Adjustments and Acclimatizations

United States
January 20, 2012 4:05pm CST
We recently moved to Pendleton, Oregon where the winters are milder than other places we have lived. Now, being from Juneau, Alaska, I am pretty familiar with winter weather. I remember listening to the forecasts in Juneau and the predictions of "freezing rain" were pretty common. One thing that I have discovered, however, in my move to Pendleton, is that freezing rain in Juneau is not the same as freezing rain in Pendleton. You see, usually in Juneau, freezing rain was considered a pretty mild winter day. The rain would freeze on the way down but it was on a warming trend so it didn't stick. Here in Pendleton when they say freezing rain, it comes down as rain but freezes on the ground and forms a sheet of wet ice! Now, nothing is slicker than wet ice! Of course, being from Juneau, I didn't think anything about the weather when I went out yesterday and so I proceeded down to the bottom of my ramp and fell on the ice that had formed there. ! Ouchies! Another shocker for me in moving here was my first electric bill! I had been heating my home with the heat pump which is electric and at the same time keeping my water heater on at all times. Well, that added up to a whopping $300 for my first bill! I have never had a bill that high in my life!!! Needless to say I can't afford that kind of electric bill. So now we have shut off the water heater and the furnace as much as we can and when the furnace is on I only have it set at 60 degrees...ten full degrees lower than usual. Needless to say we are bundling up and using a lot of blankets...and not doing a whole lot around the house. My daughter is whining about the cold and I wish I could afford to heat the house but I just can't! The winter temperatures here are not too bad...daytimes between 20 and 50 degrees and nighttimes not much lower. They are predicting a nighttime low of 12 degrees next week sometime so I will probably turn on the furnace for that. At first setting the furnace at 60 felt very cold to me but as time has passed I believe I have actually acclimatized to that and do not feel so cold. Still, I would dearly love to be able to heat my home to 70. I just cannot believe that my electric bill was so high! Do you use electric heat? What kind of cost is it for you? Any tips on minimizing the cost of heating the house?
2 responses
@cher913 (25893)
• Canada
9 Jul 12
we are in Canada where the winters can be super cold and the summers can be very hot. so naturally, we dress according to the weather and i would much rather throw on another sweatshirt or more socks than turn up the heat. i am pretty cheap to be honest. we keep our house at 70 too during the winter. as for keeping costs low. those window seals that are like one big sheet of plastic that you blow dry onto your window (it uses the heat of your dryer and forms a seal on your window) are good. make sure there are no drafts coming in. i would even use towels to stop any drafts coming in. also, research, research research!
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Jul 12
Yeah, we are from Alaska but coastal Alaska where the winters can be pretty harsh but we can pretty well shut off the furnace completely through much of the year...and never needed a/c. I so miss living on the coast!
@klw5000 (214)
• United States
21 Jan 12
We currently are using gas heat where I live. However, all of my utilities are included in my rent. I was planning to move back home with my parents and my son didn't want to leave the area, so I stayed to finish out the semester. I have been looking at homes in Alaska and would like to move there. That's my dream. I don't really like the cold weather, but I love seclusion. With electric heat unfortunately there isn't a lot you can do except try to tolerate the cooler temperatures. I will say that $300 would be typical around here for a month electric bill. I have paid between $200 and $400 a month since I moved to the area I live in, in 2008.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Jan 12
*choke* Wow, you must have a large house! My home in John Day was about 900 square feet and I had my electric bill down to around $45 per month there. I had a wood stove, though, which I don't have here. My home here is only 700 square feet, much smaller than my home in John Day, but even when I used the furnace in John Day my electric bill never went over $150. I have never in my life had an electric bill this big!!! So I guess we'll just have to freeze, eh? Oh, sigh!