An Update on the Cost of Heating My Apartment

Is it more expensive to heat one room at a time, or to heat the entire apartment?

I took this photo this morning without remembering that I had taken a near-identical photo the last time I shared my electric bill.

So. Remember how my landlord started making me pay for my own heat this year, and how, after two months of only heating one of my apartment rooms at a time, I asked myself if it might be more efficient to heat the entire apartment?

Is It Actually More Efficient to Heat the Entire Apartment?

But then I did a bunch of laundry, and I had all of these sweaters that needed to dry flat, so I spread them out among the flat surfaces of my apartment, set the heat at 65 degrees in both my bedroom and my living room, and opened all of the doors.

It was like being in an entirely different apartment.

First of all, it was significantly warmer. That should theoretically come as no surprise; two heaters equals twice as warm, right?

Except the heaters aren’t running as often, and I’ve even turned the thermostats down a few degrees.

I just got the scientific results of that experiment.

As I reported in November: for service between September 15 and November 15, during which I only ran one apartment heater at a time—and told myself I would keep it at 65 degrees and occasionally set it all the way up to 70 because it was just that cold—I had an electric bill of $27.33.

In Which I Get My First “I Have to Pay For My Own Heat Now” Electric Bill

For service between November 15 and January 18, during which I set both of my apartment heaters to 65 degrees—and rarely needed to set them higher even though the outdoor temperature was significantly colder—my electric bill was $25.57.

To be fair, I was out of my apartment for eight days over the winter holidays, during which I kept the heaters turned down. (There are nine weeks between November 15 and January 18, so you could assume that I was only paying to heat my apartment for eight out of the nine weeks—and if I had been in my apartment all nine weeks, my electric bill might have been closer to $28.77.)

Lately, I’ve started setting the room I’m in to 65 degrees and the room I’m not in to 60 degrees, which seems to be a compromise between “full heat all the time” and “no heat half the time.” I’ve stayed comfortably warm, which I’m guessing has something to do with the other room in my apartment not being uncomfortably cold.

We’ll see what the next bill brings.

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