Friday, January 9, 2015

Let's Talk about Layers!

Brrrrr it has been very cold here!  Last night it was a toasty 4*, and tonight will not be much warmer.  Every region is different but for us, that's cold!  

Since moving here, one major difference has been that we use propane to fuel our central heat system.  To get the best fuel rates here, you purchase the amount you think you will use that season up front.  Not having gone through a full winter here in this house, and having a new heat system in place, we had no idea how much fuel to expect to use so we intentionally bought more than we hoped we would need.  At the same time in keeping with our goal of living simply and intentionally using less, we have kept our thermostat on the cooler side.  Using less propane and more layers.  For some this might be an obvious choice, but many people adjust their thermostats up and down according to their comfort level on a day by day basis.  I have known many people that walk around the house in shorts, T-shirt, and bare footed in the winter with the thermostat cranked up so they are comfortable!  I know several that have taken it one step further and have even opened windows because they are too warm from the heater being turned up too high!   We decided to make a change and adjust our layers instead of our thermostat based on our comfort level.  Big difference!  We are saving both resources and money.  The change has worked out better than we had hoped.

We are all used to the house being a little cooler now and dress both ourselves and our beds accordingly!  They key is layers.  

My dad worked outside a lot, and always had several jackets and shirts he would pile on finishing with a thick overcoat.  He always said layer up to stay warm.  It didn't really hit home for me until we moved out here and we have outside farm chores.  My husband often works outside and has used layers for years as well. 

I used to be of the mindset that one big heavy comforter is cozy and warm.  For years we used a feather bed and down comforter on our bed.  This was indeed warm because the feathers trapped a layer of air in them keeping us insulated and warm.  Later when these wore out I tried the big comfy comforter approach to no use.  I just wasn't warm enough.  This year with the thermostat cooler we keep snug and warm with just the right amount of layers on our bed.
 We have five layers and it's just right.  A sheet, a velour blanket that instantly warms to your body heat and feels like an electric blanket with out needing to be plugged in.  A thin down comforter, a regular cotton comforter, and a thin quilt.  Individually these blankets are not very warm, but by layering them there is air trapped between the layers and we are very comfortable and warm.  Everyone has layers of cozy blankets on their beds.  They keep us so warm in fact that when I turned up the heat last night a couple degrees thinking it would counter the extreme cold outside our children complained it was too warm.  Layers work!

The same concept applies to the clothing you wear.  It is easy to adjust to the temperature outside by adding or removing layers when you are working if you have several layers on.  If you are relying on one big heavy coat you can become too hot and if you remove it, may become to cold  and chilled. 

When in the house, we all wear sweat pants, lounge pants or warm but comfortable clothing.  We always wear socks and slippers when walking around.  We were never the family that opened the windows in the winter but we were guilty of adjusting our thermostat instead of our layers.  Those days, and ways are long gone and we couldn't be happier!  Blessings


Donna Shaw said...

Layers are key! We are experiencing the same frigid temps you are--it's been brutal!!

Prairie Harmony said...

Yes! Bundle up, wishing you warmth :)