Just saw an article at the Get Rich Slowly blog that talks about how to stay warm in a drafty old house. Moving to Scotland has been a learning experience in this area – our flat was built in 1824 and still has the original windows and drafty floorboards. The nice thing about city living is that our downstairs neighbor does a nice job of sending most of their heat up through our floor. The downside is that most of our heat goes right up to the person above us. The people at the top floor probably don’t even have to turn on their heat, but that’s their reward for having to walk up so many stairs every day.
The solution to energy conservation that most Edinburghers seem to use is to turn their heat off completely at night and put a hot water bottle in their bed. When we first heard about this it sounded old fashioned and inconvenient but we thought we’d give it a shot. For a couple of months now (in the coldest part of winter) we’ve been turning our heat completely off at night, with the exception of India’s room where we keep her radiator on since she’s too young for a bottle (or even blankets). Rather than being inconvenient it has been a real treat to jump into bed with a piping hot water bottle that actually stays hot and warms the entire bed all the way until morning. It is certainly warmer than if we had kept the heat in the whole house blasting all night. The result is that the radiators in the bedroom and the rooms that we don’t usually use (guest room, second bathroom) are never turned on, and the drawing room, kitchen and bathroom are only heated during the day and we’re still completely confortable. What a great way to save energy but still stay toasty warm!