Turn the temperature down!

A news story broke the other day that has people talking everywhere in our area.

The local gas company had a problem with one of their supply lines and they were requesting that all residential and small businesses turn their thermostats down by five degrees to conserve resources.

That is all well and good if you don’t have young children or elderly people living in your home, we have both! As things would have it, my dad was widowed last year and can no longer live on his own. He gets around ok, but, he tends to not take care of his health, finances, and upkeep on his surroundings anymore. He was very dependent upon our mom to do these things for him. Now, we have him, along with our three young children to care for. I can’t imagine turning the temperature down, one a cold winter night, only to have several people end up complaining or sick. Mind you, it would be great for the utility bill as heating our home with our ancient HVAC system can be very costly, but I don’t think it is worth the health risk. Besides, who knows how long this repair will take and how many days we would have to endure the lower temperature. I suppose if no one complies, we could have it go out all together, but I am willing to take that chance at this point. So far, it has been four days! I hope that they announce everything is back to normal soon. They said it is the first time in their 44 year history that they have had to make such a request.



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Using twice the fuel as normal

With the recent cold conditions we have been experiencing we are worried about getting out utility bills next month.

We keep adjusting the thermostat but the drafts that blow through the house are making it very hard to keep warm. Even the outlets on the wind side of the house seem to blow cold air into the living room. When we first bought the house, we did some minor improvements, painting the walls, putting up new shutters, and doing some landscaping. Mostly cosmetic improvements. I now wish we would have spent the extra money to have the insulation in the walls, windows, and such bumped up at that time. We could have saved the money on paint but dealt with the mess when the house was still empty. Now, we will be stuck either opening the walls or having that blown in insulation installed. Both of these processes will mean making repairs to the drywall and repainting, both of which I am dreading. We can’t continue to just pay higher bills each winter so I don’t see any other option. To make it through the rest of this season, we have blocked off unused rooms, put draft protectors in front of the doors, and even put that plastic film over the windows. None of this is very attractive, but, it will help a little anyways. I even went to the hardware store and found little foam boards to install behind the electric plates. This is an inexpensive way to block some of the cold. I hope that we can come up with the money for a more permanent solution in the spring.


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HVAC and it’s effects on injuries

It looks like my son is facing surgery from a football injury. He has been in constant pain for over a month and we are hoping that this will put him back to normal. Thankfully, it is post season and he usually doesn’t do much in the winter anyway. The main concern when it comes to his six week recovery is that fact that he needs to be kept warm during the time he is healing. The doctor says that when a person gets cold, they can start to shiver. This causes the body to tense up and that would not be good for the injury site. He needs to stay relaxed and the warmth will help him do that. I have arranged for our HVAC dealer to send someone and make sure that our system is in top working condition and they will also be showing me what they have in the way of portable units. I want to make sure that whatever room my son is in, is as warm as possible. With a portable unit, he can hang out in his room, the living room, or even the game room and have it set to whatever he feels he needs. This will add to the monthly utility bills for a short time but, when it comes to your kids, no expense is too much. My husband is even checking the seals around the doors and windows to make sure that there is no draft that can lower the temperature. In the long run, all the measures we are taking will benefit our home and I know it will make a big impact on


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Animal safety from the cold

I am one of the most soft hearted people you will ever meet when it comes to animals.

It doesn’t matter the type, with the exception of snakes. Even at that, I won’t harm them unless they are poisonous and in my territory. At any rate, I try and make the lives of most creatures, wild or domestic, as comfortable as possible. Heck, we even buy huge bags of cracked corn and birdseed to feed all the wildlife that stop in the yard all winter long. The weather this winter has been very harsh. I let my own dogs out for just a few moments at a time, just long enough to finish their business and come back into the heated environment. Now, I know I can’t do this for everyone, but, I am trying to think of a way for the wild turkeys that come each day to go into my old chicken coop. I no longer have chickens and it would be shelter for them. I even have heat lamps out there so they could be warm during the long cold nights. They could come and go as they pleased, have a food source, and be able to warm up a bit. I just feel sorry for them standing out in the ice and snow each day. My husband may not appreciate the increase in the electric bill from running heat lamps in the coop all the time and that is probably my only reason for not doing that. I am glad that my own animals have a comfortable place to live. They have the benefit of a great HVAC system and are not subjected to the environment all day long.



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