What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

13 January 2017

Heat It Up

Y'all. It's cold outside.

That being the case, I'm using up a lot of electricity. And I'm betting you are, too, even you lucky folks in Austin, who I've heard have also been a mite chilly lately.

Once upon a time in the depths of environmental bloggers past, Crunchy Chicken used to run a Freeze Yer Buns Challenge. (She may still, from another platform where I don't follow her.) I'm a person who is cold all summer long because air conditioning, so being cold all winter long just makes me sad. Alas, that's how winter works.

So! If you want to be green and save some green at the same time, it helps if you can put your thermostat as low as you can stand it. Age-old strategies like wearing sweaters in the house and curling up under blankets still work just fine. And wrapping your fingers around a mug of hot tea, cocoa, or coffee always helps. (Decaf only after 9 AM for me. I know, so boring!)

You're gonna need a bunch of these.
Image source: Dr. Manhatthan on freeimages.com.
A couple other strategies I use that are more "move the energy around" than strictly "saving energy": I turn the thermostat down for the house and carry a space heater from place to place with me. If you're doing this, please don't dig your 20-year-old one out of the attic. For safety's sake, get a newer one with all the up-to-date safety features. Thanks to considerable advances, this is one appliance where older is not better.

I also had a brainwave before Christmas and asked for an electric blanket, thus making my Grandma's shopping easier and my own nights more pleasant. This does make it harder to get out of bed in the morning, but that's better than shivering all night, methinks. And when my electric bill comes, heating up just me does turn out to be cheaper than heating up all of my square feet.

What do you do to keep your electricity (or gas) use under control during the winter?


Jenni at talking hairdryer said...

We burn the wood stove all winter. I think we've turned our heater on twice this year. We all have electric blankets, we have a space heater for our bathroom, and a pellet stove for the sunroom. We have blinds on our windows that help keep the heat in when absolutely necessary, and a crate full of blankets in just about every living space. I also have an electric foot warmer that makes it to bed with me, or the living room, or wherever.

I HATE buying propane, it's SO expensive. We spend the spring through fall cutting, splitting, hauling, and stacking firewood to get us through the winter. Some say firewood warms you up several times when you work to gather it and then again when you burn it.

Heat tape is what sucks our electricity. We have it installed on the roof to help keep ice dams from forming as the snow partially melts and then refreezes at night. We only run them during the day to get the best use out of them, and only until the dams are past the point of forming.

And socks and house shoes are a must. If your feet are warm, it's easy to tell yourself the rest of you is too:)

Su Wilcox said...

Heat tape is amazing, isn't it? I hate that it's an energy suck, but it's so brilliantly clever.

Jenni at talking hairdryer said...

Yes! And it helps save the roof! I'd rather buy electricity than propane. We still save enough money over the winter that I can justify running the air conditioner a couple of months in the summer.

Unknown said...

A newer space heater will likely be more energy efficient as well as safer.

Unknown said...

The preceding comment provided by Gary Greene

Laura K said...

In Michigan I lived in hoodies and flannel pants. I wore slipper boots that covered feet and ankles. A queen sized blanket on the couch. A heated matress pad for the bed. Kept the thermostat at 60° except for 1 hour in the morning (shower time was 72°) and 4 hrs in the evening 67°. My gas bill was still $200 in the winter ($17 in summer). Winter is expensive.

Su Wilcox said...

@Uncle Gary: That's both very true and also hilarious that you're like your own game show announcer.

@Laura: It's depressing just to think about it too much. Except I have thought about getting a heated matress pad, too, although so far the blanket is doing okay on its own. Fingers crossed.