Throw A Sweater On

2013-01-13

~ Cold? Put a Sweater On! ~

hot tea

lunchboxbunch.com

This morning as a chill took hold of me, the title of this post popped into my mind. After checking the thermostat in the hall to ensure the house was at a normal temperature, I headed for the closet, grabbed a cardigan and slid my feet into slippers. Then I put the kettle on for a cup of warming tea.

That my family can afford our utility bills is a fact I’m deeply thankful for. Sure we could leave unused lights on, or turn the furnace up and walk around inside with bare feet while there’s a foot of snow on the ground outside, but that would be terribly wasteful, if not downright stupid. It isn’t only about costs we pay directly, but about the costs we all pay indirectly.

By conserving energy in our homes, we are helping reduce the impact of over-burdened municipal facilities. I avoid using large appliances during peak times of early evening, because that’s when the majority of the population has to do these chores. Even waiting until 8pm helps, although I am lucky enough to be able to do laundry and dishes during the day, so I can easily avoid the 5-7pm peak usage times. By needlessly burdening city facilities during peak times of water and electricity usage, we are contributing to strains on services that can lead to price hikes.

There are other ways to avoid turning the heat up. If there’s a draft around a particular window, address it with the heavy-duty plastic kits available for a few dollars at the hardware store. If there’s a gap under the front door that is letting in the cold, gap-stops help, and even a rolled up towel placed at the bottom of the door can help stop drafts in a pinch. And when we can, replacing drafty windows and adding extra insulation are investments that pay for themselves for homeowners.

On days like these when the snow keeps falling and one feels cold just looking out the window, I love to make a cozy stew, chili, or homemade soup. It’s also an excellent time to do some baking, letting the oven help contribute some warmth to the cause.

At the very least, on a cold day make sure your feet are warm with cozy socks or slippers, drink a hot beverage, and remember to pull on a sweater.

20 responses to Throw A Sweater On

  1. 

    So true – it is what our grandparents would have done.

  2. 

    Thank you for sharing these excellent ideas and reminders, Gina!

    Russ

  3. 

    Haven’t been blogging much lately and several of these similar ideas have popped into my head. It’s been 0F in the morning and a high of 17 during the day. My two dogs and cat come equipped with their own coats, but are curling up next to the couch together to stay warm. My heat is typically never above 60-62F. I’ve just run out of wood as well, but that’s okay. I can manage with the heat at 62F for now, and layers! Sitting and knitting helps keep the hands warm! 🙂

    • 

      What a great comment, thanks for sharing! Yes I too do prefer the house on the cool side – I thought of adding that AFTER I posted 😉 The other day my hubby was walking around the house in shorts and I teased a bit, but didn’t say much, waiting to see if he’d comment on the house being cool (then I would’ve had lots to say!). But he’s kind of a big bear himself and never said anything about the cool house. So I’ll keep my fuzzy socks on and my sweaters nearby and plan to take up knitting! 😀

  4. 

    Cold weather is my favourite excuse to bake goodies!

  5. 

    Another great post:) Definitely need to start reducing how many times I turn the heat up!

    • 

      Thanks for commenting! Yes, we can reach for some fuzzy socks if needed. And with all your yummy baking and cooking, that must help 🙂

  6. 

    Hello, Gina! These are great tips and I too like to conserve. I’m the one who is really cold blooded and wears the socks with the slippers and if I’m too cold I will even just go for the fleece robe right over my clothes! Setting the ceiling fan to low and pulling the hot air down from the ceiling works wonders too! ~Lynda
    (Thanks for visiting me today!)

    • 

      Hi Linda! That is a great tip I forgot to mention so thanks for sharing it here. Our last place had a ceiling fan which I reversed for winter to push the warm air back down, but this place doesn’t have a fan. I am totally with you about the robe-over-the-clothes thing. Been there! (thanks for visiting me too) Cheers, Gina

  7. 

    We live in a larger home that has multiple air units (by code). In order that only one unit is running at a time, we all sleep upstairs (one unit may run while we sleep, but it usually doesn’t), we rarely if ever run the one downstairs (we wear jackets in the winter, sweat in the summer), and if we’re feeling particularly needy for temp control, will go into the gameroom (was the master bddrm) and huddle up with the small air handling unit. It keeps our kWh’s down to very surprising levels.

    And we’re quite comfortable with the arrangement!!

    PS — Scott’s from up north, so he likes it when the house is 50-60 degrees (yikes!). I, on the other hand, am from Texas, so an 85-degree house in the summer doesn’t bother me a bit.

    • 

      Hi Shannon, thanks for sharing your great comment! Yes we can all try to get creative like you guys and help keep the kWh’s down. I must say I’m lucky my hubby is a northerner like me and tolerates my preference for a cooler house very well. If you, dear Texan, visit us up here in Alberta I’ll be sure to crank up the heat to 70 (LOL.. Ok we’ll do 75 😉 ) ~Gina

  8. 

    I couldn’t agree more with your post!

    It drives me crazy to see people running their air conditioners in the wintertime when all they need to do is open a few windows (can you tell I live far south of you?). Another odd paradox is running the central heat while the windows are open letting cold air in! I’ve also seen the opposite – running the central air conditioning with the windows open letting hot air from outside into the house.

    The bottom line is paying attention. When you feel hot or cold what is the most cost-effective, most energy efficient way to achieve comfort? As you said: in the winter put on a sweater. Simple. Easy. Smart.

    Right on!

    • 

      You get my point exactly! When we take a look at how we’re dressed when we feel too cold or hot, that’s the best place to start. Cold? Put on a sweater and slippers (or at least socks for heaven’s sakes, as my 20 yr old son hardly ever wears them). And same with your part of the world. I did a post back in August about easy ways to keep our cool such as what we choose to eat and drink. But back to my cold winter, a hot beverage and something cozy on does it for me every time. No need to adjust the furnace – within 20 minutes or less I’m ‘right as rain’. 🙂 Thanks so much for your visit & comment!

  9. 

    I totally agree, although when we get a cold & wet day like today, it’s harder for me to be wise about it. 😉 I’m trying to ooch the thermostat down over time, to get us a little more used to a little less. Thanks for your thoughtful post.

    • 

      Oooo… I feel for you. I used to live on the coast and humidity really packs a punch! Now that I’m in the prairies the temps go lower but the dryness helps keep the cold out somehow. Yes, when it’s wet it’s harder to stay warm, so I especially appreciate your supportive comment and attempts to avoid cranking up the thermostat! Have a cuppa joe on me (or tea 😉 ) Cheers!

  10. 

    I love sweaters like most women love shoes. Have one on now, plus a fire going in our wood burning stove.

    • 

      I too love sweaters and find them perfectly cozy during our long cold winters. Have my slippers on right now too 🙂 Thanks so much for commenting, and apologies for my delay in replying as I’ve been away. Such a treat to have this note from you! 🙂 Cheers!