My husband Ed is in a league all his own when it comes to saving energy and living frugally. If I had known that Living with Ed was reality show material, I would have called Hollywood years ago. Looks like I missed the boat on that one. So I’ll just give you a little peek into my own little reality show instead:
- Ed turns off our furnace and water heater when we leave town. For two days.
- He unscrews random light bulbs throughout the house to save energy. And yes, they are all CFL so that’s a savings of roughly 60¢ a year. Per bulb.
- Pop cans are important to Ed, and are collected at work or in the ditch. Doesn’t matter. I often have to talk him down from stopping the car, but I have gotten totally used to beer cans rolling around in the minivan. Some of them get turned in to our local bottle return, but most of them are stashed in the garage for a dryer vent heat exchanger he has designed.
- Ed is a hard-core, skilled DIYer and tackles every home improvement project himself. Then he straightens every nail and saves every board for the next project.
- His poor little car gets enlisted to haul home whatever treasure he digs out of the trash trailer at work. Office chairs, box fans, wood pallets, small engines. He has a soft spot for abandoned items, and brings them home to live with us. Currently his car is filled with remnant rolls of insulation from a construction site near work.
- That internal light in our microwave? You know, the one that helps you see if your bowl of oatmeal is overflowing? Disconnected. It drives me crazy, but it saves us an average of 2¢ a year.
The man is nuts. Good thing I adore him so much, which makes living with (my) Ed such a fun adventure. This isn’t to say I agree with all of his cockamamie ideas. No, my friends, but I must pick my battles wisely, for the sake of the planet and my sanity.
However, when we moved into our current house two years ago, and Ed suggested swapping out the natural gas fireplace for a wood burning stove, I was completely on board.
Both of us grew up in homes heated by wood stoves, and two out of our last three homes have all had wood stoves. We love it. There is just something about the constant, penetrating heat from burning wood that you can’t beat with other methods. We also have forced air heat in this home and have had electric heat in others. Those work fine, but don’t provide the same cozy feel and steady heat as good ol’ wood.
So that was a major motivator for us. The other factor, of course, was the huge savings in our energy bills. We’re talking hundreds of dollars a year! Leave my microwave alone, Ed, we have bigger fish to fry.
We wrapped up our wood stove installation two months ago, and we could not be happier with the change. It is seriously one of those relatively small changes that has totally improved the feel (and temperature!) of our home.
In the next two posts, I will be sharing all the details about what we spent to make this swap, as well as what it will save us in the long run. I’ll also share some tips for finding firewood without breaking the bank. Or really spending any money at all. Even better.
Stay tuned! And stay warm this week! Yikes, it’s cold out.
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