January 09, 2010

A Certain Kind of Cold

My thoughts today, "Family, you can't live with them and you just can't shoot 'em'."

I have family in town. Not my family. I'll leave it at that.

It's to get to subfreezing weather tonight here in S. FL. For most of you, it's not a big deal, but for those of us who live in Citrus Country, it's got potential to be a very bad thing. It's not good for the crops, so forget the fact I can't take the cold, it's not good for the farmers.

Now that we have solar hot water, I have to drain the panel any time it gets below 34 degrees. This is the 2nd time this week we've drained the panel, not a big deal, but just one more thing of which to be aware.

Meanwhile, for the past week since the first cold front, we've been arguing about the heat. I refuse to turn it on. I'm the air boss.

It is making my husband and boys absolutely bat crap crazy. My expression through the week has been 'Suck it up and put on more clothes.' The thermostat has been hovering around 64 - 65 degrees.

The hysterical thing is that my girlfriend, VW, called here the other day and my husband answered. I think she was calling to tease me because it was going to be getting colder and she knows how much I HATE the cold.

I hate it.

And evidently the conversation took place as my husband had on two layers of clothing since I refuse to turn on the heat, and he said something like, "Are you kidding me? She loves the cold. She won't turn on the heat..." to which she laughed and informed him that I don't turn on the heat, not because I like the cold, but I'm too damn cheap and I don't want to have to pay to heat the house.

For some reason I thought this was hilarious that my girlfriend had to tell my husband why I don't turn on the heat. I figured he knew.


As I said to him, I pay the bills.

Anyway, the heat is on. The house keeps getting colder and colder and I got tired of the whining. Add to it that we have guests... well it seemed the right thing to do.

Update: The way this works with solar is... we have a panel and then pipes that run into our tank located in our garage. Our very insulated tank holds 120 gallons and stays hot. We can't get hot water via the panel anyway through the evening. So we drain it so the residual water that is in the panel doesn't freeze and break the panel.

Posted by Boudicca at January 9, 2010 09:55 PM

Ah - well heat is one thing I refuse to live without. Just can't do it. I keep it 70 during the day or I'd never be able to type... if I can't type I can't work, if I can't work I can't pay even the lesser amount for oil to heat the house... heh.

At night we keep it at 65. I'd like it cooler but it then takes too long to heat back up in the morning. Right now it's 7 degrees outside - predicted low of 0. That means even at 65 the heater will run most of the night. *sigh*

Now I'm off to open up cabinets and doors were there are pipes so there is no chance of them freezing. Just one of the joys of winter.

Posted by: Teresa at January 9, 2010 11:58 PM

I live in Seattle and I don't turn on the heat. Same reason. Basic engineering. Why should I pay to heat the house when the only part of it that's cold is me?

But I did get an electric blanket and a space heater for the bathroom. But neither is on for very long.

Posted by: Carl Brannen at January 10, 2010 01:24 AM

I'm glad I have heat, some folks down here don't have a choice, unless they buy a space heater, which are in short supply.

Still, my cats have become big fans of a warm comforter and have been looking at me like "why is the airconditioning set so damn cold, jackass?"

Posted by: George P at January 10, 2010 08:42 AM

We keep the thermostat set at 65 all winter long. We like to cuddle.

Posted by: Ted at January 10, 2010 10:24 AM

I keep the thermostat at 62 in the winter - Same reason you will not turn on your heat, I'm a tight wad and they can all put on socks and a sweater. It does make typing a little ify though and sometimes what I type makes no sense. I try not to forget to proof read, but sometimes I do indeed forget - probably ice around the edges of the gray matter :)

Posted by: patti at January 10, 2010 11:20 AM

We don't have heat so the house has been hovering in the low 60s. It's not bad with about 15 layers on...

Posted by: Pam at January 10, 2010 02:44 PM

Carl - I live up north of Bellingham. We have gas heat. It's pretty balmy right now, but during the last cold stretch I finally caved and bought a small space heater for the oldest son's room. Husband then borrowed it, and we got into a heater war. Back and forth it went from our bathroom to the boys' room, until finally I went and bought another heater. I am really dreading the electric bill.

Posted by: PeggyU at January 10, 2010 03:22 PM

And I wonder what Carl is doing with the electric blanket in the bathroom.

A motel somewhat north of here uses solar heating for hot water and to heat the pool. He has the system setup as an "open" system so that when the pump isn't running, the antifreeze he uses for heat transfer collects in the reservoir in the garage. The hot water heater is a closed system that receives its heat through a heat exchanger with the solar portion. The pump only moves the antifreeze when the "panels" are warm enough to provide heat.

Something similar would work for you, but you probably run yours as a closed system.

Posted by: The Thomas at January 10, 2010 09:18 PM

The Thomas- Yes, ours is run as a closed system. Honestly, we'll probably never have to worry about this again. It is so very rare that it gets this cold down here.

I did have to dump the solar panels again tonight. I have a system down now and it takes all of 90 seconds.

I almost went to work and grabbed my space heater. I keep a space heater at work since they keep the temps there at 70 in the office and being warm down here most all year long, I do not dress for 70. Seventy is too cold for me indoors without my space heater.

So I might start bringing my space heater home to keep the eating areas warmer and to perhaps the keep the whining factor down.

It is just too damn expensive to heat this big ol' house. I don't have a 'warm' house... it's all tile and wood floors, not a lot of throw rugs. I think CBS homes keep cooler. Plus, hot air rises... I so dread my power bill and I actually feel for all y'all that live up north having to contend with this from Oct-April.

I cannot even fathom...

Posted by: Bou at January 10, 2010 11:13 PM

I wrap southern California around me and bask in the winter temps of 72 degrees. I don't even have a heater in my condo. I wintered over a couple of times in Newport, RI but I loaned the 3 bar electric fire I bought at the Exchange to my parents in Arlington, VA when I left for San Diego and they refuse to give it back. It is a fixture in the master bath. It has one of those embossing labels on it "Only loaned to his shivering parents" It's been there for 20 years now.

Posted by: Curtis at January 10, 2010 11:18 PM

Bou if your using a space heater and your cheap you are not going to like your electric bill when you get it.

Space heaters are electrical junkies, the feed off electricity, eat it up like it's crack.

That is why I refuse to get a space heater and use it in the family room/kitchen area. I would rather be cold then use a space heater. Our thermostat is set at 65 during the winter, I just add extra layers or get under the blanket with the puppers.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at January 11, 2010 12:11 PM

Weenie: I agree with every line you wrote. They finally wore me down with their whining and got their space heaters. I am going to show them this month's electric bill, when it arrives, next to last month's. Maybe that will "warm" them somewhat. I can imagine my husband complaining about the bill already. That much annoyance will be sure to raise his core temperature!

Posted by: PeggyU at January 11, 2010 12:46 PM

I don't need to experience the high electricity bills to believe y'all. Space heaters are officially out.

I meant to blog on their turning in the heat for the first time in our building. No kidding, it smelled like the daggum building was about to burn down. Blech. Scared the hell out of me...

Posted by: Bou at January 11, 2010 10:46 PM