Thursday, January 30, 2014
Keeping Warm II
I already posted an article (November 26 2013) about keeping warm during winter. This is part II, more extreme measures. Not extreme as in ridiculous, but maybe more extreme because they require more work. Here is list no. 2 for keeping warm.
1. Use your sleeping bag; remember that great sleeping bag that keeps you warm in winter camping or at least in the fall? Drape it across your bed at night to ensure you will be warm. If everyone in your house does this, you can turn down the thermostat by at least 5 degrees at night.
2. Get a programmable thermostat: your landlord will be happy to provide this. They are not very expensive and they permit you to have the temperature lower at night and when nobody is in the house during the day. You can program weekdays vs. weekends, but also each day of the week individually.
3. Use the library to study; if you are not in your house, you do not need to keep it as warm as if you are in it. During the day, if most of your house mates have classes, it’s silly to increase heating in your house for just one person studying – go to the library and use the heat that your college provides, free of charge, to you.
4. Check your electrical outlets. I did this in a house I rented while in graduate school, and in front of most of them, you could feel a draft. My landlady paid of pre-cut foam sheets to put behind the plastic outlet covers and I put them in. If you keep your heat inside the house, you will stay warmer.
5. Check your windows – old windows leak air like sieves. To keep them transparent (to use the light during the day) but make them more air-tight, you can buy special kits that have a plastic sheet and sealing tape; you take the plastic over the window and its frame, and use a hair-dryer to shrink slightly the plastic sheet so that it’s very flat. The image distortion is minimal and you will save much more heat.
6. Wear a sweater. I knew a guy who wore the same clothes in summer and winter: pants and a t-shirt. He had to heat the house at 24 degrees in winter, and cool it in the summer because he refused to adapt his clothing to the season. I get cold in winter at the same time every day: between 4 and 5:30 pm, I am cold, regardless of what our thermometer reads. I put on a sweater for 1.5 hrs each day and take it off after. I also have a fleece sweater in my office because it’s in the basement and is always colder than the rest of the house. Also, wear slippers or shoes indoors; a cold floor will make you feel very cold.
As we hope the cold advisory is over for a few weeks, prepare for worse weather – it’ll save you money!