Sunday, December 6, 2009
The Winter Thus Far
Last winter's electric bill for heating my modest home, coupled with the increased attention to global warming has made me look long and hard at our habits in winter. Why, for instance, do people want to warm their entire house to hotter than then cool it off to in the summer? And central heat is so wasteful. I remember when my father installed central heat in our house on Bellamah Avenue. There were no longer those radiators we could stand in front of to get dressed on chilly mornings. And there was this constant breeze blowing through vents.
My current abode has baseboard electric heat controlled room by room. So rooms I am not in do not have to be heated. And instead of cranking up the heat to reach 72 plus (I have a neighbor that has to have her house winters at 76) I put on a hoodie and throw an afghan over my lap. I find anything above 67 stiffling of my energy. The studio with all its windows facing the south and east frequently warms up above that. And I will turn on the ceiling fan in the livingroom to suck some of the heat into that part of the house.
Winter days when the sun doesn't come out are probably my biggest challenge. That is often when I will alter my activities to stay where it is warmest. It is why the pioneers used to mend harnesses in the room with the potbellied stove in the winter. Or everyone would drop in at the old country store to chat and warm up around the old stove there. We didn't heat what we weren't using. That neighbor who likes her house 76 heats every single inch of it.
I figure I have two months of real "winter" to make it through. And like this week I will from time to time use a little space heater for just that space I am in. Or dry my clothes in the drier as opposed to hang them out on the line to "freeze" dry. And there is the underhouse heat to keep pipes from freezing. And the one baseboard heater in the unused rental unit turned to 50 for the same reason. I threw another quilt on the bed. Am getting really good use out of my hoodies and discovering the pluses to having Magique curl up on my feet under the computer desk.
And yesterday moved the French press coffee maker to the flat top of the wood stove to keep the fresh brewed coffee warm and eliminate the microwave in my morning rituals. Life is good. And no guilt about my carbon footprint.