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 > No heat in northern home all winter.

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dreamer

Southern Illinois

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Posted: 04/07/14 07:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

With the high cost of keeping heat in our Illinois home all winter while we are gone I am considering turning off all heat to our house. I already turn the water off and blow out the lines and winterize all drains and toilets. Last winter the cost was around $4000 to keep some heat in the house, 50 degrees. That's alot of cabbage for us. Does anyone do this? Thanks.

dreamer.

Ok, I'll expand on this.

The $4000 includes keeping a 40x64 shed at 50F, $150 per month for electricity to run one small electric heater in the house and in the shed, possibly the coldest winter in decades and the fact that LP, the primary heat source, rose above $5 per gallon from the gouging that was going on.

* This post was edited 04/07/14 04:03pm by dreamer *


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Bumpyroad

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Posted: 04/07/14 07:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

what would it cost to keep it at 40 degrees? I know some cabins are designed to be drained completely but I would be worried about a house. bottom of water heater, etc.? $4,000 to keep a house cool for how many months? what do you have, resistance electric heat?
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scbwr

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Posted: 04/07/14 07:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No heat at all is not usually recommended if you have drywall on your walls. $4000 sounds like an awful lot of $$ for just keeping the house at 50 degrees. How's the insullation in the house? Rather than risk damage to the house, it may be wise to improve the insulation. We had a small cottage (950 square feet) that we kept minimal heat for the cold western NY winters, and I don't think it cost me more than five or six hundred bucks per winter. The cottage had some insulation in walls and ceiling.


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naturist

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Posted: 04/07/14 07:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow, four grand just to heat to 50 is indeed a lot. Glad you are not trying to live in that through the winter. While we live much farther south and don't leave home for more than a week or so during winter, we have no central heat we can control, either, so it gets whatever temperature it gets. But then good insulation and passive solar heat does keep our house above 50 even for a week below freezing. So, yes, some of us do that. But our house clearly does not act like your house.

And I too would worry about damage to drywall and consider strongly adding insulation. Unless you are heating a huge space, it sounds like you have some kind of major heat loss problem. Are you sure a neighbor hasn't found a way to suck your heat into his house?

* This post was edited 04/07/14 07:45am by naturist *





amandasgramma

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Posted: 04/07/14 07:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Did you close the doors and windows before you left? We live where temps drop to minus 20 on average (minus 32 this year).....and left our thermometer on 50. Our heat bill was $60.00 one month and lower the other months! I'd be taking next year's $4000. and getting some GOOD insulation!!!!!


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gbopp

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Posted: 04/07/14 07:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would not turn off the heat. Things will get damaged during freeze/thaw cycles.

What system are you using to heat your house?

steelpony5555

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Posted: 04/07/14 07:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hmmmm maybe you should sell the 5000 sq ft home with the 10 bedrooms and get a smaller house?????? Holy Crp $4000 is a lot even for the bad winter y'all just had especially if set at 50 degrees. Maybe you left a window open?? But for real houses don't fare well with no heat at all. Drywall gets damp, paneling warps, tile will pop off etc. Maybe spend some money and winterize your home better to get the heat bill down. Or since you are only living in it part time it may be time to sell and downsize to a smaller home.


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The Texan

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Posted: 04/07/14 07:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would not do it. Our contractor advised us to keep the house at 38° to 40° minimum while we are gone in the winter, even after we blow out all lines and winterize traps and drains. If you have a contractor friend in that area, ask him to give you his take on "no heat" for the entire winter.


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DutchmenSport

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Posted: 04/07/14 08:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A few years ago my mother packed up (Indiana) and went to visit my sister in Texas. She left the heat on, but as low as the thermostat would go. I checked in on the house from time to time. After winter was over, she came back home and then the fun began! The paint on several of her walls started pealing and several places the plaster started crumbling. The walls themselves were made of true plaster (back in the middle 1950's, my dad built the house, long before the days of "dry-wall"). This was the first time ever the heat in the house was down so low for such a long time.

Later, I learned you should never completely turn the heat off if you live in a "snow" state. Bottom line is, because there was no heat, there was no way for the humidity to dry out either. Once the humidity penetrated the paint, it just kept things damp. Unfortunately, in her her attempt to save a penny, ended up costing her a dime at the end!

Advise: Keep the heat on, it will save you, not "cost you!"


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Dick_B

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Posted: 04/07/14 08:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My Parents shut off everything in their summer home for the winter for many years. Even the old tube TV worked when they opened up in the Spring. It can be done. $4K sounds like a lot...Our natural gas bill in the budget plan is about $75 per month.


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