Everyone who reads this magazine in a tropical climate can ignore this post.
For the rest of you: here in the Northern reaches of the East Coast, summer's lease hath all too short a date, and it's nearly time for temperatures to drop and for all of us to pause at a long-neglected spot on the rug and reach for... (cue Psycho violins) the thermostat! Well, it's not that scary. Cheap thriller tactics. But, as deliberateLIFE shows you in our issues (and issues - hah!), every decision you make is important for you and for others around you.
You're reaching for the thermostat, but what kind is it? Not something you've thought of? Let's consider it. If it's one of those thermostats which look like bronze macaroons with a watch-like dial on the top, we'll talk to you in a little bit. Stick around.
If you have a programmable thermostat, listen up. Most people (the author among them) have not ever actually programmed that sort of thermostat. We're going to encourage you to figure out how to do that if you don't know how - ask the techie friend, the neighbor who turns your laptop on and off when it's broken, a precocious nephew. You'll want to set the temperature of your house to automatically lower at night. Or, you can set up a whole-week program designed to keep the house cool when you're not there, or you're unconscious. Because, if you 1. get eight hours of sleep (as you should!) and 2. turn your thermostat down for those eight hours, you'll save something like 1% of your energy use per degree turned down. Amazing! Try five degrees cooler per night, and see if you can get it down to as much as 15 degrees cooler. You might already know this, but we figured we'd give you some numbers.
Now, for you macaroon people - you can do this too. You'll just have to remember every night to turn down the ol' thermostat. One percent per degree might not sound like a lot. But, if you bump down your thermostat ten degrees every night year-round (it works with the AC too, only the opposite way), you could look at saving 10-15% on your energy bill, and if your house is heated by fossil fuels, you're conserving that much usage which helps make a dent in the 22% of the country's energy usage attributed to residences.
And now for the fun part!
For ye olde sufferers (the victims of hard-handed dads who turn the thermostat down to 55 degrees), or those who want to take one or two (degrees) for the team, remember the existence of sweaters. They're warm. They go with everything. They can come from the Alpacas who live down the road (for some of us). They're also renewable insulation - a natural & (possibly) organic way to keep warm. And, best of all, you can knit them for each other.
So, this lovely autumn, we at deliberateLIFE encourage you to turn down the thermostat (or program it to do so!), and bundle up a little more. And, if you're savvy, knit a sweater for your buddy/significant other/child/dog. Not only is it soothing, you're helping lower your personal energy consumption.
By Seth Strickland