Practically Free

Once upon a time, a long time ago, Jim Cooper told a bunch of us that houses built in the 50s in Nashville are poorly insulated because the TVA promised everyone never-ending practically free electricity. Why bother to try to keep the heat in a building when it only costs pennies to heat it?

I live in a 50s ranch. It’s going to be 7 degrees tonight. We’ve already got a space heater in the garage running, because we’re in the middle of a pitched battle called “try to keep the appliances above 32 degrees so that we don’t have to replace them.” Well, not in the middle. That’s the point. While it’s a balmy 27 out, we’re trying to get the garage into the 40s, hoping that will give the heater the headway it needs to keep the garage above freezing all night.

I’m trying not to imagine what our electric bill is going to be. More than pennies, though, most likely.

My next HVAC unit is going to heat the garage. Somehow. Just to keep it at 35 in cases like this.


3 thoughts on “Practically Free

  1. When I got married and moved into my wife’s home (1918 built for the DuPont plant in Old Hickory) I went up to the attic and discovered there was no attic insulation whatsoever over the master bedroom because the previous owner had replaced the ceilings. You might have a similar problem since you had your ceilings re-done. That won’t help with your garage, but it’s a fairly inexpensive fix if you have access to the attic.

  2. We’re pretty well-insulated upstairs. The windows are really drafty and I don’t know if we have the crawlspace closed up right (though it is more closed up that previously). But, man, days like today make a brand-new house seem awesome.

  3. I feel ya. The old house also didn’t have any insulation under the floor and there was no door on the crawlspace. Right after we sold it a skunk got in there and always ruined the deal.

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