posted Tue, 21 Nov 2006
The great heating experiment of ‘Ought Six has begun. SH decided that he had to come in from the cold, so yesterday, we went to Target and got three space heaters. Now there is a space heater in almost every room of my house so I don’t have to unplug the one that used to be an only space heater and carry it with me when I change rooms. Not that I had a problem with that, but SH thought it was an inefficient process.
Why would I carry a space heater behind me, you ask? Because heat is one of the few controllable expenses in my life right now. It’s one of the few expenses, along with food, that is variable, which is why I eat beans instead of meat and buy the moldy zucchini at Easy Way for 39 cents a pack. Not that it’s a problem for me to eat a little less. I need to be unemployed for ten pounds.
A single match is not enough to keep one warm.
But the heat thing. I really need to pay attention to the electricity bill. My 1922 brick and plaster house has a great quality that serves me well in the summer – it holds the cold quite well. My summer power bills (this includes water and trash as well) are about $80 a month.
But this quality is not so valuable in the winter. Winter bills have gone as high as $400.
See why I have to pay attention?
So I have been paying attention by not turning on the central heat, using the space heater only in the room I’m in, and wearing lots of clothes (the English model). At night, I pile on the blankets. When I have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, and it’s only 50 degrees in the house, I remind myself of my pioneer ancestors in Wisconsin who had no central heat and who had to use an outhouse in the snow. I remind myself that it is not worth hundreds of dollars just to be warm when I pee.
But SH has been here since Friday. His ancestors were not pioneers. No, they were WASPs and they peed in warmth. He doesn’t want to sleep in a house where it is only 50 degrees. He doesn’t want to be awake in a house that is not much warmer and have to carry a space heater behind him.
So yesterday, it was off to Target for extra space heaters. He bought me three: one to leave in the bathroom overnight, one to leave in the office and one that could be run all night in the bedroom to keep it at least 60 degrees. (My previous “only” space heater couldn’t be run all night because it is very noisy.)
I am still experimenting with the bedroom one, but let me tell you, had my pioneer ancestors had the option of keeping their bathrooms (or outhouses) warm at night, they would have sold their children to do so. It makes all the difference in the world to know you aren’t going to turn into a block of ice when you get out of bed and run into the bathroom. OK, sure, you have to pass through the Hallway of Ice, but then you are rewarded by the soothing warmth of the bathroom and it’s all worth it.
The end of the line
2 years ago