Though I didn’t want to turn the furnace on until November, the 30 degree nights and 40 degree days have caused me to cave in. However, as a compromise, I’m keeping the thermostat set firmly at 58 degrees (aka “the battle against cold air”). And though even now my fingers feel slightly numb and my dog has to keep moving to stay warm, it’s actually not that bad. At least I can’t see condensation in the air from my breath.

Here are a few things I’ve realized by keeping the thermostat on the down-low:

1.) My winter clothing is getting more use. Granted, I have to wear several sweaters at once, but at least they’re not going to waste in my closet. (During my last move, my friend Kay was unpacking my rather large sweater collection, commenting that I absolutely MUST get rid of any I hadn’t worn in more than a year. Now, all my sweaters are safe!)

2.) I finally understand what all the fuss is about slippers. (I’m even wearing mine with socks now, which I could never do in a house that is 68 degrees.)

3.) I feel very “green” and environmentally conscious (plus also, I’ve officially earned the title “cheapskate”).

4.) I have the admiration of other penny pinchers. My very efficient and energy-saving friend Jamey looked at me in awe Sunday when he heard I kept my furnace at 58 degrees around the clock. “I thought turning my furnace down to 60 degrees at night was pushing it,” he said.

5.) It makes me want to save energy in other ways (I’ve been washing clothes on cold — or warm at most, and I’m considering getting a drying rack instead of using the dryer).

6.) My parents don’t seem so “weird” anymore for always following me around and turning off light switches and keeping the thermostat on a balmy 68 degrees.

7.) When I accidentally left some food out of the refrigerator while I was at work, it didn’t go bad. The house is only slightly warmer than the refrigerator, anyway.

8.) I’ve learned all kinds of tricks about keeping cold air out and warm air in. I felt like a pioneer as I was taping plastic to my windows and cutting styrofoam for the crawl space openings. (I know pioneers didn’t have plastic and styrofoam, but the pioneer thought honestly popped into my head as I was winterizing.)

9.) I’m going to appreciate Spring and Summer a lot more.

10.) On the days the temperature creeps up to 55 and the sun starts shining, my furnace doesn’t kick on at all!

Stay warm!