Monday, March 24, 2008

Energy Saving Tip-Of-The-Week

This week is all about your thermostat. Here in Minnesota the calender says March, but it is still winter. We received 7 inches of snow over the Easter weekend. It is going to melt in the next week, but the house temperature is quite chilly.

We are not lucky enough to have a corn stove, or wood burning fireplace. We do have a gas fireplace that I use in the morning and at night to jump start a little more heat. But natural gas prices keep going up too, so that is not the best long term solution.

Get a programmable thermostat if you don't have one already, and at night crank it down! Everybody is asleep and cozy in bed. Have everybody wear footie pajamas and throw on extra blankets. In the winter it is the coziest way to sleep anyway. My older children thought I was nuts when I brought them home footie pajamas this year. (I got them 75% off at Target, so how couldn't I.) Now they are addicted to them, they even wear them at friends houses. And we never have a shortage of blankets. I started quilting when my first child was born in 1997, so I have a few quilts laying around the house :-)

Have the thermostat turn warmer one half hour before the first person gets up for the morning. That should help the cold snap of not wanting to get out of the nice warm bed.

If everybody leaves the house during the day make sure to program it back down to sleeping temperatures. Who are you heating the house for? Your dog? They go potty outside, they are used to the cold. I am home during the day, but I still crank the heat down. I am always in my slippers, and have many sweatshirts that I love to wear. I make sure to bundle up the toddler too when he is home with me and not at pre-school.

Again, make the heat come back up one half hour before the family gets home for the night. I turn on the fire place during dinner, it looks nice and gives extra warmth. I also set the temperature back down to sleeping temps right when the kids are off to bed. If the house is colder, it makes me want to go to bed and warm up earlier.
Now what should you set it at? In the winter our sleeping temperature is set at 62 degrees and family home temperature is set at 67 degrees. With these settings you can save up to 15% of your heating costs or $150 a year. And that doesn't even start to consider the effects on the environment. Think of how many CO2s you are not putting into the air. It is a win win situation.

NOTE: Make sure if you go on vacation or are gone from the house for any extended period of time that you set it on hold to your sleeping temperature. You don't need it to go up and down when nobody is home!


Babsi said...

I agree with your using a programmable thermostat.
We recently turned the set temperatures down 1 degree and we saved $40 this last month. Last week, I turned the heat down another degree in hopes of saving even more on our natural gas bill.

Anonymous said...

Wow, great that you are saving money, but I a m really glad I don't live at your house. Just reading it made me cold--ha! The lowest I can put my heater is 73 and I am freezing.

A blog about living within your means in todays world, while being married, raising three kids, working full-time, and trying not to go crazy in the process.