Oil heat is included in our rent, but we don't like to take advantage of that situation. When we lived in our old apartment, oil heat was included there. We lived on the third floor, the top level, and never touched our thermostat from where the landlord had set it. Some mornings were a little chilly, but we were never truly cold. Heat rose from the other apartments and we were all set. We try to conserve here, too, even though it is paid for.
God gave us brains, and using them glorifies him.
My husband always says, "It's a hundred-year-old technology. You don't see people going around with a Victrola. So why are we still using the same basic car engine?" We know how to do this another way. The auto industry is a little further behind, but we can heat our homes in a myriad of other ways.
Oil won't last forever.
We know it won't. We know we have a only a few decades left of oil, yet our consumption seems to be increasing. Everyone else says they find this crazy, but if everyone agreed, why isn't our oil consumption decreasing?
I hate government regulations.
If I use too much heat on my landlord's dime, he may raise the rent. If we all use too much oil, the government may be forced to ration it. This wouldn't effect my family much. Our family won't be using more than it's allotment any time soon. It's just something we don't want to happen. Can't we be responsible if we're not being forced to?
Some wars do not need to happen.
If oil were not so precious a commodity, the Middle East would be a less volatile region. We as a nation would not so readily step into Middle Eastern affairs, often messing things up further, if there were not oil interests.
Last fall, the landlord replaced some windows. One window in the kitchen was great. The other two were still horrible. We got curtains with a thermal lining and kept the windows covered all the time. It let in less light, but the kitchen wasn't that cold. This fall, the non-efficient kitchen windows were replaced as well.
Our door really should be replaced. It is drafty up top, and as far as I know, there aren't door jams for the top of the door. Again, we put up a thermal curtain that we close when we are home, covering the door completely.
The boys' room has a window that was an original when the house was built. The view from their window is into the hallway, so I wasn't too fond of that window to begin with. I hung two heavy floor rugs onto the wall. I leave them there all year long as a decorative element.
Besides home improvement techniques, most other heating options are about keeping your body warm. Consider the difference between the crock pot and the oven. The oven heats a large empty space around the item it is cooking. The crock pot heats very little space, but only heats a small space directly around the food cooking. If we keep our bodies warm, we don't have to keep the air around us as warm.
Starting in the fall, I wear slippers. Some may not have appreciated it when Jimmy Carter told the nation to put on another sweater, but it was sound advice. We have a blanket on our couch and will put on another layer of clothing before turning to the thermostat. All the kids wear at least as many layers as I do. Changing the thermostat is our last resort in keeping us warm, not out first.
What other ways do you reduce heating costs and consumption?