Winter has again seen us working at staying warm without turning on heaters.
Our winter floor covering had been getting increasingly threadbare. Last year we insulated it with a layer of padding underneath, cut from the base of a single bed that was on its way out (having been with me for about 30 years). This layer did help, but it covered only part of the area, and didn't address the holes developing in the old rug. When friends offered us a replacement rug that they were disposing of we jumped at the chance to upgrade.
With a nice thick layer to catch morning sun warmth and insulate us from the cold of the tile floor, we have been enjoying playing on the lounge floor with no additional heating.
We also added carpet offcuts under both the lego table (the central item in our living space) and the dining area, which have added to the winter floor insulation. The thick white one under the lego table also cries out for cubbies to be made under there - a call to which the children readily respond.
A few years back we had a go at carpet offcuts under the dining table. After one season they got shabby and didn't return the next year. It is a challenge storing them through summer. Hopefully we can manage it this year, but if not it is possible we could just get a fresh round of carpet pieces each autumn, as they are destined for waste anyway.
Initial Cost: zero - carpet offcuts are free behind the carpet store; the lounge rug was a second-hand gift.
Ongoing time or cost commitment: ten minutes when the weather warms to take up and store floor coverings. If satisfactory storage for the carpet offcuts can't be found, there will be time next year making a trip to pick up some more from the carpet store - no more than half an hour, as it is not a long way to go.
Impact: Our most recent electricity bill, for May and June, showed we had used an average of 6.2 units (kWh) of energy per day, down from 6.6 units per day for the same period last year and 8 units per day the year before (but the previous three years we were in the 5.8 to 6.1 range, so it has not been all improvement!). By comparison, the average household use in our neighbourhood is 11.9 units a day, and 'similar houses' record an average of 13.1 units.
We have turned on the heating (reverse cycle airconditioner) I think twice so far this winter, each time for about an hour to take the chill off. Carpets are just one of the range of measures we take to warm ourselves without using electricity (see also May and August 2014 posts)
|He has mittens on because they were new and he was enjoying them, not because the room was freezing. He was also bare foot when I took this picture.|