Smaller Living Includes Smaller Heating and Cooling Bills

Just a couple of years ago, my oldest living brother decided to sell the house he had lived in with his wife and son.

His wife died of cancer a few years before that, and his son is grown and living on his own.

Everyone expected him to buy a smaller house, which is what older people do, right? A smaller house is easier to clean, has lower property taxes, and is less expensive for heating and cooling. But Jim surprised everyone when he decided to go out and buy this humongous house. It is over 5000 square feet and has almost an acre of property and a pool in the backyard. There are 2 zones in his HVAC with zone control, and he has a heater for the pool. I can’t even imagine what his heating and cooling bills are like each month, not to mention the costs associated with getting the yard work done and keeping the pool up and running with the right chemicals and such. Smaller living means smaller heating and cooling bills, but he seemed to not care at all. Personally, I live in a 1000 square foot townhouse, and I dread my air conditioning bill every month of summer. I set my thermostat on 71 when I go to bed, and the a/c runs all night long. My other brother thinks that Jim doesn’t go upstairs very often, so he is able to keep the upstairs thermostat set quite high in the summer and quite low in the winter, which I guess makes sense. But here’s my question. If you are not going to go upstairs, why buy such a big house in the first place?

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