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It's damn cold

KendeathwalkerKendeathwalker Registered User regular
edited October 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
I live with two roommates, and all three of us are on tight budgets. We've discussed ways to try and save money by turning the heat off at night or only turning it on at night. I've heard that its more efficient to just leave it at a slightly lower setting and have it on all the time. I've tried various searches on google/yahoo and cant find any information about it. I cant think of the right thing to put in the search engine. Just wondering if anybody has any advice form me.

Kendeathwalker on

Posts

  • ProtoProto Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Apartment? Probably more efficient to turn it right off at night as an apartment usually doesn't take too much to heat it up again. If you aren't around during the day you could program it to turn off then too. If you are in a bigger house it might be better to just turn it down during the night.

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  • KMFurDMKMFurDM Registered User, ClubPA
    edited October 2007
  • lifeincognitolifeincognito Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    My freshman Physics Professor had the same problem as you, assuming you live in an apartment. He and his roommate figured out the absolute minimum temperature they could tolerate which for them was somewhere around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Sure it was cold, but there apartment never actually got as low as 55 degrees because the heat from the neighboring apartments warmed their apartment. Setting your thermostat unusually low will cause someone else to pay extra for your heating.

    If it is a house turn it off at night(as previously mentioned) and only turn it on during the day when all three of you are home. I'm used to living in 60 degree homes, but I don't know where you are nor do I know how much money you need to save (and thus how low you want to set the temperature).

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  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2007
    I live with two roommates, and all three of us are on tight budgets. We've discussed ways to try and save money by turning the heat off at night or only turning it on at night. I've heard that its more efficient to just leave it at a slightly lower setting and have it on all the time. I've tried various searches on google/yahoo and cant find any information about it. I cant think of the right thing to put in the search engine. Just wondering if anybody has any advice form me.

    Tape plastic sheeting over the windows. It saves a lot of heat.

  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    How much time do you guys spend getting ready to leave in the morning? If you all quickly shower and leave, spending only a short amount of time in the bathroom or whatever, it might actually be a lot cheaper to shut it off when you go to bed at night, and simply get a space heater for the bathroom when you're at your nakedest.

    That way you won't have to turn on the heat at all until the first person gets home at night, and the sun and other things will probably heat up the apt. at least a little bit.

    It's more energy efficient to set it to a baseline temperature if you know people are going to be around. For instance, I've got a fancy thermostat that lets you set different temps for different days, and different times during the day. We wake up around 8am, get home around 5ish, so our schedule goes like this: 64F from 2am to 8am, 68F from 8-9, 64F from 9-5:30, 68F from 5:30 to 2am. We haven't fine tuned it quite yet, since we've only just turned the heat on a little over a week ago. But the idea is that if you don't let it get below a certain temperature, your heating system only has to work a small amount in order to regulate the temperature. So setting it low when you're not home (but not completely off) keeps it warm, but prevents it from going full-blast. And then, when you get home it only needs to run for a short while to actually heat the place up, instead of running for 2 hours straight while you guys freeze.

    But if you're hard up for money, it's probably easiest to just tough it out in the morning and leave it off during the night/day, only turning it on when you guys get home. If you're all out at separate times, and there's no real schedule (say you're all in college and taking classes), I'd suggest simply setting a rule that the last person to leave at any given time turns it down 10 degrees.

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  • brandotheninjamasterbrandotheninjamaster Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    I live with two roommates, and all three of us are on tight budgets. We've discussed ways to try and save money by turning the heat off at night or only turning it on at night. I've heard that its more efficient to just leave it at a slightly lower setting and have it on all the time. I've tried various searches on google/yahoo and cant find any information about it. I cant think of the right thing to put in the search engine. Just wondering if anybody has any advice form me.

    Tape plastic sheeting over the windows. It saves a lot of heat.

    My stepdad did this when I was a kid, according to him it saved tons of money.

  • KendeathwalkerKendeathwalker Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    oops, shoulda said it the first time around, its an apartment. Arts and crafts style home. Its like a row house because every set of two doors are right next to each other and there are not spaces between the homes. The three of us live on one floor and two people live above us, and the basement is shared and divided by a chicken wire partition. I'm pretty sure the place is getting close to 80-100 years old because none of the doors or windows open or close easily and take a bit of finesse to use with out making a lot of noise. The place is heated with gas. Unfortunately the we are on the end of the row so the alley is right next to us, I get a nice 6am alarm clock every couple a days when the garbage truck rolls through the alley. If you stand next to a window, its noticeably cooler. We havent turned the heat on yet and its getting to the point where my hands are getting so cold its annoying, either the people next to us havent turned theres on or it just doesn't affect us much, I can see that theory working if I was located in the middle of the row. Thanks for the help guys, I appreciate it. As far as a duvet, im not really cold when I sleep, its just that cold shock when you pull the blanket off

    edit: just noticed theres like 3 more replies..

    Thanks guys

  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    I live with two roommates, and all three of us are on tight budgets. We've discussed ways to try and save money by turning the heat off at night or only turning it on at night. I've heard that its more efficient to just leave it at a slightly lower setting and have it on all the time. I've tried various searches on google/yahoo and cant find any information about it. I cant think of the right thing to put in the search engine. Just wondering if anybody has any advice form me.

    Tape plastic sheeting over the windows. It saves a lot of heat.

    My stepdad did this when I was a kid, according to him it saved tons of money.

    In a pinch, thick curtains over the windows help too, though probably not as much as the sheeting.

  • KendeathwalkerKendeathwalker Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    plastic sheeting something you can get at a hardware store like lowes or home depot? Is it transparent or opaque?

  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    oops, shoulda said it the first time around, its an apartment. Arts and crafts style home. Its like a row house because every set of two doors are right next to each other and there are not spaces between the homes. The three of us live on one floor and two people live above us, and the basement is shared and divided by a chicken wire partition. I'm pretty sure the place is getting close to 80-100 years old because none of the doors or windows open or close easily and take a bit of finesse to use with out making a lot of noise. The place is heated with gas. Unfortunately the we are on the end of the row so the alley is right next to us, I get a nice 6am alarm clock every couple a days when the garbage truck rolls through the alley. If you stand next to a window, its noticeably cooler. We havent turned the heat on yet and its getting to the point where my hands are getting so cold its annoying, either the people next to us havent turned theres on or it just doesn't affect us much, I can see that theory working if I was located in the middle of the row. Thanks for the help guys, I appreciate it. As far as a duvet, im not really cold when I sleep, its just that cold shock when you pull the blanket off

    edit: just noticed theres like 3 more replies..

    Thanks guys

    The heating trick only works if you're in block-style apartments. Hot air rises, it doesn't travel laterally :D I live in a rowhouse and most of them do not heat each other. The cool air in the basement comes up and that's where the real problem lies, and the only way to combat that (or leech off your neighbors) would be if someone had a finished basement that they heated, and it was poorly insulated and it leeched out into other basements.

    Since you rent, you should start with putting plastic on the windows. It's cheap, they sell it at all big hardware stores and probably some smaller ones. It's transparent, just some plastic with a sticky side. Usually you stick it to the edges of the windows, then point a hairdryer at it to shrink it tight.

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  • brandotheninjamasterbrandotheninjamaster Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    plastic sheeting something you can get at a hardware store like lowes or home depot? Is it transparent or opaque?

    more translucent...you can see out of them but not clearly. You can get them at the home deopt/comparable hardware store as well.

  • bbmartinibbmartini Registered User
    edited October 2007
    you can buy kits with the tape and such like this:
    http://www.amazon.com/3M-Company-2141-Indoor-Insulation/dp/B00002NCJI
    and its transparent

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  • TashTash Registered User
    edited October 2007
    People keep their houses cold. Mine doesn't drop below 73. Most of the times its around 76 or so. Any colder and I'm freezing.


    The plastic on the windows is a great idea though :)

  • METAzraeLMETAzraeL Registered User
    edited October 2007
    I've been thinking about the plastic for our windows. Each year we keep our heater "off" til mid-November or December, and it's fucking cold. I say "off" because the lowest setting is 50F, and the heater turns on no matter what if it gets colder than that, which it does :/ Problem is, the heat really only goes to one room in the house, so it's kinda pointless. It's a really old house with crap for insulation, and I guess there's concrete under the carpet.

    I suggest a few layers of clothes to help you save gas :D

    edit: do you guys recommend getting the window kits, like what bbmartini linked? Seems like you could just buy generic plastic sheeting and rig it up for cheaper.


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  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Yes, the kits are great for 3 reasons:
    1. Semi-sticky on one side so they go on the window quickly. No tape needed.
    2. Blowdry them for a nice, tight seal. Don't need to retape sections, worry about rips, and makes them very transparent.
    3. Easy take-down. The sticky stuff is made to come down easily when you need it to, but stick well during the winter (or, well, year round if you'd like).

    You could take garbage bags and tape them to the windows, and it will help with heat. The 3M things let your windows still look like windows, which is nice, but yes if you're very hard up, you can tape any sort of plastic up. Here in Baltimore, the really poor neighborhoods use black garbage bags. Even in the summer. I don't know if that's for energy efficiency or simply as window covering, though.

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  • KungFuKungFu Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Im in a similar situation. Im living in an 80yr-old, brick duplex with crap for insulation and no gas heating on (thinking about).

    Im not sure, but I think I have woken up to 40-50 degree F temperatures this past week. I have a couple blankets, so I sleep fine though. I have been warned that if I don't get soon, my pipes will freeze and I will need to shut off my water or they could explode. So Im looking into that...

    Thanks for the window insulator link. Ima check that out.

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  • RazielRaziel Registered User
    edited October 2007
    I'm going to put in a further vote for plastic sheeting. As a Canadian, I know all about shitty insulation and cold windows, and this stuff is a life saver. It's cheap, and works wonders. Extra insulation for the most poorly-insulated part of a building.

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  • ShogunShogun Hair long; money long; me and broke wizards we don't get along Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    KungFu wrote: »
    Im in a similar situation. Im living in an 80yr-old, brick duplex with crap for insulation and no gas heating on (thinking about).

    Im not sure, but I think I have woken up to 40-50 degree F temperatures this past week. I have a couple blankets, so I sleep fine though. I have been warned that if I don't get soon, my pipes will freeze and I will need to shut off my water or they could explode. So Im looking into that...

    Thanks for the window insulator link. Ima check that out.

    To keep your pipes intact in the dead of winter you may have to turn the water on just slightly enough so that it runs a tiny, tiny amount. More than a drip, but the water isn't on. This keeps water flowing so your pipes cannot freeze. I've had to do this a couple winters myself.

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  • NightDragonNightDragon Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    plastic sheeting something you can get at a hardware store like lowes or home depot? Is it transparent or opaque?

    It's transparent, and Home Depot and Lowes should definitely have it (my parents always got it from H.D.).

    Make good use of the sticky-gray-rubber-rope stuff, too, to block the drafts at the edges of windows or doorways.

    My parents also swear it saves a ton of money.

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