Monday, September 1, 2008

The thermostat

The thermostat. *sigh*

With temperatures from 90-100 a good many days this summer, our electric bill has been in a word, awful.

I am the Thermostat Controller in the house, and I have been for 12 years. (That would be since we got married.) We have been keeping the temperature setting on 73 since the first pregnancy almost 10 years ago. I don't want to be hot and frankly, no one wants me to be hot.

But we've also got some financial issues, as many families do, and we went through the budget dollar for dollar a few weeks ago. I came to the conclusion, as the Thermostat Controller of course, that something had to be done with the electric bill. So, with much trepidation, I bumped the thermostat up to 74 and held my breath, waiting to die.

It didn't happen! Whoohoo! I survived! Now I got a bit more brave. I put it up on *gasp* 75. Again I waited to die, but not expecting it as much as I had the last time I changed the thermostat.

Again, I lived.

Right after that, the electric bill arrived. *gulp* I marched straight in the house and bumped it up to 76. Then a day or so later, having gotten over my anxiety and fright over changing the thermostat, I pushed it up two whole degrees, to 78.

The change from 73 to 78 took a bit over a week but not quite two weeks. Surprisingly, everyone adjusted quite well. They were always a tad chilly with the temp set on 73 anyway.

I figured it would be cheaper to spot cool the areas where we (I, really) were instead of trying to keep the entire house cool.

With the thermostat up a whole five degrees and a few other changes implemented (turning off all lights when not in use, not even turning them on if it could be avoided, turning off and unplugging electronics and appliances not in use), I awaited the next electric bill with mixed emotions. I wanted to see what my efforts had done, but dreaded it not making a difference.

It finally came, and it was lower than the month before, about $60 lower! Success! The bill was still much higher than I would have liked, but I could see my hard work had paid off.

The thermostat has remained on 78; on occasion I get a bit hot and put it down on 77 or even 76, but it has not seen 75 or below in a while.

The Thermostat Controller is winning!

1 comment:

Karen & Chris said...

I'm so glad someone out there is doing the same thing I am!... I'm hoping to master the "programmable" part of the thermostat this Fall/Winter so that we're saving every little bit we can.