My pal L. and his family live over in Vermont, where it’s colder than here. This is their place:
Nice, huh? They do use a wood stove, too, but L. reports their wood consumption has been pretty steady over these years. I asked him what factors he thinks account for their steady decline in oil use. He replied:
“After the 1st heating year we did our kitchen renovation [so the kitchen became the main winter hang-out location]
After the 2nd heating year I changed the heating system from steam to hot water [and increased from 1 to 8 zones]
After 4th year we did 2nd floor renovation, and moved our bedroom to the newly insulated section.
After 6th I put a small electric water heater after the furnace-fired one. So in the summer we can stop running the monster just to heat water daily. In the winter, when the furnace is running anyway, it pre-heats the water fed into the electric.”
“But”, he reported, “probably most signifant change is the gradual hardening off of my wife.” Ha ha! That made me laugh. His wonderful wife is from the south (Connecticut) and went to graduate school in the tropics (Virginia), so I guess she did have some acclimating to do. She is certainly a good sport.
[P.S. Friend also reports that the previous owners, when running the place as an inn, with one thermostat zone, used about 2,700 gallons of oil per year. Makes me shudder to my bones.]