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#61 of 85 Old 09-05-2008, 06:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by FondestBianca View Post
what are people really paying every month for energy bills?? We're on an average so we pay the same all year round. We have gas heat (and gas heated water tank) and electric for the lights and such and pay under $90 a month combined year round... and this is in a 2000 sq/ft house with extremely leaky windows. During the winter it gets well below freezing all day long and we have a few months of snow here as well... so we do need to use the heat all but about 2 or 3 months of the year (and use ac the months we dont' use the heat as it gets well over 90 during the summer days). So how the heck are people paying so much?? The two winters we've been here so far we didn't exactly keep the therm cold either... much higher than people are suggesting here anyway.
In the summer, it's usually
$180 electric
$30 gas

winter:
$60 electric
$150 gas

We keep the heat on 62 or so. The AC on about 77.
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#62 of 85 Old 09-05-2008, 07:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by FondestBianca View Post
If you don't live in an apartment (where you get heat from other units and are insulated by them) and your house isn't absolutly tiny you should keep your heat close to the same at all times. Turning it down conciderably at night only uses more energy because in the morning it has to heat your home back up again. Sort of like the theory that leaving your car idleing for a couple minutes actually uses less gas than turning it off and starting it again. As starting your car requires a bigger surge of gas and uses more than an idle. Same goes for home heating. Takes more energy to re-heat than keep at one steady temp. I'd stay within a couple degrees from day to night. Don't turn it down or off unless you'll be gone for over 48 hours.

I haven't had to use my heater since June but, today I just may have to turn it back on : .
The car theory is incorrect. Mythbusters and several others have proven it to be. The recommendation is: If you are going to be parked for more than 30 seconds, turn off the engine. Ten seconds of idling can use more fuel than turning off the engine and restarting it. And when you start your engine, don't step down on the accelerator, just simply turn the key to start.

I wish I could find the website I had about the heat. I reformatted my computer and did not save it. Anyway the cut off point was if the house was colder then 54 degrees then it took more energy to heat it up. I house rarely falls below that point where we live at. They had all kinds of facts to back it up etc.

Heidi
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#63 of 85 Old 09-05-2008, 07:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post
In the summer, it's usually
$180 electric
$30 gas

winter:
$60 electric
$150 gas

We keep the heat on 62 or so. The AC on about 77.
thats nuts! maybe the useage cost is just higher where you live. I had my heat set at 71 or 72 until i turned it off in june! i ran the window ac in june and july (skipped august to save a bit) but wow, just the fact that my bill is an average of 90 combined (gas $65, electric $25) while you pay over 200 every month (and it sounds like I crank up the heat much more than others)... thats just crazy. I have heard that gas costs vary a lot from state to state though... perhaps thats why. it just seems that every time i ask someone how much they pay they pay double or more than i do. maybe i should just be happy that my energy costs or oddly well below normal!

~TRACY, wife to loving dh, mommy to dd (10/05), ds(12/08), 3 kitties, & 2 pups.
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#64 of 85 Old 09-05-2008, 07:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mum4boys View Post
The car theory is incorrect. Mythbusters and several others have proven it to be. The recommendation is: If you are going to be parked for more than 30 seconds, turn off the engine. Ten seconds of idling can use more fuel than turning off the engine and restarting it. And when you start your engine, don't step down on the accelerator, just simply turn the key to start.

I wish I could find the website I had about the heat. I reformatted my computer and did not save it. Anyway the cut off point was if the house was colder then 54 degrees then it took more energy to heat it up. I house rarely falls below that point where we live at. They had all kinds of facts to back it up etc.
makes sense about the car thing. i think the home heating is entirely dependant on the kind of heating, efficiency of heating, and the space that it is heating. but who knows with so many factors anyway.

my house is drafty but, i can't do any more than put plastic up in my windows once it gets cold. i hate the drafts... so do my houseplants!

~TRACY, wife to loving dh, mommy to dd (10/05), ds(12/08), 3 kitties, & 2 pups.
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#65 of 85 Old 09-05-2008, 08:05 PM
 
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my house is drafty but, i can't do any more than put plastic up in my windows once it gets cold. i hate the drafts... so do my houseplants!
insulation in the windows helps with the plastic too.

We pay $112 a month for gas & $175/month for power. We're on the budget plan. We have a credit with both of them so we're paying more than what we use. They both get redone in November.

When we had one of our borders we had our highest power bill ever. It was $450 in December when we had -40 temps for over 2 weeks. We were gone on vacation for 10 days during that time, but our border was still here. We know he turned the heat up higher than we normally kept it when we were gone.
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#66 of 85 Old 09-07-2008, 07:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mum4boys View Post
The car theory is incorrect. Mythbusters and several others have proven it to be. The recommendation is: If you are going to be parked for more than 30 seconds, turn off the engine. Ten seconds of idling can use more fuel than turning off the engine and restarting it. And when you start your engine, don't step down on the accelerator, just simply turn the key to start.

I wish I could find the website I had about the heat. I reformatted my computer and did not save it. Anyway the cut off point was if the house was colder then 54 degrees then it took more energy to heat it up. I house rarely falls below that point where we live at. They had all kinds of facts to back it up etc.

Yep - It *was* true about idling vs. restarting in the olden days, but fuel injectors are very efficient. So unless you still have a carburetor, turn it off rather than idling! (Love Mythbusters too )

I have found multiple sites, many with math to back them up, saying that turning the heat down for at least 4-6 hours saves you money and energy. The only exception I've found is the heat pump one.

savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

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#67 of 85 Old 09-07-2008, 08:53 PM
 
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winter is cheaper for us since it gets so hot and muggy here. our house actually retains heat well which is nice in the winter. we layer and sleep with down and our beds are upstairs. now we also replaced windows this year so i'm anxious to see the reduction. i keep it at about 62, but i'd like to go down to 58 this year i also drink hot drinks to stay warm.

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#68 of 85 Old 09-07-2008, 09:49 PM
 
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I would love to have a $90 a month heating bill! I'm in Maine and we have an oil furnace, we have locked in at a set rate for the year of $240 a month. Depending on what the oil prices do I could either owe money or have some of my last payment reduced. This year I'm paying double what I paid for heating last year.

Last winter we did turn the heat down to 50-55F each night and up to 60-65 when we were home. The winter before last we always kept the thermostat at 65 and we found it did save oil to turn the heat down at night.
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#69 of 85 Old 09-07-2008, 11:03 PM
 
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I set ours to 66 and it stays there day and night.

SAHM to the munchkins (14.5, 11.5, 9.5, 3, and almost 2)
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#70 of 85 Old 09-07-2008, 11:09 PM
 
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We keep it between 65 and 68 at night and around 70-72 during the day (when someone is home, if no one is home we keep it low).

We moved this summer and have a working fireplace now, so we intend to use that whenever someone is home to keep the fire going. Our plan is to keep the temp set low at night and let the fire burn out. We'll see how it goes.

Wife to an amazing man love.gif, mommy to 3 wild dudes: ds1 (5/23/05 @ 30 weeks), ds2 (3/5/09) hbac.gif, and ds3 (9/26/10) hbac.gif. Part time librarianread.gif, full time mommysupermod.gif, occasional chef and maid.

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#71 of 85 Old 09-08-2008, 12:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post
In the summer, it's usually
$180 electric
$30 gas

winter:
$60 electric
$150 gas

We keep the heat on 62 or so. The AC on about 77.
Winter Average for gas heat & water heater $155/mo. (that's with furnace set at 62 degrees & water heater set one tick above "vacation") (Last year's bills: Nov. $100, Dec. $120, Jan $210, Feb $190, March $150)
Summer Average for gas (water heater only) $45/mo. or less (last month was only $29)
*I should also mention that our furnace is 45 years old and our water heater is 35 years old, so they are no very efficient)

We have no AC, so our electric bill is $30/mo. year round (maybe $40 if we use an electric heater a few nights in Jan & Feb.)
Water/sewer rates are high though, $60/mo. year round
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#72 of 85 Old 09-08-2008, 12:59 PM
 
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Yep - It *was* true about idling vs. restarting in the olden days, but fuel injectors are very efficient. So unless you still have a carburetor, turn it off rather than idling! (Love Mythbusters too )

I've heard this too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post
I have found multiple sites, many with math to back them up, saying that turning the heat down for at least 4-6 hours saves you money and energy. The only exception I've found is the heat pump one.

Yep, my parents had a geothermal heat pump in the house they designed and built in the 1980s. It was very efficient and kept the house the perfect temp year round! They also had passive solar windows that faced south, so the house was all warm a toasty on sunny winter days.
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#73 of 85 Old 09-08-2008, 02:35 PM
 
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wow. I cant imagine living like some fo you guys do. I'm not critisizing at all, just saying that's not for me. We warm and cool our house as much as we want. I cant STAND feeling uncomfortable temperature-wise.
Our house tends to be between 72-74 most of the time. This requires cooling in summer and heating in winter.

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#74 of 85 Old 09-08-2008, 04:11 PM
 
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wow. I cant imagine living like some fo you guys do. I'm not critisizing at all, just saying that's not for me. We warm and cool our house as much as we want. I cant STAND feeling uncomfortable temperature-wise.
Our house tends to be between 72-74 most of the time. This requires cooling in summer and heating in winter.
ITA with this but for the opposite reason...we are so frugal about our utilities and we still pay so much. I don;t understand how people afford it!!

We pay about $300 per month for gas and elec during the winter. I can't imagine how much it will cost this year. If we kept our house at 70+ degrees all winter our gas bill would prob be about $400...and elec would prob be $200...this is for a 2 bedroom duplex. :m

When you have a limited budget you simply do not have the luxury of keeping the thermostat wherever you want it.
For us we have other places we need to/would rather spend our money...and we feel a responsibility to conserve right now since there is such a fuel shortage.

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#75 of 85 Old 09-08-2008, 04:35 PM
 
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This thread has me dreading winter. Last year we lived in a house that used monitor propane heaters (2) and we suplimented with a kerosene heater. We bought kerosene as needed (didn't keep track) and used 800 gallons of propane. It was $3something a gallon. Ouch. We had plastic up on the outside of all the windows, as well as around the base of the house. We shut off the playroom to conserve heat. We kept the temp at between 56 and 60 during the day usually, though sometimes if it wasn't that cold I'd turn it to the lowest setting (it'd kick on at about 48). Nights we kept it about 64-68.

We piled on the blankets and cuddled at night, during the day we wore layers and kept moving. My sister would occasionally sit outside for as long as she could and then come in. She said it felt warmer that way

And this was all in addition to a $180 a month electric bill! In the summer it was $130. I don't know why. We conserved.

This year we moved to a one story house that has baseboard oil heat, a woodstove in the basement (though with only one vent right above it) and a wood stove hook up in the living room. We're going to rely pretty heavily on wood this year. I want to be warm! :
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#76 of 85 Old 09-08-2008, 04:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bobandjess99 View Post
wow. I cant imagine living like some fo you guys do. I'm not critisizing at all, just saying that's not for me. We warm and cool our house as much as we want. I cant STAND feeling uncomfortable temperature-wise.
Our house tends to be between 72-74 most of the time. This requires cooling in summer and heating in winter.
I don't do it to be frugal. I set the temp to what I am comfortable, which is in the 60s in the winter, and about 70 in the summer.

72-74 is way too warm for me.

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#77 of 85 Old 09-08-2008, 06:02 PM
 
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We push ours as far to the left as we can without turning the heat off, which I think is about 59 degrees F? That's day and night temp. I just recently moved from Wyoming so I am curious to see if our method will work at our new place.

I get a lot of comments from my family, like "the baby will freeze!". Well, that's what we did with dd and she is fine! We wear a lot of cardigans and use a small space heater if we are super-cold during the day.

*formerly apecaut*, Mom to A, Calliope (stillborn 40 weeks 6/22/07), A and O
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#78 of 85 Old 09-08-2008, 06:13 PM
 
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I don't do it to be frugal. I set the temp to what I am comfortable, which is in the 60s in the winter, and about 70 in the summer.

72-74 is way too warm for me.
: I'm running around in a t-shirt when it's 68, and by the time it gets to 72 I'm usually in a tank top and at least capris, maybe even shorts. There's no way I'd pay to keep the house warm enough to wear shorts in Jan. But, everyone has a different comfort range.

MJ~ Proud mom to DS (4)
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#79 of 85 Old 09-08-2008, 10:52 PM
 
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wow. I cant imagine living like some fo you guys do. I'm not critisizing at all, just saying that's not for me. We warm and cool our house as much as we want. I cant STAND feeling uncomfortable temperature-wise.
Our house tends to be between 72-74 most of the time. This requires cooling in summer and heating in winter.
when I mentioned that i pay a budget billing price of under $100 for gas (heat and hot water) and electric combined that is with the thermo set at 72 all winter long! I grew up in a cold house because my mom refused to turn the heat up. I vowed that when I had my own house and paid my own bill I'd keep it warm and toasty in the winter. Sorry, but if theres 2 feet of snow outside and the temp is below zero and there are gusts of wind trying to whip through my window I'm gonna wake up in the morn and crank the thermo up to 74! Maybe the fact that I have spray in insulation in my attic 20 inches thick makes up double time for the leaky windows as we've never paid over $100 total for all energy used per month in the 2 years we've been here. We may let it get down to 68 while we're sleeping but, even that is pushing it for me!

I'd love to have it 72 in the summer too but, we dont have central AC. The wall unit only cools the upstairs (main livng upstairs) about 10 degrees from the daytime high. Had plenty of sweaty days this past summer when it was over 88 in the house. Ugh.

~TRACY, wife to loving dh, mommy to dd (10/05), ds(12/08), 3 kitties, & 2 pups.
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#80 of 85 Old 09-09-2008, 06:56 AM
 
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We moved this summer and have a working fireplace now, so we intend to use that whenever someone is home to keep the fire going. Our plan is to keep the temp set low at night and let the fire burn out. We'll see how it goes.
A wood burning *fireplace*, not stove, right? A fireplace is actually an energy sponge - it's really for ambiance, not heating. Over 70% of the heat generated goes straight up the flue. Additionally, dampers are not 100% efficient, so when you are not burning, you lose heat up the flue as well. Firewood is also more expensive this year if you are planning on buying seasoned hardwood (especially if you are not going to buy several ricks at a time). All I'm saying is to not rely on your fireplace to heat anything beyond about 2 feet in front of it and for it to save you money.

Back to the OP - we actually supplement our central heat. We have two wood burning stoves - one is a fireplace insert and the other is a free-standing insert. They are on the two lower floors. I ordered in wood early this year because I knew (from hanging out on some heating-with-wood forums) the cost of wood was going to skyrocket. We go through about 5 ricks a winter. Already had 1, bought 4 for $220. If I bought it now, it would cost me triple that.

When I am home, the heat is off and the stove on the main floor is burning. If I'm going to be gone all day or at night, I turn on the furnace to about 66F so it will kick in if the temp gets below that when the fire dies down. Our heating bill usually runs about $40 - $70/month from Nov through Feb. During really cold snaps, both stoves are burning.
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#81 of 85 Old 09-09-2008, 09:01 AM
 
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: I'm running around in a t-shirt when it's 68, and by the time it gets to 72 I'm usually in a tank top and at least capris, maybe even shorts. There's no way I'd pay to keep the house warm enough to wear shorts in Jan. But, everyone has a different comfort range.
I would pay to keep my house warm enough to wear shorts in January if I could afford it :

That's not very green, is it?
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#82 of 85 Old 09-09-2008, 09:39 AM
 
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Uh yeah, some of us can't afford to keep the house comfortable. We are on a budget plan for heating oil at $700/month year round. That heats our house to 50-55. :

Old houses suck. All you folks who live in shiny modern airtight houses and can afford to heat it into the 70s all winter long are lucky.
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#83 of 85 Old 09-09-2008, 11:04 AM
 
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You pay 700/month for oil and keep it in the 50s? That is crazy expensive.

I live in an old house too and it costs around 75 a month in the winters months to keep it in the 60s.

Could you switch to a natural gas furnace?

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#84 of 85 Old 09-09-2008, 11:20 AM
 
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Old houses suck. All you folks who live in shiny modern airtight houses and can afford to heat it into the 70s all winter long are lucky
not everyone who heats their houses to 70 or higher or even lower but still higher than you keep yours has a new shiny modern airtight house.

Some of these people live SOUTH of you & therefore don't need to use as much heat at night becuase it doesn't get as cold.

Some of these people have made improvements(or landlords did or previous owners did) on their houses to insulate them better so they're not heating the outside & it doesn't cost as much.

Some of these people have a different heating source that isn't as expensive as heating with oil is.
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#85 of 85 Old 09-09-2008, 11:23 AM
 
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Yeah, oil is terrible. TERRIBLE. I wish we had natural gas as an option out here. Some people get propane trucked in but thats not cheap either.

We want to get an outdoor wood burning furnace system but the expense of installing it is crazy.

Cost to replace all the leaky windows is about $20k. For custom size vinyl. We make do with bubble wrap & home made storms & window quilts.
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