I forgot to mention last time when I reviewed our heating use that during the winter we use space heaters in 2 upstairs bedrooms. The second floor of our house was built with one radiator at either end of the floor. The middle 2 bedrooms, built years later, never had a heat source. Since the bedrooms are generally unoccupied during the day, we turn the heaters on at night.
We do most of our cooking with our gas oven/stove, though there are times when I’ll use the microwave/convection oven for making rice or one loaf of bread. Another frequently used appliance is the toaster oven which we use for toast in the morning, warming up homemade chicken nuggets, or the occasional baking of sweet potatoes.
We use a clothesline pretty much year round. I use the outside clothesline up until it’s 40 degrees in the fall, and in the spring, I start as soon as the high for the day is 40 degrees. During the winter, I have drying racks set up next to the basement furnace for our socks, underwear, and cloth diapers. The rest of the year, the drying racks live on the porch where they’re more private and less vulnerable to the wind.
I use the dryer to take the damp off of clothes when we have a stretch of rain in the fall and winter. I also use it to dry sheets during the winter because I’m washing 6 sets of sheets weekly, and I also use the dryer when I wash the kids’ comforters.
In my opinion, lighting is not just about which bulbs you use, but also about habits. I always make sure I turn a light off when I leave a room, and I’ve been working on this habit with my children. My goal is not to turn a light on unless I absolutely have to. For example, during the day I can go into our basement without turning a light on because we get natural sunlight through the basement windows. Usually, I’m going down to get something and coming back up.
You can check out Peco’s Seasonal Tips and see might work for you with each season. I highly recommend closing the blinds and curtains on the east, south, and west sides of the house during the summer. When I do this, there’s at least a ten degree difference in temperature between the inside of the house and the outside.
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