Ask the Readers: Will This Winter Be More Expensive? (Chance to Win!)

by Linsey Knerl on 4 October 2010 44 comments

It's getting cold in many parts of the country. Tomatoes have fallen off, vines have frozen, and the grass no longer needs mowing. Many people are looking ahead to gas bills, fireplaces, and the rising cost of certain types of energy. But will this year be more expensive than last?

What are you hearing in the "markets?" Do you worry that you won't be able to afford the cost of keeping warm? Is there a chance that you won't be able to pay for what it takes to keep your home comfortable? Or are you positive — knowing that you'll get through it no matter what?

We want to know. Let us know if you think it will cost more to heat your home or office. If you share your prediction (along with any facts for thinking so), you'll be entered to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win one of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards!

We're doing three giveaways — one for random comments, one for random Facebook "Likes", and another one for random tweets.

How to Enter:

  • Post your answer in the comments below,
  • Go to our Facebook page, "Like" us, then "Like" the update mentioning this giveaway (you can comment, as well — but you don't have to for entry.)
  • Tweet your answer. Include both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" in your tweet so we'll see it and count it.

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, October 11th at 11:59 pm CST. Winners will be announced after October 11th on the original post and via Twitter. Winners will also be contacted via email and Twitter Direct Message.
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
  • Only tweets that contain both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" will be entered. (Otherwise, we won't see it.)
  • Only those who have "Liked" both our Facebook page and the contest update will be entered.

Good Luck!

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Guest's picture
beck middleton

We have just bought our first home(a renovation project) and have built a fireplace. Hopefully the fire will keep the whole house warm, and we will try to collect all free wood that we can to save money! I'll certainly be spending less than last year as I used an electric heater which was very expensive to run.

Guest's picture

I've heard the price of natural gas has dropped considerably. Which is great!

It was a hot summer here in Atlanta, but already cooler than normal.

Who knows?

I say break out the thermal underwear adn keep the thermostat low

Guest's picture
Patricia

Well, of course! The summer proved to be more expensive with the rising cost of everything! So I'm saying the winter will be no different! I just can't make ends meet!!

Guest's picture
gt0163c

I'm not worried, especially about keeping warm this winter. I live in North Texas and, despite the "North" in the name of the region, it doesn't really get that cold here. I'll turn the heat on at some point, but probably not before Thanksgiving. And it will, most likely be off before Ground Hog Day. The bigger issue, for me at least, is keeping cool in the summer.
Even if I did have a gas bill as big as my summer electricity bill, I'd still make it through. Living well below my means and having a big emergency fund means that I'm not worried about the winter (or even the summer or spring or fall) months.

Guest's picture
Tim

My local Propane supplier tells me it's gonna be a cold winter and to expect propane prices to rise steadily over the coming months. Of course they are selling me (but I had already pre bought anyway)...but based on mild winter last year I think we are due for a freezer in VT.

Guest's picture
Debbie

If the fall is any indication, probably colder and colder equals more expensive.

Guest's picture
Raquel

As much as I wish it won't be so; it will! This winter is going to be one of the coldest my family has seen in awhile. It will be so because of the high cost of gas heating (which we could barely afford the last time we had it) and because the house we rent isn't properly insulated, has old windows and there is daylight coming through around the doors and through the mortor spots in the basement. But we will make it through...we have sweaters, longjohns, wooly socks, housecoats and blankets to-boot to help keep us warm in the house (bet we don't have to layer so much once we step outside though).

Guest's picture
Rhonda

I hope this winter is better than last winter. We spent as much to stay warm in Tennessee as we usually did in Pennsylvania. I did not envy our friends up North last winter.

Guest's picture
Norman

As the dollar gets weaker because of our ballooning national debt, it will cause commodity prices to increase. So, yes, I believe we will be paying more for fuel this coming winter and for many years to come.

Guest's picture
Terry D

I think it will cost me about the same for heat as last winter. Natural gas prices are stable or maybe a little lower than last year. I use a space heater, programmable thermostat, and electric blanket in addition to the furnace.

Guest's picture
Stace

I'm afraid it will be a more expensive winter. Costs are already heating up as it gets colder in the deep south. We need cheaper fuel sources!

Guest's picture
Eric

Luckily, Seattle is pretty temperate, so it rarely gets super-cold here. So I don't think there'll be a huge price difference for heating.

Guest's picture
Kristy

I have a hard time believing it will even get cold enough to use the heater this winter here in Dallas. Only in the past week has it even gotten "somewhat less than hot" outside.

Guest's picture
echomyst

Yes, it'll be more expensive this winter... not because of rises in fuel costs or anything like that, but we now have a baby! While previously we were content to put on extra sweaters (and even coats) at home, it seems unfair to our baby to have to wear layers of clothes when we could set the temperature a little higher.

Also, farmers' almanac says this will be a colder winter than before. I don't doubt it...

We'll try our best to continue keeping costs low with our fireplace (free firewood from father-in-law's property!), extra sweaters, hot beverages, lots of snuggling, etc.

Guest's picture
cwaltz

I'm expecting the cost to be similar. Last year was an extremely cold winter for the region. However, even if the winter is milder we still received a rate increase for electricity(it's a no win proposition because even when people don't use electricity we end up getting increases to cover the fact that it was mild weather-I kid you not).

Christine
dazed1821@aol.com

Guest's picture
Sweta

Yes it will probably be more expensive this winter but I plan on turning the heat on as less as possible and cover up with blankets.

Guest's picture
victoria

We are expecting a very cold winter here in New Hampshire after a very hot summer! Seems the weather is getting weirder every year...

Guest's picture
Aaron

I think it will be - but not much more than last year. I also think folks are more aware of conservation techniques to save energy etc - so this will help too

Guest's picture
Mariel

Of course it will be, mostly because we do not have enough cash, and very likely we will use credit cards, which generates interest and because of that, the final payment is always higher...

Guest's picture
Tim

I think it'll be a more expensive winter..time to break out the snuggie..

Guest's picture
Emily

I plan to wear warmer clothing and use more blankets, so I'm hoping this winter will be less expensive. Fingers crossed!

Guest's picture
Stacey07

We're hoping to have the same or lower costs - we just installed new doors and windows, and "topped off" our attic insulation to improve our house's heating efficiency. We also filled our heating tanks (500 gallons total) so that we won't have to purchase again when the price goes up in winter.

Guest's picture
Diane

It depends on whether we have a cold winter like we did last year (for the south). Energy costs are up, so it could be bad. Summer has been bad with the extreme heat & increased energy costs. I'm prepared for the worst and hoping for the best!

Guest's picture
Carmen

I'm worried that we're going to have an early and exceptionally cold winter this year. We'll have a newborn in the house this year, so we'll have to keep the thermostat up a bit from our normal temps. Also, with only one of us working, finances could be tight if we end up with a high gas bill all winter long. Again, we're beginning to wish we'd installed a wood-burning fireplace for supplemental heat instead of a gas one.

Guest's picture
Tamie Pichette

This winter my husband and I are going to be trying out hardest to cut back on alot of our expenses. IE: date night might be a skidoo ride instead of dinner and a movie. We will be reusing winter suits for our kids and turning down the heat when we leave the house and at night and shutting of lights when we leave a room :) :) :) :)

Guest's picture
KelR1

No, this winter won't be any more expensive. I'm in MN, and most winters are equally cold and equally expensive. Plus, I'm a naturally warm person and it's so much easier to keep warm than it is to keep cool. Throw on a sweatshirt and snuggle under a blanket!

Guest's picture
Bill

Temperatures will be more erratic, with cold spells and even hotter days. It'll cost more more for most people to heat their homes.

Guest's picture
Lynda

yes because a lot of necessities have gone up in price so it will seem more costly.

Guest's picture
Jessica

We are lucky to live in an apartment where heat is included, so I'm not too worried about staying warm at home. However, my office is FREEZING year-round (too much A/C in the summer and not enough heat in the winter). Everyone on my floor spends the winter wearing their coats and hats. I am a person who is naturally cold anyway, so the worst part of work every day is never getting warm enough. Last year was my first winter on the job and so I was under the delusion that if enough people complained they would turn up the heat. However, this has apparently been going on for several years, so this winter I will be spending more money to keep myself warm. I have invested in thermal underwear and convertible mittens/fingerless gloves, and will probably bring in a space heater and maybe a Snuggie if I'm brave enough. To me, it is worth the investment not to freeze 40 hours a week.

Guest's picture
Gemma

I predict a cold winter and prices of fuels will be on the increase, thereby making it an more expensive heating season. We have an outdoor woodstove, oil furnace and a woodstove in the basement.

Guest's picture
Heather B

I tweeted this giveaway!
@railroadmommy

Guest's picture
Heather B

I have a new baby so my heating bill will definitely be higher. I normally leave the thermostat at 65 but am setting it a few degrees higher so she will be warm. I also heard we are expecting a super cold winter in the PNW. Bundle up!

Guest's picture
Karlie

I don't think it will be by very much, maybe $5 more per month at most.

Guest's picture
Tasha

I think it will be more expensive to heat my home this year, although not because of rising prices.

I live in a basement apartment in Virginia with central air and three above-ground walls. The upside of this is that I don't have to turn on my air conditioner once in the summer, even with multiple 100 degree days. It's always a pleasant 70 degrees.

In the winter, the temperature without heat drops to the 50s. The central air access panel is in front of the front door, which includes multiple windows and is drafty. No matter if I set-it-and-forget it at 70, 65 or 60 or turn it way down at night/when I'm not home and then turn it up to 65 or so, my bill costs $90 to $150 a month. Last year, I bought a space heater that I placed next to my desk, where I spend most of my time after work, in conjunction with central air on at a low level. That cut the bill down quite a bit, but I stopped wanting to shower because the bathroom was so, so cold no matter how many towels I wrapped myself in. The colder I am, the less likely I am to exercise or do anything but watch TV and eat.

This is my last year in this place. I've decided to buy some really warm pajamas that I can slip into once I come home. I'm going to run the space heater in the bathroom while I shower so showering isn't so miserable. I don't have any pipes that can freeze, so I'm only going to run the central air when I have guests or at a low level if it's completely unbearable. My cats have fur coats, so they'll be OK. And if I am too lazy to exercise, I'm going to shovel some snow or go walk around the mall.

Guest's picture
Susan

It is going to be more expensive for us this year. Due to overhead costs, my husband moved his cabinetry shop back to our home. We need to add more insulation to the garage and figure out the best way to heat it. But with the cost of everything rising, it will be more expensive. For the first time, I am considering the LEAP program from the county to help us out.

I just hope the farmer's almanac is correct this year with predicting warmer temps.

Guest's picture
Priya

I just found out from my roommate that we have free heat for our apartment in New York which is positive. I know though that my parents who live in Boston understand that heat costs a lot for their home so they tend to split between having many blankets around the house for the days that it gets cold and keeping the heat on in certain parts of the home occasionally rather than all the time.

Guest's picture
GuestLaura D

It will definitely be more expensive for us, b/c we're moving to a house that doesn't have a wood stove. In our area, it's more economical to heat with wood, so we'll see!

Guest's picture
KeyKey

A La Nina winter is coming. It will be colder for almost everyone! I'm going to be buying a few more warm socks, because that's what makes the difference to my body. I'm also breaking down and buying a Snuggie. They are silly but admittedly, I need it if I want to use my laptop!

Guest's picture
Guest Renie Burghardt

Since I live in the boonies, and supplement my propane heat with a cute little wood burning stove, I keep toasty warm wihout paying high heating bills. Of course, it helps that I also live in the woods, and have plenty of free wood to feed my little stove with.

I enjoyed this post, and love Wise Bread!

Guest's picture
Night Runner

Looks like this winter will be a bit warmer than the last one - this should save us some money on heating bills.

Guest's picture
TT

I think it will be a cold winter with less snow but mostly cold. I think the cost of this winter will be the same as last year.

Guest's picture
Sue

I know it will be less expensive for us because we locked in our propane at a much lower rate than last year. Our propane company sent us a contract that seemed much too high a rate. I checked the projected average winter price for propane in the South and their rate was higher than that. I called around to a bunch of other local dealers and got a quote for forty cents lower than our company. In the end my company matched the lower price (and theirs had gone up by ten cents more while I was doing this!) and avoided the fees for emptying and removing the tank. :>

Guest's picture
Traci P

I think we are in for a more expensive winter. Not because the price to heat my home will increase, but because the winter is going to be colder. I have no proof for this feeling, but I think we are in for a colder experience this season.

Guest's picture

I had a dream to make my own organization, nevertheless I didn't have got enough of cash to do it. Thank heaven my dude told to use the home loans. Thus I used the car loan and made real my dream.