Well, yesterday when I woke up it was only 35 degrees outside! The cooler weather is certainly here, and that means starting the balancing act of heating the 5th wheel. While the mornings may be chilly, where we are situated, if there is any sun, it really warm things up in the afternoon. While we could keep switching from the propane heater to the air conditioner, we try to conserve energy where we can. We also prefer to keep our room cooler than the living room. Last year we tried several different approaches to keeping a constant temperature inside and this is what we came up with.
The space heater: We use the space heater in the living room, mainly in the morning when it’s chilly. If we keep the door to the bedroom closed, it heats up the living room fairly quickly. Keeping the door closed cuts down on the draft, too. If it’s really cold, we leave the space heater on during the day. It has a sensor and turns off and on by itself.
The propane furnace: We use the furnace mainly on very cold nights (freezing temperatures), and in the winter months when the temperatures don’t get above freezing during the day. The space heater will actually keep the living room at a comfortable temperature, but having the warm air flowing through the vents in the “basement” keeps the water from freezing. Even though we like our room cold, we have found it is important to have some air flow. When it is in the teens, we also open the closets, drawers and cupboards periodically, because it gets REALLY cold in those closed spaces with no heat.
Vents: Even when it is cold outside, a sunny day can really warm things up with our southern exposure. We have ceiling vents in the kitchen, vanity area, and bedroom that we leave open a little on the sunny days. The bedroom especially can get warm and this really helps keep it cool without opening the windows, which cools it off too quickly.
Windows: On the nights when it’s in the teens, we have found that closing the blinds on all the windows helps keep the heat in. I also wipe the condensation from the windows at night, because it will freeze on the inside by morning!
Fans: We are lucky enough to have a ceiling fan and we keep it running pretty much all the time. In the summer, it draws the warm air up, and in the fall, we switch the direction so that it pushes the warm air back down into the room. We also have an oscillating fan in our bedroom that is always on at night.
Blankets and slippers: Don’t laugh, but we have Snuggies! They really are nice for reading, crocheting, or anything that requires your arms to be free. And don’t forget slippers! I normally go barefoot and have tough feet. Sometimes I don’t realize just how cold they are until I climb into bed, so I have to try to remember to wear them every night when we watch TV.
Though it may sound like a lot of fussing, it’s nothing compared to heating the old drafty farmhouse we lived in!