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Are you concerned about heating costs this winter?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on September 27, 2007

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Photo of Abbey East

“We have all electric utilities, but our unit isn’t that efficient. So I am concerned about how much it’s going to set us back. It’s the same problem in a different way.”

Photo of Jeremy Burd

“Yeah, but that’s because I bought a house that’s too big, old and poorly insulated. So it’s my own fault.”

Photo of Kristine Bailey

“I’m not concerned, but I realize that it’s going to go up. I might have to burn more wood this year, but that’s one of the reasons I’m not that concerned.”

Photo of David Stunkel

“I’m concerned every year. It’s the same situation as gasoline prices; the price of natural gas just seems to be rising continually.”

Comments

camper 6 years, 6 months ago

No joking, those who have have to worry about heat bills are in a bad situation. I'm worried about those who don't have to worry about heat bills because they have no heat bills. I wonder sometimes how those who are homeless make it through terriible exposure. God bless them. And may we help when possible.

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matahari 6 years, 6 months ago

apathy is a dish that's always served cold....no, no ones' 'concerned' because they haven't really been cold yet. Get back with us when your heat gets turned off because no one can afford to pay it. Then the concern comes, always too late.

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OTSSweeper 6 years, 6 months ago

No, I'm going to move in with Al Gore

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adriennerm 6 years, 6 months ago

I am not worried, just buy a nice thick blanket

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GretchenJP 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm with you, snow. I'd rather be cold than hot.

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redemption 6 years, 6 months ago

SHABAAAAAM!!! I told you so.. just listen, stop making up other ideas, I already called it..

It is FOR THE WIN! It's a gamers term, I know this because I am a gamer.. It originated on FPS, first person shooters... people would say at the end of a round things like: "name FTW." or "name of the weapon used FTW".....

so just stop.. I'm right and you're all wrong.

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snowWI 6 years, 6 months ago

I am definitely looking forward to winter. Anything is better than the horrible combination of the heat and humidity.

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GretchenJP 6 years, 6 months ago

I actually haven't heard of FTW either and I thought I knew most of the internet acronyms.

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sgtwolverine 6 years, 6 months ago

The backwards WTF thing actually did occur to me, but it seemed odd that it wasn't followed by a question mark, so I figured that wasn't the case.

At least now I know what FTW is. I can honestly say I've never run across that one before; maybe I don't frequent the right corners of the internet.

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riverdrifter 6 years, 6 months ago

Two tons of wood pellet fuel on hand, bought 16 months ago, not worried -for now. Year from now: worried.

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Pywacket 6 years, 6 months ago

Kawvalleykid~ You're probably right--our 2 AC units (we have zoned H/C, and program upstairs/downstairs independently) probably should have been serviced this spring.. We're horrible procrastinators.

Do you have the same size house? That would help with comparison. Our highest electric for the year was $260. Another factor is that we're not in Lawrence and do pay a higher rate. For its size, the house is fairly efficient. The insulation is above grade, the windows all double paned, etc.

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lakings1 6 years, 6 months ago

Sorry to double post.

FTW is, like an earlier poster commented, For The Win. It's very common elsewhere on the Internet, just as common as LOL.

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lakings1 6 years, 6 months ago

I was thrilled with the last couple of Lawrence winters. I had a studio apartment with an electric heater/cooler embedded in the wall. My winter bills were generally significantly less (sometimes by as much as a third) than my summer bills due to a good location. My neighbors' heaters kept me warm and the trees in the front and back of the apartment kept the wind at bay.

Now I'm living in a studio with electric heating and cooling in Chicago. I ran my AC for two days this summer when the humidity was extremely high. I imagine that I'll have to have the heater going full blast most of the winter. I'm not looking forward to that bill, but I'd much rather be cold than hot.

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i_tching 6 years, 6 months ago

Just as the earth is filled with a gooey center full of sweet and easily-refinable crude oil, it is also full of cheap and easy-to-access natural gas. These fuel reservoirs are occasionally replenished by Jesus so we will never ever have to worry about heating our homes in cold seasons.

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GretchenJP 6 years, 6 months ago

sgtwolverine and everyone, I'm thinking "FTW" is simply "WTF" backwards. I'm assuming you know what that sounds for. ;o) As for heating costs this winter, I'm not worried. We live in a small house and like to utilize our space heaters instead of turning the heat way up. Also I prefer to be cool... I love bundling up.

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concernedparent 6 years, 6 months ago

Yes those little electric heaters are VERY dangerous.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 6 months ago

matahari says: "I... run those little electric heaters that look like the old fashioned water heaters, but I guess they are filled the hot oil."

Beware, matahari, I used to swear by those little oil-filled heaters, until the afternoon I watched one "snap, pop" (no crackle) and eject a little flaming ember from the control panel onto the carpet. If I hadn't been there to extinguish it, this could be a much different story....

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matahari 6 years, 6 months ago

I live in a small place, so I turn off the furnace and run those little electric heaters that look like the old fashioned water heaters, but I guess they are filled the hot oil. The heat is nice and comfy (I use two and on a really cold night may run three) I don't get blasted by that dry air heat from a furnace and those little heaters have saved me a bunch. They only raised my electric bill by about $15 a month, and I find them at yard sales throughout the summer, but have priced them at the hardware stores, and they are about $40

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offtotheright 6 years, 6 months ago

Thanks Pywacket. Last year I went through at least a cord of wood. I have a new furnace and ac also, i just don't want the fireplace sucking out the expensive heat in the house.

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Nick Yoho 6 years, 6 months ago

Wow pywacket you pay more for AC? maybe you better get your unit serviced.My high(elec.) bill this summer was $67 I think.I use two window units-sparingly.Heat seems to cost much more.Maybe because the H O O T(homeowners out of tenants) program forced me to move my furnace to the attic.Well,with electric heat placed where I Need it,I can just seal off the old system!

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concernedparent 6 years, 6 months ago

no, we just built a new house and used high efficiency units. We left our AC on 72 all summer and the most our electric bill was was 112 dollars.

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Pywacket 6 years, 6 months ago

Well, heating IS way cheaper than cooling for us. We have natural gas heating, dryer, water heater, and stove, and the cost of gas during the months of highest use never begins to approach the cost of electric during the months of AC use. Not to mention, summers here are much longer than winters. And winters are typically extremely mild, in my book.

We have an insert in one of our fireplaces and that thing will heat the entire house (~3000 sq ft) if we have enough wood and the time to keep on stokin'. We have done that in the past. Mostly, though, we just burn wood for the ambiance.

If you do have your own woodlot, it probably is cost effective to get an insert--I can't venture a guess as to how long it would take to pay for itself (and, of course, if you have to buy wood, that has to go into the calculations), but it does make a fireplace much more efficient. Most "decorative" fireplaces actually result in heat loss, as you probably already know.

To find one, I'd start by calling brick/masonry contractors, or if you know any reliable builders, ask them who they use for new construction.

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daddax98 6 years, 6 months ago

maybe the letters were transposed and they meant "Way To Funny" or "What The F*ck"

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sunflower_sue 6 years, 6 months ago

"Heating is way cheaper than cooling, so no, I'm not all that concerned. Of course, my house is generally freezing except directly in front of the fireplace."

I have to recant! After scanning my bills from last winter, I spent more to heat certain rooms of my all electric house (with fireplace going non-stop) than to cool every room. I spent $90 more in Feb of this year than I have yet to do this summer. Most months, though, the bill is pretty constant. Now I have to apply my brain and think about what happened last Feb...probably just normal KS weather with a kid cranking the thermostat in their room. (Must put locks on those things!)

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 6 months ago

Winter, Spring, Summer, or Faaaaall, Seems I have to pay them aaaaall...

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prospector 6 years, 6 months ago

For the Win, from the Urban Dictionary.

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redemption 6 years, 6 months ago

FTW... For The Win.

Gamer term.

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Nick Yoho 6 years, 6 months ago

FTW = F*ck The World sarge.what context that had here,I'm not sure.

I'm a bit concerned about heating costs.I am getting ready to go all electric.The $16 per month I pay the Gas company(for line &meter maintenance ) just to HAVE gas is more than the $12 per month I pay for the gas I use(in the non- heat seasons).Thus,I feel,that wasted $16 per month(x12=$192) could buy most of the heat I need.I also intend to heat one room to comfort level,while keeping the less used areas of my home much cooler.I'll keep my pipes from freezing,but I won't have to pay to heat the whole house when I stay mostly in one room.I expect significant savings from switching to "on demand"hot water,rather than heating 60 gallons of it 24 hours per day.dishes showers and laundry don't require hot water 24/7.

I agree carbon trading in a sham.It's the only way the Corporatist could figure to make money off the serious problem of human caused climate change.It also lets people off the hook for the guilt they might feel for not being willing to actually CHANGE their lifestyles in any meaningful way,to help curb the problem.

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DotsLines 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm not worried about the price of heating at all. The gas is about to be disconnected anyway, so it pretty much doesn't matter what it costs...

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trinity 6 years, 6 months ago

flog the weirdo?

somebody best answer this quick...my mind is a'wanderin'.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 6 years, 6 months ago

"What am I going to do with 11,000 cases of mason jars now?" T_O_B.

Buy a fleet of Subaru Impreza WRX STIs and start your own ethanol production plant?

. The true farce of Carbon credits will become apparent when the Peoples State of America finally succeeds in quashing all industry, leaving the GDP dependent only on "perceived" value, rather than intrinsic value.

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sunflower_sue 6 years, 6 months ago

Find the wine? Foul the waters? Finish the weed? Forego the waffles? French the waiter? Forestall the weasel?

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prospector 6 years, 6 months ago

Nope, there are bigger concerns.

Free the Whales?

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The_Original_Bob 6 years, 6 months ago

"Carbon in this sense really only has value if it is not created in the first place." RI

Whoa. So what you're telling me is that carbon credits are a farce? Well, pull me up a chair. These damn get rich quick schemes I come up with just never work. What am I going to do with 11,000 cases of mason jars now?

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sister 6 years, 6 months ago

Foot and toe warts? Falling toward water? Fixed to win? Failure to wash? Find the word? eff the world?

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 6 years, 6 months ago

T_O_B, Look at the chart baby.. http://www.chicagoclimatex.com/charts/images/07092618003CCX2007.png Carbon in this sense really only has value if it is not created in the first place. Just how many mason jars do you have? @ Barely above $3.00/m.ton, just mason jars are costing alot more than the value of captured carbon. If new, they have their own carbon footprint from production and shipping. That truck of yours puts out roughly 10 m.tons of carbon per year... $30 at the current market value. You are creating a bigger footprint by storing your carbon hillbilly style, than you are personally leaving. So unless you can assign an intrinsic collectors value, or think the altruistic ideal of storing your own carbon has value, ride your bicycle to work, and watch which legumes you eat. Oh and try and not exert your self while pumping those pedals, that exponentially increases your personal carbon footprint.

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offtotheright 6 years, 6 months ago

Where would a person purchase a fireplace insert? Shouldn't this be professionally installed? Is it going to be worth the $1500 - $2000 (i believe is the cost)?

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average 6 years, 6 months ago

We spend a whole lot more on heating than cooling. We only A/C one small room, and turn it off when we're gone. Can't do either in cold weather, lest the pipes freeze.

Hoping to move to a place where wood-burning is an option in a couple years.

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sgtwolverine 6 years, 6 months ago

Ohjay, I'm usually up late these days. I am a night person, and now that I work for myself rather than at an early-morning job, I get to behave as a night person; very few (almost none) of my jobs occur in the morning. I was actually up a little later than normal last night, but I am usually up late.

I've been on the internet for over a decade now, but I have to admit: I'm not sure what FTW means. Can I get a translation?

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The_Original_Bob 6 years, 6 months ago

R_I -

I am actually trying to increase my carbon footprint. I capture all my used carbon and put it in mason jars and seal them tight. I figure it may have some sort of resale value.

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sunflower_sue 6 years, 6 months ago

Heating is way cheaper than cooling, so no, I'm not all that concerned. Of course, my house is generally freezing except directly in front of the fireplace.

RI, stop burning those old hymnals! I have lots of dead trees you can have at.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 6 years, 6 months ago

T_O_B, Are you saying the Chicago Climate Exchange is just a farce?

I have been working to reduce my personal carbon footprint. I no longer just traipse through the remnants of my burn pile willy-nilly.

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Unix_Admin 6 years, 6 months ago

Accually, Open source is better - Linux is nice.

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snake_eyes 6 years, 6 months ago

Do we really have to read this same story every Fall? I swear the LJWorld probably just takes the same article from last year, makes a few changes, lists a new writer, and BAM!, you've got yourself another story about heating costs for the winter. Good grief, it's going to be a rough winter people. It may cost $1 billion dollars to heat your house!!!!!!!! Give me a break

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Foofabs 6 years, 6 months ago

Vote Ron Paul for President!

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herbalife4life1 6 years, 6 months ago

Install a solar hot water heater on your roof and save in utilities!

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The_Original_Bob 6 years, 6 months ago

Snap -

Depends on which carbon credit company dupes you into buying one. An unregulated and dishonest industry usually is the result of no consistent standards.

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Flap Doodle 6 years, 6 months ago

How many BTUs in a carbon credit?

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The_Original_Bob 6 years, 6 months ago

Nope. The money we blew on AC will be shifted towards heating. Going to enjoy the next couple of months of open windows.

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trinity 6 years, 6 months ago

yeah. maybe i can breathe a sigh of relief when i finish paying off LAST year's heating(gas)bill!

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 6 years, 6 months ago

snap, The 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver?

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Flap Doodle 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm more worried about the snake-headed reptoids.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 6 years, 6 months ago

How many Btu's does a hymnal produce when burned? (The library has those alarm thing-a-ma-jiggys)

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ohjayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

We started paying the budget amount a few months back. I'd rather pay a bit more through the summer months than have to pay $250-$300/month during the winter.

Wow, sgt, you were up late/early today!

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sgtwolverine 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm not going to heat costs this winter! That would be a waste. Costs can heat themselves.

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