Fellow blogger Crunchy Chicken recently launched the Winter 2010-2011 Freeze Yer Buns Challenge, encouraging everyone to turn their thermostat down this winter. She’s open to any temperature settings that works for folks but encourages people to push their limits a bit, especially at night. I think her target is 62 during the day and 55 at night.
I feel like we’re already participating although in a rather unique way. We have our thermostat set at 52 degrees and are relying on our solar furnace to heat us up to a more comfortable temperature during the day. Our main motivation is keeping our electrical bill down so that we have a shot of winning the SIREN Energy Showdown grand prize – a one kilowatt photovoltaic system! Will also likes the idea of just acclimating to a lower indoor temperature to lower our carbon footprint all winter, since we did fairly well adjusting to life without air conditioning this summer.
For the past couple of weeks it has been unseasonably warm (several days we opened all the windows to let the warm air IN) so with the solar furnace it has been in the high sixties during the day, dropping to about 55 overnight. Yesterday it was cold but sunny so the solar furnace ran all day and brought the temperature up to about 65. Then last night it got cold and our furnace actually kicked on for about ten minutes this morning to heat us from 51 to 52. It has been between 52 and 54 all day and I’ve been here working.
And you know what? It’s cold but it’s not unbearable. I do wish we had some sort of supplemental heat for the bathroom – I hate stepping out of a hot shower into a cold room – but otherwise it has been okay. I wear about three layers of long sleeves plus a hat, drink a lot of hot tea, and get up to exercise every hour or two to heat my body up again. Perhaps life with minimal heat will improve my cardiovascular health!
Or perhaps in another month or two I can coax Will into turning up the thermostat to a balmy 58. I’ll keep you posted…