We have pretty much turned back in to winter here the last couple days and I think we're staying there for a couple more. It spit snow a the day before yesterday, but nowhere near enough to stick, and the highs have been 38-40, so that hasn't been bad, but the north wind has been relentless at 20-25+ every day. At 39 or 40 degrees and sunny it would actually be quite pleasant, but that cold wind driving down from the north has been a pest for sure.
Even though it's been cold outside we've been very comfortable inside our new Montana house and I can't say enough good things about our Blaze King Princess wood stove. Man, that thing has worked like a charm and is an absolute wood miser. Our house is wonderfully well insulated: 3" of spray foam on the exterior walls then batting over that, all interior walls insulated at a minimum of R13, a conditioned crawl space, and R49 in the ceilings. That wood stove has been used as the primary source of heat all winter in conjunction with using the forced air system fan in the circulate mode (runs 30 minutes out of every hour). We have kept the interior temp at 71-73 all winter and have yet to finish the 2 1/2 cords of Doug Fir I cut in the fall.
So what has it cost us utility-wise to be here? I can give a decent estimate at this point and I would say that wood, propane and electricity combined we have probably averaged in the $175/mo range for the 7 months we have been in the house full time. To get an idea of what that covers here's what our place consists of: 1) House is 1950 sq ft, great room (720 sq ft of that) has a vaulted ceiling with an apex height of 13 ft, and the rest of the house has a wall height of 9 ft 2) The parking area of the garage/shop (walls and roll up doors insulated at R19, ceiling at R49) is 30x35 ft and we keep it heated (propane) to 50 degrees. The tinkering room and man cave are both 15x15 feet and are heated (electric) to 68 degrees. 3) we have a well so have to provide power to that to get water.
So, all totaled we are talking about living comfortable in a grand total of nearly 3500 sq ft. for about $6/day. I think that's pretty darned good for Montana living. Now, before anybody chimes in with the, "Yeah, but we've had a mild winter" thing, let me say this, and I can only speak to this area specifically: our winter temps have not been that far off "normal". I base everything off long term averages and December was 2 degrees colder than normal, January was 3 degrees above normal, February was 8 degrees below normal, March was 4 degrees above normal, and so far April is a few degrees below normal. I have no idea what it's done elsewhere, nor do I care, because what it does somewhere else does not affect my direct cost of living at all. Bottom line is here, we are doing just fine and are head and shoulders above where we have lived in the past.
With all that having been said, I am noticing my coffee cup is empty, and that's pretty much a crime against humanity, so I am going to stop typing and make the arduous 30 ft. trip to the coffee maker and refill that poor sad cup.
Have a nice day!