It may seem a bit odd, but for all of 2012 I would do at least a walk through to every disaster I heard about on the news. I got in the habit of watching the weather alerts and start to pre- position things in the house in case the power, heat/AC went out. When Idaho had a small windstorm and another city didn’t have a backup system for the pumping clean water or dealing with sewage. Or up in the mountains people all depended on electric pumps for wells and they did not have water for a week. I felt darn proud of myself getting my water test done and had plenty of water on hand as well as a couple of ways to have power.
I know a few folks think the new smart electrical meters are evil and I was none to happy when mine was installed. I like being able to see how much electricity I’m using and when I use it. My next month’s electric bill is looking pretty high because SW Idaho is having a cold winter. I forgot there is a big difference if 18 degrees is your low and if 18 degrees is your high for the day. So I’m trying out the Mr.Heater using the 15 pound tank and hose and finding the sweet spot in the house that it will keep most of my living space about 65 degrees F. I figure I’ll run the Mr. Heater during the day and turn down the central heat to about 60 degrees overnight. At the end of my test I’ll refill the tank if it is not empty and see how much fuel I have used. I figure that should give me a good idea of what I would need for heat if power goes out for more than a week in the winter. Don’t worry I still have a couple of full tanks on hand for a real emergency.
SW Idaho can get darn cold in the winter but usually Jan. and Feb. tend to be the coldest months. Having a heavy robe and pjs to wear at night and some sweats, jackets and slippers can go along ways for keeping you warm. I know a few folks that use wood heat or live in RVs in cold weather that would be quite happy to wake up to 55-60 degrees. I think I found the sweet spot for the heater not super warm but at least 60-65 degrees F. and if you have good shelter and some warm clothes on, it’s darn comfy especially if it 0 degrees outside. I’ll be turning off the heater at night to save fuel and reduce the fire hazard. Smokey the cat has found her happy place about 18 inches in front of the Mr. Heater. No better creature in the world for finding the best comfort zone than a house cat. Finished the Propane Mr. Heater test and got a good 5 days in zero degree weather on a 15 pound tank, mostly on high setting.