SEATTLE -- With temperatures dropping into the low 40's and 30 degrees, many people are cranking up the heat in their homes. But some households are going the opposite direction as part of a nationwide "freeze challenge."
A Seattle, environmental blogger, Deanna Duke, helped jump start this online challenge four years ago on her blog www.thecrunchychicken.com.
Duke challenges her readers and the public to turn down their thermostat.
"It's interesting, for years we've gotten use to it being 72 degrees no matter where you go in your home, at work, and the idea that someone is going to go out of their way and lower their thermostat and maybe be a little more cold when you think about it it's kinda ridiculous," said Duke.
Duke sets her thermostat to 62 degrees in the day and 55 degrees at night during the "freeze challenge" period from November 1, 2010 to April 1, 2011.
The mother of two says just that simple move saves about $800 in heating bills.
Hundreds of people in the U.S. and Canada join her challenge each year to save money and reduce energy.
They share tips, like installing insulating window blinds, Weather-stripping doors to keep the heat in and air out.
Also, Duke keeps her fire-place doors and flue closed.
"We have the glass doors which helps keep the heat in as well. I think a lot of people tend to have a misconception running a fire place does not heat up the room what it does is draw the heat from the room out and up the chimney," said Duke.
Deanna says you can adapt to a cooler thermostat setting by wearing more clothes around the house and slippers, plus use blankets and a small space heater. And she uses hand warmers and heat warmers that are not electric. They look like small pillows, cloth sewn together and filled with rice or cherry pits.
"If you are cold at night just microwave these things for like 2 minutes and put them in your bed. It keeps you warm for hours. If you don't want to spend the energy in sewing something ,just get an old tube sock and fill it with rice and tie a knot on the top of it and stick in the microwave," said Duke.
Duke says people can try lowering their thermostats one degree at a time and see how it feels.