Sorry about the hiatus. Lots of stuff to come, because I had an entertaining trip to Boston, Cambridge and the New England Independent Booksellers Association trade show.
But first...the oil man just showed up for his every-57-days visitation, and the results are in. Turning the oil-fired water heater on and off does save oil, and much more than we expected.
Two months ago, we thought we'd switch the furnace on for a few hours every other day. Turned out that sometimes (when we weren't working up too much of a sweat) we could keep it off two days out of three. A pot and a half of water heated up on the stove took care of the dishes on cold-water day two. (It helps that we're not exactly gourmet cooks.) On the other hand, a couple of times we kept the furnace on for several days in a row while we had visitors whom we didn't want to stink out or subject to hardship.
And now (*drum roll*) the results: The previous 57 days, we used 41.7 gallons of oil to heat our hot water. In the 57 days just past, when we were conducting the experiment, we used 25.4 gallons.
Since the price per gallon of oil had dropped from $4.35 to $3.65, this was a happy, jolly visit from the oil man.
The world could use a little happiness and jollity right about now, don't you think?
We haven't quite worked out what we're going to do this winter. We can get along fine without the furnace in the main part of the house, but the addition has to be kept at 50 degrees so the pipes in the downstairs bathroom don't freeze. Plus, I'm going to be living in the addition while my knee heals after surgery in November.
On warm days after The Healing, though, you can bet we'll be flipping that switch.