Dec 21, 2008

Baby It's Cold... Inside

This is the first year that I've lived with roommates since 2004. My roommates have slightly differing points of view when it comes to frugality - most obvious when it comes to such things as heating costs this winter.

Roommate #1 is a graduate student, and sometimes frugal. She'll buy a new dress for a night out, but when it comes to the heating bill she's willing to bundle up in fleece in order to save. I have trouble sleeping when it's cold (and yes, even in California it gets cold. Sometimes colder inside than out in my new apartment) so I tend to turn the heat on a bit at night. She's not frugal to the point of turning it off, but she'd prefer to keep our heating bills down. So would I. But I also want to be able to sleep at night.

Roommate #2 is a teacher, so she makes enough money to live a fairly nice life - especially in our current 3-way apartment share arrangement. The other day, after roommate 1 requested that we use heat sparingly this winter, she told me that she grew up poor and spent most of her childhood with heat-less winters. Now that she's working, she's going to pay for heat.

For the past two winters my heating bill was included with my rent costs, so heat was not an issue. If anything, it was the summers that were painful - no one uses air conditioning in Northern Cali.

I would prefer our heating bill to stay low, but I'm not sure how low is reasonable.

How high do you turn the heat on in the winter? And how much does it cost you?



2 comments:

Amphritrite said...

I'm like roomie #1; my apartments have always come with tiny heaters that really don't do much for the space, so I layer on the blankets (there are four on my bed now).

I understand roomie #2's perspective, but putting the heat on in a multi-adult house also leads to thermostat wars. If I have heat, I prefer sub-tropic temperatures, but my ex roomie, who was also a teacher (not that it has bearing on this point), was also premenopausal. She liked it at an arctic 50 degrees.

War ensued.

Now that I live alone, my preference is to keep the heat off anyway, but if you are chilly at night, look into getting a space heater for your room. That way, if your roomie is also pre-menopausal and wants to keep the heat low, your room itself will be nice and toasty.

MEG said...

I live in TX where it does get really cold occassionaly, but the bills are definitely largest in the summer when we need A/C.

I keep the heat on 60 during the day while I'm at work (which is low enough that it rarely turns on at all during the day), and I crank it up to 70 when I get home. I can sleep pretty easily with it at 60 (I have really comfy bedding), but the problem is that I can't get UP unless it's close to 70. But that's also because my PJs consist of a t shirt at most...

I've been home in AL where it's cold and our huge airy house is really hard to heat. It hasn't gotten above 65 in my room all week, but I've been sleeping fine; I just bundle up a bit more.

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