Sunday, December 7, 2008

uncle, mercy, whatever, I can't take it!

So I haven't blogged much over the last few weeks. It is no coincidence that in the last few weeks the temperature outside has dropped and we have officially entered winter.

It's cold.

And not just outside.

This year in order to do a little better for the Riot (last year we did 50% of average for Natural gas) we decided to keep the heat in house a little lower than last year. By 2 degrees C.

Now this gets a bit complicated in our house because we share the heating system (forced air natural gas high efficiency furnace) with the downstairs apartment.

The only thermostat for the heating system is in their unit. Now this is really for the best. Of the two apartments it is a way better scenario for our apartment to be the colder one.

I know what you are thinking...that doesn't make sense, doesn't heat rise? So shouldn't our apartment be the warmer one? Well the thing is that the two apartments are completely separate so the heat can't 'rise' to our apartment. Also the air from the furnace takes longer to get to our apartment (and isn't as strong up here as downstairs). What this means for us is that we are usually 1 to 2 degrees colder than downstairs. So while we've set the thermostat at 18 degrees during the day and evening (because we have super-great green tenants), in our apartment we have not gone above 17 degrees in weeks. Often we are at 16 degrees.

16 and 17 I can handle. I don't love it but I can deal.

But I think our tenants have been doing a lot of baking lately. The positive side of this is that our apartment is often full of the smells of baked bread and cupcakes. The downside of this is that the heat from their oven helps to heat up their apartment. Which means the thermostat reaches 18 degrees more quickly. And when it reaches 18 degrees in their apartment, the

As a result....

This is the temperature it has been in our apartment for the last 2 days.

15 is really cold folks. I know there are people who are freezing their buns and are at 15 (and colder) but we all have our breaking points and apparently 15 is mine. The thing about 15 (and to some extent even 16 and 17) is that my motivation to do anything other than huddle under a blanket on the couch is nil. This means my stack of unread books remain unread (hands outside of blankets in order to hold a book? no way!!), my Christmas present projects are way behind and in general I have the winter blues. And its barely December! Winter's only just begun.

So I think I'm going to borrow the portable electric heater from my Mum and Dad's. Hey M&D, can I borrow your electric heater?

The more I think about it, this sort of dual heating really makes sense. Using a very efficient gas furnace to get to a minimum temperature and then using localized heating to heat up the room you are in (and not heat up the rooms you are not), seems like a pretty efficient way to go.

I'm sure I'll be grouchy when I see my electricity bill go higher than last winter but I think the trade off of a drastically reduced natural gas bill will be worth it.