Home > Change in Weather - Less Energy Usage

Change in Weather - Less Energy Usage

September 28th, 2013 at 03:56 pm

We had a kind of mild August, but September has been *hot*. We ran the AC most of the month. UGH!

That said the weather has made a sudden turn. So, I turned up the hot water heater to our fall/spring levels. We need to get blankets on the beds this weekend.

Money Mustache had a spectacular guest post late last winter (or early spring) about ideas to deal with the cold. So, I am expecting to use that knowledge to improve on our energy costs this winter. I've gotten some comment how these ideas seem very "deprived", but to me is the polar opposite. There are some simple things you can do to keep more comfortable and warmer, without wasting energy and heating the air in the *entire house.* I am mostly expecting these heating methods to be MORE effective, so I expect to be more comfortable while using less energy.

I'll link the article at the end of this post. What I liked most is that this article finally put into words why I experience cold so much differently than everyone else in my family. The boys have more lean muscles mass and are natural furnaces. I'm always bundled up in several more layers than dh and the kids. Now I know that is mostly because I am female.

In addition, women lose more heat through their extremities. I had never heard this before, but was a huge lightbulb moment for me. When I get cold I really feel it in my hands. (Because of course I know to keep my feet warm!) When this happens, I often crank up the heat far higher than we usually have it set, and it never really seems to help. It feels kind of "duh" now. But I never realized I was feeling it in my hands so much because that is where I was losing all my heat. Of course in those moments I have tried to bundle up my hands, but it's kind of already at the point of no return when my hands turn into little ice cubes. The light bulb moment was this was probably our biggest energy waste - the fact that I had no idea I was losing all my heat through my hands - and no one else in my house was experience this (all males).

I've tried a few different glove options to keep warm and settled on a Target purchase last night. Lightweight fingerless gloves. They are really cute and fashionable. Unlike the other ones I bought last year, these are very lightweight, with a light fleece lining. These will be good for laying around the house (reading/watching TV/computer) kind of activities. If I am up and about I don't tend to get as cold. I obviously will not wear them while cooking and eating and so on, but I expect that to be fine. Trying for a more "keep them warm before they can get cold" strategy. I think I will be more comfortable at much lower temps in the house - temps the boys prefer. I am crossing my fingers that these gloves are warm enough.

Another tip was to wear a hat inside, as to not lose heat through head.

I also read elsewhere about the magic of hot water bottles. I put one on my wish list for Christmas. I think that will be most useful for warming up my side of the bed, before bedtime. I am mostly in the same league as the boys at night, and even prefer to sleep in the cold. Maybe I get the benefit of dh's body heat and so on (though I often go to bed several hours before he does). I have always just stuck out the cold when I went to bed, as I could warm up given some time. BUT, last year I took to flipping on the heat more to warm up the bedroom before bed. I don't know if it was because I am getting older or what - or if I just tried it once and I got spoiled. BUT, I think a targeted warm up of my side of the bed (with a little hot water) would be better and more efficient. (No one else in the house wants a warmer bed).

If the hot water bottle works well, I may take to keeping it with me when I am just sitting around, too.

I am curious to see how much we can improve on our energy usage this year, with these ideas.

Here is the article:

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10 Responses to “Change in Weather - Less Energy Usage”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    It is very common for me to put on a hat, even a scarf in the winter inside. Makes a huge difference. It is my husband who actually gets the most cold. He's just more apt to turn up the I do try to model these things, but he doesn't seem to catch on! Wink

  2. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    The gloves you found at Target - was that online or in the store? I'm always looking for warm fingerless gloves, because my hands are always cold too!

  3. MonkeyMama Says:

    In store - and I can't find them online - I wanted to show a picture of them. Frown They were in the "workout gear" section though.

  4. PatientSaver Says:

    I am really hoping/confident my new furnace humidifier will allow me to tour the heat down this winter, but i like the idea of fingerless gloves and a lightweight hat indoors.

    My usual settings are 65 when I'm home weekends and on workday ams and evenings, and then down to about 58 or 59 overnight.

    I have a quality comforter with flannel duvet and flannel sheets and it's just luscious and wonderful to sleep in. Very cozy.

  5. MonkeyMama Says:

    I guess technically they were "arm warmers." Which are more comfortable than gloves with individual finger holes.

    FT I posted on your blog earlier because I could not comment here. (I guess is working now - yes - they are online at Target).

  6. LuckyRobin Says:

    When my hands get to what seems like the point of no return, I will fill the bathroom sink up with warm water and put them in it for a couple of minutes. It always seems to work. Then I put on stretchy gloves.

    I have a twin size electric blanket for my side of the bed. I turn it on ten minutes before I get into bed and then turn it off for the night. Ten minutes is enough to get it warm enough for me. Another trick I learned was to put a velour blanket underneath the bottom sheet during the coldest months of the year. Of course you have to have roomy bottom sheets to do this, but I have found it makes a difference.

  7. Kiki Says:

    I use an electric blanket to warm up my bed while getting ready for bed. Then it is turned down to 2 or 3.

    I use an electric lap blanket when sitting watching TV or using the computer because I keep the apartment between 62 and 65 degrees. Plenty warm when using the lap blanket.

    Well done on the gloves! We wore gloves in the house growing up, because the fireplace was so poor on producing heat. The wood stove we got when I was 10 changed the heat in the house considerably. It was warm for the first time I could remember!

  8. MonkeyMama Says:

    Interesting on the electric blankets. For us, the electricity is just way too expensive (I'd use way more energy with that option). But I think LR and I are a bit on the same page. When I ran the gas heat I'd probably just run it about 10 minutes to get the chill out of the air and to get warm and comfy. IT doesn't take much. After that, body heat takes over.

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