Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Freeze Yer Buns Challenge

Colder weather is here (My Louisiana peeps may not be feeling it yet, but you will soon!) It’s time to take part in the Freeze Yer Buns Challenge set by one of favourite blogs Crunchy Chicken--who really does put the mental in environmental. Her wit and humour help us to do amazing eco things and enjoy it while we do it.
Here is a link to her website detailing the whys and wherefores.

With England being chilly and damp most of the year there is a real temptation to want “comfort” heating to ward off the drizzle you’ve just walked through. Most of England has radiators that provide heat in each room as well as a timer on the boiler so you can have your heat come on at set times of the day. The radiators have a control where you can turn them up or down in each room depending on how much heat you need per room.

Keeping your house comfortable, but not overly hot just makes sense. Money sense as well as reducing your carbon emission sense. Just turning down your thermostat by one degree can save 10% on your heating bills. FACT: If you are walking around in shorts in winter then your house is too hot.  

This is what we are doing this year to meet the challenge:
1. Opening the curtains in the living room when we wake up to dispel the condensation that we get on the bay windows and to allow heat from the sun (sun??? What sun in Britain???)  to heat the room when we’re at work.  Then closing the curtains at dusk.
2.Using the timer and only heating the house as needed. An hour in the morning when we wake up so it won’t be freezing when we bathe and dress and then off again until Spiderman gets home from work. I get home at around 2:00PM and exercise. I get so hot and bothered I need to run the fan so no reason to use the heat yet. Spiderman gets home around 5:00PM. We turn on the heat then--but low--below 70 and only heat the rooms we need. The heat goes off no later than 9:00PM as we get ready for bed. We don’t heat overnight as we are under a big duvet and we can snuggle for warmth. Tonight because I roasted potatoes in the oven we were able to turn the heat off earlier as the oven warmed the front of the house.
3. Put on extra layers. This is actually only for me as I am the only one that ever gets cold. Spiderman insists I am part reptile.  I sometimes pretend that we need to turn up the heat for the spider’s sake--after all they are tropical and need warmer weather (but to be fair they have their own heat mat) --but it is really for me. I dress in lots of layers at home. Typically leggings and vest (undershirt) then long sleeve shirt, polar fleece jumper, long johns over leggings, socks, slippers and a knitted hat made by my step dad Jamie. I also have arm warmers--like knitted leg warmers but for your arms and hands (Duh!) in case my hands are cold. If all else fails I have a SNUGGIE which our mate Loren sent from California as a gift. Thanks, babe! I use it often. If bundled up like an Eskimo I still feel cold we are allowed to raise the thermostat by a degree. But usually this does me.  
4. Some DIY.
a) Last year we were getting huge cold draughty winds coming through our bay window through the flimsy curtains that came with this flat. I searched around the 8 charity shops in Hitchin (count ‘em, 8! So many bargains to choose from!) and found a pair of beautiful, thick, lined, heavy weight all-the-way-to-the-floor curtains for £10. That has helped enormously with preventing heat loss and allowed us to heat that front room less. My goal for this year is to do the same for all windows. We have a school holiday next week when I plan to do some major second hand shopping. 
b) Also to block up any draughts like the one coming under our front door from outside. We have an adorable draught excluder shaped like the Wicked Witch of the East’s legs complete with stripy tights and ruby slippers--thanks Mum!--that we are committed to using when we are here. You can really feel a difference as you walk by the door.
c) This is the one I hope to do. Every eco book I read says if you have radiators on outside walls which we do--4 of them--that putting foil or reflective covered doo dahs you can buy at a hardware store will reflect heat back into a room so you can turn your radiators down. I have yet to convince Spiderman of the merits of foil behind our radiators. Are you reading this honey? Please stop rolling your eyes and think of the savings. Think of the CO2 emissions we won’t be producing by running the radiators less. Think of every crying polar bear who died because we didn’t put foil behind our radiators. Ok, that last one was a bit mad. But if you are reading this my love--will you please think about it?

Obviously if you own your home making sure you have insulation in your roof, walls and ceiling will help heat not to escape. Three quarters of your heat will be lost if you are poorly insulated or draughty.  We don’t have control of that as we rent this flat so it’s heavy curtains and draught excluders for us.

Will you take the challenge? Come freeze yer buns with us. 

No comments:

Post a Comment