~ Cold? Put a Sweater On! ~
This morning I got a chill that took a hold of me, and the title of this post popped into my mind. After checking the thermostat in the hall and our indoor thermometer to ensure the house was at a normal temperature, I headed for the closet, grabbed a cardigan and slid my feet into slippers. Then I put the kettle on for a cup of warming tea.
Moments later my husband came upstairs from our lower level living room and his office area (good heavens… I am making our 1000sf house sound bigger than it is!). He immediately noticed my fluffy sweater and said, “Oh, are you chilled? We can turn the heat up.” Bless his loving heart! I laughed and hugged him, saying, “That’s alright sweetheart, because I was just thinking of doing a post about how if we’re cold ‘put a sweater on’ and that’s what I’m doing. However, are you cold?” And it turned out that no, actually, he wasn’t.
That my family can afford our utility bills is a fact I am deeply thankful for. Sure we could leave unused lights on, or turn the furnace up and walk around inside with bare feet while there’s a foot of snow on the ground outside, but that would be terribly wasteful, if not downright stupid. It isn’t only about costs we pay directly, but about the costs we all pay indirectly.
By conserving energy in our homes, we are helping reduce the impact of over-burdened municipal facilities. I avoid using large appliances during peak times of early evening, because that’s when the majority of the population has to do these chores. Even waiting until 8pm helps, although I am lucky enough to be able to do laundry and dishes during the day, so I can easily avoid the 5-7pm peak usage times. By needlessly burdening city facilities during peak times of water and electricity usage, we are contributing to strains on services that can lead to price hikes.
There are other ways to avoid turning the heat up. If there’s a draft around a particular window, address it with the heavy-duty plastic kits available for a few dollars at the hardware store. If there’s a gap under the front door that is letting in the cold, gap-stops help, and even a rolled up towel placed at the bottom of the door can help stop drafts in a pinch. When we can afford it, replacing drafty windows and doors, and adding extra insulation, are investments that pay for themselves in bill savings for the average homeowner.
On days like this when the snow keeps falling and it can feel chilly even looking out the window, I love the excuse to make a cozy stew, chili, or homemade soup. It’s also an excellent time to do some baking, letting the oven help contribute some warmth to the cause.
At the very least, on a cold day make sure your feet are warm with cozy socks or slippers, drink a hot beverage, and remember to pull on a sweater.