Would it freak you out if I told you that we set our thermostat to 56*... if we have it on at all? Yep. It's true. We are, inadvertently, one of those cold house people. I think it was a "thing" a while ago - like a hipster thing. But the truth is... I just don't like our furnace.
There's nothing wrong with the furnace - it's kinda new and it works like a charm. I just don't like it. It never really feels warm to me. Plus, it goes without saying that we are cheap. Real cheap. Cold house cheap. We have one of those heating oil furnaces - not natural gas/propane. Heating oil. That's pretty much just diesel. If we watch our P's and Q's we only have to fill the tank every other year. So neither of us like to run it much. Even on these extra cold days the furnace is off. If we turn it on then we only run it for 30 minutes or so.
So are you totally freakin' out, man, that we would voluntarily have a cold house? Wondering what's wrong with us? Or are you one of those people who has the furnace cranked up to 75* and are complaining about your heating bill? Or is your gas company telling you to "conserve" or else? Not us. We just go about it a different way.
Down here by the wood stove it's a balmy 70* degrees and I'm starting to look around for my shorts...so it's not like the whole house is cold. For once this ridiculous late 1970's split level house is good for something. The wood stove is downstairs, surrounded by cat puddles, and the heat rises to the main level and keeps the house mostly warm. If you like mid-50's.
Right now I think it's about 58* up there but that's because I've been having a baking day. This works out perfectly for us because the dogs stay upstairs and they like the cooler temperatures. Having big snow dogs means an evening laying by the fire is their nightmare. In the summer they push and shove to get the spot over the air conditioning vent so none of them are interested in the furnace blasting. And to tell you the truth, both of us like to sleep in a cool bedroom - if we had our druthers we'd be very happy sleeping in a meat locker. So this works out for us.
We just make adjustments when we are in the house - especially upstairs. First, dress for success. Both of us just layer up. I usually have fleece leggings, wool sox, shoes, a heavy tshirt, and a flannel shirt....and my secret weapon.. a hat. Yep. I know who you are and you are laughing but go ahead... nothing make the noggin happier than rockin' a warm knit hat. Honestly it's miraculous. Go ahead.. try it.
Next, make sure you are keeping the cold out of the house so the warm can take over. Get those doors and windows sealed. Then get some heavy drapes to really block out the cold. But be sure to get all the sunlight you can - so open then during the sunny parts of the day.
We aren't really "window dressing" people... and frankly for most of the windows the only ones that can see in are the chickens. So sometimes we improvise with heavy blankets for the bare windows if it's going to be really cold.
Then, as Mavis says, "Use all the heat you pay for." I like her tip of peeping open the oven when you are done baking. However, I like to say that first you should have a baking day - strategically on the coldest days.
Get some bread going, start some snacks, make pizza (with that 500* oven preheat..), and to really hit it out of the park - make a really big roast or a slowly braised dish. Really swing for the fences and get a turkey and roast it up. Turkey? Sure! Why not? Or a big ol' pork roast - that's good too. Anything to keep the oven going and as a bonus - you get dinner. And snacks. Put what you don't eat right away into the freezer and then when you need cookies - they are there waiting for you.
Next, bring on the bodies. In extreme situations, pile everyone into the same room. I almost never have the dogs sleep in the room with us but one nite a couple months ago they were all in there with me. I can tell you that 450lbs of dogs generated enough heat to make the bedroom at least 15* warmer than the rest of the house. When they say a "three dog night" they are not kidding. Note, none of these dogs were actually ON the bed with me.
However, regardless of being dogless at night I almost always have our oldest and boniest cat, Teddi Grumpkins, to keep me warm. The cats tend to pile on us when the fire downstairs gets low... or if they want something. Or if I sit down somewhere. So get cats. Lots and lots of cats.
And last... you just kinda get used to it. We are cool weather people naturally so it's easy for me to be in a coolish house. When we go to other people's houses we think it's just really weird if it's too warm.... like 65* or more. Now if you weren't used to it and woke up one morning to see it was 51* then it might be too weird for you but we aren't overly concerned. About 56* is pretty normal. But downstairs by the wood stove is usually pretty nice...and that is where you will usually find me.
Happy Tuesday everyone! Are you keeping warm in a cool house?