Friday, October 09, 2009

63 degrees and falling

Every fall I like to play the little game "let's see how long we can go without turning on the furnace!" When the kids complain I tell them, "It's fun, throw on some slippers and sweatshirt and play with me! Put an extra blanket, or three, on your bed! Do jumping jacks to warm your self up!" The kids don't like it much; they want to loaf around in shorts and t-shirts year-round. They complain that it is hard to make a bed with so many blankets. They think I'm joking when I suggest Jumping Jacks.

I'm not joking.

It is 63 degrees in the house this morning and my sons want me to turn on the furnace. I'm not quite ready to do that yet though. I gave them the excuse that I haven't vacuumed out the furnace ducts and cleaned the filter yet, which is true but not the real reason for leaving the furnace off.

The kids wake up at 6:30. The girls are gone to school by 7:15 and the boys leave at 8. Turning on the furnace for 45-90 minutes of perfect comfort isn't worth it. The kids are less likely to lay around in their skivvies and more likely to jump right into school clothes when their room is a bit nippy.

Anyways this time of year the house is only cold until about 11am when the sun is coming through the windows and the dishwasher and washer and dryer and oven have been running for a bit, by then it is about67 degrees inside--totally doable. When everyone gets home from school, practice and work there is not a complaint to be heard (other than "where's dinner?").

Besides, turning on the furnace is synonymous with turning on our allergies. I hate waking up with the dry sore throat and itchy nose that hot blowing air brings. The dust and the dryness are so aggravating to my eyes and keep me sneezing all day. Turning on the furnace means re-upping the Claritin and Nasonex prescriptions for four out of six members of the family: expensive, annoying and full of unwanted side-effects.

Of course you know the real reason for not turning on the furnace: the bill. Our furnace is old and inefficient. Our house is poorly insulated. Add the two together and you get . . . a large bill. On the upside the furnace is gas; I can't imagine how expensive the bill would be if it were electric or oil, yikes! But really truly I do not want to turn on the furnace because I would rather be cold, bundled up in two pairs of socks a sweatshirt and long johns, and spend my money on a weekend trip to Northwest Trek or out to the Ocean Beaches to dig clams or a movie and ice cream or ANYTHING.

So kids, When I'd rather be warm-- I'll turn on the furnace.

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