How to save on heating costs when the temperatures plummet!


First off, I don’t really live in an outhouse, (tempting though that idea might be). I do live in a small one thousand square foot condo, that completely suits an aging old gnome such as myself. As for the apparent book…there is no book other than what exists in my imagination.

When I heard about the prospects of a long lasting cold wave earlier in the month of February 2021, I went back through my personal weather records, to see if I could find a similar cold wave that had occurred in the recent past. Nope. The past four or five winters had been pretty mild here in my southwestern town of Forsyth, Missouri. But, the scatter charts I had made helped a lot! They compared the daily average temps versus the power used in kilowatt hours that were indicated when the average temperature for any given day got be 20°. Whenever that would occur, my energy use would start exceeding 50 kWh’s per day! That came to over $6 a day and the seven days that were forecast to be at or below that average looked to be a potential problem for an old man who was living on a fixed budget!

As the above forecast days show, Sunday and Monday looked particularly irksome and perhaps even a bit serious, considering the below zero morning that were forecast….

So, what I decided to do for that period of time was to retreat to my bedroom-office while basically closing up the rest of the living spaces. I has also invested in a couple of oil-filled and ceramic space heaters. I set the larger Delonghi unit at a low 70 degree level to provide base heating. The ceramic Lasko unit was attached to a T-stat set to maintain 74°. So, with those two simple changes, (along with the fact that I would not need my furnace), I felt that I was all set to go.

[Note that I used a date range starting on the third of the month. The two days prior to that, I had the furnace turned on, and so they acted as data outliers.]

The two violet lines show what I could expect both on the day of this post with an average temp of only 14 degrees and Sunday at 2 degrees. Today’s trend looked like I’d spend about 36 kWh’s or so, while Monday (a real ball buster), would likely come in at about 46 kWh’s. And yes, I could definitely live with a projected total month of 742 kWh’s for a cost to me of about $106!

About forsythkid

I am just a simple man with a head full of sand who is currently residing in a small town called Forsyth Missouri. I enjoy hiking, camping and all things related to gardening. I rec’d my degree from SIU majoring in Biology many moons ago and still maintain a great interest in the study of all living things. My hobbies include meteorology, the Finnish language and inhabiting cyberspace whenever possible.
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