And now -- the NY Times ran an article about people who don't heat their houses at all. This article is about extremists. But to some of our friends, we're almost as extreme.
For those of you who haven't been following along here for very long, we live in a 101 year old house. It has 11 1/2 ft ceilings, lots of leaky gaps here and there, no storm windows, a rather inefficient electric furnace downstairs (upstairs has a nicer gas one), and while the attic is nicely insulated, we have have no plans to mess with the downstairs walls and their lack of insulation. To heat our house to what many Americans consider normal levels, would cost a fortune.
We don't have a fortune, since we've invested rather heavily in children instead. Therefore, our thermostat stays set at 60 in the winter. We wear warm clothes and slippers and when I set butter on the counter to soften for baking purposes, it doesn't soften appreciably. We also have a wood burning fireplace, which would never serve to heat the house, but on really cold days, does provide a little extra warmth and a warm atmosphere by which to sit and read. So far none of the children have turned into ice cubes.
Actually, believe it or not, you acclimatize. I have never been one to love the cold, and yet now when I visit a house heated to 70 in the winter, I find it a bit stifling. If I had my druthers, I'd probably bump the thermostat up a few degrees, but I like maintaining relatively low electric bills better than not having to wear slippers and a sweater.
I know we're a bit extreme, although not as much as those mentioned in the NY Times article, but I also have a few friends with old houses who keep their houses at 58 or 59, so we're not the only crazies out there. What about you?