Shannon Stacey

Insanity…I has extra (and a PSA)

It’s only 8:30 and I’ve already been knee-deep in techno problems. The TV and PS3 are flipping me the “not supported mode” finger. After cycling through so many menus and settings I’ve probably screwed the TV for regular TV watching, no dice. I’m thinking (almost hoping, as much as they cost) that the HDMI cable blew.

2 boys + school vacation + no PS3 = :gaah:

And in a mere several hours we shall embark to Smitty’s Cinema Pub for the Ultimate Birthday Party—Bolt, pizza, soda, popcorn, cupcakes and ice cream. Frankly, all I see is sugar, sugar, sugar and hey…more sugar!

Thanksgiving’s tomorrow and I finally remembered to buy a turkey last night. Now I have to unbury my dining room, which is full of stuff from the den. I can’t put it back in the den because it’s not done (the sheetrocker’s sanding today, yay!), so I’ll have to pile it on top of some other piles somewhere.

And Friday morning we’re heading north, which means I need copious amounts of 1) clean laundry, which I seem to have enabled a shortage of and 2) cold weather gear, which I have yet to find all of.

Fortunately, there’s Sven because, while I might not be totally reaching my goals, I AM writing every single day, which is an amazing feat unto itself (for me).

Oh, and a PSA from a Mrs. HVAC:

I’ve been getting inundated with inserts in electric/gas/etc bills featuring energy-saving tips. You’re getting them, too, I assume. One of their favorite tips seems to be turning down the heat when you’re not going to be home.


I actually have a leaflet here instructing people to set their thermostats at 70 while they’re home and lower to them to 60 when they’re away at work/school. NO. No no—omg, seriously NO.

If you should follow those directions, you might notice your furnace/boiler works like a dog trying to get back up to 70. Or maybe it turns up an hour before you’re scheduled to get home, so you don’t notice it working like a dog, but it does. It not only has to heat the air, but every surface in the home because the core room temperature dropped so much.

If you really want to adjust your thermostat to save energy, then drop it two degrees. Three if you absolutely must. Any more than that and you’re actually increasing your energy use and adding unnecessary wear and tear to your equipment.

Even better, set it for 69 and leave it alone.

And don’t take energy conservation tips from people who make their money from your energy consumption.

7 comments to “Insanity…I has extra (and a PSA)”

  1. Shannon
      · November 26th, 2008 at 11:29 am · Link

    Update: Switched HDMI cord from PS3’s TV port to DVD player’s TV port and it works, so PS3 is not an overpriced paperweight.


    I’ll have to figure out what happened to that TV HDMI input, but it can wait until later.

    For now, Need for Speed: Undercover (and relative peace) restored.

  2. Annmarie
      · November 26th, 2008 at 2:01 pm · Link

    Well hell. My DH turns the thermostat down to 55 then back to 70. I’ve TRIED to reason with him but he’s obstinate. (I’m trying to be nice. Obstinate is waaay nicer than dumbass, right?)

    We keep our uninhabited house @ 55 all winter. *sigh*

  3. azteclady
      · November 26th, 2008 at 2:05 pm · Link

    My furnace gets set to 69 and my A/C gets set to 80.

    I did this without previous knowledge or special insight, just seemed the way to go. Then I called my power company to schedule one of those things where they send someone to check your house and tell you where you are wasting power… and the lady said, “Ma’am, you already have the lowest bill possible for a house that size.”

    (Yes, even though I have no clue how that happened, I felt so proud of myself–like the kid who finally remembers to take a dirty glass to the sink and someone notices)

  4. Melani Blazer
      · November 26th, 2008 at 3:59 pm · Link

    Ah hah! As the child of an HVAC tech (and business owner) I did know this. But damn if it isn’t one of the hardest things to beat into people’s head.

    I try to explain this… do you use more gas mileage going an even 55 for 10 miles, or doing 2 miles at 55, then 2 at 40, then 1 at 55, another at 40, etc? Duh! The acceleration requires much more energy than maintaining a higher speed.

    I also learned it’s better to turn on a light and leave it on (or off) than constantly switch it on and off if you’re in and out of that room. I agree with Shan, never take tips on those who profit from the energy companies. Talk to your local HVAC fella instead.

  5. Shannon
      · November 26th, 2008 at 7:06 pm · Link

    Same principle as people shutting off their cars at the ATM to save gas. Not so much.

    One conservation tip I know is true but which I ignore anyway, even if it makes me a bad person, is how much energy our high end electronics use even in the off mode overnight and how we should unplug them.

    Dude, do you have any idea how complicated the set-up is on some of these things when the power’s been cut to them? Sitting with cold coffee at 6:30 in the morning, rifling through instruction books and juggling remotes just so I can watch the news is not my idea of waking up.

    I feel bad that I have like a dozen little “stand-by” dots glowing after the lights go out for the night, but not THAT bad. Sorry.

    Dayum, azteclady, that’s awesome!

    And Annmarie…the house you occupy is going back and forth from 55 to 70? Because that’s way bad for your wallet. If it’s the unoccupied one, that’s not so bad. You’ve gotta keep the pipes from freezing and the occasional boost to 70 if you’re spending the weekend is no biggie.

  6. Annmarie
      · November 26th, 2008 at 8:33 pm · Link

    The one I live in goes back and forth all the time. It makes me NUTS. HE makes me nuts. It’s an ANCIENT gas furnace. Like. Older than me. Like. Grates in the floor furnace. My gas bill is INSANELY high.

  7. Lynn
      · November 27th, 2008 at 9:57 am · Link

    My guy is an HVAC engineer, so most of that stuff is wasted on us. We’ve been using the fireplace to warm the house in the morning and the evening. Whenever I cook I leave the door open on the oven after I shut it off, which warms up the kitchen. Fuzzy socks and slippers combat the cold tile floors, and I have no shame about wearing my favorite snuggly pink bathrobe all day if need be.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Shannon. :)

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