Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Coping with the cold weather (and the high cost of propane)

Cliff's sister, the one who lived here for five years on our place, loaned us a quartz infrared portable heater.  She used it sometimes when she was living in this old house, but doesn't need it now that she lives in town in a nice, draft-free, modern house that is heated with natural gas rather than propane.  

 How on earth this thing can put out heat without ever becoming hot to the touch is beyond me, but it does.  You can put a hand against it anywhere.  Now, we've been keeping our bedroom door shut during the day, with the vents closed, for a couple of weeks.  That helped a lot.  We will probably only use this heater in the evenings, mostly, although the baby is here for a visit today, so we have it running.  

In order for it to do a really good job of heating the living room, we have done a couple of things.

We've hung sheets in the doorways!  The door on the left leads to the kitchen.  The one on the right, to the front entryway (which nobody ever uses).  This might never be approved by Better Homes and Gardens, but it will help us stretch the propane in the tank long enough, hopefully, for the prices to get back to normal.  The tank is 40% full right now.  When we're up and moving all around the house, we pull the sheets back and let the air circulate.  When we're both in the living room watching TV or reading, we close off the room and stay toasty warm, turning the thermostat in the kitchen down to 60 or less.  

  The view from the kitchen, with the sheet back.  

Iris isn't thrilled with the idea of us cutting ourselves out of her view, since she isn't allowed in the living room.  She'll get over it, and spring will be here before we know it.  


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Shutting off doorways is a great idea. Glad you got the loan of that little heater. We used to use one similar in the camper rather than using the furnace it had which used propane. They can put out a lot of heat. Keep warm!

Jean said...

I bought a new heater this year that looks like a fire burning, it's electric and we have it in the family room it seems to help with the gas bill. I keep one of our bedroom door close since we don't use it. I have done the same thing you have in years gone by when we lived in places where we didn't have doors in every room. I'm glad we don't have cold weather here like it is where you live. Lol. Take care. Jean

Margaret said...

That is a great idea! The heater sounds awesome too; It must just blow the warm out out through vents? I have natural gas and it works well.


Clever idea to conserve heat. Iris looks adorable in that picture.

Jon said...

A few winters ago when my furnace broke down, I only had the fireplace for heat and I covered the doors to that room with sheets. It is a good way to keep the heat contained to one room.

I swear I'm colder here in west Texas than I ever was in Missouri, because the houses are flimsy and have no proper insulation.

Average Jane said...

My dad has one of those quartz heaters and he loves it.