AT on ... Dealing with the Cold

AT on ... Dealing with the Cold

I spent Thanksgiving with my family in sunny, warm Southern California. The weather was beautiful, although not what most people would expect in November (e.g., we contemplated sun bathing in the backyard).

However, when I returned to Northern California on Sunday, the seasons had changed. It was cold. Maybe it wasn't Michigan cold, or New England cold ... but for me, a California-native, it was downright chilly. And my apartment? It's drafty.

We have an old forced-air heating system that feels great when it's on. But, once it gets up to wherever I've set the thermostat and shuts off, the whole apartment is immediately cold again. So, especially because I work from home, I've been getting creative.

Although a drafty, cold apartment is a bummer and awfully energy inefficient, it is an excuse to indulge in a few things I really love: big, soft blankets, thick, fuzzy socks, old sweatshirts, giant mugs of steaming tea, and hot (quick) showers. Obviously, better insulation, better windows, and a better heating system are the real answers here -- but I'm working with what I've got.

Although I'm tempted to leave it on, I only run the heat for about 30 minutes in the morning -- just enough time to get the coffee going and get settled for a day of work. I bundle up, hunker down and, if it's really cold, sometimes I'll pull out the parabolic space heater and put it at my feet, under the desk, for a little while. This, I have decided, is far more efficient than heating the whole apartment.

Now, I've lived in the real cold (hello New Hampshire), so I know that fuzzy socks won't do you much good when it's 14 below. But, in California, my strategy works.

What do you do to stay warm at home?

image via cmbellman; Flickr.com

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