Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hot and bothered

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We have been wintering in the Southwest all winter while the blizzards brew and blow at home in the Northeast. I appreciate not having to deal with winter driving and snow blowing the driveway. The problem is I am still paying through the nose to keep the home fires burning. My wife has a ton of plants and she thinks we need to keep the house heated all winter so they all survive. This is our first year and I am trying to convince her to let me winterize the house and shut the heat down while we are gone in the future. Is this normal behavior for snowbirds? I can’t stand the thought of paying high heat bills to keep houseplants happy. Please give me your two cents worth.
--Hot and potted in Payson

Dear Potted:
I know several people that leave the heat on, but I will never understand it. For what you pay in heat bills I bet you could find a plant sitter to keep your wife’s flowery friends warm, watered and even talked to on a regular basis. The other worry is long-term power failure while you are away. Once you figure out how easy it is to winterize most homes you will find it much more relaxing not having to worry about frozen plumbing. The energy savings will be significant, and the peace of mind rewarding. When you return home in the spring your wife’s plants will be so happy to see her they will probably all go blooming nuts.
--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink

7 comments:

robbins1 said...

As this is your first year perhaps your problem will be solved when you get home. There must be a plant sitter coming in to water the plants now. Unless this person is very knowledgeable or conscientious at following written instructions there may be far fewer plants to move out to a sitter's next year. In my own case I decided to pare down my plant collection to just my favorites or ones that had belonged to my mother etc. Much easier to do this on paper when I was 3500 miles away and couldn't even remember a lot of them! LOL

traveler said...

We turn our heat down to just under 50 and our bills are very minimal. That should be warm enough to keep most plants safe.

Barb said...

It is hard on a home that is subject to freeze and thaw cycles to leave it without heat. It can damage drywall among other things. We shut off and drain the water pipes but we leave the heat set on 55 degrees. We have a small well insulated home so only cost us about 30 bucks a month in the coldest of weather.

Anonymous said...

Check with your home owners insurance before you make a decision to shut now the heat

Movable Book Lady said...

You could sell the house (and the plants). If you want to spend the summer there, just stay in your RV the same way you do in AZ in the winter. No fuss, no bills.

Anonymous said...

We have turned a little flatbed trailer into a mobile greenhouse. This way I can not only have a container veggie/berry garden but I take my garden with me when we need to leave.

Dick said...

Our Condo Association requires setting the thermostat at 55ยบ minimum, which we do. We also shut the water off, and we have a friend water the plants every few weeks.