Thursday, November 13, 2008

Power Bill Questions

As I mentioned in my Grocery Challenge, I am trying to save money in all areas. I've been working on the power bill for quite some time. I have to confess, in the summer, I didn't do so hot. Probably because it was hot outside. I hate being hot, so I used the air conditioner, maybe too much.

Well, now that it's cooler, I have been trying not to use the heat as much. Now that it's getting cool, I have the heat turned on, but at a lower setting than I did last year. Right now, it's set on 66 degrees. What do you keep yours on in the winter? I don't want to freeze everyone, but I need to save some money.

One more question, we have a fireplace, but never used it. Someone told me, it wasn't worth it to try and use it to warm some of the house. Is that true? If you have a fireplace, do you think it helps with your heating bill?

Thanks for your help!

6 comments:

2 Much Farm Primitives said...

Hey Nancy. We keep ours on 68 while we're in the house and 65 while we're gone and at night. Sometimes it feels a little chilly, but we just put on a sweatshirt and we have flannel sheets on the beds. Of course, we don't have little ones like you do. We use our fireplace a lot. To us, it really makes a difference. Although it's a lot of work with the wood and all. But my hubby loves chopping, splitting and stacking wood. Makes him feel in shape. We had thought about gas logs, but while he still enjoys the real wood thing, I guess we'll just leave it like it is. I love having a fireplace and it keeps the living and kitchen area toasty. Maybe you can just try it once or twice to see. I think the dogs like it even more than we do....they curl up in front of it when it's blazing.

Take care girl and good luck on the saving. We're doing the same thing....anything to save a buck or two :)

Farm Chick Paula said...

I usually turn our heat way down at night... I sleep hot anyway, so it doesn't bother me. It is pretty chilly in here in the morning though, but once I get up, I crank the heat back up to around 66 or 67 and it doesn't take long to warm up. I don't know if this is very energy efficient or not, but it has to be better than the heat pump running all night!

Sadge said...

We have only the wood stove for heat. It's on the fireplace hearth, with a stovepipe out the back and through a piece of sheet metal that blocks off the fireplace, using the fireplace chimney without any more stovepipe. By morning during the winter, the house can be down in the low 50's. I've got a big east-facing window and I open up those blinds as soon as I get up. If the house is around 60, I won't light a fire in the morning. Below 60, I might light one and then usually let it burn out about 10 am. I think wood stoves are more efficient than fireplaces, or maybe see if you can find an insert. If you're going to burn any scrap wood, you don't want a catalytic converter. Factor in the cost/availability of your wood, transporting it, and cutting before you know if it will be cost-efficient.

Candace said...

We don't have a fireplace but we don't really ned one here.

We keep our heat at 67 or 68. We don't have it on yet.

Have you tried unplugging you washer and dryer? It helpe our bill a lot and I only did it when I thought about it.

Candace @ A Garden of Blessings said...

I'm bad about this, but I keep mine at 72. Our electric is cheap, fortunately. I don't use the A/C all that much in the summer though.
Not sure about the fireplace, it probably depends on if it has blowers.

lorisdoris said...

We keep our AC set at 80 during the daytime in the summer and at 82 at night. We do use fans and if the high won't be more than 85 or so, we turn off the AC and open up the windows.

In the winter, we keep our furnace set at 68 when everyone is here (approximately 6:00 - 8:00 AM and 3:00 - 10:00 PM.) During the day, when I am here alone I set it back to 62. Usually I am moving around and I wear a sweater over other layers, so I don't mind it. If it does bother me, I turn on our gas stove (like a woodstove but with gas logs.) It is super efficient and heats the main living areas in no time - then I turn it off. At night we turn our thermostat down to 58 and use lots of blankets! Despite rate increases, our power bill and gas bill are almost half of what our neighbors pay.

I also save on power by putting all of my instant on appliances on power strips which I only turn on when I need to use that appliance (microwave, t.v., stereo, etc.)

~Laura