The Freeze Yer Buns Challenge…

by heather

freeze-yer-buns-challengeWell, I’m a bit slow on the uptake for this Challenge, but I just found it this morning so I’m forgiving myself.

Crunchy Chicken (a fabulous green-living blog) is having her annual Freeze Yer Buns Challenge, which runs from November 1 through April 1.

The challenge? Basically, it’s “How Low Can You Go” with your thermostat! Readers who take the challenge decide what they’re going to set their thermostats for day and night. And, they stick with it.

Some of the participants have some amazingly low goals. I’ve seen people setting their thermostats at 55 during the day and 50 at night. Most people seem to be shooting for 63-65 degrees during the day.

My Thermostat Numbers…

Here’s my dilemma though. I work at home, which means turning the thermostat lower than 60 degrees during the day just isn’t an option, at least if I want to retain enough mental function to be able to work. I already wear sweaters, and even a scarf, during the day while I’m working, and I keep my thermostat at 64 degrees during the day. After 10:00 p.m., it goes down to 59 degrees.

I’m fully prepared to admit I might be a wimp, but to me anything lower than 64 is just uncomfortable. And, it’s hard for me to work when I’m cold (growing up in the oven-hot Louisiana heat might have something to do with this…).

But, I really would like to try and go lower for Crunchy Chicken’s challenge. Maybe I can shoot for 63…

I’d love to hear back from all of you on this. What do you keep your thermostat set at? And, are you at home or away during the day? Have you changed your heating habits this year compared to last year? And, are any of you going to join the Challenge?

I’m definitely signing up! I think putting my name down would help me during those times I’m standing in front of the thermostat, trying to resist the urge to hit that little upward facing arrow to bump it up.

I’d also love to hear from those of you who work at a company. Do you have any idea what your company keeps their thermostat set at?

{ 2 trackbacks }

The Heat Yer Buns Challenge... | The Greenest Dollar
April 16, 2010 at 6:23 am
The Heat Yer Buns Challenge… /  Eco Update
May 20, 2010 at 5:06 pm


Dillon December 7, 2009 at 12:11 pm

I used to participate in the freeze yer buns challenge – I don’t follow the blog as much any more – but our winter thermostat habits have remained. When I wake up in the morning I push the temp from 55 to 63 (for my shower – I can’t get out of a shower with a temp less than 63) and then I drop it to 60 for the day. Occasionally, if I’m grumpy and my darling partner can’t stand me – we bump it back up to 63. At night, just before we climb into bed, I push it back down to 55. It is cold. But we use an electric blanket to preheat our bed (and turn it off when we climb in) – I also leave the oven door open after we’ve made dinner – might as well take advantage of heat we’ve already paid for. We wear usually wear sweatshirts and two pairs of socks. We also have blankets in every room of the house – and the cats like to cuddle up when we’re reading or watching a DVD.

Nexyoo December 7, 2009 at 12:27 pm

That’s a really good idea, and every degree makes a difference! I think 63 is a great goal.

deb December 7, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Bbbbrrrrrr….I absolutely HATE being cold. I live in northern Michigan and *I* thinks its cold 8 out of the 12 months. We keep the home thermostat at around 65 (no adjusting for day/night time) and I walk around the house bundled up. I do not like being cold, but I know that some people are always warm (my husband included) and could easily have the house a bit cooler.

At my day job I keep the temp around 70 plus I have a space heater under my desk.

No way I would join a challenge like that 🙂 I think 65 is still too cold for the house, but economically we can’t turn it up any higher.

Good luck with the challenge–put on an extra pair of socks and maybe a pair of fingerless gloves for working at the computer (((grin))) I’ll be interested in hearing how you do.

Happy Holidays.

C. December 7, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Our thermostat is 63 at night and 65 during the day. I should note that this means the first floor is a cozy 65 and the 3rd floor (home office for the other half who works from home) is a toasty 75 during the day. We have renters on the other floors so we cannot manage to go much lower than this. The 3rd floor (our bedroom/office) is usually freezing when the outside temps are 32 degrees +/-8 degrees as the boiler doesn’t kick on long enough to heat the 3rd floor. When it’s colder (MN) the whole house works better. We’re strange in that we have steam heat and there isn’t a realistic manner to retrofit the heating system. So we’re insulating insulating insulating.

Shoes are not allowed in our home, but we do provide slippers for everyone. The first floor – kitchen/bath is sometimes a bit brutal but people dress in layers to work/eat/cook down there. Once the cooking is going the kitchen is more than warm enough. Once we get insulation done we plan to go down to 58 at night. We find that to be tolerable.

heather December 7, 2009 at 1:57 pm

@Dillon- That’s hilarious! I do the same thing- when I’m feeling sad or grumpy, up goes the heat. it’s like an instant pick me up! 🙂 The electric blanket is a great idea. I’ve been pondering getting one, and I’d love to see how much energy it uses with my Kill A Watt.

@Deb- I’m in Howell, MI! I hear you on the cold. I do have a pair of fingerless gloves I’ll be breaking out for the next few months. 🙂

@C- My house is the same way. Our bedroom is the coldest room in the house, and the kitchen is a close second.

Thanks everyone for writing in so fast! I actually just reprogrammed the thermostat just now, and I’m resolving to sticking it out. Unless, of course, it gets really uncomfortable. But I can’t imagine one degree making that much difference! 🙂 It’s good to know that most people are sticking within the 60-65 degree range.

Rebecca Rivera December 7, 2009 at 7:42 pm

I leave mine about 64 all the time. I am at home all day as well and can’t imagine going lower with my two kids home.

Dillon December 7, 2009 at 9:10 pm

I didn’t realize you’re in Howell (I’m a new google reader follower) – I’m in Northville! We have the same winters.

Shona December 7, 2009 at 9:19 pm

In our office we fight over 72-74 degrees. In the house we set it at 65 when we are at home, 60 when we are not + 55 at night. I’m in the Nashville TN area + we are more prone to ice than snow.

Cara December 7, 2009 at 10:26 pm

I was just getting on the computer to do a bit of my own research on thermostats and the best ways to save money in the winter months since my roommate and I can’t agree on a temp, so your post couldn’t have come at a better time!

I would be content (maybe not warm, but content with lower heating costs) with the heat at about 62 when I’m in the house in the evenings and about 55 during the day when we are both at work or asleep at night. I’m perfectly happy wearing a sweatshirt and cuddling up with a blanket or two when I study and lots of blankets on my bed at night. My roommate unfortunately seems to think its necessary to have the heat at 68 whenever she is home (awake or asleep) and 64 when we are gone for the day.

Since our temperature differences seem irreconcilable, I’m turning to the internet. I thought I might suggest she use a space heater in her room, while we keep the thermostat for the rest of the apartment more in line with my heating preferences. Our electric bill hovers right around the $40 mark each month, so I figure if it jumps up after the first month of her using the space heater, I will know why. Any other suggestions to solve our dilemma would be greatly appreciated!

As a side note, you don’t need fingerless gloves to work with touchpads on computers/ipods/touch phones! They sell gloves with a little circle on the fingertip that conducts the current coming from your fingertips to the surface of the electronic item you are using. It is also possible to buy thread that conducts this current and sew a few stiches into the fingertips of some gloves you already have!

Kristin @ Prudent and Practical December 7, 2009 at 11:26 pm

I stated I would do the challenge on her blog, but have had a hard time convincing my guy to do so! Our thermostat changes three times during the day 63 (night), 65 (day), 68 (evening). The main reason for the higher temps is due to our animals. Of our 5 “kids”, only our dachshie has a problem. He only keeps clothes ( 🙂 ) on when he goes outside, so I cover him with blankies during the day. I’ve also been wearing 2-3 shirts and 2 pairs of socks. I may start sneaking in changes to the thermostat…

Eve December 8, 2009 at 6:23 am

OMG, how funny, I just checked my thermostat before reading your post! 57F. We keep it low due to a combination of a financial apocalypse we’re working through, and a toddler that likes to lean on the fireplace window pane, so I don’t even turn it on. Yes, I have my winter coat on now. The toddler’s room has a space heater we turn on while he sleeps. The rest of us are under lots of layers of clothes. To avoid climbing into an icy cold bed at night, I heat it up with an electric pad. Our electric bill’s usually less than $70.

heather December 8, 2009 at 7:18 am

@Cara- This is just as I was suspecting! I think companies do keep the thermostat much warmer than people keep it at home. I wonder if, by turning it down, people might get more work done? After all, heat makes people sleepier. Cooler temps might make people more alert. But, that’s just my theory! 🙂

@Cara- I think asking her to use a space heater is a good idea. I have a Presto Heat Dish that I use for my office when it’s super cold out, and it doesn’t use that much energy. I tested it with my Kill A Watt last year and although I can’t remember what it was at, I remember being surprised at how little electricity it used. I’ll try to remember to test it again and leave an update here! And thanks for the tips about the gloves! 🙂

@Kristen- That’s so funny. Our two “kids” are our Boston Terries, and they’re easily chilled. They each have their own bed and fleece blanket, and during the day they are rolled up tight underneath them like a burrito! I think providing blankets for your dogs is a great idea. Mine would freeze without them!

@Eve- I’m amazed you do 57! You go! I’ve gotten much better about layering. Just this year I went to Salvation Army and bought several thin, long sleeved t-shirts. They’ve really helped keep me warmer. And when it’s really cold here, like Jan/Feb, I usually wear my wool hat in the house too.

DANIELLE December 8, 2009 at 7:51 am

OMG. I don’t know how you all do it! I’m almost ashamed to tell you all that our house is kept at 67-68 during the day while we’re at work, 71 as soon as i get home and then 70 when we go to bed. And i’m still constantly cold!! And i get horribly cranky when i’m cold…i’d rather go without food than heat! I can’t even move when it’s colder than 70ish…forget about doing household chores or my knitting when i’m freezing! I admire you all but i just can’t understand how you can do it!?

kareen December 8, 2009 at 9:30 am

I’m with you. I am in shock to read some of these temp’s….57 degrees???? Holy Frostbite! I thought I was doing well with setting the temp at 68-70 constantly (I’m home during the day). And when the outside temp dips below 20’s, up goes the thermostat by a few degrees because I am always cold. Brrrrrrr……

What stinks is that I try to be environmentally conscious (after all, I write about it on my blog) and lower my energy bill as much as possible (use appliances at night when there’s less demand on electricity – like laundry, dishwasher, charging laptops, and even some ironing) but heating the house during winter is a huge expense (although upstate NY is very low).

So I do wear layered clothes, wool socks, and even fingerless gloves during the day when I work. (oh, we all wear socks when we sleep, which helps tremendously) But even with all of that, sometimes my shoulders are hiked up from being chilled. Lately, I have been turning the temp down lower and using the fireplace time to time. Of course, my hubby and I always fight about the temp – he is always hot so he’s cranking up the AC in the summer and I’m cranking up the heat in winter.

I read somewhere that it’s more green to live in warmer states because it’s more energy efficient to cool a house than to heat a house. So maybe I need to move down south. 🙂

Allison December 8, 2009 at 11:30 am

I live in northern Virginia and haven’t turned on the heat yet. I live in a relatively new apartment building that is well-insulated and some heat from the hallways seeps under my door. This morning my thermostat said it was 66. Once I turn it on, I will aim for 63-64 when I work from home several days a week and 59-60 at night. My windows face southwest so the sun starts coming in around noon and really helps. I will have to investigate fingerless gloves as I think that will make working from home more bearable. Now it’s my fingers, toes and nose that get really cold.

My office is a whole other story. I get so upset about the temperature fluctuations and the building won’t do anything about it. One minute it feels like it’s about 80 and I want to curl up under my desk for a nap. Then it feels like the air comes on and brings the temperature down to a comfortable level. I’ve never understood why office buildings can’t maintain a consistent temperature. I know nobody is ever happy with the temperature, but it seems like keeping it around 70 would keep everyone relatively satisfied and not be wasteful.

Ash December 8, 2009 at 12:42 pm

I like this! We keep our home at 62 and have done so for years. When we were living in MI we also kept it at 62, sometimes bumping it up when we were feeling sick, etc. We only raise the temp when guests come over – otherwise, they never come back. I will say, anything over 66 seems very hot to us now. We visited with relatives over Thanksgiving and were hot with the temp at 68, sleeping with just sheets when everyone else was bundled in quilts.

Ash December 8, 2009 at 12:53 pm

PS – we don’t wear any extra clothing, as I’m reading most people are doing in the colder houses. We’re just walking around in cotton socks (him) and slippers (me) and our regular clothing. We only added 1 blanket to the bed for sleeping and have regular sheets, although I am considering getting a set of flanel sheets to help with the warmth at night. No socks when we sleep either. Throws on the sofas, one for each of us. I guess we run hotter than most people! But 62 is comfy for us all day long. We do turn the ceiling fans on reverse (all have a little switch to change the direction of the flow) and keep them on low to circulate the warmer air down to us when needed.

heather December 8, 2009 at 4:32 pm

@Danielle- Everyone has different thresholds they can stand. I used to be the same way-anything below 70 was just too cold. But over the years I’ve slowly inched the thermostat down, just a bit at a time. I definitely didn’t make a major jump! 🙂

@Ash-I know, I’m the same way. I’ve gotten so used to 64 degrees that 66-68 seems blazing now!

My temperature update: Thermostat is still set at 63. To be honest, I really can’t tell that much of a difference. If I get ambitious, I might try lowering it to 62 and see how I do with that. We’ll see!

kirsty December 9, 2009 at 9:00 am

Just saw the challenge now, but think we qualify, we live in west michigan and we have yet to turn our heating system ON!
we have elected to keep it off this season for a number of reasons:
1. we have rent a summer house that is leaky as all heck and were hit with HUGE bills when we first moved in, little over a year ago
2. we have access to free wood: we gather dead wood on a friend’s property, in a very green way (great way to get outdoors and get some exercise going;-)
3. we figured, we have plenty of warm clothes, that we’ve already payed for, so we use them! lots of layers, keeps us going!
4. i personally get very congested in a heated area, so when i go to bed, i open a window in the bedroom for the fresh air – what a difference that makes to how i feel in the morning!!!! my head is so much clearer.

sending y’all warm and toasty smiles 😎

heidi December 9, 2009 at 10:00 pm

I’ll fry my buns in the summer, thanks – my hibernation temp is 65. My formerly unemployed buns rocked the 82 degree house in summer (hey, when it’s 105 out…) but now that winter temps are what I’m out working in… I want my warm. I need my warm. Today’s high was 33 with the windchill. And I was out in it pretty much all day. It’s 65 and I’m still bundled up. Buns are chilled. But I’ll make a toast to all of you who are at 55, enjoy the hot chocolate! /ramble

kirsty December 12, 2009 at 9:23 am

ok, so i woke up to take my morning wizz today: the water in the toilet bowl was like a mini skating rink for turds…yup! it was frozen!!!!! but still feeling great sleeping in the fresh air 😉
We’ll tough it out, its cheaper and friendlier than cranking the heat in this leaky house!

THE DEB December 28, 2009 at 1:46 pm

I always keep my gas furnace thermostat at 60 but I have oil filled space heaters in the rooms I use…my bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and TV room. My question…which is more environmentally friendly…natural gas or electric?

Adrienne January 10, 2010 at 9:51 pm

I live in Louisiana… and I believe in the whole green thing Hybrid car… energy saver light bulbs… recycling…cloth diapers… alternative sanitary products… local food…etc. But this would be something I am not likely to try…I seem to be able to tolerate lower outside temperatures, but inside I can’t… my house is cold all the time, even with the heat being on 68 and right now I am wearing my coat inside… I don’t think I could handle it any colder… Thank god I have 6 blankets an other half. 3 dogs and a cat on the bed at night or I would have to turn it up to 72 a lot more often! Good luck!

Adrienne January 10, 2010 at 9:53 pm

PS… No fireplace…

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