Some of the previous generations learned how to live this way rather comfortably. I remember visiting my great aunt in Germany years ago in December. She lived in an old house, and that old house was cold. I am certain it was cold because it was old and because my aunt kept the heat way down. She was one of many that endured the ravages of World War II and all of its sparseness. I think many of those who experienced those times find it difficult to indulge in great luxury and comfort. She always wore wool clothing and sweaters in the winter. At night, I remember feeling as if I would never get warm in that cold bedroom. However, after about 10 minutes of huddling and shivering beneath the huge goose down comforter, I did reach a nice and toasty comfortable warmth.
Although it can be difficult to make that choice between being energy conscious and being comfortable, there are a few things we can do to reduce the amount of energy we use to heat and cool our houses. Here are some tips:
In the cooler months:
- Turn the heat down if only by a few degrees.
- Wear layers of warm clothing inside the house.
- Use ceiling fans on the reverse setting to circulate the warm air in rooms.
- Use space heaters in rooms most often used.
- Have throws and blankets handy for use when sitting down.
- Turn the temperature down at night when most of the house is not in use.
- Use humidifiers to increase the humidity inside the house. The increased humidity can make the house feel a little warmer.
- Use passive solar energy by opening all of the curtains of south facing windows to let the sun shine in and warm the house.
- Turn the temperature up if only by a few degrees. Experiment with what is comfortable.
- Use ceiling fans on the forward setting to circulate air in rooms.
- Use pedestal or table fans in rooms to circulate air in the house.
- Close all curtains on windows facing the sun.
- Check that all windows and doors are sealed and caulked properly.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat that will automatically adjust the temperature day and night to your specifications.
- Invest in solar panels to save on electricity and gas usage for heating and cooling.
- Invest in thermal windows where the layer of air between the windows acts as insulation.