Last Saturday, most people across the region received some sort of notification, a request to conserve their utility use as the temperatures plunged deep into the negatives ahead of the first round of snow. Instantly, and in true red blooded American fashion, people started fighting each other over the idea of a cool house for the greater good. I swear, if someone invented the shower today, half the population would fight it. Before I hop off topic here and start giving the Karen's a reason to contact my boss, I've actually got some solid tips for you when it comes to living in a cold house.

Ever since I moved out on my own after college, I've always preferred a cooler house. 68 over summer, 64 during winter. I guess one offsets the other because my total electric and gas bill combined is less than $800 each year. I tell you that not to brag, but to inspire confidence that I'm an expert at this cold living. Believe me, it's very livable. I also understand that this isn't for everybody. There are legitimate reasons why a person can't have a home this cold, my own grandma has to have her house at a minimum 80 otherwise she'll sit in her chair and just shiver. She's 90. If you're not eligible for medicare yet, odds are you can survive a cooler house.

First and foremost, just like we do when cold weather hits, you dress in layers. I don't know about you, but tossing an undershirt, a knit sweater, and a hoodie on all at the same time is pretty comfy. Especially if they're sized appropriately to be somewhat baggy on you. The more air you trap between your body and your outside layer, the more warm you'll be. Good socks are also required, and I'm not talking about the six for a dollar socks you normally buy. You want some good wool socks, not the discount wool-blend socks, but real wool. Merino wool if you can find it (Red Wing Shoes, unbelievable comfort, lifetime warranty) The insulating idea goes the same for lounging pants, but I'll be honest, I don't wear multiple layers of pants. It never feels right. This is what blankets are for.

Lets be honest with each other, if you're sitting around the house, there is no reason you can't toss a blanket on to keep warm until we're secure in turning that thermostat back up. Not "wanting" to isn't a good enough reason. Neither is bringing up the whole summertime air conditioning load. Yes, in summer the electric consumption is high, but not as high as when it's this cold. Even on a super efficient heat pump system, keeping a house at 70 when it's zero degrees is the same as trying to cool your home to 70 when it's 140 degrees outside. That argument doesn't hold up.

Still cold? Eat hot food, drink hot beverages. Yes, it's going to require power to prepare, but it's a drop in the bucket. Have yourself a grilled cheese and tomato soup with a smooth milky tea. It'll warm your cockles.

If you're a Karen that's going to Karen, you can expect a utility bill to match. A unit of gas cost $3 this time last week... It skyrocketed to $125 by last Friday... Yesterday, that single BTU hit $600. Before you say "Well I'm not on gas!" think for a minute about how your electricity is produced. Yes, Oklahoma burns a lot of oil and gas coke, but natural gas is by far the leading fossil fuel producer of power across this country.

Bundle up buttercup. It's turns the thermostat down or else it gets the rolling blackouts again. You'll live.

There is light at the end of the tunnel though... If the snow we're expecting actually accumulates on roofs and such, it can help insulate your home from the extreme cold. Why do you think native Alaskans lived in igloos? Lets hope this next round of snow has a little stick to it.

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