So even though this does not apply to me anymore, I thought this would be a place for people to discuss what to do. With wind chill, right now it is -42 degrees where I live. My state sent out an emergency alert that the power company is requesting that you set your thermostat lower than 65 degrees until Friday due to extreme weather. So since elders are always cold, how are you planning on dealing with the situation?

Any time the temps get below 30 degrees I become obsessed that the water pipes might freeze. So at night, since the kitchen sink is on an outside wall, I open up the sink cabinets so inside can be at room temp. I do the same with bathrooms where the water pipes are on an outside wall. Even have the heat vents opened in the basement.

The outside water spigot is a major challenge due to the location of the turn off for that pipe in the basement. Why can't plumbers take into consideration of the turn off valves? Not everyone can climb up carefully to reach these valves. Mine is above the washing machine up in the ceiling.

At the exterior doors and patio doors, I put throw rugs up against the bottom of the door a few inches up onto the glass/door. And with old windows, I found that rolling up old towels and placing the towels in the window slats also helps.

Roll up towels also help at the base of a closet door, a door that is up against an outside wall. Yep, the clothes will feel like they have been in a restaurant meat locker. Throw the clothes into the dryer for a few minutes to warm up. Wrestle the toasty warm clothes from the cat.

After cooking something in the oven, when the oven is off I open up the oven door a bit so that the hot temp can escape into the room while the oven is cooling off.

If you have a room that is on a cement slab, even with wall to wall carpeting the floor can still feel very cold. I would put down a large faux oriental rug which would help.

The above are ideas that my Dad had taught me, and every winter would call to see if I am doing those things.... year after year after year :)
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to freqflyer

Since I once worked for a electric company I can offer that during unusual extremes of weather - hot or cold - the peak demand for electricity surges. Due to the efforts of environmental groups to limit construction of new power plants using coal or gas, many electrical systems can no longer meet the peak demand (renewables like solar, wind, and hydro are not always available during peak demand needs - for example during rain/snow storms solar produces almost nothing; storms can shift wind directions so that production is also reduced and extreme cold can cause freeze problems with hydro). When possible, electric providers will purchase additional electricity from neighboring systems, but this storm is so wide spread that probably isn't working in many areas this time around. That's when the electric company starts requesting consumers reduce peak demand by lowing their thermostats or not running dish and clothes washers and dryers during peak periods - usually early morning when people are getting ready for work, day light hours when people are working, and early evening when people return home and cook dinner.

If you are using electricity for heat then reducing your thermostat even a couple of degrees will help, particularly if you use a small space heater to heat just the room(s) you will be occupying. Running your washers/dryer or other major appliances after bedtime helps too. I usually put the loads to run when I go to bed and shift the load to the dryer when I wake sometime during the night. It may only reduce your electrical use a small amount, but if enough people contribute that small reduction it can make a big difference. If peak demand exceeds the electrical capacity, the next step is rolling brown outs where electricity to designated areas is cut off completely for a limited amounts of time, usually hours in the current situation.
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Reply to TNtechie
mally1 19 hours ago
When it's really cold we usually use the wood stove on the main level; if I'm not up to the hassle, I close off the bedroom (where the computer is) and turn the heat up higher in there, or put the space heater near me - though as someone else said, you have to heat the rest of the house enough to keep pipes from freezing!
They asked people to lower their thermostats? Seriously? Most people here got rid of electric heat due to the higher cost compared to... everything; lowering the thermostat would never make any difference to the grid. I imagine even the power company expects that homes with vulnerable populations need to be exempted.
(My nephew called me last night to tell me his pipes were frozen, something else to consider)
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to cwillie

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