Monday, November 18, 2013

Staying Warm in a Cooler House

The Climate Crusader updates us on her quest to reduce her energy consumption.

Back in early September I made some suggestions for going green this autumn. One of them was turning down the temperature on the thermostat, so that your furnace isn't running as much.

I've done this myself this year. It isn't the first time - my thermostat has gone up and down a few times. With small children at home, my life has been a little bit unsettled. With my youngest now five years old and in kindergarten, though, I was forced to admit that this was no longer a valid excuse. It was time to take aim at my family's energy consumption.

It just so happens that I had some work done on my house in the summer, which helped me in my quest. We have a small sunroom in our kitchen. Previously, it was a big energy suck, becoming unbearably hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter. We had it renovated so that it's now properly insulated with low-emissivity windows. This has definitely helped our house to maintain a more liveable temperature.

Let's be honest, though - renovating is a big step, which isn't necessarily practical for everyone. It's also not enough, all on its own. There are a number of other, smaller, steps I've taken to help make my home more liveable at cooler temperatures. Here's what's helped me adjust to a lower thermostat.

What's Kept me Warm in Cooler Temperatures

  1. Wearing a sweater. Kind of obvious, I know, but having a number of sweaters on hand and ready to wear has definitely helped.
  2. Basket of blankets. When I'm up and walking around, I don't really feel the cold. When I'm sitting still, however, it's a different story. Keeping a basket of blankets beside the couch for when I'm watching TV, and having a blanket to wrap around me in my computer chair, have both made a big difference.
  3. Wearing slippers. When the house is cold, the floors are cold, and by extension my feet are cold. Wearing slippers avoids that and keeps me much warmer.
  4. Drinking hot tea. I am what you would call a tea hoarder. I can't pass a tea shop without buying tea. However, until recently I didn't drink much of it. Now I have a hot cup of tea every morning, which is not only a lovely way to start the day, it also helps warm me up.
What about you - how do you stay cozy when your house turns cooler?

5 comments:

Mindful Echo said...

Great tips! I'm a huge supporter of having blankets readily available. We've got them draped over the couch and arm chair so everyone can stay cozy and we can keep the thermostat down a bit longer.

Sarah said...

All tips I agree with 100% and use! We still haven't turned on the heat in our apartment here in Utah - our goal is to make it till December (and hopefully even longer), and then still keep it low to keep the energy bill down. Window covers also make a big difference - just as simple as closing your blinds or drawing curtains to keep the cold out a bit more. Cooking in the oven or using a crockpot can heat up the place a bit, and then you have homemade food. I also have a puppy that I pull into my lap for a quick snuggle session when I need to get warmed up - she is like a freakin space heater!!

mamabyrd said...

Growing up, my dad always said "if you're cold, do the dishes." I think of him and smile when my hands are freezing and I head on over to the sink to wash dishes. It really helps. But when the dishes are done I completely agree with a cup of hot tea--or hot chocolate.

Mitty said...

I have done some caulking of windows, which has made a noticeable difference in our main rooms.

Sandra Harriette said...

I have also found it quite helpful to keep ankles, wrists, and the neck area warm. You'd be surprised how much heat gets lost from these areas. I cut off the toes of old socks to make hand warmers. Old sweater sleeves also make good and quick DIY leg warmers. You would never tell the difference.

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