Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lower Your Electric Without A Remodel

Time for the gloves to come off... or rather be put on.

While I would love to save money by installing geothermal and coating my roof with solar panels, the money for the initial investment just isn't there. Meanwhile I live in a house built in the 1920's with original windows and cinder block exterior. Even the price of replacing the windows gives my husband hives and dry heaves. We just don't have the cash even with the all tax incentives out there.

But then this house was built in the 1920's. Peolple have lived whole lives in this house and survived every winter. The question is how? Can we live as they lived? For the answer, I have to turn to other countries who still practice the old ways to keep their bills down.

First of all, wear long johns. If you're scared people will think you are fat, just remember that in the spring you'll get lots of compliments on how much weight you've lost. And if you think your little tots might protest, just turn down the heat first. They will gladly leave them on to stay warm.

Second, heat rooms you live in instead of the whole house. Yes, you'll need to keep the thermometer high enough to keep the pipes from freezing, but just enough. You don't need every room set on 80. A small space heater will heat the T.V. room pretty fast. If you all pile in the master bedroom to watch T.V. before bed, even better. You're warmed up for bed, can get under the covers, and then turn off the heater.

Third, gloves and scarves can actually be warn indoors for a variety of tasks. Why do you think proper ladies of the past wore them so often? Remember the clerk from Scrooge? He too wore the fingerless kind for good reason: scrooge wouldn't heat the building. If you want to spend your money on something fun instead of heating, reach for a pair of gloves. Maybe you don't want to start a load of laundry with gloves on, but you can type, read, and even pick up toys with gloves on. They are cheap, cheap, cheap. Really I'd rather wear out a nice pair of gloves and get to go pick out a nice, new pair of gloves than pay the electric company anyway.

Finally, move your body. Okay, put away the game controller or remote control and pull out the dance pad or Wii Fit Board. A sedentary body feels a lot colder than one with adequate blood flow. Yes, I know you've had a hard day's work, but you're wasting money on a gym membership anyway. Make yourself move at home. This will warm you up and keep you trim under the long johns.

Hope this helps you take a nip at Jack Frost!