Meet our little gas space heater.
Usually, we hook him up when the weather turns cold and turn him on every once in awhile.
This Lenten season, though, I've made different use of him and saved some cash along the way.
As a part of our Carbon Fast, I decided to program the central heat thermostat so that it drops down to 60 during the school day. That may sound pretty extreme, but hear me out. Right up until the girls leave for school and John for work, the central heater functions as usual, keeping us plenty warm. Then, at 8:00, it turns off and (since it never actually gets as cool as 60 inside) stays off until 3:15 when it warms the house back up for when the girls get off the bus.
What about me and Little Boy who are still home most school days? Even on the coldest days, it takes several hours before we start to get uncomfortable. When/if that happens, I turn on the space heater which warms the kitchen and living room -- pretty much the only areas we're in anyway. Now, Little Boy is the most warm-natured person I know. He has sweaty palms and feet pretty much always. So, by the time he lays down for his after-lunch nap, his room is nice and cool, just the way he likes it. And, he is able to sleep comfortably, snuggled up with his favorite blanket. (He's actually a much happier boy when he wakes up in a cool room than when he wakes up sweaty.) As for me, this is my work time. Sure, the house is cool, but it's just motivation for me to get moving. I putter around working on projects or hit the treadmill to warm up.
I'm not sure how much credit this new practice should receive, but our electricity bill was about $20 lower than it has been.
We may give this practice up soon, but it'll be because the weather's warming . . . not because Lent is over. It's definitely something we'll put into practice again next winter.
Now, I just need a plan for how to save $$ on our cooling bill come summertime!