“In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle. David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah.” (2 Samuel 11:1, esv)
It is not spring right now. Far from it. But the fact that we are far from spring makes this a time when this household goes to battle over something a little less serious than King David and the Ammonites: the thermostat. Our house is just old enough to be pretty drafty, and so extreme outside temperatures (like today’s high of 6 degrees Farenheit) create a conflict in our overall vision of living frugally and comfortably. Not surprisingly, Aaron falls a little harder on one side, and I fall on the other. (This happens in the summer, too, and sometimes results in pillow fights.)
A piano mom told me the worst part of waiting for her husband to finish his PhD was eating Ramen noodles. I like to cook so we manage to eat pretty well; the heating bill is one of our most noticeable spending cuts. I discussed these biannual Hummel Thermostat Wars with some students earlier this week. “Let me guess,” one of the young men ventured, “You want to be comfortable and Mr. Hummel wants to save money?” A cousin, familiar and sympathetic with our plight, mentioned that her friend from Wisconsin hosted an online quiz to see where other people set their thermostats in the winter. “The temperatures at your house were outside the range of responses,” she grinned.
Since I do agree with the overall reasons for conservative home heating for now, when it gets really cold, I have resorted to wearing an old fleece bathrobe and an extra pair of wool socks in the evenings. In addition to my ridiculous thermalwear get-up, we drink lots of hot tea and make the most of our new electric blanket. I can usually distract myself and think cheerful thoughts even though it’s cold, but that plan falls apart when Aaron looks at me and starts laughing hysterically.
But I must ask – do you have any other suggestions for battling the chilly house? Beside the most obvious answer, since our current temperature setting is actually a compromise already. How do the thermostat wars work out in your home?