At the end of October a truck from AmeriGas pulls into our driveway and a man takes some kind of hose into our backyard. It seems like he's filling up our propane tank (that's how the houses are heated out here). But that can't be what he's doing because we didn't order any gas. We didn't even need gas! We had 40% left in our tank and had no intention of ordering more until it got down to 10%! Neither of us have had any experience with gas before. We'd always had electric furnaces. So we didn't know how long our 40% worth of gas would last us but we figured we'd be good til at least January. But here we are, days before unemployment, with a $400 gas bill taped to our front door. We barely had enough money to pay our rent and now we had a $400 bill come out of nowhere! We talked to the landlord and he said he had no idea that the tenant who lived here before us had set up an automatic refill. He's so sorry and all. But we still need to pay it. No, not in six weeks. Now.
I was so furious! We didn't ask for the gas. We didn't need the gas. We didn't want the gas. I told Brian to call the company and tell them to come back and get their gas because we weren't paying for it. Of course he didn't. We paid for it and figured that $400 to heat our home for the whole winter was a pretty good deal.
That was six weeks ago. Since then we've been walking around the house in tank tops and boxers. Sometimes the heat is blowing so often that I feel like I'm suffocating. I wake up in the morning with my blankets thrown off me because it's so hot. It has turned into a constant argument between us. I tell him the heat is too high, that people aren't supposed to walk around in shorts in the wintertime. And he turns it down to pacify me but a few days later I see it's set above 70 again and he smirks and says, "Oops." He thinks it's a joke, I guess.
Well the joke is over now! He finally shoveled himself a path out back to check the gage and we've gone through $300 worth of gas in 6 weeks. LOL!
We've been foolish, yes. But we have like 4 months of winter left and there's still time to change this around. I googled ways to save on gas and read some interesting articles. Here's some suggestions:
1. Close the vents and doors of unused rooms. Great idea! The cats don't need their own room! Vents and doors closed!
2. Seal all gaps in the windows. $4 in the hardware department of Walmart and the problem is solved!
3. Turn heat down to 62 at night and throw an extra blanket on the bed. This one's easy. We have our thin North Carolina comforter, a heavy Michigan blanket that Aunt Bonnie let us borrow and we got a down comforter for Christmas (on sale for $25!!!!) We'll be cozy.
4. Turn heat down to 60 when you'll be gone for 8 or more hours. Damn, we went downstate twice this fall and never turned down the heat! Guess the cats will be a little chilly the next time we go but they can always crawl under the down comforter to warm up.
5. When you're done cooking, leave the oven open to help heat the kitchen. What a great idea! I'll be baking cookies all week. That'll be a big help, huh? We're gonna save so much money thanks to these helpful tips!
6. Replace your filter once a month. What filter? Do we have a filter? Where might a filter be?
7. Every degree makes a difference on your bill so experiment to see how much you can handle. Put slippers on if you're cold. Throw a blanket over you while you're watching TV. I totally have a creepy Snuggie commercial in my head right now. The one where they sing the Snug-a-rena and hop around in tie-dyed Snuggies like some kind of Kool-Aid drinking cult.
8. It's a good idea to wear a hat when you're indoors because most of the body's heat escapes through the head. Hmm...a hat inside? Seems kind of weird. And it's not gonna go well with our static electricity problem.
9. It also helps to keep your neck warm by wearing a scarf while indoors. Oh come on now, is this a joke? Can you imagine the two of us sitting on the couch playing Super Mario Bros in Snuggies, hats and scarves?!?!? I think I'd rather pay the gas bill!
Oh, and speaking of household nuisances, WTF is the deal with the static? If we try to get up off the couch, the couch tries to come with us. I get shocked every time I touch ANYTHING. I haven't been able to brush my hair in a week! It's super super annoying. So we bought a humidifier. One with a warm mist. Sounds great, right? But when I got it home and read the directions I realized this MFer is another chore! Every 24 hours I need to turn off the appliance, wait for it to cool down, wash the cover with soap and warm water and then scrub some other part of the gadget. Then, once a week, I also need to run bleach water through it. That's an awful lot of maintenance! Is this a humidifier or a dog? Do I need to take it for walks, too? I think I might take it back and get some anti-static spray instead. I have 26 weeks left to be lazy and I plan on enjoying them!