Every Christmas, my family has dinner at my mother-in-law’s house. While I love my mother-in-law dearly, I dread going to her house. She has a natural gas well located on her property. Because of this, she has free gas to run her appliances. It costs her nothing to operate her clothes dryer, oven, water heater and furnace. As soon as the outside temperature drops below seventy degrees, she starts up the heating system. Her house is always super overheated and stuffy. In the area where I live, the December weather is typically cold and snowy. While we have the furnace running at our house, we are conscientious about the thermostat setting. Our utility bills take up about half of our budget and we’re careful to minimize energy usage. My family bundles up in our heavy boots, sweaters, wool coats and gloves for the drive to my mother-in-law’s house. Once we arrive, we immediately start sweating. We all peel off as many layers of clothes as possible. Whenever my mother-in-law isn’t paying attention, we turn down the thermostat and open windows. She’s not happy about this. She seems to enjoy the sweltering conditions. We all volunteer to take the trash out to the garage, simply for the chance to cool off. The overheated air tends to give us all a headache, and we get exhausted very quickly. We’re always in a rush to leave, just to escape the heat. Our complaints have no impact on my mother-in-law. Her house is also way too hot in the summer. Despite the money she saves on free heat, she’s unwilling to invest in air conditioning.