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October 24, 2020



Lots of people have been guilted for turning on the heat or AC "unnecessarily" with varying degrees of "unnecessarily" - which is, to some degree, environmentally justifiable, but only to some degree - so I'm guessing that's where most of it comes from. The same as some people say how incredibly rarely they eat dessert, before they eat dessert in public, although that's more of a weight/"health" framework that must be conciliated/excused somehow instead of an environmental one.


KC - I don’t think I would have dinner with that dessert-denier a second time.


Just trying to save money, really.


Dave2 - how much money is saved? I’m on a budget plan for gas and electric, so any tweaks I make don’t show up immediately.


I sort of figure that they probably have a Reason they feel so compelled to something-or-other, whether a good reason or a bad reason (in multiple different ways). In my teens, I was lastingly impressed by one of the "cool girls" relating one day how she had run down the stairs from her room all excited to go out to a soccer game or something and her mom stopped her, chastised her for being willing to go out of the house "looking like death" (no makeup) and sent her back upstairs to put on a full face of makeup before she went out to this casual, not formal, not professional social thing.

I did not feel critical about that group of girls for always wearing makeup after that.

It's... really something... what damage people can do. And then what the recipients of the damage do. And so on. So yeah, I would not be happy about Dessert Denial, although some people really *do* only eat dessert a few times a year, but... sometimes there are reasons for annoying behaviors, and that one might be one with a reason.


KC - I agree, they probably have a reason, but what is that reason? And if the reason is to save money, how much? If it’s hundreds of dollars saved I might do it, but I suspect it’s more like $35. I don’t know.


My parents will do amazing, ridiculous things to save 75 cents. So. There is that.

As to sheer quantity, I suspect that if you can deal with, say, five degrees off your optimal temperature in general, it probably adds up to hundreds of dollars over a year's time in a not-exceptionally-temperate climate, especially in a large or drafty house. I'd be surprised, given our total electric and gas bills, if one day of abstaining during middling temperatures made more than about $5 difference, though (we basically stay below $300/month for both, but that includes sewer, water, garbage, and various service fees that are not affected by quantity; the balance between gas costs and electric costs changes between winter and summer, though, obviously, and it's cheaper during the more moderate months than it is during the coldest/hottest times).

I've heard that programmable thermostats can save quite a bundle by allowing the house's temperature to be cooler while you're in bed or away at work (although apparently it doesn't really save anything if it's only different for a short period of time - it takes nearly as much energy to bring it back to temp after an hour as it would to maintain temp for that hour? But for overnight or away at work: yep).

But people often have complex reasons; it's been drilled into them that it'd be "weak" to do this, and there are guilt things because they know people elsewhere are just suffering from the heat/cold, also global warming, and the money thing, and various other whatevers.

It personally bugs me now that we literally swap from AC to heat and then back to AC before we go to just heat for the winter, rather than, say, having a month or two where it's just a fine temperature without any adjusting... but that's what happens when your climate dishes out two straight days without anything above 50F and then goes over 85F as a high for two days and then flips back to cold (heeey ice storm!), and when your body just kind of forgot how to do temperature regulation and therefore decides to make you vomit instead of sweating when you're a bit too warm. (okay, and when you also fight against the "you should just be able to deal with it" suggestions that only the weak are sick)

I guess: there's a lot going on, for most people, probably.


KC - first, I would pay a dollar a day, or $365 a year, to always be comfortable. And second, we have a programmable thermostat, and I would love it only it doesn’t instantly de-humidify the house. 72 degrees in Saint Louis humidity does not equal 72 degrees in a Saint Louis winter. Plus, you don’t get an exact degree, you fall in a three degree range.


We run a humidifier in the winter. It is a Good Thing.

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