Originally posted a couple of winters back:
It's that time of year again when the Earth's rotational axis betrays us all and deprives us of our precious sunlight. I'm told that the Axis of Earth is developing weapons of massive detonation with some shortwave radioactive ochre cake that it's borrowing from Atlantis but promises to return just as soon as it's done with it. Dick Cheney said so.
But while we wait for the Sun to lift it's sanctions against us we need some way to keep warm. Here's how.
Go get the filter out of the furnace. Gently. It's probably caked with dust and stuff. You don't want to jostle it and spread dust all over the house. Carry it outside and beat it against some neighbor kid until all the dust falls out. Put it back in the furnace for another 1 to 3 months and repeat.
Close off any rooms in the house that you're not using much. Shut the vents, close the doors, and leave out some penguin kibble. I know you don't have a penguin, but you need bait to draw food for the polar bear.
I've also put a drape over the foot of the stairs to keep my precious warm air from rising up where I'm not.
Plastic wrap the windows. You can pick up a kit at many hardware stores. It's basically double sided tape and a roll of Saran Wrap they stole from the 50' woman. This serves as an additional air barrier between you and the outside.
Check for drafts. Slowly move your hand around the edges of doors and electrical outlets along exterior walls. You're feeling for cold drafts. If you feel a cold draft find the hole and shove a cat in there. You can then seal the cat in with a can of expanding foam. You probably should have picked that up while at the hardware store.
If you feel a warm draft it means your kids shoved their cigarettes in there when they heard you coming.
If you have a house like mine there's a crawlspace under it. Feel the floor. You can probably feel the cold just by putting your hand near it. This means your science teachers all lied. Cold air rises. You can feel it right now. Get all your neighbors to throw their old science books in a big pile. Then get down in the crawlspace and paste the science books against the underside of the floor for insulation.
Get a programmable thermostat. If you have an old round thermostat, or one of those rectangular ones with paint splattered on it, heck, anything with a needle instead of a digital readout will do. Those are bad. Computers are always better.
Oh, the point is that while you're off at work the programmable thermostat will lower the temperature of the house using less energy. The wife may complain about how you keep the house at 50° while you're gone. You just reply that you thought that the extra layer of fat she put on would keep her warm. The fight that results should keep you both nice and toasty.
Get some dogs. Not only do they make sure the cats remain hiding in the wall but they also demand you take them for walks in the wind, rain, and snow. After that even the vegetable crisper is gonna seem warm. Also, they sleep on your feet and start rock groups or something. Grandpa wasn't real clear on that last bit.
Bake. Use the stove all you can. Cookies, cakes, hams, anything that gives you an extra layer of fat. Also, the heat from the stove, combines with the fact that you sealed off the vents to the kids' bedrooms means they'll have to come to the kitchen to do their homework where you can watch them.