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2 years ago there was a big scare about the price of natural gas spiking in the winter months, that was 2010. I made the decision to adjust our household temperature to 55 degrees, and with our programable thermostat we warm it up to 61 degrees three hours in the morning (for showering and morning duties) and three hours in the evening just because it feels good.
I live 200 miles from the Canadian border, so I am farther north than most in the middle of the Rockies. My 2600 ft. home is almost 40 years old with upgraded windows but 2×4 walls so it is not a super efficient construction. I did install a 85% natural gas force air furnace in 1991 which was a good call as driving to cut wood and maintain saws is getting more expensive.
Anyway my natural gas bill (includes water and stove) went from $85 a month budget billing down to $59 in 2012, and just dropped to $39 per month for 2013. In this area it is not unusual for my parents and friends to have $200 per month bills.
The only adjustments we made were wearing flannels and slippers around the house and putting a throw on every chair to cover up with when we sit down. Basically we are now acclimated to the new climate and these are very comfortable temperatures to live with. Saving about $500 a year on gas doesn’t hurt either.
Anyway it is way cheaper than driving into the hills and cutting wood although I just purchased a wood stove to see if I can cut it more.
 

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I worked with a company in CA about two years ago that basically offers a "free" solar system. They don't charge you for it, but have you pay for the electricity it produces at rates better then our monopoly utility. No money out of pocket, fixed electric rates for twenty years, and slightly lower rates at that. I met more people who wouldn't do it then did. One guy I met air conditioned his 5 car garage / shop. His electric was $600 a month averaged for 12 months each year. We offered him a solar system and fixed electric bills of $555 a month for 20 years. He said NO. You can't fix stupid.
 

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I worked with a company in CA about two years ago that basically offers a "free" solar system. They don't charge you for it, but have you pay for the electricity it produces at rates better then our monopoly utility. No money out of pocket, fixed electric rates for twenty years, and slightly lower rates at that. I met more people who wouldn't do it then did. One guy I met air conditioned his 5 car garage / shop. His electric was $600 a month averaged for 12 months each year. We offered him a solar system and fixed electric bills of $555 a month for 20 years. He said NO. You can't fix stupid.
Ripon,

What's the name of the company if you don't mind?
 

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55 Degrees, damn, I thought I was keeping it cold, at 65. But, Like you said, a nice blanket by the chair, and sleeping pants, instead of just underoos, and I found that 65 was very liveable at my house. With socks of course. Without socks my feet get cold in the recliner. The human body can get used to alot.
 

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My thermostat is set to 73 24/7. Yes, I care what it costs but it's not a top priority. I worked my butt off for many years so I could be comfortable in my home. I plan to enjoy it as long as I can. Another thing... my pets live inside and it's my responsibility to keep them comfy too.
For those that are interested we have most of the food chain as pets... Dog, cats, 2 ferrets, a cockatoo, a degu and fish.
 

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We have been burning wood for years and have a LP furnace as "backup". It's set at 60 degrees and is separate for the wood burner. Last year I used 15% out of a 500 gallon tank. This year looks like maybe 10%, this includes hot water and cooking. Yes for the year. We actually have two 500 gallon tanks that we own. Which is nice so we can shop around for the cheapest price and only buy in the summer when the price is lowest. At the current usage rate I shouldn't have to buy LP again for years.
Sure it wasn't cheap to get all set up but it sure has been paying for itself with the high energy cost. Best part is I don't need to worry about electricity to heat or cook. 20 Below zero with no electricity my house will still be 70 degrees. Great peace of mind.
Get that wood burner hooked up and save some money.
 

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I've been considering ways to produce hydrogen from urine/ammonia + water through electrolytic conversion, using solar panels... since I have excess production, then I can store it up for winter etc.. just need to get a holding tank, a compressor, valve, electrolytic tank... and figure out a natural gas to hydrogen conversion for my furnace, and a propane to hydrogen conversion for my mobile home furnace and stove


Its not hard to survive cold temperatures at freezing and below, but its not too much fun, that is for sure. Also having no hot water and being around zero is a psychological test to shower with.

The body and nervous system natural respond differently to freezing cold water as opposed to hot water. In cold temperatures the body slows everything down, as hypothermia approaches.

The first response is to flee the cold, the second is to withstand the cold.

For sure though aclimitization works, just look at the inuit or eskimo who spend large chunks of the winter living in freezing temperatures.

I'll be experiencing subzero temps at night (20-30f), and 5-10 degrees (40-50f) during the day. With a good subzero bag, that is arlight. its getting out of the bag and hanging around in the fridge that takes getting use to. just wear socks.

It makes going out for a run an activity to make showering bearable so you can get a shower in every few days, sweating is otherwise forbidden.

You could shower without the run first, but I'm not sure what would be longer getting in or getting out or the shower itself, probably getting in.

I won't be turning the water on this year, so I need to learn how to wash with snow.
 

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If you have time to make a unit like this for your home DO IT! It will save you a bundle on your car insurance.... i mean heating bill. Just type into youtube something like recycle cans to make heater.
 

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My wife has started "the change" so she is freezing balls cold at 85F and burning up hot at 65F. I'm Faq'd.
 

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Installed an outdoor wood furnace 2 years ago that heats my home and my hotwater. Have not run the furnace or water heater the last 2 years. winter elec bills in an all electric house are $50. Just wish I knew how to burn wood and cool the house with it!
 

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If everyone burned wood for heat we would be out of it in no time! Use the sun to heat the air. If you run the hot air through a biomass inside of the house the heat would radiate from the biomass for hours and hours after the sun went down!
 

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If everyone burned wood for heat we would be out of it in no time! Use the sun to heat the air. If you run the hot air through a biomass inside of the house the heat would radiate from the biomass for hours and hours after the sun went down!
Maybe so, but I will not run out of wood. I have 40 acres, with lots of ice storm damaged trees, and this is the main reason I went with the furnace to clean some of it up. I also have access to a 90 acre farm that I can utilize any down timber. I dont cut live, or even standing dead timber. I'm pretty enviromentally correct, recycling everything That I dont burn in my stove as far as house waste.I actually ended my garbage service, now burning all combustibles, and recycling plastic, and metals. kitchen scraps feed the animals. i am all about green energy, and plan to build a solar water heater for use during the summer months. Wind and solar is good for electrical power, but people need to realize the lead/acid batteries used in those systems are not the best thing in the world for the environment. My biggest contribution is just plain conservation. I bundle up in the winter, and try to utilize my basement for cooling in the summer. Being that I work swing shift I have to have AC to sleep during the day. I built my home with 2x6 walls for the added insulation even though everyone tried to talk me out of it saying Kentucky's climate did not warrant it. I dissagree. Those calculatons are based on todays energy costs, I figured tommorrows will easily be double that. My attic has 12 inches of blown insulation, and double pane windows. I see wood that can be utilized for heat go to the landfills all the time, so no guilty feelings hear. I'm just utilizing what many folks throw away. To me, thats what "survivor" is all about.
 

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Randy,
You can use that wood stove to cool your house! They used to use a propane burner to run refridgerators - they still do in camp trailers.
It would be more efficient to use a geothermal heat pump to cool it but it is unlikely that you could heat it with a heat pump. They use about the same amperage as a drill motor (7 - 10 amps).
 

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Wheel Tire Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive tire Wheel Tire Vehicle Automotive tire Tread
Maybe so, but I will not run out of wood. I have 40 acres, with lots of ice storm damaged trees, and this is the main reason I went with the furnace to clean some of it up. I also have access to a 90 acre farm that I can utilize any down timber. I dont cut live, or even standing dead timber. I'm pretty enviromentally correct, recycling everything That I dont burn in my stove as far as house waste.I actually ended my garbage service, now burning all combustibles, and recycling plastic, and metals. kitchen scraps feed the animals. i am all about green energy, and plan to build a solar water heater for use during the summer months. Wind and solar is good for electrical power, but people need to realize the lead/acid batteries used in those systems are not the best thing in the world for the environment. My biggest contribution is just plain conservation. I bundle up in the winter, and try to utilize my basement for cooling in the summer. Being that I work swing shift I have to have AC to sleep during the day. I built my home with 2x6 walls for the added insulation even though everyone tried to talk me out of it saying Kentucky's climate did not warrant it. I dissagree. Those calculatons are based on todays energy costs, I figured tommorrows will easily be double that. My attic has 12 inches of blown insulation, and double pane windows. I see wood that can be utilized for heat go to the landfills all the time, so no guilty feelings hear. I'm just utilizing what many folks throw away. To me, thats what "survivor" is all about.
Yeah your fine! Not that many people use firewood right now anyway. Hot air = no work gathering wood, that leaves more time to play banjos on the porch.
I'm thinking about putting solar heaters on the roof of this truck!
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Tire Wheel Vehicle Sky Automotive tire Wheel Tire Sky Automotive parking light Motor vehicle
 

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Kerosene heaters are also great for heating on the cheap. The old perfection oil heaters were the bomb, new ones are cool too but not as classy. Fun fact- there has never been a documented house fire caused by a kerosene heater.
 

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You will always be looking for fuel. 0 houses have been burned down by hot air.... Ill post pics of my rocket heater tomorrow.
Makes sense now that I'm looking at it, no...you wouldn't be able to produce your own kero would you. Damn, but hey it's still going right now, right? I guess right now it makes sense but off grid? Wow that's a wake up call.
 

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Ok so I know of another system for heating buildings that I will toss into this discussion as my mum and dad have had me finding details of it for there home (a typical brick semi-detached part wall cavity UK house nearly 100 years old).

This system is a ground source heat pump, the specific variant that would work for them is a vertical closed loop system. The great thing about this system is that the pump is a fairly low power one so the cost of powering the system can easily be more than offset by installing a solar power rig or small wind turbine.

Now the system works best with under floor water heating systems (your floor turns into a LARGE radiator) and the warm water is just that, warm but after the initial investment you have with a solar or turbine system free heating and you can use it to warm the water in your hot water tank so you need to spend less energy to get hot water out of the taps.
 
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