Cold reality

In an effort to keep the fuel oil bill down, the family decided to set the furnace thermostat no higher than 57 degrees.

But I’m freezing.

I’m threatening to turn the air conditioner on, hoping for 65.


Am I turning into a gnome these days? You don’t even see the finger-free gloves I’m also wearing when I’m inside the house.

4 thoughts on “Cold reality

    1. It’s in the plan for next year, perhaps with a heat pump. The problem we faced was a chimney that had been used for both the furnace and a cook stove, contrary to current building code. Of course, a wood stove works independently of the electrical lines around here, as you know.

  1. 57°F is only 14°C. That’s well below recommended health guidelines in Aotearoa New Zealand which is 18°C (64°F) minimum for living areas and 15°C (59°F) for sleeping areas. These are a minimum and for people with respiratory and other health issues, it should be 2 to 3 °C (3 to 5 °F) warmer. Are there any state or federal guidelines that you could bring to the attention of the others?

    Furnaces are unheard of in this country except in institutions such as schools and hospitals. Older homes are usually heated with woodburners, but these are now banned in many parts of the country due to the pollution they cause. Our home is heated by a single heat pump which we have set to 22°C and runs 24/7 from April through to September. Occasionally in summer we run it when the heat gets unbearable. For the wife that means around 32°C (90°F) but for me it’s around 25°C (77°F). On this matter the wife has the final say. Always.

    The pricing of energy may be very different in the USA than here, but here heat pumps are the cheapest form of heating, producing 5 kilowatts of heat for each kilowatt of electricity consumed. I know the cost of oil based fuels is significantly lower in America, so maybe a furnace is cheaper to run than a heat pump?

    1. A heat pump is definitely on our remodeling plan, as is a wood-burning stove. Though common in New England, fuel oil is still expensive, but it’s the system that came with this old house. For now, the thermostat is going up to 62F during waking hours (yay) and down overnight. It’s still lower than the 68F of last year. I definitely appreciate your perspectives here.

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