Though its hard for me to admit, Fall is in full swing in the Red River Valley, complete with wind, leaves, and the prayers of people like me hoping to keep snow away for just a few more weeks. And while I do enjoy breaking out my sweaters and seeing the beautiful fall foliage, I haven’t quite adjusted to the drop in temperature. While yes, it is indeed still relatively sweltering for North Dakota/Minnesota temperatures, it takes a while for my body to adjust to sweater weather (though by February, anything above zero will feel like a heat wave). Fortunately, our furnace is (for now) in good working order. Unfortunately, turning on said furnace is more painful for me than having a cavity filled.
It’s not that I am anti-comfort (believe me, I feel the temperature drop just like anyone else). The thing is that I have never had to pay for heat since moving to the arctic tundra that is the Midwest. You see, in our previous two apartments, heat was always included in the rent (a HUGE selling point for us). I had no problem cranking up the heat and walking around in my shorts and tank top in the middle of winter. While not very energy efficient of me, I was super toasty and content even though the snow piled up outside my walls. However, now that the heating costs end up on MY electric bill, I have suddenly turned into a thermostat dictator.
“Did you just turn up the heat?!” I accusingly question Blake when he walks within 3 feet of the thermostat.
“Put on another layer!” I demand when he mentions that he’s chilly.
And though I felt a little guilty the other night when I woke up to him shivering in bed, we do have an entire linen closet FULL of cozy blankets.
What makes it all worse is that insulation put in a home in 1946 is probably not as effective as insulation installed within the last… oh… decade. And while I love all the big beautiful windows in our house, I will definitely be stopping by a home improvement store this weekend to buy plastic window-cover kits in the hope of keeping our thermostat from kicking on even a few minutes longer.
And while wearing a snow suit and mittens to bed mid-January may seem a bit extreme, its the small sacrifices I am willing to make to lower that electric bill even a few dollars.