17 January 2012

My House is So Cold...

Back when I lived in New Zealand I sometimes wrote and whined about the cold. I couldn't wait to get back to the States and live in homes with central heating that I could set to 72 degrees. And I did. Except now that I have to pay the gas bill to heat an entire house, I am much more frugal with my heat.

I have the thermostat set to 60 degrees during the day. I only keep it this low because I don't want to forget to turn it down on days that I'm not in the house. On days that I am at home, I usually will turn the heat up to 65, maybe 67 if I feel like it. I pretty much always wear a fleece jacket when I am at home. It basically doesn't matter how cute my top is because I never even get to see it. I also usually wear some kind of warm socks or slippers. Some days I forget to turn the heat up in the morning, so I'll be upstairs working away and wondering why I'm so cold. Then I remember and run downstairs to turn the heat up a few degrees.

At the beginning of each month I check dutifully for the heating bill to show up online. I get very antsy about it. Our bill shows us how we compare in our utility bills relative to other homes with our same square-footage. As much as I like to keep my bill low (because I like money), I am even more thrilled to see how my usage compares to previous months, and whether I earned a 5 star rating for energy efficiency. I probably deserve a Saving the Planet badge. Somebody should get on that.


Melanie said...

Oh man, being warm enough in my own home is something I feel very strongly about. But then again, I've never had to pay to heat an entire house. One of the main draws about the condo I live in now is that utilities are included in the price of rent (or at least they are for us as renters, I think the HOA fees vary depending on usage). My dad always kept our house at 65. I remember taking lots and lots of baths as a teenager.

John said...

I would suggest you invest in a programmable thermostat. They are simple to install and they aren't very expensive. You can set up a schedule and the temps will automatically adjust. And if it's a little cold, you can just overide it. We worked this past year to reduce our energy bill and the T-stats are a good place to start.