Friday, December 3, 2010

The Month Without a Dryer

As most of you know, Josh and I just started out this year living on our own. We both lived with our parents previously, and so this has all been a very next and eye-opening experience.

We each are responsible for certain bills related to the house, and each have our own bills too, such as his Sea-Doo payment and my student loans.  The way it works out, I normally pay the electric bill.  It comes every two other month, and normally hovers around the same amount, varying by $30-$40.

To save on electricity, we are attempting to not use our heat pump at all this winter.  We keep it set to 45 degrees during the warmer months, and have it set to 50 currently (to prevent the house from getting so cold pipes start freezing/breaking).  We have a wood stove, and burn a fire every single day.  We start one after work in the evening, and it goes out during the night.  The days one of us is home, we start one in the morning and keep it going all day.  Its nothing for our house to get over 80 degrees, and its normally comfortable in there.  There are times in the morning when it gets chilly, but I'm used to just throwing a sweatshirt on and moving around or grabbing a blanket.  Josh is almost never cold, so he doesn't mind it.  I'm not sure how much money we are saving by doing this, as we haven't yet had a winter where we did use the heat pump all season.  But, I'm imaging its quite a bit of money!

We both also try to ensure lights are turned off when we're not in the room.  We frequently only use one lamp in the living room in the evening, along with the ceiling fan to circulate the warm air into the rest of the house.  We try to not leave cell phone chargers plugged in, and since Josh spends much of his time outside on his days off (which are opposite of my days off), not much electricity is used when he's home.

To add to the savings, I'm attempting to not use our clothes dryer during the month of December.  I'll still need to use it occasionally, mostly during last-minute situations.  ("Hey babe - my jacket's wet and I'm leaving for duck hunting in half an hour!  Can you dry it?")  But for the most part, I'm simply air-drying everything.  I have one drying rack already, but want to buy one more for when I do large loads or multiple loads in one evening.  Since the living room is the warmest room in the house and our living room is quite large, I'm placing the racks in there (when company is coming over, I'll move the racks to another room).  I did this often during the summer, and loved the savings.

I'll post a comparison in January, when the next electricity bill arrives.  I'm extremely interested to see the difference in kilowatts and cost!  Have you ever tried this?  What were your savings like?