Heating costs: How low can you go?
November 5, 2010
I have a reputation in my social circle for being unnaturally cold (freezing really). I not only feel cold, but I am really cold (my nails even turn blue). I carry a sweater around with me everywhere, no matter what time of year it is. In the summer my family calls me Linus! Whenever I visit they joke about turning the thermostat up for me. They drape the bed with extra blankets and I always need them.
So it may come as a real shock to know that I am too cheap to turn the heat on in my own home. It’s not that we live in a warmer place either. We’ve brought the plants in to protect them from frost and we wear our winter coats to take out the trash. It’s officially cold…outside.
How can this be managed? Well, first let me admit that I am blessed with my equal in pinching a penny until it bleeds. We challenge each other to a friendly match of temperature limbo every winter. How low can you go? I am always the first one to break, but I’m getting better at this game. There is an exception, several actually. We keep the minimum at 50°F to protect our home from damage. We also heat our home for guests, because we want them to come back and we don’t expect other people to find our eco-antics amusing.
So how do I stay warm?
- I drink hot tea
- I microwave a heating pad
- I take a hot shower
- I blow dry my hair
- I cook (a lot)
- I do the dishes (in hot water)
- I do housework
- I move around
- I dry a load of clothes
- I wear layers
- I have many blankets
- I light a lot of candles
- My cat lays in my lap
- My computer lays in my lap
- I wear a hat, scarf, and warm slippers
- I have a heated mattress pad
- I have a hot water bottle
- I have a space heater in the bathroom
- I close off rooms we don’t use
- I wash my hands with warm water
- I let the sunshine in
- I run errands
- I cuddle
Some of these things keep me warm but many of them actually heat up the house too. My body heat alone raises it a notch. I don’t expect anyone to join us in our game, although it would be great for the environment and your budget if you did. Instead I would just like to encourage you to lower your heating costs by trying some of the things listed above to keep yourself and your house toasty this year.
How low can you go? I’m already breaking my last year’s threshold of 62! Have any more tips to keep me in the game?