Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange => Topic started by: veryfluffy on December 10, 2011, 08:44:19 AM

Title: Heating your home
Post by: veryfluffy on December 10, 2011, 08:44:19 AM
What is the norm for heating homes where you are? We've had threads where people have complained that things are too hot or too cold when they visit someone, and it also seems that completely different systems and cultures operate.

I am in the UK, and I would say that the most common form of heating is a gas boiler that moves hot water to radiators in each room. This is controlled by a thermostat, which is usually set to a timer that turns the heat on or off at specific times of the day. Mine is a digital control that I can programme for different temperatures during the day , with different programmes for weekdays and weekends. Most people (that I know) let the heat go off at night (very hard to sleep in a warm bedroom), with daytime room temperature set to between 17 and 20C (63 to 68F).

My house is old and hard to heat, so my thermostat is usually set at 16-17C during the day. We also have a woodburning stove in the sitting room which gets lovely and toasty in the evening. Since we don't need the rest of the house warm after dinner, the central heating goes off by about 7 pm.

Some older homes might still not have any central heating system, just using a gas fire in the main room. Other options, particularly in areas that are not connected to the mains gas system,  are oil furnaces, or electric storage heaters, which absorb electricity to heat up during the off-peak night hours, and give off heat during the day.

Air conditioning (ie cooling for summer), incidentally, is extremely uncommon.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: camlan on December 10, 2011, 09:14:30 AM
My house is a typical older New England house, built in 1900. We have an oil furnace that sends hot water to baseboard radiators. The house used to have the big old cast iron radiators, but an earlier owner removed those. We have a programable thermostat, so we can turn the heat down to 55 degrees at night (13 C) and then have the house warm up before we get up, to about 65 degrees (18 C). The oil furnace also heats our hot water.

I'm sure there are a few houses without central heating, but for the most part it's safe to say that nearly every house in northern New England has some form of central heating. (The main exception being houses built as vacation homes.) The very oldest houses, built before central heating was invented, have usually had central heating installed at some point.

When no one's home during the day, the heat goes down to 60 degrees (15 C).  At night in the winter, the outside temperature drops to about 5-13 degrees (-15 to -10 C) so we need to keep the heat on at night or the water pipes could freeze. The daytime highs here during December, January and February hover right around the freezing point.

Oil heat is pretty standard for older homes in New England, but not as common in other parts of the US. Newer homes here might have gas or electric heat. Many have forced hot air heat, with duct work to send hot air throughout the house. The duct work can also be used for central air conditioning in the summer, which makes it a popular choice.

In my area, the summers can be a bit hot and very humid. We have two window air conditioners and frankly, we use them as much to reduce the humidity as to get cooler air. It usually cools off enough at night so that we can just run window fans. But day after day of temperatures between 80 and 90 (26-32 C) with 90% or higher humidity can start to take a toll. You're just hot and sticky with sweat all the time and it's not fun, and hard to do things around the house.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: Redsoil on December 10, 2011, 09:18:03 AM
Wood fire here.  We're on a property, so have no problems with sourcing plenty of wood.  Wood fires seem to be relatively common in this part of Australia, but in city areas, reverse cycle airconditioning, or gas heating seems to be the norm.

Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: BarensMom on December 10, 2011, 09:37:26 AM
I'm in a typical California 2-story tract home, so we have central air/heating from the mid 1990's.  What typically happens is, in spite of the "central" nature, it gets warm on the 2nd story and remains cold on the ground floor in winter.  In summer, it will cool down on the ground floor, but still remain beastly warm upstairs.  One has to continually adjust the thermostat to reach some sort of medium in comfort or stay in the part of the house that is warm/cool, depending on season.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: Thipu1 on December 10, 2011, 10:06:20 AM
We live in an old factory that was built in the 1860s. 

In the early 1980s, it was converted into apartments and we moved in.  One of the things we liked about the place was that each apartment has it's own furnace.  We can keep the place as cool or as warm as we like.

We like things cool and, in the winter, keep the house between 65 and 68 degrees fahrenheit. 


When we go away on vacation in the winter, we turn the furnace down very far.  We don't worry about frozen pipes because the apartments surrounding us provide enough insulation.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: Judah on December 10, 2011, 10:25:46 AM
We have gas powered, forced-air, central heat.  But we also have a wood stove.  The wood stove heats the house very quickly and more efficiently than the furnace does, so we tend to use it more when it's really cold.  The only draw back is that when you fall asleep or aren't home to tend the fire, the house cools, so we use the furnace as a back up.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: violinp on December 10, 2011, 10:27:29 AM
America here. We live in a home that was built in the 30's, but we installed a new HVAC system this year - our old one died three years ago. We keep ours at 70 degrees because Mom likes it toasty.

Right now, the HVAC is on manual heat, because it's really cold outside. Unless Dad's running the fan, I could run around in summer clothes all the time.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: Shoo on December 10, 2011, 10:30:16 AM
We have a gas furnace, but most of the time our home is heated/cooled by our heat pump.  Only when the temps outside drop below 35 F does the gas furnace kick in.  Our heat pump heats and cools our house for practically nothing.  Just the cost of electricity to run the compressor and fan (electricity in the PNW is cheap cheap cheap!).

We also have a gas fireplace that does a nice job of heating the upstairs (it is located downstairs!).  When the fireplace is on, we have to keep the doors to the bedrooms closed so they don't get too warm to sleep in.

Our thermostat is kept at 68 F.  That feels just right to us.  We keep the fireplace on in the winter (when we are home) for those moments we feel a chill.  We just go stand by it for a few moments to take off the chill. 
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: Rohanna on December 10, 2011, 11:05:02 AM
We live in Northern Ontario- the house has an enormous gas furnace and big old floor-standing, cast iron hot-water rads. We also have a gas fireplace in the living room that was retrofitted over the original fireplace at some point.

However that is completely against the norm here- most newer homes are gas or electric forced air furnaces with floor vents. Cheaper apartments from the 60's and 70's and some offices use those long, low electric floor rads.



Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: T'Mar of Vulcan on December 10, 2011, 11:53:50 AM
In South Africa it's very unusual to have any kind of central heating. Some houses have underfloor heating, but it's not very common. It doesn't really get cold enough here to justify spending a lot of money to heat a house for a few days each winter. When it does get very cold we just buy electric heaters - you can get bar heaters, fan heaters, parabolic heaters or whatever. I have a five-fin oil heater (there's oil in the fins; it's still electric) that heats up my two-room downstairs flat without a problem.

Schools have the radiator-boiler heating systems, but they very seldom use them. I think the school I work at put the heaters on twice this past winter.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: Sophia on December 10, 2011, 12:18:07 PM
I live in Texas, and my neighborhood doesn't have gas.  So, we have an electric furnace original to the house.  If it weren't for the expense I'd keep it 78 year round.   
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: Dindrane on December 10, 2011, 12:26:40 PM
I don't think there is anything consistent about the way Americans heat their homes, and I don't think there ever will be.  Each region has such different weather that, while there might be consistency within a region, it's unlikely to match a region with drastically different weather concerns.

My brother and SIL live in New England in a house built maybe 30-40 years ago (so relatively new and definitely modern).  They have a furnace that runs on oil, because they live in a small enough town that there's no way to get natural gas.  An oil-powered furnace ends up being cheaper than paying for it with electricity.  The furnace heats water that is fed through copper pipes throughout their house.  Radiant heat works far better for heating their home, because it's probably more efficient, but it also doesn't dry the air out.  They used to keep their house in the neighborhood of 60 degrees in the winter (and perhaps as low as 55 at night), although now that they have a baby, I imagine they're keeping it a little warmer.  They don't have air conditioning, and mostly don't need it.

I, on the other hand, live in the PNW in an apartment.  I have basically 3 small forced-air heaters in my walls -- one in the living room, one in the bedroom, and one in the kitchen.  They are controlled separately, so I almost never use the one in the bedroom.  I don't really have a thermostat, per se, so my husband and I have indoor thermometers.  He's not allowed to turn any heat on until it's colder than 68 degrees.  Although over the past few weeks, the temperature has been more like 64 or 65, and we've both been comfortable.  We also do not have air conditioning, and if we were in a house that had ceiling fans and the possibility of a cross breeze, it would probably be unnecessary.  As it is, there are a few weeks every summer where we are very uncomfortable and wish we had it, but we've never been able to justify buying a window unit.

And then my parents live in Houston, where air conditioning is practically required.  Because they already have all the ductwork set up for central air conditioning, I'd imagine that most homes in the region also have forced air heating.  It doesn't get used nearly so much (maybe a couple of months out of the year), but it's probably easier to add on to a central air conditioning set-up than to find another way of heating the home.  Plus, in a place like Houston, nobody is ever really concerned about too little humidity. :)  Their furnace happens to be run on gas, although I think it's equally common for furnaces to be run on electricity.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: Sophia on December 10, 2011, 01:27:33 PM
Yeah, in Texas a furnace is there to blow the cold air into the house.  The fact that it can also heat is a bonus for days like today.  We thought we'd have to replace the furnace this summer.  I was seriously considering an heat pump without the heating element. 
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: MommyPenguin on December 10, 2011, 03:31:18 PM
We've lived in the mid-Atlantic, New England, and the Midwest.  We've had electric heat, gas heat, used space heaters only, and currently we generally try to use the fireplace for most of our heat, but at the moment we've been using the regular electric heat because we had flooding and we need to dry things out.

Generally, during the day, we set the heat to 66-68 F.  It depends a bit on the day, what we're doing, etc.  Sometimes we let it go as low as 64, but not generally lower than that during the day or I begin to find that my hands are too cold to type and work.  I tend to run cold, so I need it a bit warmer than some others.  I'd generally prefer the heat to be higher, more like 68, but we try to conserve energy.  We turn the heat off entirely at night, as we don't live in a region where we're likely to have pipes get cold enough to burst if the heat was on during the day.

During the summer, we generally turn the AC to about 78.

Both of these temperatures will vary a bit.  We're more cautious with the kids, especially when we have a very young baby, so we'll use a space heater or an AC just in the baby's room to keep her room a little warmer in winter/cooler in summer.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: oz diva on December 10, 2011, 04:14:13 PM
Here in Australia I have gas central heating. I keep it at 21C or below.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: jenny_islander on December 10, 2011, 04:21:56 PM
58 degrees north here.  I live in a house on the side of a mountain, so you park above the house, walk past the door that opens from the outside into the attic, go down a flight of exterior stairs, walk into the main house, go down an interior flight of stairs to the basement/laundry room, and walk straight out of the basement/laundry room into the front yard.  When it was built, the front half was heated by a woodstove and the back half by a drip-style oil heater, which was also the cookstove and water boiler.  The oil heater didn't require any electricity to run.  Now we have forced air heat from a basement furnace that needs electricity to run.  Our backup is a wood stove, also in the basement.  Modern insurance premiums won't allow for an upstairs wood stove.  The cookstove and water heater are powered by electricity from a co-op.  I grew up in the same town using propane for cooking and hot water, but it makes my husband nervous.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: dietcokeofevil on December 10, 2011, 05:23:09 PM
Midwest here.  We have a forced air electric furnace with a digital thermostat so we can change the temperature setpoint depending on day and time. Our bedrooms are upstairs, so we tend to keep it a bit cooler just so it doesn't get too warm up there.  most people either have electric or gas heat around here.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: Ereine on December 11, 2011, 01:05:31 AM
Everywhere I've lived in Finland has had district heating, there's a plant that burns fuel (in my town it's unfortunately at the moment mostly coal but they're also using trash and bio fuel) and produces electricity and hot water that circles around the town in radiators and returns back to the plant. It's a very easy way to do it and better for the environment than if everyone was doing the burning themselves. According to Wikipedia that covers about 40 % of heating in Finland, I think that it's mostly for apartment building and offices and larger building like that. Single family houses apparently (I've never lived in one, so have no personal experience) have electric heating or use fuel oil (that's what Wikipedia calls it). Some more rural places use wood, it's also common for some older wooden houses in my town (built in early 20th century for workers, some are still very old-fashioned). Heat pumps are becoming trendy, but aren't very widely used yet.

The heating is included in my rent and doesn't seem to be very expensive. I can't really control the temperature, though there's a thermostat. It's around 21 C during winter which feels too cold, because I have huge slightly drafty windows.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: Brentwood on December 11, 2011, 01:16:40 AM
America here. We live in a home that was built in the 30's, but we installed a new HVAC system this year - our old one died three years ago. We keep ours at 70 degrees because Mom likes it toasty.

And here's a difference in interpretation right here. I would find 70 acceptable, but far from "toasty."
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: Amalthea on December 11, 2011, 01:42:45 AM
I moved to Japan a few months ago.  I have an electric AC/heater thing in my living room.  It works okay in there, but it doesn't do much for the rest of the apartment, and there's no insulation so the heat escapes quickly while the cold creeps in.  I also have a space heater in the bathroom so I don't freeze getting out of the shower, and a kotatsu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kotatsu), which is lovely, but only when you're sitting under it.

My schools use kerosene heaters in the classrooms, and I'm waiting for the day where I trip and burn myself on one of them.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: MummySweet on December 11, 2011, 04:32:25 AM
We're in England.  We live in a farmhouse that was was built in 1629.   We moved in in 2004 and are the first people to have central heating.    We use heating oil burned in an electric boiler that feeds hot water to a radiator system.    There are also five fire places, but we don't use them because two are inglenook and the others are in the kids' bedrooms.     The house was built using waddle and daub ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wattle_and_daub  ) and gets very, very cold... it's a struggle to keep it comfortable even with the central heat. 

An aside, I asked the woman who had lived in the house for forty years before we got it how she kept warm.  She said that they had an electric heater in the front (living) room and otherwise used the fireplaces.    The bedroom that she and her husband used didn't have a fireplace, and was the coldest room in the house, but they never used a heater in there until the year that her husband decided that the dogs were getting too cold! 
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: Redsoil on December 11, 2011, 07:02:20 AM
Good Lord, Zenith - which part of Aus are you in?  I reckon it's bad enough here when it hits -6 or so!!!
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: Dazi on December 11, 2011, 07:55:36 AM
Our home has a fireplace and a gas furnace.  I have never used the fireplace and only on rare occasion used the furnace. 

It really has to get at least below 30F for me to even consider turning on the furnace.  I do have a few oil radiator space heaters that I use if I get too chilly, but even that isn't often.

I live in central Florida and it is a fairly temperate climate.  It's been about 65-75F all week.  If we get a cold snap it is usually for a week or so in February.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: Bethczar on December 11, 2011, 09:55:33 AM
America here. We live in a home that was built in the 30's, but we installed a new HVAC system this year - our old one died three years ago. We keep ours at 70 degrees because Mom likes it toasty.

And here's a difference in interpretation right here. I would find 70 acceptable, but far from "toasty."

POD. 70 is the lowest temperature I will accept in winter, despite DH's attempts to lower it to 65. Definitly not toasty.

We are in a condo in the midwest US that has a gas furnace that we have programmed for different temps on different days of the week.  We also have a wood fireplace that we use more for ambiance than actual heat, and central AC for those sultry Wisconsin summers.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: southern girl on December 16, 2011, 05:25:24 AM
Right now, I'm in Northern Virginia and we have a gas furnace in the basement for heat.  Works nicely except that the ductwork (big metal pipes leading from the furnace to each room) is not great so one bedroom is always cold.  Growing up, my family had central heating from a heat pump.  I've never lived in a house heated by oil or propane.

When we lived in Bulgaria for two years, we had "central heating" like in Finland.  Hot water from a plant is pumped to all (or most) of the buildings in the city.  We had radiators in each room and I loved them.  The only thing I didn't like was that the city determined when the hot water got fed to the radiators so for a few days at the beginning and the end of winter, we froze.  The city pumps hot water to the regular pipes (sinks, tubs, washing machines, etc.) all year long except for two weeks in summer when they do some maintenance.  Then we used the flash heater for heating our bath/shower water.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: CLE_Girl on December 20, 2011, 09:11:53 AM
America here. We live in a home that was built in the 30's, but we installed a new HVAC system this year - our old one died three years ago. We keep ours at 70 degrees because Mom likes it toasty.

And here's a difference in interpretation right here. I would find 70 acceptable, but far from "toasty."

POD. 70 is the lowest temperature I will accept in winter, despite DH's attempts to lower it to 65. Definitly not toasty.

We are in a condo in the midwest US that has a gas furnace that we have programmed for different temps on different days of the week.  We also have a wood fireplace that we use more for ambiance than actual heat, and central AC for those sultry Wisconsin summers.

North East Ohio here - I'll echo everything Bethczar said.  70F is comfortable for me in the winter but that cause I wear a house coat and slippers all the time inside.  We have a programable thermosat, 70F when we're home, 65F at night and when we're not home (used to be 63, but I felt that might be a little cold of the dog).  For the AC it's 68 at night, 76 during the day and 72 when we're home. 

Friends in the area have an electric furnace so they just converted their fireplace to a wood burning stove to help heat the house.  Their furnace only kicks in if the house gets below 60F. 
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: Yarnie on December 20, 2011, 10:04:20 AM
We have gas forced air in our 1929 house - originally, it had a coal fire furnace.  They added in Air Conditioning some time in the 70s or 80s.  My husband likes it REALLY cold, so our thermostat is set to 63 in the winter.  Luckily, the old thermostat probably reads cold, and our house stays at about 68.  I have a little space heater for my office - its the coldest room in the house.

Summer, our AC is usually set to 72, which is really too low, but my husband would die otherwise. :)
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: audrey1962 on December 20, 2011, 10:11:02 AM
America here. We live in a home that was built in the 30's, but we installed a new HVAC system this year - our old one died three years ago. We keep ours at 70 degrees because Mom likes it toasty.

And here's a difference in interpretation right here. I would find 70 acceptable, but far from "toasty."

70 is as low as I can go without feeling uncomfortable. I live in the upper midwest. I do turn down the heat to 65 when I sleep.

I work in an old Victorian mansion that has been converted into offices. It uses radiator heat. I am on the third floor. It is usually 72 when I arrive in the morning and 76 when I leave at 5 pm. For me, this is a very comfortable temperature.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: Morticia on December 20, 2011, 03:21:01 PM
Toronto here. We have gas central heating, no a/c. It's used, normally from late September to early June, with temps when were home and awake at around 21C (72F), and 17C (65F) at night.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: Cricket on December 21, 2011, 02:56:59 AM
I'm also from rural Australia. We have a low-set brick house with a tin roof. We don't use any heating. We just put on another layer of clothing during the day and make a hot water bottle about an hour before bedtime. Average winter temps where I am are -4C - 15C (approx 24F - 59F). I like feeling cold, but I'm becoming less tolerant as I get older.  I actually had to find a jumper (sweater) to wear quite a few times last winter!
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: IslandMama on December 21, 2011, 04:31:35 AM
Southeast Queensland, Australia.  We have no heating here... not even a stand alone heater and we don't bother with hot water bottles either.  A couple of nights in winter it's dipped below 10 degrees (c, not f) and we just put an extra blanket on the beds and the kids wore socks.  In summer we get up to 36 degrees with 98% humidity and we have no air con... just a couple of ceiling fans and a good cross breeze... and a lot of iceblocks (icy poles, ice lollies, whatever you want to call them!) in the freezer.  :)
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: Winterlight on December 21, 2011, 09:05:14 AM
My family uses a furnace supplemented with a wood stove to heat the house. In my rental it's a furnace with forced air heating.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: mechtilde on December 21, 2011, 09:07:31 AM
Gas fired central heating in winter, but no air conditioning- fortunately it tends not to get too hot here, but ur house is very well insulated and has 18" thick walls which are good at keeping either warmth or cold in.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: kethria on December 22, 2011, 08:43:36 PM
Maryland, USA here...

Natural Gas furnace, fireplace which we haven't fired up yet. I keep the thermostat set to 60 during the day while we are out, 70 for a few hours before bed, and 65 after bed.

When I lived in Bogota there was no heat or air. And some days it got COLD! I can remember it being 4 C on a few occasions and I would wake up seeing my breath in the room. Brrrrr.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: Information_queen on January 04, 2012, 12:13:31 AM
Memphis, here.

We have all electric heating and cooling.

I keep it cold in the winter - 60F. Most of the time, the heat never kicks on. I don't know how; it's gotten way colder than that this winter and our apartment has horrible insulation. Today was the first time this whole winter that I *really* felt cold. Even my sweatshirt wasn't warm enough for a while, and the dog (tiny, and short-haired) spent part of the day buried in my blankets - literally - I actually thought I lost him in the apartment somehow ;D. He's spent the rest of the day wearing his outside coat after I forgot to take it off when we came in.

Tonight, I'll have my sheet, comforter, and my snuggie on top of that, and we'll be plenty warm. Mudkips will curl up next to me, and be very glad for the shared warmth ;D

This is probably the coldest I'll feel all winter, which is why I don't bother keeping it any warmer. We don't really need it most of the time.

Now the summer on the other hand - there are days I wish I had litter box trained the dog just to not have to spend 90 seconds outside.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: WillyNilly on January 07, 2012, 09:17:02 PM
NYC. I live in a mid-sized apartment building (6 floors, 16 apts per floor). We have oil heat which comes into my apt via old fashioned cast iron radiators that occassionally bang and always hiss if they are on. Its ridiculous heat - it definately fluctuates a lot. I have no real control over it except for some ineffectual knobs on each radiator and the windows and window unit AC - I sped half the winter in sweats and using throw blankets because my apt is in the 60's and half the time opening windows or turning on the fan because its in the 80's. The bathroom is heated with a pipe that whistles but I can't turn it off - something about it needing to vent since I'm on the top floor.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: jalutaja on January 08, 2012, 08:34:36 AM
Average winter temps where I am are -4C - 15C (approx 24F - 59F). I like feeling cold, but I'm becoming less tolerant as I get older.  I actually had to find a jumper (sweater) to wear quite a few times last winter!

Oh, for a moment (until I Googled for what 59F would be) I thought you meant from - 4C to - 15C and was so impressed, as for me -15C in NOT just to find a jumper weather! :D
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: Lady Snowdon on January 08, 2012, 09:16:24 AM
Minnesota, USA here.

DH and I tend to run cold, and we like being warm, so our house is a bit warmer than some!  We have forced air heating and air conditioning, gas furnace and electrical a/c. 

In the summer, our a/c is set for 82F when we're gone, and 78F when we're home.  I wouldn't even turn it on most days, except for the humidity here makes it feel so much warmer than it really is.  Summer temps are typically around 80-85F but there are days when it gets up into the 90F range.

In the winter, our furnace is set for 65F when we're gone, and 70F when we're home.  It might go down to 68F after like 10 pm or so, when we're in bed.  Average winter temps are like 10-25F, but it routinely gets as cold as -20F in January and February.  I would be afraid of our pipes freezing if we set our temps any lower!
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: jaxsue on January 08, 2012, 11:14:26 AM
I live in Central NJ. My home is from the mid-50s and has steam heat. I've never had this kind of heat before but I really like it. First of all, it's quiet. Secondly, it's a moist heat, which cuts down on static electricity. And because it's a newer water heater there's no need to "bleed" it.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: apple on January 08, 2012, 11:34:55 AM
Southwestern U.S., and we have a gas furnace for heat. In our area, homes are either all-electric (heat & air), or electric air conditioner and gas heater. Gas is cheaper than electricity, so having a gas furnace (and hot water heater) tends to save a bit of money.

We spend a lot more on air-conditioning (from May to Sept., or longer) than we do on heat!

Right now, the thermostat is set at 72. (The older I get, the less tolerance I seem to have for being cold.)

Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: Gwywnnydd on January 14, 2012, 07:54:10 PM
I'm in Seattle (well, Shoreline, which is immediately north of Seattle).
We just got the first snow of the season. About an inch, and it started melting before it finished falling. So much for SNOpocalypse 2012 =). Our winters are typically cool (almost always above freezing, though not always much above) and damp.

The house I'm in now has natural gas heat. In previous places, the apartments all had electric heat (typically baseboard heaters), and the houses were a mix of natural gas or fuel oil.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: kckgirl on January 15, 2012, 05:59:29 AM
America here. We live in a home that was built in the 30's, but we installed a new HVAC system this year - our old one died three years ago. We keep ours at 70 degrees because Mom likes it toasty.

And here's a difference in interpretation right here. I would find 70 acceptable, but far from "toasty."

I agree. If I had my 'druthers, I'd have the house at 75 year round.

I live in Maryland in a neighborhood with no gas service. We have electric baseboard heaters with separate thermostats in each bedroom, the living room, and one that controls the kitchen/dining room/hall, which is the only one we use. It heats the house enough to be relatively comfortable. We have an oil-filled space heater in the living room because the furniture doesn't allow for efficient use of the heaters. All bedroom heaters are always off. I can't sleep if it's warm, and I'd rather be snuggled under the covers if I get cold.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: Optimoose Prime on January 16, 2012, 11:36:20 PM
Alaska here.  We have gas forced air furnace and a gas fireplace.  We usually have the electronic thermostat set at 65F during the day and 61F at night.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: KimberlyM on January 17, 2012, 04:19:51 PM
Oregon here, we have electric ceiling heat, which may well be the dumbest invention ever.  In the winter I pay about $300 a month for heat and my thermostats are set at about 64f.  I don't use the heat in the kitchen, bathrooms and my bedroom (electric blankets rock!).  Basically my house is cold and I pay a fortune to keep it that way!  The first winter in this house I set the temp to 72f and our first winter bill was nearly $500.  We have a wood burning fireplace that we use when it's really cold out or when we just get tired of layering clothes, but it really only heats the living room.

In the summer we have an electric window ac unit that we use for a couple months, but our summers are not terribly hot.   
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: WhiteTigerCub on January 17, 2012, 04:39:50 PM
Southwestern U.S., and we have a gas furnace for heat. In our area, homes are either all-electric (heat & air), or electric air conditioner and gas heater. Gas is cheaper than electricity, so having a gas furnace (and hot water heater) tends to save a bit of money.

We spend a lot more on air-conditioning (from May to Sept., or longer) than we do on heat!

Right now, the thermostat is set at 72. (The older I get, the less tolerance I seem to have for being cold.)

This is mine exactly too.  Programable thermostat keeps things nicely at 65-68 (farenheit) during the winter ( I lurve snuggly blankets) or  AC  78-80 during hot weather.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: toontownnutter on May 09, 2012, 08:08:38 AM
I'm in Australia and have ducted reverse cycle electric heating. It draws cool or hot air in from the rooms and does it's thing converts it and pushes it back out of the vents I have in each room. It's the ducks guts. I'm in Tassie where during winter we'll start the day off at 2 degrees and reach a top of 10. Pretty chilly.


Now the reason I came to this section is something that' I've wondered for a couple of years. On UK shows like Changing Rooms and 60 Minute Makeover, they often cover up the heaters in the living areas and bedrooms IYKWIM like they'll place a couch up against it or they'll build a cute little wooden box around it to conceal it. Do these things not get hot to touch?? How does stuff pushed up against these heaters not catch on fire?
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: Ms_Cellany on May 09, 2012, 09:01:25 AM
Dallas, TX, here. Extremely hot summers, usually 1-2 snows/winter.

"My" house (the one I lived in when The Sweetie and I met, and is now a rental property) was built in 1957 and is piped for natural gas. It has a gas furnace, which is dirt cheap to run.  It was built with little gas-fired heaters in the walls, which I don't use because I'm scared of carbon monoxide.

The Sweetie's house (where we live) was built in the '70s and has an electric furnace. Much more expensive.
Title: Re: Heating your home
Post by: magicdomino on May 09, 2012, 10:05:52 AM

Now the reason I came to this section is something that' I've wondered for a couple of years. On UK shows like Changing Rooms and 60 Minute Makeover, they often cover up the heaters in the living areas and bedrooms IYKWIM like they'll place a couch up against it or they'll build a cute little wooden box around it to conceal it. Do these things not get hot to touch?? How does stuff pushed up against these heaters not catch on fire?

Hot water radiators don't get hot enough to burn anything -- I can touch my baseboard radiators with my bare hand, and even steam radiators don't get hot enough to set something on fire.  The big problem with enclosing the radiator or sticking furniture in front of it is that it blocks the heat, preventing it from warming the room, thus running up your utility bill.  You can make or buy cute radiators covers that have grills in them to let the heat out, but those home decorating shows tend to value aesthetics over practicality.