One of our biggest goals for this winter was to cut back on the amount of home heating oil that we used. I just went back through my records and found some interesting progress.
In winter 2007-2008, we got our oil tank filled four times:
- November 23
- December 28
- January 23
- March 6
We got the tank filled again in May, and that oil lasted us throughout the summer, fall, and into December of 2008.
In winter 2008-2009, we’ve only had our tank filled twice:
- December 13
- February 20
We’ve basically cut our home heating oil consumption in half from last winter to this winter. When we factor in the drop in the cost of oil, it’s a savings of over $1700!
How did we do it? We froze our buns off! We lowered the thermostat in our house to 55 degrees, and we supplemented with wood in our woodstove, which helped us bring the temperature up to 60-65 degrees on most days. We’ve definitely adjusted to the cooler temperature, but we also bundle up at home. I’ve worn my warm sweatshirt over my clothes almost every day, and I’ve doubled up on socks. If we’re sitting on the couch, it’s always under blankets.
Ed and I are proud that we conserved so much oil, both for our bank account and for the environment. However, almost all of the guests at our house complained that it’s too cold, and there were many times that we exlaimed we were sick of winter and tired of being cold.
We hope that by next year we’ll be able to get a new wood-burning furnace that will heat our home more efficiently than our wood stove, but I’m not sure if that’s a realistic goal for next year. The bonus would be that it would heat our hot water, too, so we would save even more oil. We’d also be able to bank the fire before we go to sleep or leave for work, which would keep our house warmer.
Have you been trying to conserve fuel this winter? How’s it going?