It's been a bad winter, at least for me, (and my utility bills.) Being retired, with too much time on my hands, I've put 3 years of gas bills into a spreadsheet, and here's the result. See those 3 coldest points on the left below 25 degrees? They ALL come from this winter season. Over the previous 2 years we had only 2 points with averages really below 30 deg.
Gas usage would have been higher except the wife and I did a major "replace the weather stripping, check the storm windows" overhaul. (It's actually good to see that our work did help. Gas usage is essentially flat for the coldest five billing periods.) So finally it warms up, and then we get that storm that I posted about a couple of weeks ago. (You don't want any more pictures like that, do you? I didn't think so.)
So I'm wondering, are winters going to be like that in the future? When I have questions like that, I turn to the natives for answers, especially Charlie across the street.
Here are Charlie's house and garage. It's a small place, but up here, people don't have to have a super-size me house. The yard and the garden are more important. Like a lot of people around here, Charlie spends lots of time in his garage, especially when friends drop by. The guys hang out in the garage, the women hang out in the kitchen, and never the twain shall meet. Maybe that's one reason couples stay married so long. Bonnie says she could never put up with him if he was in the house all day.
One thing about learning from Charlie is this, don't ask him questions, no sir, I learned that the hard way. Ask Charlie a question and it can be like turning on a kitchen sprayer that won't turn off again. Nope, I just observe what he does.
This time I checked out the size of his woodpile!
Here is part of it, behind the garage. There is an even bigger stack along the side of the road. And, he's currently adding to it, big time. (I guess he used a lot this winter.) Looks kind of big for that small house, doesn't it? Well, Charlie only has wood heat in his garage, the house is heated by gas. (Charlie likes it warm in his garage!)
Sheesh. If Charlie is stocking up like that just to heat his garage, he must know something I don't. It's time to think about installing super insulation and upgrading the furnace.
Or, I could assuage my fears by watching Al's new movie.