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Frugal Living Anything to do with saving money, living for less, how to save, free stuff, etc.

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Old 01-02-2015, 07:34 PM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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Default How Low Will You Go?

What would be the lowest temperature you would set your thermostat for in winter?

We are below city standards in my place right now (68 degrees). We have to fight to get heat living in a condo. Made a call to the building "super" last night 'cause 61 degrees was just too low.

The guy said we should install another radiator (we already have newer windows). Even if we wanted to install another radiator somewhere, we're frozen NOW, LOL.

Got a tenant/owner across the hall that has plywood in her bedroom window with a small cheapie air conditioner she never takes out. And original 100 y/o windows that are falling apart. Ditto for our third floor neighbor; saw frost on the front windows. Yet, despite us putting up plastic, etc., there's always SOMETHING so can't get a few more degrees (or minimal per city). The people with the window breaches are all past condo board presidents. (And nuts). Ten years ago we tried selling and one of them confronted me in the back yard about our asking price. That it wasn't "acceptable". I couldn't believe it at first and laughed. She then went on to say that we use "too much water". I asked how she knew; could not get an answer. (There are no meters on each riser/unit). Nuts. LOL.

We have some new plumbing system that has sensors in the top unit and one at the bottom unit (three floors). We are on the second. First floor says has "75 degrees but is directly over the basement. Not sure what the third floor is getting (these folks can live in MN in winter with very little clothes and not think anything of it). Not sure how the new heating system is compensating us at the second floor level...
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Old 01-02-2015, 07:42 PM
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I feel for you - I would not withstand anything to do with having neighbors of any kind let alone in the same building....

With that said I refuse to be uncomfortable in the winter. Daytime is set at 71 and night at 63. This is our first winter using automatic heat as we just can't handle firewood anymore.
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Old 01-02-2015, 10:07 PM
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Actually because our electric is 3 times higher then the mainland most people do not have access nor heat....it been in the high 50s in the house. But depending on how well I am doing money wise I am able to cut out all things...water can come from the roof,food from the garden and trees,cooking from a rocket stove and campfire, showers from camp solar bag....When shtf you find ways to do it...As long as you have know how via books and Magazines like backwoods home anything is possible.
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Old 01-03-2015, 01:41 AM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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coaltrain,

I feel warmer already, just thinking about the 71 degree heat you folks enjoy at your house.

I don't think you'd like living here, either. The "super" guy used to follow me around the building. He and his wife always manage to come outside (say, when we're unloading groceries, or when we take wash down to the basement (we have to pass their unit on the first floor). Hubby finally caught on after I kept pointing it out to him. One day, I was doing my annual storage locker cleaning in the basement while the wash was running and hubby came down to the locker to ask me something. The "super" from the first floor didn't notice hubby coming in. I heard the basement door open and the "super" came up to our locker and was about to say something, then spotted hubby and did a round-about and left. The obvious following stopped, but they (super and his wife) still pop out of their unit when we come in with groceries. WIERD.

Did you see "Neighbors from Hell" on 20/20 that was on this evening?

Most of it was out in the country; one set of feuding neighbors had 50 acres and still couldn't get along. Which sort of depressed me, LOL.
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Old 01-03-2015, 01:43 AM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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HawaiiDi,

I don't know how you do it at 50 degrees. Basic things seem so much more expensive where you live.
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Old 01-03-2015, 02:25 AM
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Tim Horton Male Tim Horton is offline
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Up here in the nort land.... I have both the extremes of hot and cold weather... Cold lasts a lot longer than hot... But it runs the full maximum range of extremes at least some time during each year....

I run my thermostat at about 68* for heat... I don't change it day or night.. If I need it, I put on a jacket.. Also when it is colder, I run a humidifier 24/7.... The cold takes moisture out of the air, so a little moisture makes it feel warmer in the house... Like a boiling pot on the stove always makes the house warmer than the heat of cooking...

I run the AC at about 85*.... I don't need much ac, just a little in the late afternoon... And again, if you take a little moisture out of the air by cooling it, the house feels cooler than just the change in temp... Many times it has been the same temp inside as outside, but less humidity in the house air feels cooler...

I have had the power out a couple time for just a little over 24 hours... During those times the house got to about 60-62*.... But that wasn't an extreme change in temps, or for a prolonged days on end time... It seemed easy enough to adjust my bundling up whether during the day or sleeping.. You just have to think how you are going to go about the task at hand... I have read articles of people who deliberately live at a constant temp of about 60-64* for the fuel savings... And by there accounts do so comfortably...

The old Norwegian saying has some merit... There is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes...

My 2 cents... Take care...
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Disclaimer... If you are feeling sick, have infants, or other special circumstances... You do what you have to, that is appropriate for those issues...
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Old 01-03-2015, 11:29 AM
SKB Female SKB is offline
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When it's really cold, 68 degrees. But if possible, I will go to 66. My elderly dog wears his sweater continually and there is a flannel sheet on the couch for him and the cats to cuddle under and they burrow on the bed. Summer heat is the big challenge for me. I set the a/c at 86 and don't get dressed unless going outside. I used to be able to go a bit higher but not any more. I wet down the dog and let him lie on a towel under the ceiling fan. Summers are long and miserable here and the electric bill can be in the hundreds of $ if you're not careful. Dehydration is a concern now as I get older.
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Old 01-03-2015, 01:44 PM
jvcstone jvcstone is offline
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Along with the room addition to my little cabin, I had one of these "ductless" mini systems installed. There is an airhandler in each of the three rooms connected to a single external heatpump. Can set the thermostat in each room to different temperatures--been keeping the living area/kitchen between 62-64 daytime, 60 at night. Set the bedroom at 58 for the night, and warm it up a bit--66, or so while we are showering and dressing, and then turn it off for the rest of the day.

Since I spend most days outside, I don't like to have a real hot house--like someone said, keep a jacket or sweater on. Do like those electric bills in the 80.00 dollar/month range

JVC
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:43 PM
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The blower to my wood furnace died last winter. Took three days to get the guy here to fix the blower.
Got down to 40 in the house.
I got used to it.
Blankets, jackets, heavy socks, etc.
No worries. It was all good.
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Old 01-04-2015, 09:17 PM
m37 Male m37 is offline
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i also am one who refuses to be uncormfortable during the winter, i enjoy beig out in the cold but when i come in i want it warm, i wont wear extra clothes ,since i burn wood that i cut off my land i guess i dont have to conserve , we have a oil furnace in our cellar that i put in a few years ago, last year it cost me 12 bucks , our cellar insulated pretty good
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Old 01-06-2015, 04:47 PM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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no thermostat in my cabin, lowest it got this year was 40 degrees.

this morning i got up at 8 am, was 43 degrees in the cabin, rolled out of bed and got a fire going in the stove, then ran back under those warm wool blankets till the cabin heated up again.
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Old 01-06-2015, 05:09 PM
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Why does 65deg seem so hot outside in the spring but so cold inside in January?

We set the thermostat to keep the air inside 65 deg in winter, but this slab construction keeps the floor at 55deg-- hard on those foot bones as we age. We wear longjohns & hoodies in the house all the time in winter.

In summer, the joint is well shaded by trees & vines. The AC is only used when it's over 85 or so outside.
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Old 01-06-2015, 05:22 PM
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^^Yep - cold floor = cold feet = cold me!

We've used only our wood stove for many years until this year. The stove is on the main floor living area which equates to a cold floor. We have a full basement - had we continued burning wood the stove was to be relocated in the basement.

I notice a slight improvement with my joints now that we use the furnace (which is in the basement) - just the heat generated by the furnace itself and the duct work keep the floor much warmer.
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Old 01-07-2015, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKB View Post
When it's really cold, 68 degrees. But if possible, I will go to 66. My elderly dog wears his sweater continually and there is a flannel sheet on the couch for him and the cats to cuddle under and they burrow on the bed. Summer heat is the big challenge for me. I set the a/c at 86 and don't get dressed unless going outside. I used to be able to go a bit higher but not any more. I wet down the dog and let him lie on a towel under the ceiling fan. Summers are long and miserable here and the electric bill can be in the hundreds of $ if you're not careful. Dehydration is a concern now as I get older.
I was born and raised in South Texas. Lived for years without a/c. Biggest idea I can give you is to take a nap under a fan in the afternoon and do heavy labor things (including housework, gardening, mowing, etc in the morning or very late afternoon. I lived in town so if it got really bad, I went somewhere, work, grocery store, iced tea in a café.

I also did not use any central heat. Had a wall heater in the bathroom and a space heater in the living room. Now, it didn't get really cold down there like other places. Unless it was supposed to freeze, all heat went off when I went to bed (water bed with heater). Alarm went off 30 minutes before I needed to get up and I ran in and started the heater in the bathroom and closed the door. Got up, got showered, dressed, whatever and then usually left (work). While I was at work, the heater was off. If it was supposed to freeze, I closed off the living room and other bedroom and the small heater in the bathroom kept things warm enough for me to sleep.
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Old 01-07-2015, 10:41 PM
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This house was built in 1939.

No thermostat here, only a wall thermometer. If it is less than 50F I will light a fire in my Earth Stove for heat and also cook on it up to about 60F. Warmer than that and I will cook on propane.

In the summer I put a box fan in the open window to sleep by.

I imagine that I am situated just a bit to the west of Annie. "Hi Annie!"
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Old 01-08-2015, 09:16 PM
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We were in the negatives last night.
Woke up this morning to the house thermometer at 49.
The pipes did not freeze.
I slept great.
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Old 01-27-2015, 12:54 PM
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We heat with a woodstove for the most part. We do have a propane fired furnace too, and I keep the thermostat set at 50 in case the fire in the stove gets too low at night. I know if I hear the furnace running, It's time to feed the stove. I used to think it was a pain in the butt to have to get up and throw some wood in the stove, but I can get out of bed, feed the stove and be back to sleep in under ten minutes now.

I can remember a few times before we had the furnace, waking up to temps in the 30's and 40's on really cold nights. That's chilly.

Bob
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Old 01-31-2015, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by connie189 View Post
We are below city standards in my place right now (68 degrees). We have to fight to get heat living in a condo. Made a call to the building "super" last night 'cause 61 degrees was just too low.

Got a tenant/owner across the hall that has plywood in her bedroom window with a small cheapie air conditioner she never takes out. And original 100 y/o windows that are falling apart.
Maybe these things are why you're having trouble selling your condo right now, Connie? Efficient windows are probably one of the biggest things perspective buyers look at. At least we do. And plywood in windows in a condo unit really isn't doing much for "curb appeal", even if it isn't yours.

We looked at a condo this past summer. From the pictures it looked really nice. The few times we drove by first, we noticed the gate ("gated community"???) was always up, even at night. Then when we looked at a unit, we saw a family moving in next to the one we were looking at. We stopped to talk to them & they said they were only temporarily renting the place (the covenant specifically states that renting out your unit is prohibited). As we were looking at the outside of one of the units, a drunk guy uses his key & comes stumbling through one of the back (locked) gate/doors to find his way to his unit from the local lakefront bar close by. That was enough for us. We were outta there. The covenant was obviously not enforced, come to find out there were 3 units that had renters, and at least one drunk guy living close by. Forget it!! We asked a few people, whose units we looked at, who the covenant association president was & nobody knew. A copy of the covenant we looked at stated that they had quarterly meetings with the residents of the complex & that the president was in communication with everyone often. I was really glad to get back home to my quiet couple acres that evening!

It's unfortunate that the conduct of other residents has to influence the sale of your property but when living in a condo, that's a fact of life. I hope you sell your place soon, Connie, and can get to your dream property.

I guess I should answer your question on this thread so I'm in compliance with staying on topic. How low will I go? Not much. I like to be warm when it's cold outside & cool when it's hot outside. These old bones don't "do" cold too well anymore. So our utility bill is probably higher than it would have to be but... well... we all pick our vices & pick the things we can or can't do without. Being warm in the winter is one of mine. Taking naps in the afternoons is another one.
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Old 01-31-2015, 05:25 PM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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EarthMama,

I'm not sure what to do (about the offending plywood). I cranked out a letter to the board bringing it up and about other folks' old and leaky windows...ironically, one of the biggest offenders is a continual board president. The older owners think they own the building. I have to threaten (after first asking) to get something done around here, and lots of times I'm doing it by myself. Case in point was a restaurant next door to us whose commercial a/c unit went bonkers and was screeching at night at regular intervals. I called EPA and worked with them; went to housing court and the judge ruled the A/C had to be fixed. Neighbors on my side of the building all were thrilled, but none helped. Just complained when they couldn't sleep.

All our windows were replaced 5 or 6 years ago, along with the kitchen door.

Living here is stressful (in a lot of ways). They fight and yell at board meetings. We don't go to any, anymore.

This neighborhood/section of Chicago is slow-selling right now. Houses are more are what people are looking for, also (got this from reading the paper and our agent).

We've had our place up since last March and took one huge price reduction. A number of qualified Lookey-Loos (sp?) come out to view our place with their realtors but no bites.

We have some gated areas here, but they don't tolerate a lot of noise, etc.

That's great you read the docs and observe...a lot of folks won't.

Our area was different when we first got here 25 years ago. I morphed, LOL.
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Old 02-01-2015, 12:19 AM
crackergirl Female crackergirl is offline
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60 degrees at night, sometimes warmer in the daytime. When we were in a 1939 cabin in Montana, there was no insulation in the roof and no heat other than a wood stove. My daughter's water glass often froze on her bedside table, but we all had down comforters and dressed by the fire after someone got it going in the mornings.
I loved that cabin, and if I had a couple of mill...
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