trip during which temps were consistently below freezing at night at home.  Fell into bed.  Woke up in the middle of the night and grabbed my bedside water bottle for a sip.  It had about 2 inches of water in it, and was partially frozen!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: NinetyFour on December 03, 2013, 03:02:31 PM
Wow--very badass!!

Kind of related to that:  after I started using heat, I was pouring molasses out of a bottle and was shocked at how quickly it came out!  Prior to that, when temps in my house were in the high 40's/low 50's, the molasses ran out a lot slower!!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Spork on December 03, 2013, 08:56:24 PM
Came back from a trip during which temps were consistently below freezing at night at home.  Fell into bed.  Woke up in the middle of the night and grabbed my bedside water bottle for a sip.  It had about 2 inches of water in it, and was partially frozen!

I think you might be at the "at risk of not saving money" temperature.  If water is freezing in your bedroom, it may very well be freezing in your pipes.  You might want your thermostat somewhere stupid cold (50 degrees?) ... but well above freezing.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Half-Borg on December 04, 2013, 01:17:53 AM
I turned my heat off again, too.
I had to invest in some long underwear and warm socks first (all for 20), but no I'm living at 14C(57F), while it's freezing outside. I wonder how long it will take the neighbours to notice, that they need to heat more.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Rural on December 04, 2013, 05:23:02 AM
Came back from a trip during which temps were consistently below freezing at night at home.  Fell into bed.  Woke up in the middle of the night and grabbed my bedside water bottle for a sip.  It had about 2 inches of water in it, and was partially frozen!

I think you might be at the "at risk of not saving money" temperature.  If water is freezing in your bedroom, it may very well be freezing in your pipes.  You might want your thermostat somewhere stupid cold (50 degrees?) ... but well above freezing.

+1

My husband and father both have tales of ice on the insides of windows and waking up covered in blown-in snow on top of the covers, but they didn't have running water in the houses in question. Assuming you do, you need to keep things above freezing, or you'll have flooding from burst pipes.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: sununderwood on December 04, 2013, 06:55:10 AM
Welp, on the note of frozen pipes, it got to -15 F last night and there was a slight and scary delay when we turned on the water this morning. So heat is going on to 52, but on the bright side, having lived through some truly uncomfortable times, 52 will seem like a luxury all winter long.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Villanelle on December 04, 2013, 11:15:59 AM
Came back from a trip during which temps were consistently below freezing at night at home.  Fell into bed.  Woke up in the middle of the night and grabbed my bedside water bottle for a sip.  It had about 2 inches of water in it, and was partially frozen!

I think you might be at the "at risk of not saving money" temperature.  If water is freezing in your bedroom, it may very well be freezing in your pipes.  You might want your thermostat somewhere stupid cold (50 degrees?) ... but well above freezing.

We dont' have a thermostat.  Each room has a radiator.  They are set on "snowflake", which is what our landlord told us to keep them at (as opposed to "0") to keep minimal heat moving through them.  So in theory, we should be fine.

But it certainly wasn't intentional and now that we are home and heating the living room (below the bedroom in question) to about 55*F (based on a thermometer we set in here a few nights last winter, though that's a rough estimate since it isn't thermostat-regulated) while we are up and using it, things shouldn't get that low again. 

But boy, was it rough getting out of bed that morning, and it took a long time for the room to heat up since my entire heat mass was frigid!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: cats on December 06, 2013, 02:39:14 PM
Well, not as badass as some of you, but our overnight lows have been near freezing the past two nights, and we still haven't turned the heat on!  Special thanks to my wool slippers and down comforter for making this possible without misery :)
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: cats on December 10, 2013, 09:50:55 PM
Well, not as badass as some of you, but our overnight lows have been near freezing the past two nights, and we still haven't turned the heat on!  Special thanks to my wool slippers and down comforter for making this possible without misery :)

How are you precautioning against frozen pipes? Maybe you should keep the temp at least 35-40 fahrenheit.

To clarify:  The *outdoor* lows are dipping down to freezing.  The interior of our apartment is, I'm guessing, no lower than 50F.  I'm not too worried about the pipes (or at least, the parts of the pipes that could be impacted by our indoor temperature).
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Gray Matter on December 12, 2013, 04:34:30 AM
I win!  My house is 48 degrees and dropping.  Of course, that is only because my boiler went off overnight and it took me until a degree ago to wake up cold.  That's what I get for having a bed full of kids and dogs--it's like having a bed full of (knobly, smelly, noisy) hot water bottles.

Am really missing my husband right now--I never realized how traditional our division of labor is until he buggered off for nine months (work project in Australia).  I know nothing about boilers, can't start the snowblower, don't even know where we keep the lightbulbs.

Just waiting for someone to call me back--have called five "24-hour service" places and had to leave messages at all of them.  Ugh.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: cats on December 13, 2013, 08:54:05 PM
Update, I just got our monthly power bill (our heat is electric).  Our power company has a graph feature online where you can compare your energy usage to "similar" homes in your area and the "most efficient" similar homes in your area (basically the bottom 10% of energy users).  Pretty much since we have moved in, our usage has been a few kWh above the "efficient homes" line.  Every month BF sees the bill and demands to know how we are using more power (my thought: we cook our own food almost 100% of the time, while many people go out to eat multiple times per week, or rely more on pre-packaged foods that require only microwaving.

Anyway, this month our usage was HALF the "efficient homes" line, and about 25% of the "similar homes" line.  Keeping the heat off is paying!!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: ScienceSexSavings on December 14, 2013, 08:29:34 PM
We had a string of days in the minus teens and twenties (Celcius) that caused me to finally crack. I have one lectric baseboard heater on, set to 16.5 for now.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: BC_Goldman on December 14, 2013, 08:33:47 PM
Still managing without heat. Current indoor temp is 54 F and I just noticed for the first time that I can see my breath faintly if I exhale heavily. I don't know if I should be amused or troubled.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: brooklynmoney on December 16, 2013, 06:58:34 PM
Ok, you all are making me look like a big wimp when I thought I was hardcore. Heat has been set at 65/66, despite lows in the teens. Heat comes on 1x in middle of night, and sporadically during the night before I go to bed. Probably only running for 15 minutes a day. My mother thinks I'm crazy. She keeps the heat closer to 80!

Off to put on fingerless gloves and drink tea.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Rural on December 17, 2013, 10:02:29 AM
The sun has come back out again, so no heat here. We're holding at 64 F on cloudy days with heat, closer to 70F on sunny days without. The heat kicks on just a little in the predawn hours of sunny days to maintain at 64.

...and having a thermostat, even though it's on an individual unit rather than whole-house, is a luxury I've still not gotten used to after six years without.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: clutchy on December 17, 2013, 10:15:27 AM
I did this once.  Saved a solid $9 dollars and then felt like an ass/had a pissed off wife.  If I was single I might.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Spork on December 17, 2013, 12:40:14 PM
I did this once.  Saved a solid $9 dollars and then felt like an ass/had a pissed off wife.  If I was single I might.

for me it's more like $300/month for propane vs $300 for the entire winter for propane. 
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: BlueMR2 on December 17, 2013, 04:16:39 PM
Unable, the best I can get the wife to agree to is 68F during the day, 66F while sleeping, and 62F on the occasions we leave the house for a few hours (any colder than 62F and it takes too long to warm back up to 68F for her).  $101 gas bill last month with an average outdoors temperature of 31F.

As far as pipes freezing, when I bought the house it was set to 55F and we'd had a week of -15F just before and it was fine.  This is on a ventilated crawl too, so it's designed to purposefully let cold air blow under the house near the pipes to keep the moisture level proper.  Not sure what the true lower limit is, would need sensors on the pipes to know.  With people living in the house, it's probably higher than empty, since the people heat the inside of the house and then the HVAC doesn't run as often (and the HVAC passively assists in heating the crawl 'cause that's where all the ducts run).
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Villanelle on December 30, 2013, 06:08:31 AM
Used the hell out of a heater (on room only) when I had a horrifying stomach bug and fever.  When the chills set in, I cranked that radiator up!  Other than that, we continue with extremely minimal heating.  I don't think a room in our house has been in the 60s yet (other than the fever suite), unless the sun through the windows, on the rare occasions we have sun, and the relatively mild winter have caused it. 

I was attempting to defrost chicken for dinner but the process in my cold kitchen was so slow that I had to give up and save the chicken for another day.

I suppose it might seem bad ass to some, but I truly don't even notice that I'm really doing anything.  I don't feel cold.  Slippers and heavy socks are key and I think I will wear the heck out of the North Face fleece I got for Christmas, which is nice because it's super warm but not bulky.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: ghatko on January 05, 2014, 08:12:55 PM
I just found this thread, and it is much too cold here to keep the heat off (Ottawa area). But this year we have been experimenting with the level that we set our thermostat at, and right now we have had it set to 14C (57.2F) from 9pm to 6pm and 16C (60.8F) while we are home in the evening, and during the day on the weekend. This is a lot lower than we used to have it set at, but I am extremely surprised at how well we have acclimated. I always wear a sweater, and I have some indoor shoes that I put on if my feet get cold, and that is it. I love sleeping in the cold, so that hasn't been a problem at all, and our daughter (who is 3.5) will often run around the house with nothing on her feet (even though I continually ask her if she wants to put on socks/slippers). It's funny because my MIL told us that it was cruel to set the temperatures so low, but our daughter really doesn't mind :)

We do have a space heater that I will put on in the bathroom for baths/showers. That is certainly my weak spot as I hate being wet and cold. We are expecting another baby at the end of February, so we will see if we need to make any adjustments at that point.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: BC_Goldman on January 07, 2014, 11:18:14 AM
I decided to give up on the 'no heat' part of the challenge. I woke up this morning with a small, wet spot on my comforter. Seems that I have an occasional drip from the sprinkler. Until then, I had completely forgotten about them. I climbed up in my attic to check the pipe and saw a thin layer of frost on the roofing plywood and a rather nice amount on the protruding nails. My indoor temp was 50 but the attic appears to be below freezing. While I think I have the stones to keep going, I'm not risking a burst sprinkler pipe since that will be far more trouble than it is worth. I'm hoping that the occasional drip I'm getting right now is from the pipe fitting contracting due to the cold. Hopefully, 59 is enough to radiate some heat into the attic.

I'd have gotten away with it if it weren't for those durn sprinklers!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: OOBER on January 07, 2014, 07:57:06 PM
We are fully seasoned to our house climate now.

It was extra cold outside yesterday, so we had the heater "up" to 62*F. Both me and the wife sweated out a$$es off last night. So we have it set at 60*F again and it is just great!

I really need to look into spraying some more insulation in the attic and sealing the house up a little better over the next year. We have newer vinyl double pane windows and I have sealed up the doors with extra weatherstrip, but some of the walls/floors have noticeably cold areas.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Ottawa on October 05, 2014, 07:09:31 AM
Back in again on this one!  Trying to beat our cave-in date of November 3rd last year.  This morning it is 5C outside and 20C inside...

Good luck!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: NinetyFour on October 06, 2014, 05:42:57 AM
I have been thinking about this as well.  I have not used heat yet.

This morning it is 38F outside and 56F inside.

Last year, I believe I made it to November.  I will try for that again this year.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Rural on October 06, 2014, 06:53:19 AM
It's all weather dependent here (I noted in a related thread that I'd rather work till I drop in a warm office than freeze at home), but we've had no need of heat here yet. Perhaps we could have closed the windows the night temps dropped to 38f, but still it was 65 in the house. High thermal mass really works, who'd a thought?


At a guess, I imagine we'll want heat here for a week or two late this month/ early next, then turn it off again for a couple of weeks once the leaves fall and our solar heating kicks in, then run it some at night to supplement the sun in  late November and December, and heat in earnest in January and February before we drop back to supplemented solar in March and turn it off in April.


...unless my husband gets our inset atrium roofed over (greenhouse style) this week as he plans to do. I don't think a week is enough time, but once that's done, we'll have solar heat like nobody's business, and there's no telling when or if we'll need heat. This project does also have to include solar-powered greenhouse fans for summer so we don't die of heatstroke...
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: RetiredAt63 on October 09, 2014, 09:09:09 AM
I'm in.  It is cool (9oC) and cloudy and windy here, and has been for days.  House is 18oC right now.  Just me radiating heat, plus cooking and showers, keeps the house warm enough.  Plus I have warm slippers and appropriate clothing, I am not dressed as if it were summer inside.  Daytime highs are projected to be below 10oC and nights are going down to 0oC over the next two weeks, so we will see how things go.

Last winter the oil company kept doing fill-ups when I had 1/4 to 1/2 tank of oil, so I definitely use less than they project.  And this is with me home all day, I used even less when I worked and only heated the house for an hour in the morning and maybe 3 hours at night.

The dog is no help, she is much too well insulated to let any heat out.  She would like me to keep the house at 4oC (or less). At night she is on the bed - no added heat, but I am well insulated on the side she sleeps on.

Side project - I have decided to post temperatures only in Celsius, so that non-metric users can adjust to metric, and metric users don't have to keep figuring out Fahrenheit temperatures.  MMM forums, always a learning experience  ;-)
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: ScienceSexSavings on October 09, 2014, 08:19:47 PM
I'll probably see if I can beat last year, and maybe rebel against Farenheit as well!
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Villanelle on October 09, 2014, 10:07:26 PM
When we were shopping for a rental, we heard a zillion dire warning about how places with heating oil were ZOMG money sucks!  We ignored that and think those people are generally idiots.  But after about 20 (one full winter and a couple months of another) months in the place, our tanks are about 45% full.  I really want to make it to late spring or summer without having to refill since costs go down then.  I think we can do it, but the heating oil situation is extra incentive.

Absolutely no thoughts of heat yet, but I am needing to drag out my warmer slippers and thick socks, and some warmer clothes for the evenings.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: MikeBear on October 09, 2014, 11:40:44 PM
Build some of these. I'm planning on it myself.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/diy-solar-heating-zmaz77sozgoe.aspx#axzz3FiYht4OD

(http://www.motherearthnews.com/~/media/Images/MEN/Editorial/Articles/Magazine%20Articles/1977/09-01/DIY%20Solar%20Heating%20with%20the%20Heat%20Grabber/diy-solar-heating.jpg)
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Rural on October 10, 2014, 04:26:11 AM
Build some of these. I'm planning on it myself.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/diy-solar-heating-zmaz77sozgoe.aspx#axzz3FiYht4OD (http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/diy-solar-heating-zmaz77sozgoe.aspx#axzz3FiYht4OD)



Use treated wood to avoid the "termite bridge" effect.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: RMD on October 10, 2014, 09:49:39 AM
We made it to the 20th of October last year.  We'll see if the little guys nose does better in the cold this year.  :)  I'd like to hit November 1st.  We shall see.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: MikeBear on October 10, 2014, 06:13:26 PM
Build some of these. I'm planning on it myself.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/diy-solar-heating-zmaz77sozgoe.aspx#axzz3FiYht4OD (http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/diy-solar-heating-zmaz77sozgoe.aspx#axzz3FiYht4OD)



Use treated wood to avoid the "termite bridge" effect.

No termites up here, the carpenter ants eat them, lol. Yeah, I don't plan on having mine touch the ground for either case to happen.
Title: Re: Go as long as possible without using heat/keeping heat below 60 F
Post by: Raay on November 28, 2014, 12:14:45 PM
Here, it's 11C (52F) inside now. Heating turned off, outside temperatures slightly above 0C. I've been gradually getting used to the lower temperatures for the past three weeks. It's surprising - my hands are (mostly) warm now while they used to get cold even at 20C (68F) in the beginning.