I'm not too good at blogging. My recent month-long hiatus should convince anyone of this. However, I do feel like I should blog about things that I know about, and cite sources if I know them. If I don't know, then I should probably not blog about the topic, or say that this is total conjecture.
What I do know about is squeezing a dime until it bleeds, which is why I was disappointed when The Consumerist (awesome blog!) linked to a blog post on saving money on your heating bill that contained no useful information. Among the things that the blogger suggested was to keep your thermostat at 73 degrees. Oh, honey, that's not right.
Currently, my thermostat is set to 64 degrees. This may sound extreme, but my thermostat is on the main floor, my bedroom is on the second floor, and using the principle that heat rises, it's slightly warmer up here. Like, 66 degrees.
Using her outline, this is what I do:
1) I can't control the weather. I can only try to keep the weather outside and me inside.
2) She has a 4 bedroom house for 2 people. I have a 2 bedroom house for 2 people. Not having unnecessary space cuts down on the volume of inside space that needs to be heated.
3) Her back door is completely closed. So is mine. Then, I caulked the outside, added seasonal caulk to the moving parts (which can be removed in spring), then closed off the backdoor with plastic sheeting. I'll just use the front door until April.
4) Bundle up. Not just wearing layers, but having slippers nearby and down throws at hand. I have an electric heated throw, too. Running that for 4 or 5 minutes, then turning it off and adding another throw pre-heats the space around my legs and keeps me toasty warm for the rest of the time I'm sitting at that place. Don't heat the entire room to 72, just the area directly around your person.
5) Lower the heat when no one's home? No, I don't. But I do open the south facing blinds to allow the sunlight to warm the rooms when I'm at work.
6) 73? That's hot. My house is at 64, and I just avoid the basement. All basement windows are caulked with plastic sheeting on them, and on REALLY cold days, blankets are put up over the wall to reduce cold air coming in. Air tight, the temp down there is still above 60.
7) Drafts are bad. Caulk, plastic sheeting, weather stripping are good.
So, yes, 64 might be a tad on the low side, but it's still 50 degrees warmer than it is outside. From that perspective, it still feels warm when you walk in the door. Isn't that the point?