Saturday, November 15, 2008

Warm hearts

The heating challenge continues and we are doing fine.

In the past we expected to guess at the temperature that would be comfortable and just put the heating on on automatic. Now the temperature gauge says it is 65 and with a sweater, baselayer and woolly socks we are doing fine. The children have less difficulty staying warm as their metabolisms are working at a higher rate. We have found that a daily walk with the dog or bike ride for the children, rugby games etc makes a huge difference to how cold one feels. The only time I personally feel the cold is on days when I feel unwell, rest and immobile.

We are adapting to less heat and with the savings we made we have given the children some money to do with as they wish. It is their share of savings made over the last month. The looks on their faces was great to see and warmed our hearts.

It is possible to stay warm with less. It is possible because we have some control over our environment here, we live and work in the same place. The shop is not heated and we have now repaired the shop doors so that they can be closed with ease and are more draughtproof. The benefit is that the heat generated by the appliances heats the shop instead of evaporating into the village street. There are working environments where the temperature has to be higher such as oncology units and coming home to a colder place would be more noticeable.

Living in one room is getting easier too. As usual the dog and cats find their way in the seats nearest to the fire. They provide an accurate temperature gauge too ; the cats are quite happy outside in the porch. When it is due to rain they stay in the porch, when the weather is set for very cold they insist on a mesmerising place in the chair near the fireplace.

Nevertheless the savings are worth considering not just personally but also environmentally.
It still stuns me that the little changes we make can make such a big difference. Life without central heating is possible and living with less is such a freeing concept.


lizzie said...

Its great that the kids get some money back for the heating plan - so often we take heat and light for granted and dont think about the cost. I find fleece dressing gowns and slippers are great for early morings etc. I invested in some LLBean cosy wear and it has paid for itself. Maybe you could look into more insulation for the windows - thermal drapes etc.There is nothing quite like radiant heat from a stove also.

Christy said...

We put in an insert wood stove in the granite fireplace. We have not had the heating on so far this winter. It heats the room we're in up to about 75 to 80f and the other rooms 70 down to 65. So we're quite pleased. We have it burning most of the day, and through the night, sometimes going out.