Author Topic: Winter heat challenge  (Read 15286 times)

RetiredAt63

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Winter heat challenge
« on: October 16, 2015, 09:32:39 AM »
It's that time again!  Cold weather season.  Right now it is 8oC and overcast, high forecast of 10, and my house is 17.  So tempted to turn on the furnace, or at least the propane stove.  But it's not happening, instead it is fleece-lined slippers, warm pants and a sweatshirt.  I have an arctic breed of dog who is shedding her summer coat right now, a cool house will mean a thicker winter coat.  She will love this challenge, she thinks I keep the house much too warm.  Warm enough that the pipes don't freeze would be fine with her.

So challenge - who can last the longest?  And I remember last year, people in what I consider semi-tropical climes were boasting about surviving 20oC weather - that is not cold, people!  Do we need to do it by gardening zones?  I am zone 5A (Canadian, 1981-2010 zone, not 1961-1990 zone where we were 4B, so we are warmer now!, not American.  A is colder than B, 4 is colder than 5). Ottawa is 5B, for example.  And what counts and what doesn't?  Firing up the wood stove?  Does that count? Firing up the propane stove in the family room? Does that count?  We need rules.

For the yarn people out there, the Yarn Harlot's family do this, but she is in Toronto, which is zone 7A.  From here that looks semi-tropical.  ;-)

Sibley

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2015, 10:07:01 AM »
Well, I'm in Chicago. My heat is not on yet, but that's because it really hasn't been that cold. Once it's low to mid 60s inside the heat will be on. I'm guessing maybe another week or so.

Also, I have a non-MMM roommate. No facepunches, because it's not my wholly decision.

TrMama

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2015, 12:00:53 PM »
We're in zone 8. I've lit the pilot light on the gas fireplace, but the baseboard heat isn't on yet. It's regularly down to 16C inside when we get up in the morning. I've put the fleece sheets on the kids beds, but not on ours yet. I'm aiming to keep the heat off until mid-Nov. I mean, I still have to open up the windows after cooking in the evening so it's not so unbearably hot inside :-).

What about subtracting the zone number from the date you turned on the heat to help even things out? So if two people turn on their heat on the same day, but one is in zone 4 and the other is in zone 10, the capitulation date is 10 days earlier for the tropical person, but only 4 days earlier for the arctic person?

I also vote that all temps must be reported in Celsius.

Lady Fordragon

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2015, 01:48:25 PM »
I'm up for the challenge!  My husband and I have actually already issued ourselves a "no heat" November challenge so this challenge fits right in.  We're in zone 6A.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2015, 02:36:04 PM »
TrMama, do zone 10 people even heat?  That looks like central/southern Florida.  Sorry, I know they can get frost, but we have had three frosts already.  I've already got flannelette sheets and two blankets on my bed, plus flannelette pajamas, plus the dog on top of the covers.  I am happy sticking to Celsius, saves me doing conversions all the time.  I grew up with Fahrenheit (yes I am old) but I much prefer Celsius.  Zero is freezing, 100 is boiling (literally), 20-22 is perfect.

Canadian zones are not quite the same as American zones, they use different criteria.  So I am not sure just how to do the adjustment.  Maybe just acknowledge that we "won" for our zone?  Multiple winners, yay.

We actually got up to 14 once the sun came out, and I have lots of post-season gardening to do this weekend, so I hope it stays nice.  Cold and shorter days means sheets and towels barely get dry on the line.

As an aside, I have always looked at the store-bought Hallowe'en costumes and wondered how the kids fit their warm clothes underneath.  Hallowe'en is usually chilly to down-right cold.

MoonShadow

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2015, 03:08:01 PM »
No heat November!  I like that.

Try this one on for size...

http://www.richsoil.com/electric-heat.jsp

KMMK

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2015, 04:11:43 PM »
In zone 3a/b so already out. Ha ha. I don't like cold and also have a big house with roommates so it's not entirely in my control anyhow. Soon I'll be in Yellowknife- zone 0-1 so definitely out there as well. Nicely heat is included in the rent price.

BDWW

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2015, 04:28:11 PM »
Had to look up my zone. Looks like 4a, anyway out already. Had frost on the window this morning. Furnace kicked on when the house temp dropped below 64F.

TrMama

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2015, 04:55:07 PM »
TrMama, do zone 10 people even heat?  That looks like central/southern Florida. 

I have no idea where zone 10 is and whether they use central heating. I was just trying to come up with a simple formula so we don't end up with a winner in each zone.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2015, 05:48:07 PM »
BDWW - You broke the rule, we are Celsius here [ ;-) ]- so your 64 was just under 18oC.  My house was 16 this morning.  I just have the thermostat set to "Off".

TrMama - we can have a winner for each zone!  ;-)


Had to look up my zone. Looks like 4a, anyway out already. Had frost on the window this morning. Furnace kicked on when the house temp dropped below 64F.

And TrMama And I have no idea where zone 10 is and whether they use central heating. I was just trying to come up with a simple formula so we don't end up with a winner in each zone. /quote]

Spork

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2015, 06:03:24 PM »
DW and I have reached detente. And I think it actually works.  I am 100% "use the wood stove only".  But her thoughts are to run the propane based central heat about 1 hour each morning (or *some* mornings... it isn't all of them.)  We have a concrete slab and preventing it from getting really cold seems to be helpful in the long run.

*caveat: we're in the south.  For us, heat isn't the same thing as you Yankee folk.

Rural

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2015, 02:12:59 AM »
DW and I have reached detente. And I think it actually works.  I am 100% "use the wood stove only".  But her thoughts are to run the propane based central heat about 1 hour each morning (or *some* mornings... it isn't all of them.)  We have a concrete slab and preventing it from getting really cold seems to be helpful in the long run.

*caveat: we're in the south.  For us, heat isn't the same thing as you Yankee folk.


I'm with Sporkwife. I joined this challenge last year, me with my immense thermal mass (slab plus three of four walls poured concrete and underground). Cost more getting it all back up to temp than it would have to just keep it there -solar gain needs little supplement only to maintain, but a hell of a lot to raise the temp of the mass.


So no challenge for us this year. No heat yet, either, but then I'm still growing tomatoes.

Elle 8

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2015, 07:31:34 AM »
Wow, I actually had to do research and math to write this post.

I'm in zone 6b.  I woke up this morning to 60 F, (15.56 C).  I'm still in my cozy pajamas right now and just my hands feel cold. My heat is currently set to 58 F (14.44 C) so it will automatically kick on at that temperature unless I change it.  The nighttime temp is set to 52 F (11.11 C).  It's supposed to get down close to freezing the next couple of nights so it might go on.  I'll probably just leave the settings as they are since they're pretty low anyway.

Here is the F to C calculation if anyone else needs it:  (T(F) - 32) / 1.8 = T(C)

RetiredAt63

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2015, 08:15:15 AM »
Well, our math skills here are pretty well honed with all our financial calculations, it's nice to put them to other uses.

My house was 15 this morning, 16 now - the house faces southwest, so now that the sun is lower in the sky, if it is sunny the house gets lots of solar gain.  These cloudy windy days are what keeps it cold inside.  It's cloudy and windy and 4oC outside right now, brrr.

I am so tempted to turn mine on, my settings are much like yours.  But it is only mid-October!
Wow, I actually had to do research and math to write this post.

I'm in zone 6b.  I woke up this morning to 60 F, (15.56 C).  I'm still in my cozy pajamas right now and just my hands feel cold. My heat is currently set to 58 F (14.44 C) so it will automatically kick on at that temperature unless I change it.  The nighttime temp is set to 52 F (11.11 C).  It's supposed to get down close to freezing the next couple of nights so it might go on.  I'll probably just leave the settings as they are since they're pretty low anyway.

Here is the F to C calculation if anyone else needs it:  (T(F) - 32) / 1.8 = T(C)

hunniebun

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2015, 08:23:49 AM »
It was -5C last night and we had not yet turned the heat on...but this morning the inside temp was 14.5 and with two little kids I decided it was time to flip the switch.  I am still freezing, but it is creeping up and we'll try 19 C as our temp for a while.    I don't know what zone I am...zone bloodly cold I think.

hunniebun

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2015, 08:28:28 AM »
Okay - googled...I am zone 2B...so there is worse! At least I am not a 0.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2015, 09:43:26 AM »
Oh hunniebun, if you are 2B that means really long winter nights and short days.  So SAD.  Of course you get those long summer days, but is it a good trade?

I just looked at Edmonton, for a vague idea of your area, and you are warmer than we are, even though Edmonton is so much further north! Not fair  ;-)

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2015, 11:10:08 AM »
We're out.  We live in zone 5, SW Ontario.  Woke up to snow this morning.  Snow!!!  Our heat/hot water costs are $69/month year round, so freezing would only save a few dollars a month at most.  I have ice cold hands and feet even in the summer, so we're putting the heat on.  Mr. SP is grateful - he thinks 18C is cold.  I grew up north of Superior - 18C is shorts weather. 

MEJG

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2015, 11:46:07 AM »
Ours isn't on yet. Thermostat is set to kick on at 50 f. We will see how long we stick to that being the low threshold.

Mrs. PoP

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2015, 11:53:16 AM »
TrMama, do zone 10 people even heat?  That looks like central/southern Florida. 

I have no idea where zone 10 is and whether they use central heating. I was just trying to come up with a simple formula so we don't end up with a winner in each zone.

Zone 10b here.  We do in fact have central heating and tend to wimp out and use it once or twice per season.  Not yet, obviously... Though last night it got down to an overnight low of 23C (Converted from 74F just for you Canadians!) and I had to wear a long sleeve overshirt with my shorts when we were out walking around!  Brrr! 

Perhaps a better measure for those in zone 10 would be how long you can last without turning the pool heater on.  =)

hunniebun

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2015, 12:02:06 PM »
Oh hunniebun, if you are 2B that means really long winter nights and short days.  So SAD.  Of course you get those long summer days, but is it a good trade?

I just looked at Edmonton, for a vague idea of your area, and you are warmer than we are, even though Edmonton is so much further north! Not fair  ;-)

The winter days are very short, but it is not too bad. I guess it is all what you are used to.  Maybe that is why I love the holidays so much...a distraction from when the sun rises at 8:30 and sets at 4.  When you are busy shopping, baking and decorating you don't notice that it is beyond depressing! LOL! 

Even though it is only 4 C right now, I have turned the heat back off...it is so sunny and beautiful and with cooking in the kitchen it is almost too warm. 

clarkfan1979

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2015, 10:28:45 AM »
I live in a tropical climate in which I do not have any AC or heat. I use about 10 dollars of propane and 25 worth of electricity each month, which my landlord pays. 

Dee18

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2015, 01:54:40 PM »
I live in the South, but the indoor temp this morning was 60 F, 16 C.  Supposed to warm up in two days though.  I always try to hold out until at least November.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2015, 02:11:13 PM »
Well that didn't last long, I just turned on the furnace.  We had snow yesterday.  The house was 12 this morning and is 14 now, outside is 8 and raining.  No sun means no solar gain.  My house plants look unhappy, I am going to loose my indoor basil soon, and I am freezing even though I am warmly dressed.  Maybe later in the week, when it is a bit warmer and sunny, the furnace can go off again.  Right now it feels like November, not October.  At least it was sunny this morning when I went to vote. 

Mikila

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2015, 07:27:13 PM »
This is great!  My goal is to hold out at least until November, like someone else who posted.  We are in zone 8a, and do get snow here, and the coldest night of last winter dropped to -9.44 C.  November's average high is 18 C, low is 6 C, while I am freezing in a jacket at 18 C if I am inactive. 

My main strategies will be to dress warmly and use heated rice bags to keep warm- is that allowed?   

RetiredAt63

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2015, 08:14:08 AM »
Sure!

It was what I was doing, but it just wasn't enough.  Now that the house is up to heat (cozy 17 this morning, 19 now with the sun) and the weather has turned sunny, I will probably be heatless for a few more weeks.  But I caved.  Not totally sorry, I watched the election in relative comfort last night.

This is great!  My goal is to hold out at least until November, like someone else who posted.  We are in zone 8a, and do get snow here, and the coldest night of last winter dropped to -9.44 C.  November's average high is 18 C, low is 6 C, while I am freezing in a jacket at 18 C if I am inactive. 

My main strategies will be to dress warmly and use heated rice bags to keep warm- is that allowed?

Lady Fordragon

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2015, 04:44:04 PM »
No heat November!  I like that.

Try this one on for size...

http://www.richsoil.com/electric-heat.jsp

Yeah I like alliterative names for my monthly challenges.  :-)

Thanks for sharing the link!  Makes sense to focus on just heating yourself and not the entire house.

karaishere

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2015, 05:07:56 PM »
I'll add my household to the challenge! We are in NW Missouri and in zone 5b according to the USDA hardiness map. October is the best time of year for us because we don't need a/c or heat. I don't think we will make it through No Heat November since our apartment has poor attic insulation, but it's still good to work on those frugality muscles!

Sibley

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #28 on: October 21, 2015, 03:02:52 PM »
Well, I'm in Chicago. My heat is not on yet, but that's because it really hasn't been that cold. Once it's low to mid 60s inside the heat will be on. I'm guessing maybe another week or so.

Also, I have a non-MMM roommate. No facepunches, because it's not my wholly decision.

The heat was on for a few days over the weekend, but it's off again. And I'm in zone 5b.

Rural

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #29 on: October 21, 2015, 07:48:25 PM »
Ours went on on the dogs' side of the house because the now-senior big male was walking noticeably stiffly and his teeth were chattering in the early mornings. He's now moving better and  has gone back to sleeping stretched out instead of clinched into the smallest ball an elderly Great Dane can manage. We're keeping it about 66 in there and will maintain that. I was still okay (surprisingly), but he's worth more than a little heat.


Meanwhile, hunting season has started and it's official: he is retired. He gets to rest on his considerable laurels and guard the house while lying in sunbeams.

Spork

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2015, 08:30:08 AM »
Ours went on on the dogs' side of the house because the now-senior big male was walking noticeably stiffly and his teeth were chattering in the early mornings. He's now moving better and  has gone back to sleeping stretched out instead of clinched into the smallest ball an elderly Great Dane can manage. We're keeping it about 66 in there and will maintain that. I was still okay (surprisingly), but he's worth more than a little heat.


Meanwhile, hunting season has started and it's official: he is retired. He gets to rest on his considerable laurels and guard the house while lying in sunbeams.

To fix this, we put in a low watt heater in the dog room.  One of our canines is in his senior years as well.  The room is very small, so it barely runs and manages to keep it at a desired temperature.




Jon_Snow

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2015, 10:14:51 AM »
As another one from the un-frigid Canadian west coast, it is a RARE event to have to turn the heat on at all...and having virtually unused electric baseboard heaters, they get so dust filled that when we turn them on the smell of burning dust is GROSS. On the rare occasions that temps get down into the low single digits Celsius we turn onthe gas fireplace for a short spell...but really, the fireplace really goes on more for atmosphere for uh, "snuggle time". ;)

In just a few days I'm going to be struggling with an entirely different issue...do I turn on the A/C?

zephyr911

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #32 on: October 22, 2015, 10:49:41 AM »
So challenge - who can last the longest?  And I remember last year, people in what I consider semi-tropical climes were boasting about surviving 20oC weather - that is not cold, people!
BAHAHAHA!! Somebody needs to dump an ice bucket on them.

Being of Nordic ancestry, living on the 7a/7b line, I'm challenged primarily by my subtropical wife, whose ideal temp runs much warmer than mine. But she's a good sport about this stuff, and we may be able to expand her range somewhat. We're at 3 months on, 3 months off with our HVAC, and our summer bills were low, but electric heat topped $200/mo in Jan/Feb - for only 1100sf. If I add more attic insulation and wrap the windows, I think we can get through No-heat November and reduce peak heating costs by half, especially with lower settings.

We used a base temp of 60 last year, with 65 for our morning wakeup hour and dinnertime. I noticed that having hot air blowing in the right places made it seem much warmer even during the warmup period, so a lower "peak" setting might feel exactly the same. (further experimentation required)

Perhaps a better measure for those in zone 10 would be how long you can last without turning the pool heater on.  =)
Ya friggin' smartass.... ;)

TrMama

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2015, 12:28:37 PM »
Well, I'm out. Zone 8 here, but the windows are soaked in condensation. It's not that cold (16C inside, 10C outside), but we're obviously at 100% humidity. I bumped up the setpoints on the thermostats (baseboard heat, so each room has it's own thermostat) so the heat will come on at night.

My weekend project will be to remove all the interior window screens for winter storage (helps prevent condensation) and bleach the glass and frames to frustrate the mold. Gah, I'd love the rain forest more if it weren't so darn wet!

Koreth

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #34 on: October 22, 2015, 12:33:58 PM »
Where are you guys getting these zone numbers? The numbers I see here seem to imply a higher number is a climatically warmer area, and a lower number is colder. The numbers I find when doing an internet search seem to imply the opposite.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #35 on: October 22, 2015, 01:50:45 PM »
Plant hardiness zones:
http://www.planthardiness.gc.ca/?m=1
http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

The smaller the number the colder it is, zone 1 is in our arctic.
Canadian and American zone maps are not the same, they use slightly different criteria.

Since the weather warmed up a bit my furnace has not come on again, and I haven't had massive condensation.  But out of the challenge is out, sigh.


Where are you guys getting these zone numbers? The numbers I see here seem to imply a higher number is a climatically warmer area, and a lower number is colder. The numbers I find when doing an internet search seem to imply the opposite.

Rural

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #36 on: October 22, 2015, 02:43:05 PM »
Ours went on on the dogs' side of the house because the now-senior big male was walking noticeably stiffly and his teeth were chattering in the early mornings. He's now moving better and  has gone back to sleeping stretched out instead of clinched into the smallest ball an elderly Great Dane can manage. We're keeping it about 66 in there and will maintain that. I was still okay (surprisingly), but he's worth more than a little heat.


Meanwhile, hunting season has started and it's official: he is retired. He gets to rest on his considerable laurels and guard the house while lying in sunbeams.

To fix this, we put in a low watt heater in the dog room.  One of our canines is in his senior years as well.  The room is very small, so it barely runs and manages to keep it at a desired temperature.


 Those do look interesting, although our dog room is too big for that particular model.  I wonder, though, if it would really be more efficient than the through the wall heat pump we have in there. I assume it's resistance heat? Certainly the convection should work well given our concrete floors.

zephyr911

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #37 on: October 22, 2015, 02:55:47 PM »
Well, I'm out. Zone 8 here, but the windows are soaked in condensation. It's not that cold (16C inside, 10C outside), but we're obviously at 100% humidity. I bumped up the setpoints on the thermostats (baseboard heat, so each room has it's own thermostat) so the heat will come on at night.

My weekend project will be to remove all the interior window screens for winter storage (helps prevent condensation) and bleach the glass and frames to frustrate the mold. Gah, I'd love the rain forest more if it weren't so darn wet!
Humidity is murder in my region, and vast quantities of energy are wasted on inefficient solutions.

We had some mold issues during our no-HVAC spring. Based on suggestions here, I just bought a 30-pint dehumidifier via CL for $20. So far so good. It's now a key part of reducing the duty cycle of our central air system from 6 months annually to more like 2-4.

Jesstache

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #38 on: October 22, 2015, 02:56:29 PM »
We have not turned our heat on so far here in Oregon. We are on the high desert and the overnight lows have been between 35 F and 39 F lately with daytime highs right around 60F but tonight's forecast is for 30 F as a low and going below freezing might just break me but mostly because my kids are starting to complain about being cold and I do have a heart.  I might try to get everyone tough out the below freezing outdoor temp for one night though as the next week looks much more palatable for lows (back to 35-39 F range) and I want to make it to November!

Spork

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #39 on: October 22, 2015, 02:57:43 PM »
Ours went on on the dogs' side of the house because the now-senior big male was walking noticeably stiffly and his teeth were chattering in the early mornings. He's now moving better and  has gone back to sleeping stretched out instead of clinched into the smallest ball an elderly Great Dane can manage. We're keeping it about 66 in there and will maintain that. I was still okay (surprisingly), but he's worth more than a little heat.


Meanwhile, hunting season has started and it's official: he is retired. He gets to rest on his considerable laurels and guard the house while lying in sunbeams.

To fix this, we put in a low watt heater in the dog room.  One of our canines is in his senior years as well.  The room is very small, so it barely runs and manages to keep it at a desired temperature.


 Those do look interesting, although our dog room is too big for that particular model.  I wonder, though, if it would really be more efficient than the through the wall heat pump we have in there. I assume it's resistance heat? Certainly the convection should work well given our concrete floors.

It's resistance heat.  Our dog room is about 20sqft... tiny.  I didn't realize you already had a dedicated heater. You're probably better off with that.  We mostly heat with a wood stove, so this makes it easy to spot heat that one area without turning on the central heat.

Allison

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #40 on: October 22, 2015, 02:59:20 PM »
Chicagoland here!  Still no heat but I did have to close the windows for a couple of days when it got below freezing at night.  I love the colder weather.

Jesstache

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #41 on: October 22, 2015, 03:01:59 PM »
We have not turned our heat on so far here in Oregon. We are on the high desert and the overnight lows have been between 35 F and 39 F 1.6 C - 4 C lately with daytime highs right around 60F 15.5 C but tonight's forecast is for 30 F -1 C  as a low and going below freezing might just break me but mostly because my kids are starting to complain about being cold and I do have a heart.  I might try to get everyone tough out the below freezing outdoor temp for one night though as the next week looks much more palatable for lows (back to 35 F and 39 F 1.6 C - 4 C [/b range) and I want to make it to November!

Oops, fixed it to C :)

Rural

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #42 on: October 22, 2015, 03:09:39 PM »
Ours went on on the dogs' side of the house because the now-senior big male was walking noticeably stiffly and his teeth were chattering in the early mornings. He's now moving better and  has gone back to sleeping stretched out instead of clinched into the smallest ball an elderly Great Dane can manage. We're keeping it about 66 in there and will maintain that. I was still okay (surprisingly), but he's worth more than a little heat.


Meanwhile, hunting season has started and it's official: he is retired. He gets to rest on his considerable laurels and guard the house while lying in sunbeams.

To fix this, we put in a low watt heater in the dog room.  One of our canines is in his senior years as well.  The room is very small, so it barely runs and manages to keep it at a desired temperature.


 Those do look interesting, although our dog room is too big for that particular model.  I wonder, though, if it would really be more efficient than the through the wall heat pump we have in there. I assume it's resistance heat? Certainly the convection should work well given our concrete floors.

It's resistance heat.  Our dog room is about 20sqft... tiny.  I didn't realize you already had a dedicated heater. You're probably better off with that.  We mostly heat with a wood stove, so this makes it easy to spot heat that one area without turning on the central heat.


Makes sense. We don't have central heat at all.


 But the wall heat pump isn't just for the dogs room; it heats that, my office, and my husbands office, plus some effect in the bedroom - this place is tight enough and with high enough thermal mass that we can do the whole place with two wall units, one east and one west. Haven't needed to turn on the east unit, just needed to take the edge off the chill on the big guy. It's warmed back up, with lows in the high 40s last night, and it didn't kick on at all.


Our dog room, like most of our rooms, is nominal 16x16 with 10-foot ceilings.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #43 on: October 22, 2015, 03:25:52 PM »
A side benefit of toughing it out - I am fine with the house at 17-18.  Today with the sun it got up to 21 (thermostat at 17) and I feel too hot.

Really if we had not had a few cloudy windy days with highs of 5 and lows of -7, the house would have been fine.  As it was, condensation made it probably feel colder than it was.

We have not turned our heat on so far here in Oregon. We are on the high desert and the overnight lows have been between 35 F and 39 F lately with daytime highs right around 60F but tonight's forecast is for 30 F as a low and going below freezing might just break me but mostly because my kids are starting to complain about being cold and I do have a heart.  I might try to get everyone tough out the below freezing outdoor temp for one night though as the next week looks much more palatable for lows (back to 35-39 F range) and I want to make it to November!

Jesstache

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #44 on: October 22, 2015, 03:36:50 PM »
A side benefit of toughing it out - I am fine with the house at 17-18.  Today with the sun it got up to 21 (thermostat at 17) and I feel too hot.

Really if we had not had a few cloudy windy days with highs of 5 and lows of -7, the house would have been fine.  As it was, condensation made it probably feel colder than it was.

We have not turned our heat on so far here in Oregon. We are on the high desert and the overnight lows have been between 35 F and 39 F lately with daytime highs right around 60F but tonight's forecast is for 30 F as a low and going below freezing might just break me but mostly because my kids are starting to complain about being cold and I do have a heart.  I might try to get everyone tough out the below freezing outdoor temp for one night though as the next week looks much more palatable for lows (back to 35-39 F range) and I want to make it to November!

Our house has been hovering between 16 and 18 C inside as it hasn't gotten above that outside in weeks and we have no south facing windows (and very few west facing ones as well) so the house is shaded a majority of the day, and we've adjusted fine.  Luckily, the children's bedrooms are upstairs and it is more on the 18C side so I don't feel as bad for them :). 

Koreth

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #45 on: October 22, 2015, 04:32:13 PM »
Gardening zones, okay, now that makes sense.

I'm curious now how well I would do with this challenge. My apartment complex is 30 years old, and the internal walls in this apartment building are not insulated, and I've been comfortably warm most nights simply by living on the second floor and our neighbors using their heat. I've turned the thermostat as low as it can go. and it would seldom cycle except for those nights when it got below freezing. I might participate in this. I really like my fireplace, though...

zephyr911

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #46 on: October 23, 2015, 06:52:09 AM »
Hell, we're still doing passive nighttime cooling with daytime highs of 80+... Bama! :D

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #47 on: October 23, 2015, 07:24:38 AM »
Ours has kicked on once already because of the cold snap late last week. Now we're back to milder weather. We keep it at 62F day and 58 or lower night and expect to have no issue maintaining that again this year.

The whole "keep it off as long as possible" is silly. Weather is variable. If my house is down into the 50s when I wake up I'm turning the heat on no matter what the arbitrary calendar date is.

zephyr911

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #48 on: October 23, 2015, 07:39:21 AM »
The whole "keep it off as long as possible" is silly.
Well, we're doing this for fun as much as anything else, so who cares?

Obviously, total usage matters more than timing of usage. But trying to maximize a run of consecutive HVAC-free days is still a worthwhile exercise. If I deal with one really uncomfortable day or night to connect 20 days here and 10 there, does it make a huge difference in the long run? Not directly. But it might help me bump my tolerance up by a degree or two, permanently reducing my average consumption.

Most of the challenges here are similar. If I accelerate specific buys to run the score up for Stocktober, you might call that silly too. But a temporary push helps fix the importance of shared priorities in our minds, ultimately re-orienting us to pursue them with greater dedication.

Spork

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Re: Winter heat challenge
« Reply #49 on: October 23, 2015, 08:27:48 AM »
The whole "keep it off as long as possible" is silly.
Well, we're doing this for fun as much as anything else, so who cares?

Obviously, total usage matters more than timing of usage. But trying to maximize a run of consecutive HVAC-free days is still a worthwhile exercise. If I deal with one really uncomfortable day or night to connect 20 days here and 10 there, does it make a huge difference in the long run? Not directly. But it might help me bump my tolerance up by a degree or two, permanently reducing my average consumption.

Most of the challenges here are similar. If I accelerate specific buys to run the score up for Stocktober, you might call that silly too. But a temporary push helps fix the importance of shared priorities in our minds, ultimately re-orienting us to pursue them with greater dedication.

I still think there is something to be said for maintaining a thermal heat mass -- especially with concrete slab homes.  A few HVAC days just might increase overall consumption.  I don't really have hard experimental data here.  My conclusion is on very shaky ground.

We probably don't run our HVAC more than 30-60 hours a year.  The rest is all wood stove heated.  But I've been convinced that 1 hour a day does make a difference to the bottom line.