Monday, November 10, 2008

Chilling our buns

The Hubs and I are having a little contest, with ourselves. We're attempting to see how long we can go before we turn on the furnace. So far, so good. Sunday was chilly and windy so we kept the fireplace blazing all day long. I think we burned an entire tree yesterday! Don't worry, it was a dead tree that was already on our property. It had to come down, didn't cost us anything aside from the labor and the gas for the chainsaw and we didn't take down a live tree. The house stayed at a very comfortable 65 degrees all day, and even felt overly warm at times. Sure, it gets a tad bit chilly at night and mornings aren't exactly pleasant when you have to climb out of a warm cocoon of covers into the chilly air, but the temperature isn't unlivable.

Why are we freezing our buns off? Well, because. We heat our house with propane. This year it cost nearly double to fill our propane tank and when we run the furnace, we are burning not only propane, but running up the electric bill. When you total the two together, we could easily spend $300 a month to keep the house warm. It just hasn't really been cold enough to justify that cost. We all have sweaters and I have more blankets than we could possibly ever use at once.

I personally believe most Americans keep their homes way too warm in the winter and way too cool in the summer. I like the temperature to be around 62 in the winter and 78 in the summer. I'm comfortable at those temps. I've walked into people's homes in the winter and immediately started SWEATING. Eighty-degrees in the winter in your home is TOO HOT. Imagine all the resources being used up just so you can wear shorts and a t-shirt in the middle of January. Did you know in many other countries, homes don't even have central air? Space heaters are the way to go...there isn't much sense heating the whole house when you and your family are in one room, right? When you change rooms, you move the heater. That makes sense! We may end up investing in a couple of space heaters, so even when we DO turn the furnace on, we can keep it low, low, low to keep the propane use down and the space heaters can take a majority of the chill off.

So, we're going to see how long we can go without flipping on the furnace. I'm aiming for the end of November, but we'll see how things stack up.

10 comments:

Krista said...

Wow, that is crazy expensive! This is about the only time I'm thankful for the teeny tiny apartment we live in. Our heating bill (forced air) goes down in the winter since it's easier than running the AC all the time.

A. di :) said...

i'm with you. Keep that thermostat set at 62. My furnace is on already, we had snow yesterday!

Jane said...

We've done the space heaters in the bedroom thing for YEARS. It's awesome.

I have turned on my furnace, but I've kept it set at 59* so it's not like it comes on all that often.

If you get space heaters, get the ones that resemble radiators. They don't have a blower on them, but are great at heating medium-sized spaces and they have thermostats on them. LOVE THEM.

I made it through the summer w/the thermostat set at 77* and the highest electric bill I had was $75 - not bad for a 100 year old house!

We'll see how I fare this winter.

Sona said...

We had to turn ours on here as it's near freezing at night.

I can tell you the programmable thermostats are great ideas.

And I hear you about keeping it too high - my dad keeps his house so warm I can't stand it.

Kathy said...

We are aiming to do most of our heating with our wood stove in the living area. We close the bedrooms and bathroom doors and don't heat them. Our wood stove has a blower and is quite effective. It has been chilly so we're heating already. We have lots of wood cut and it's Tristan's job to keep the wood box in the house filled up. I also think some places are too hot in the winter and much too cold in summer. Restaurants are the worst.

kristi said...

I agree...our house is usually cool both in the summer and winter.

amy said...

Soooo....I'm thinking you should turn on the heat now...unfreeze your fingers and your computer so you can post again...

I know, I'm one to complain about bloggers not blogging enough, but you are WAY more interesting than I am.

A. di :) said...

kathy...u don't heat your bathroom!?!?! Isn't it freezing when you get out of the tub?!?!?

amy said...

JENN!
Back when you started your horsey blog you said you wouldn't neglect this blog in favor of the horsey one (I'm too lazy to go find the post and quote you).
FIBBER!! There are TWO recent Slobber posts, and no recent Bucolic ones!
It gets dark out early, you can't claim to be too busy with outside work, especially since I know you don't have the lights to stay out working at night.
So there.
No excuses.
:)

Jeff said...

I'm a little slow commenting here but I've been away...

We always refer to the time we can go without air or heat as "free time". We go as long as possible too.

This year I even replaced some of the weather stripping in areas where I felt cold spots. Either that or I have ghosts...