Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Heat it Up

Recently, I had a friend visiting from Kansas who did nothing but bitterly complain about the cold here. It's cold here? This is Hawaii compared to friggin' Kansas.

Nonetheless, she was perpetually draped with blankets, layered with sweaters, and surrounded by electric space heaters spewing waves of warmth at her ... yet she continuously took me to task for the house being too cold.

Meanwhile, the furnace was set on 70, which heated my Yankee blood to the boiling point. I was seeing dollar signs dancing in my head (I could just see that gas meter pinwheeling along) while I was wearing T-shirts and feeling like I was living in a sauna.

The chilly house guest has gone back home, and I am left with an unspeakable heating bill, which means now I have to scrimp more than ever this month. However, I have tried to mitigate the problem in this drafty old uninsulated barn of a house without spending wads of cash.

The furnace is back on a sensible 60, and I've put up an inexpensive shower curtain between the front of the house, which is very cold, and the back of the house, which at least retains a bit of heat.

So here I sit, in the somewhat heated part of the house, wondering what the next gas bill will bring. On the bright side, I am secure in the fact that if the fridge dies - no sweat. The kitchen is in the back of the house, and easily as cold as a meat locker.

Click here to see Elleda's photography at the Astoria Photografpix web site


Sweeti said...

I'm so glad we have wood heat to supplement our electric $$$$ forced air furnace. It really sucks that you had to contend with keeping a guest content and high gas bills too. I might have told her she only allowed to visit in the summer from now on or pitch in on the next gas bill.

Elleda said...

Hi Sweeti,

She's an old (and elderly, but only in body, not mind) friend, and we do it in the winter because neither one of us (nor my boyfriend) has family around for Christmas - so she comes up here and spends the holidays with us.

I can't even imagine how awful her heat bills at home must be! She probably could grow orchids in her living room.

richpix said...

You may know this already, but you can get a free Home Energy Review I know many improvements would probably be costly, but there are also quite a few steps you could take to get those bills down without spending an arm and a leg.

Elleda said...

Hi Richpix,

Thanks for the tip! I did know that, and had totally forgotten, so I really appreciate the reminder. I'll check it out!