Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Will We Ever Be Able To Turn The Heat Off?

I am sitting here writing to you while drinking my daily cup of coffee. In the background is the sound of the furnace going full blast. I check the outside temperature at 6:36AM and it is 38 degrees. It's really cold and we have had frost warnings the past couple of nights. 

They tell us to cover our flowers and plants. Does anyone really plant before May 31st here? I know I don't because I have learned the hard way and lost plants in prior years. So now I wait until at least the end of the month to put in a few vegetables and flowers as do most of my neighbors.

But the heat still on is starting to get to me. Will it ever warm up?
I told Hubby that at this rate, we will have the heat on one day and the A/C on the next. We'll be going right from winter into summer.

Usually we count on a couple of months where the utility bills are lower because of the heat being turned off before it is too hot for A/C. It is looking like this year that won't happen.  

These are the last few months natural gas readings:


The first column is the date of the reading, the second is the company reading or our reading and the third is the number of therms used. Our company only reads the meters every other month. If I don't read on the off month, they estimate the bill. I don't like estimates. I like to pay what we actually owe every month. Most people figure that it all is even in the end if they don't read. From tracking this that is not always the case. The supply and delivery charges change month to month depending on supply and demand. So if they estimate me high in a part winter month and part spring month, I pay more. By always doing the off month readings, I know that we are being billed the correct charges as we use it. It only takes a few minutes of time to read the meter and submit it to the company online.

Looking at the billing history, our natural gas readings were lower for this time period in prior years. So I expect the billing will be up for May.  

You all know that I try my hardest to keep the amount that we use down and lower it all the time. So when we have such a cold spring, there isn't much we can do except keep the furnace on or freeze. We are not about to freeze. I have been very thankful that we have heat while I have been sick. 

Hence, we have been trying to lower the amount of KWH we are using for electricity by using the grill outside to cook when we actually are making good meals(when I have an appetite). With a side burner on the grill, we can cook all of our veggies out there too. May is usually the month we start doing this and it continues until September or October. The stove and oven indoors becomes a decoration. Occasionally we will use the Breville toaster oven to cook a frozen pizza but that takes less electricity than the big oven.

If a meal can be cooked in a small appliance on the patio, we do that also. So when A/C season is finally here, we don't heat up the house.  I am always making decisions on which small appliance gets the job done for the least amount of energy.

We also never turn on a light when it is daylight unless it is a dreary day and they are absolutely needed to see or read. We have almost as much sunny days here as we did in AZ, so lights aren't needed a lot except at night. 

I can keep my kitchen AIO computer off except when it is in use. Mostly, I use my tablet. Hubby's PC is off when he is done with it for the day.

We watch our hot water usage. I don't let hot water just run down the sink. I fill that sink. And you all know that I am a fan of navy showers.

That said, I am hoping it warms up soon so that we can turn off our furnace and not use all of those therms. I also would love to be able to open the windows and get some fresh air.

So if I could have a wish today, it would be that it warms up soon!


  1. We are in the 70's in VA now, so hopefully the warm weather will be moving your way soon.
    There are still some things that I can do to save money, so thank you for your tips. I don't mess with the thermostat though; my husband wants to be comfortable in our home, so he sets the thermostat at 68 in the winter during the day, and 76 during the summer...we program it to change at night which helps some, I think.

    1. Hi Kathy,

      Thanks. It was actually almost 70 here for the high yesterday but the mornings are still freezing.

      We keep the house warm or Hubby freezes. The A/C we are little more lenient with.

  2. We are having just the opposite problem here. It got hot really fast and really early this year. We usually do not even think about having to use our swamp cooler until late June but actually thought about getting it going in April of this year. This is just crazy!

    1. Hi Debbie,

      The weather is just crazy this year. I remember swamp coolers from AZ.