A professional longarm machine quilter for hire and some of the work I've done.
I’ve never been a person that uses energy without thinking of the eventual cost. My mind remembers that everytime I turn on something electric the little black stripe is revolving faster around the ring inside the electric meter. When I decided to retire from full time machine quilting I knew my budget would take a hard blow. My utility bill was only one of many things I considered before my retirement. Retiring when the economy is going down hill fast was a scary move. Yet, I knew I had to do it anyway.
We all know how the utility costs keep going up and up. Every time we turn around it’s on the news that the costs are going higher along with just about everything else.
I keep thinking about my Grandma Mama’s house in the back woods of Kentucky. The place where I spent most of my childhood. We had only a pot belly stove in the center of the house and a small wood cook stove in the kitchen. We didn’t have real walls in the house. The walls were made of cardboard and paper over the studs and no insulation. Yet, I don’t remember ever being really cold even in the coldest part of winter. Well, darn it, if we could live without a forced air furnace back then… why can’t I be just as resourceful to use less energy now?
No, I can’t go buy a pot belly stove to put in my house. There’s absolutely no place to put one even if I was tempted to do that. Here’s what I’m thinking. I have two bedrooms that I really don’t use at all. Those bedrooms are where I keep all my hoarded stuff. I’m not in the bedroom that I do use except at night. I’m in the kitchen only when it’s time to cook or eat. I’m in the studio most of the day but not at night. So I ask myself….. Why am I heating all these rooms, all the time, when I’m only in them a short time each day?
I’m remembering and starting to do the things my Grandma Mama would do to keep us all warm even in the coldest of winters without the aid of a forced air furnace. Here’s what I’m thinking about using my furnace this winter.
My furnace uses both gas and electric. Gas to produce the heat. Electric to run the fan to blow the heat throughout the house. It’s really not a good thing to block off the vents in rooms not being used. It supposedly damages the furnace. I certainly don’t want to damage mine. It took me seven years to save enough money to buy it. I don’t want to do that again. Even if this isn’t true, the heated air would simply sit in the duct work if it can’t get into a room because the vent is shut off.
I kept thinking….. what if I heated only the room I’m actually using instead of the whole house? Not by closing off vents but by keeping the thermostat very low and using small space heaters to heat only the room I’m actually in. The small space heaters use only electricity and not both. A small space heater in the room I’m actually in would be similar to the pot belly stove of Grandma Mama’s house.
This idea is the reason why I created the inside door snakes. Air is constantly moving. In order to close off a room and keep the heat generated in one room from drifting into an unused room the door snakes block the air flow.
Here’s the small heater I’m using in my studio. It’s at the top of the shelf unit for now.
Here’s the one I’m using in my bedroom.
I don’t know if these are energy efficient or not because I haven’t looked. These will work temporarily until I can look into the cost of some that don’t use an exorbitant amount of electricity. These small heaters do have a tip over feature that cuts them off if accidently turned over or tilted. I have them placed where there’s no danger of anything accidently falling on them to cause a fire and little hands can’t get burned by touching them.
I plan to keep my furnace turned down low enough that I’m mainly using only the small heaters but high enough that it will click on before the water pipes freeze. Anytime I’ll be gone from home the small heaters will be turned off and the furnace raised a degree or two for the fur kid. I don’t want him to freeze while I’m away.
What do you think? Is this a good idea?