Saturday, October 22, 2022

Still Life with Robin: To Heat....Or to Chill?

by Peggy Robin

Lately, the question I've been pondering almost every day is....turn on the heat, or feel the chill? 

It's hard to know what to do when you wake up in the morning and the house feels cold (well, not actually cold, cold -- more like a bit on the chilly side -- it's 62F inside) -- but it's 45 degrees outside, and you know it's going to heat up to a pleasant 68 or 70 by the afternoon. If you turn on the heating system, you'll be warming up the house for a few hours in the morning, but if you just put on a nice sweater and have a cup of hot tea, and wait patiently for the next few hours, the inside temperature will soon match the perfectly comfortable temperature outside. All without adding to your monthly energy bill.

The trouble is, I'm not all that patient. And I'm not too good at typing with cold fingers, either. So I have hit on a solution: I will just heat up my little home office, as needed. And that can be done quickly and at relatively low cost with the use of a small space heater. 

Amazon to the rescue! But there are so many choices! And so many prices! I could get one for as little as $19.99 -- it's this little ceramic, fan-driven heater that could sit on my desk: -- or I could spend as much as $174.99 for this fancy-schmancy, oscillating and tilting tower with infrared heat, operated by a remote control and chock-full of features: And then there are the oil-filled radiators that work much like the hot-water radiators in a house with oil heat; they're perfectly quiet but it can take a long time for the heat to fill up the room -- and they cost around $118. I've already got one of those in my large, finished basement room. It works quite well, but it's too big for my small home office.

After much flipping back and forth among the Amazon pages, I finally settled on this little model for $35 - - it's got an "eco" mode that adjusts the fan speed to conserve energy after the room has reached the set temperature; it has a timer so you don't have to worry about forgetting to turn it off when you're done; and it's got good reviews and a top safety rating. And best of all, I've stopped having to debate with myself every morning about whether I should give in and turn on the whole house heat! Not yet.....

My goal is to stick it out until at least November 1st!

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

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