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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Baby it's cold...inside

Yesterday's super storm dumped more than a foot of snow here. So today I worked from home (Sundays are usually work days for many real estate agents like me). It's been a while since I've been home when it's really cold out. And I had forgotten how chilly our house gets during the day. We keep the heat on a timer - it goes on at about 6 am, set at 68 degrees so the house is reasonably warm when we get up. Then it goes back to 65 for the day. At 4 pm it kicks back on until about 10:30 or 11. And most evenings in the winter we have a fire going in the family room. The heat generated from the fire fools the thermostat into thinking the furnace doesn't need to be running. We've been able to keep our gas bill fairly low with this strategy. But I'm finding this unexpected time at home during the day a tad uncomfortable. Perhaps if I were moving around a lot, I wouldn't feel as cold. But being on the computer and trying to do some Christmas gift knitting is tough when my hands are numb! A cup of hot tea is a big help. And the rest of me isn't too cold thanks to a fleece top, warm socks and my shearling-lined slippers. Because of my frugal mind set, I would rather put on more clothes and take a few minutes to move around the house - up and down the stairs, for example - than turn the heat up. And after awhile, I think one's body gets used to a cooler environment - at least that what I am telling myself. I've found that, since we stopped heating our bedroom (it's on the attic level of our house with it's own heating zone, which we haven't turned on in a few years), the little bit of warmth that rises from the rest of the house makes for very comfortable winter sleeping. Our room has gotten as cool as 59 degrees in the early morning hours, but with a couple of wool blankets and a down comforter on the bed, we don't need the heat. Not only are we able to keep our heating bills down, but we know we are also making an effort to not have our carbon imprint surge in the winter months. Do you have any special strategies for keeping your heating bills down? Please share.

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