The Grump Estate is currently snow-covered and has been for over a week. Today’s high is scheduled to be 29F and the weekly high 35F. Normally during the winter our furnace would be pumping out a luxurious 71F morning, noon and night regardless if anyone was there to enjoy it. Back when I was employed and no one was home during the day, we did utilize the programmable function of our thermostat and allow the house to drop to 68F only to kick back on before we got home. We didn’t want to be any discomfort. However, with BG and I home most of the day it is hard to utilize the program function as most people do.
In order to bring down our utility costs we have adjusted the thermostat to read 67F from 8AM to 8PM and 65F from 8PM to 8AM. Almost a month into the adjustment I can proudly report my nose and toes are no longer cold. Was the transition easy? No. Was it noticeable? Yes. Did we save money? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes!
How did we get there? We took baby steps.
Step 1. We adjusted from a constant 71F to 69F and left it there for 10 days.
Step 2. We programmed the times and began a 69F day and 67F nights for about 5 days.
Step 3. Went cold turkey. Adjusted to the 67/65 schedule.
The last step was the hardest and most noticeable. Until Saturday hoodies sweatshirts were worn, hoods up. A large comforter was installed. Blankets that were stored in closets were brought out. Thankfully we owned all of these items and just needed to pull them out of the closet and use them. The days didn’t pass with ease but the benefits of a colder house in no particular order include….
1. Lower utility bill. (Coupled with our smaller water heater we saved $25 this month.)
2. BG learned not to pull socks off the instant they were put on.
3. You use all the blankets grandma quilted.
4. More cuddling.
5. The outside doesn’t seem as cold.
6. You also get to hear people validate your frugality muscles, with quotes like…
“BBBBBBBRRRRRRRR” – As Grandpa Grump climbs under a blanket (while BG and I wear t-shirts)
“Our utility bill was only $150 last month, certainly that isn’t too much money” -Grandma Grump comparing their heating/electricity bill to ours. The Grump Estate is 1,800 square feet LARGER and we came in $19 cheaper.
“BG’s toes are going to fall off its so cold” -Grump Inlaw as BG plays like a normal 11-month old, impervious to the cold and the complaining. (Update: 10 days later they are still attached.)
“I wish my house was this cool, my wife keeps our house like a sauna.” – Plumber Bob.
Now for the facts: Our house is colder but our wallets are bigger. Contrary to popular belief we haven’t caught any illnesses since the thermostat change either.
All of the links say that you can save 3% to 5% with each 1 degree you lower your home. The Grump Estate came in closer to 3% but those are dollars going towards PMI now, not someone else!
^The Matterhorn, April 2014