Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Matter of Degrees...

We've had some cold weather this winter, but no more than expected. More than it's been the last few years, if I remember right, though. I've been very much aware of how much each drop in temperature is making this old furnace run and what it's costing me because the price of fuel is up over last year.

I was surprised when my last bill showed such a real response to my heating miserliness. Comparing it to last year's bill and allowing for temperature variances, I was expecting it to be close to $200, but it was only $140.

("Only" irritates me because I lived in a house that cost about $100 to heat in the coldest of winters - below zero temperatures for days at a time. It hasn't been nearly that cold here (below zero only a few times at night only). How I wish for a wood burning stove again!)

Anyway, saving $60 a month makes me happy. Doing all those little things does pay off, so if you've put off checking window and door seals and around foundations, etc., don't put it off any more.

Other things you can do:

Insulate electric receptacles, cover windows during the cold part of the day/night, turn the temperature down at least one degree. Just one degree can make a difference in the cost of heating your home. When you're comfortable with that, turn it down one more notch and save some more.

Wrap up in afghans or blankets when you're not active and keep your feet warm with warm slippers and/or hot water bottles or rice pads heated in the microwave. Even a plastic soft drink bottle, filled with hot water and closed securely, will keep your feet warm.

Wear something on your head. Yes, people might laugh, but you'll be more comfortable than they are because we lose a lot of heat from our heads. Weird creatures, aren't we? :)

Stay warm! But stay frugal.


  1. WEll done Pat! $60. is nothing to be sneezed at.
    We have had wood heat just in the last 5 years since we retired and moved. I know the time will come when we can no longer get our wood, but in the mean time I'm loving it! This year because gas is going up yet agian we will be taking a little trailer with us when we go for our wood. Our old
    '69 scout can only bring home a little more than 1/2 cord at a time. But with our home made trailer ( made legally and licenced) we can bring home between 3/4 to 1 cord more with just a tiny bit more gas being used. We seldom have used it as it is hard work to load and unload that much extra wood, but we have talked it over and are making day trips of our wood getting. We are going to make it a weekly event, or even every other day till we have our wood for the winter in. We hope that we will be finnished by the end of May. I have a lovely picnic basket and will plan our lunches so we can have fun while we work.
    As I write this the snow is gently falling, we brought a tractor bucket full of wood up to the back porch filled with wood this morning. I unloaded it, and we have at least 5 days wood close at hand. The house stays nicely heated, and we've had an outside time, exercise, and no gym payments to boot! Ah, I love this country living.
    Still enjoying all your posts,
    t'other Pat in Kitchener

  2. Hey, t'other Pat, you're making me homesick. :) My daughter and I used to haul wood up (about a day's worth at a time) on a sled tied to the back of a lawn sized tractor. We had a huge wood pile, but it was too far from the house to carry an armload at a time. I miss those times.