The reason our utilities are so low is due to a) We live in CA and b) We keep the thermostat set really low or really high. Last winter, we did our first season together without any heating(*). It was my second season without any heat having gone “heating-less” for a winter in a central European climate just to see if it was feasible (it was).

You can read more about how to eliminate heating bills and cut down on heating costs by clicking on the link. There are also some further tips on clothing in this post.

(*) The thermostat was set at 55F to protect the plumbing and it rarely switched on.

However, many people are not so fortunate to live in mild winter climates. With oil (and gas) reaching record prices, it is to expected that heating costs this winter will be somewhat higher. It would therefore by prudent to adopt the following two strategies.

  • Start becoming more physically active. As mentioned in the post above unlike aerobic exercise, heavy physical labor or strength and/or workouts boost one’s metabolism for several hours afterwards. This can mean the difference between swearing a t-shirt or sitting in a sweater under a blanket. As furnace-level metabolisms requires substantial amounts of weights to be lifted, it is recommended to get started now. By substantial, I mean 50-60lbs per hand for men and 25-30lbs for women with about 50 full body repetitions. This is a lot!
  • Get better winter clothes. Unfortunately practically everyone has grown accustomed to living in the 70F bubble of central air. Hence “winter”-clothes often comprise light cotton/polyester sweaters. These are insufficient for cold temperatures unless layered on top of each other. Even then they don’t beat a heavy woolen sweater. With food prices going up due to crazy people’s insistence on pouring food in our cars, it is reasonable to assume that wool prices will go up. It is also reasonable to assume that wool prices will go up anyway as people try to save money by turning down their thermostats. Since winter clothes is currently on sale, I am ordering mine now.

The brand I like for clothes that last forever is Filson. They seem very expensive, but considering the durability, they are actually very inexpensive although not as inexpensive as finding something for a couple of dollars as a thrift store.

Originally posted 2008-07-16 07:12:01.