Turn Down The Thermostat And Save

By ERIN TURNER

We are smack dab in the middle of winter and even despite warmer than normal temperatures, heat and electric bills still are coming in higher than any other time of the year.

A lot of people in our Northwest region panicked in December about the drastic rise in their power bills when we had our shot at the Polar Vortex and outside temperatures dipped well below zero for days on end.

While most people tapped their thermostat up during those days, our family tapped ours down.  It was hard and didn’t feel quite right.  But I knew if we didn’t, the furnace would be running non-stop.

thermostat

64 degrees during the day and 60 degrees at night works just fine in our house.

So, we moved our thermostat down to a “balmy” 64 degrees from its normal 67 in the day and a “tropical” 60 degrees at night.

Did we freeze?  Hardly!  Actually, our home was comfortable and when the bill arrived at the end of the month, we had accomplished our goal!  The charges were significantly lower than last year’s December charges.

Monitoring your thermostat is an easy way to save some cash each month on your utility bill.  But kicking it down a few degrees, you will see huge savings.  Many of the new models of thermostats have a set program which you can run.   If your house does not have a programmable thermostat, I would recommend making the investment and install one.

My thermostat allows me to set 4 different times and the temp I want at that time.  The 4 times are: waking, leaving the house, returning to the house and going to sleep.  For years I have utilized this energy saving program.  Not only does it save our household money, but I also don’t have to think about the temperature and keep a constant eye on it.  It’s set and it goes about saving me money completely on its own.

Studies have shown that people sleep better in a room which is between 60-68 degrees F.  Temperature of your bedroom affects your internal core temperature and if it is too hot then your body doesn’t produce the necessary chemicals to put your body to sleep.  If you suffer from insomnia, you may want to play with your room temperature and find what temperature your body sleeps the best.

saving money on heating

Our youngest son, Gus, demonstrates layering…but in truth, he’s my little heater and doesn’t notice the cooler temperature in the house.

While we have dropped the temperature in our house, we have added a few more blankets to our beds, sofa and worn an extra layer.  Although the kids don’t seem to have noticed the change in temperature, thy can run around with shorts or bare feet and be just as warm as they would be on a 90 degree day.  They are little heaters themselves…if we could just capture their thermo-energy and utilize it, we’d save even more money.

During the month of December, we put all our Christmas lights on timers which efficiently regulated the amount of time excess lighting was on in our house.  This helped tremendously in our electric bill.  With the last of the Christmas items on clearance, I would highly recommend picking up some clearance light timers for next year.

While many people can tap their thermostats down a few degrees and save enough money to pay their monthly utility bill, there are many of our friends and neighbors who struggle each winter with increased heating bills.  If you or someone you know can’t pay these monthly charges please know that there is assistance.  Check out this website for additional information and agencies to contact.  No one should have to freeze during these months or fear not being able to pay the bills.

Even though the sun has been shining and the snow has melted, we are still facing a couple more months of winter.  And I suspect that Mother Nature is just waiting for an opportune time to reintroduce us to Old Man Winter…she’s evil like that.  So, if you want to save some money in your household budget this winter, lower your thermostat and you will see the savings.  It’s an easy, no hassle way to keep a few more dollars in your pocket.  And that always makes me feel warmer.

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 Erin’s got tons of tips for saving money, couponing, sticking to a budget, and living sustainably in her blog archive.

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Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian. Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped, and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques, and trying to maintain a well-run, happy, and organized home for her family.

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