Wednesday, 23 October 2013

It's Cold . . . Again

The time has arrived once again. I moaned and dragged my feet, but come last Monday I had to give in. It hit 17 degrees Celsius, and I turned on my heat. Fear not my automatic thermostat is set and my car port is stocked with wood. This coming winter's goal: use less electricity than last year.

I'm hoping to accomplish that via a number of steps I've taken in the recent past.

-I went conservative with my temperature setting, 20 when I'm home and awake, 18 otherwise.
-Heat with wood on weekends. This is completely uncharted territory for me but $280 bought me a cord of wood and we'll see how long it lasts and how efficient the stove is.
-I turned down my water heater.
-I got carpets and slippers so that I'll feel warmer on my wood floors.
-Sweaters are my friend.

My last utilities bill (water, sewage and electricity) was $98 which is a record low for me just prior to the cold season and the slow yet inevitable climb upwards in cost.

It was a bit of a debate before I could come to a decision on my wood stove. It takes more effort to run than my furnace and it costs me an extra $80 a month in insurance so I wasn't sure if it was worth it. I've decided to give it a go for a number of reasons.

-My central heat isn't very effective in the basement which makes half my house less useable in the winter
-I think the ambiance might be cool
-It might save me money (never know until you try)
-It is a sustainable source of heat
-It won't go out of commission unless I let it. (Unlike electricity)

I do have a fond memory of my mom reheating canned soup over our wood stove during a power outage as a kid. In a country that can experience temperamental weather having a backup source of heat is certainly a good safety measure.


  1. We now rent, and don't pay for heat, which means we can be a little more lenient of the temperature. Not wasteful, but keep it a bit cozier that when we were trying to keep the oil bills low. Our landlord actually has an external furnace wired in to the boiler, because wood is so much cheaper than oil. And we get the nice smell of wood burning when we go to our car.

    1. You are very lucky to have heat included. Back when I rented we paid our own utilities so the landlords had no incentive to keep the place energy efficient. You could literally feel the cold coming off the windows.

  2. Good luck with the wood stove. We have two fireplaces in our house (converted from wood-burning to gas with ceramic logs), but I believe they are a lot different than a wood stove in terms of efficiency . I don't care to have the fireplace going for more than a half hour or so in colder weather because it just draws the heat up the chimney and out of the house. Love the ambiance...but I've begun to use a roaring fireplace dvd on the tv instead, LOL.