Sunday, January 28, 2001

The Ehrstine/Koss home

        Bill Ehrstine and Kim Kossı marriage sometimes runs hot and cold ‹ most often during winter.

        “Kim likes to put the thermostat at 72 to 78 degrees, while I set it at 68 or lower,” Mr. Ehrstine says.

        Most days, the temperature in their two-story home depends on who gets his or hands on the thermostat last. They can laugh about that, but not about the winterıs energy bills.

[photo] The Ehrstine/Koss home
| ZOOM |
Bill Ehrstine with son Robby and daughter Kara Miller
        Still, like a lot of Tristate households, Mr. Ehrstine and Mrs. Koss say the high costs wonıt sway them to change many of their normal home heating habits.

        “We have two children, pets and a number of large house plants,” Mrs. Koss says. “Itıs very important to me that we make it comfortable for all of our health.”

        Mrs. Koss says she lived in an old, drafty house before and doesnıt want to relive that experience. She says she and Mr. Ehrstine try to keep their newer home as energy-efficient as possible.

       They have a wood-burning fireplace they use about two to three times a week as an alternative heating source. A central humidifier attached to their furnace helps make their home more comfortable and allows them to use less heat.

       Mr. Ehrstine says he plans to seal holes and cracks in the ductwork leading from the furnace and insulate the basement ceiling and attic scuttle hatch as time permits.

       Mrs. Koss says theyıll also purchase a programmable thermostat. It will automatically turn down the temperature at night and when the familyıs away.

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