Note: This post was written when we lived in a house. We keep the RV thermostat at 65F to prevent condensation.
With the thermostat currently sitting at 55F we hope to save a lot of money this winter on heating – in fact, several days have passed since the last time the air conditioning was turned on. Wearing loose layered clothing and getting up and lifting some weights every once in a while, 55F isn’t a big deal. Of course, for those who are used to 75F and prefer to wear shorts and T-shirts during the winter while sitting perfectly still, 55F is a big deal. If wearing more than one layer feels too unusual,a space heater could be a good solution
. The idea is to heat the occupied room with a heater and leave the rest of the house cool. It is not the optimal solution. In general, temperature gradients, where one side of you is hot while the other is cold from having the space heater on one side, or changes in temperature from walking from a warm room to a cold room or even vice versa, it feels more uncomfortable. What constant cold temperatures. Your choice.
55F is the lower limit for the thermostat because the water lines are compromised at lower temperatures. Do not set the thermostat below 55F. After purchasing a heater and realizing we already had one (note to self: get rid of more stuff! Buying something because you forgot you already have one is very embarrassing when you run a frugal blog), it was decided to upgrade to the wood stove. use. We actually have a wood stove, but mostly being lazy and all, I’d rather adjust to the cold than try to fight it even if it means lifting tons of pig iron. Hey, that’s a great way to get you in the mood for the beach. .Luckily you can collect firewood for
free on craigslist . However, free firewood comes with some caveats attached. Unless you’re lucky enough to try someone’s firewood for the first time because you’ve just switched to an alternative heating source, free firewood usually means scrap wood or rounds from someone’s backyard. The main motivation for the donor is to get rid of it. The main motivation for the drinker is the free heating.Scrap lumber like 2x4s, boards, etc. is often a risky proposition. Often it will be painted or treated with a fire retardant rendering it useless for heating purposes.
We have done several wild goose chases for free firewood where much of it turned out to be unsuitable for burning. . On the other hand, clean waste wood is dry and burns well. After realizing the significant cost of gas to pick it up, we no longer make detours to get it. The problem is that we have a compact hatchback and there is a limit to the amount of wood that will fit in the back. Maybe 10 days of heating. So it’s not worth spending more than $10 on gas to go get it. Quite frankly, I think we’ll move this cap even lower due to our limited load capacity. Speaking of which, we’ve been talking about getting a truck the next time we buy a car in, say, 10 years.Unlike rounds which are usually cut with a chain saw to the correct length, scrap wood comes in odd lengths. DW initially suggested that we get a mechanical saw. No no no no! Like the electric screwdriver, automatic egg boiler, and bread maker, electric saws are just another sign that the world has gone crazy. Sawing, like screwdriving (ahem!), boiling eggs, and baking bread can all be done by hand. To cut wood this size “by hand” you need a hacksaw or framing saw. Now, it turns out that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to buy a hacksaw or at least it’s impossible around here. We tried three different hardware stores and all they had were little hacksaws and of course… power saws. So I had to bite the bullet (namely shipping costs) and get it online. I have this bow saw. It just came in today and I hurried off to cut some of our longer scrap lumber. Children and their toys. It was a bit expensive, but I’ve known Bahco since he was a kid. My dad bought a set of Bahco screwdrivers that lasted forever, unlike the flimsy 14-piece sets one usually buys at hardware stores.
Buying quality is usually much cheaper in the long run. Also, it’s much nicer to use a good tool or something good. This saw cuts through wood like butter, I mean, I used to use my grandfather’s hacksaws before, but this one is magic. Also sawing substitutes for push-ups. I just have to remember to use my left arm as much as my right arm. Now all I have to do is train DW in the use of a hacksaw and his abilities will be complete (he’s not a jedi yet). The other free wood option is the round ones.
dividing wedge . The link is just to show what a splitting wedge looks like. Don’t buy this online – at £4 the postage cost is brutal. We have ours a Home Depot. A splitting wedge is less convenient than a maul, but more versatile because it allows me to split the twistiest of rounds. Never get a specialized tool, if a versatile set of tools can do the same job. It didn’t take me long to get used to using the mallet at full strength and really hitting what it was aimed at. It was later discovered that thin pieces of wood can be broken in half by hitting them hard with a mallet. Now I understand why hammers have been used as weapons. Don’t forget safety glasses. There will be large, sharp pieces of wood flying everywhere. Now
the real question is if we really saved anything
since we bought a saw, a heater and a wedge on top of gasoline. The answer is a solid yes for next year, but the jury is still out for this year. I guess we’ve spent about $100 so far to avoid wasting money on air conditioning heating. Clearly this is an investment, but whether it will be a good investment remains to be seen.
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