The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Simple tasks help lower bills

An easy way to chill soda might be to put it in the refrigerator, but junior Cathy Gardapee has found another way–leaving it out in a cold house.

“A good range … is between 68 and 72 degrees.”
Brian Elwood
of Xcel Energy on good thermostat settings

“I’ve got soda on my floor and it stays cold,” she said.

Cold weather and drafts through windows and cracks in her Chippewa Street house make staying warm a challenge during winter.

Story continues below advertisement

Most students in off-campus housing face similar heating problems in winter. Xcel Energy spokesman Brian Elwood, a former UW-Eau Claire student, has some advice for students to keep warm and decrease their heating bills.

The best way to lower heating costs is to turn the thermostat down during times when you are sleeping or out of the house, Elwood said.

“For every degree you lower your thermostat in the 60 to 70 degree range,” he said, “you can save up to 5 percent on your heating cost.”

Students should keep their thermostat between 68 and 72 degrees, Elwood said. Most people are comfortable in this range, and if students get chilly, he recommends they put on an extra sweatshirt before turning up the thermostat.

Finding the source of drafts and sealing spaces where cold air comes in also helps keep houses warmer while decreasing heating costs.

The sources of many drafts are windows and doors, Elwood said. To remedy these cold air leaks, he recommended students use silicone caulk to seal up windowsills, or contact their landlord to get repairs done to the house.

Windows also can provide an opportunity for heating a house. Covering a window with plastic or even drapery can reduce 5 to 10 percent of a heating bill. Yet, a window with a southern exposure actually can add heat to a house if left uncovered during the daytime hours when the sun is shining, Elwood said.

Other easy fixes include removing air conditioning units from windows, placing a towel at the bottom of doors that lead outdoors and being aware of the location of heating registers in your house, Elwood said.

While the cold weather continues, Gardapee will try to make the best of it.

“As long as it’s below freezing,” Gardapee said. “I’ll always have cold soda.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Spectator intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. The Spectator does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Simple tasks help lower bills