Anyone being creative about heating this winter
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    Registered User Toonces2's Avatar
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    Default Anyone being creative about heating this winter

    My friends and I have been talking about how we can majorly reduce our oil/propane use for heating our houses this winter.

    Dh and I are closing off part of our house so we dont have to heat it. That will save us over $1000.

    My friend is going to turn her heat down to 55 in her whole house and using electric space heaters to heat the 2 rooms her and her dh use the most. Her mom is doing the same in her house.

    Another friend is installing a pellet stove.

    Has anyone else been brainstorming ways to keep the costs down with oil this winter? What have you come up with for your home?

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    Registered User warramra's Avatar
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    We have replaced the four draftiest windows recently.

    Had our chimney repaired so it will be usable this winter. Also, considering buying a wood stove from our next door neighbor and having it installed. But this might wait until next year as our fireplace is actually pretty efficient for our needs right now. DH is going to help his parents clear out some in their woods, which means a pretty good supply of free firewood.

    I have heavy duty plastic sheeting I plan on using on the two more windows and a french door we never use.

    I'm going to use some tights my daughters have outgrown to make door cozies.

    My plan is to keep the thermostat set at 65 or lower through the winter.

    I'm going to get started hunting for extra comforters to have to pile on the beds by shopping at thrift shops.

    We'll use the blow up mattress and sleep together in the family room (with the fireplace) on the really cold nights.

    We also have several heater fans which are really nice to warm up a certain area of the house quickly. We use them first thing in the morning as we dress and again just before bedtime.

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    Registered User MomToTwoBoys's Avatar
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    We also had our windows replaced and two of them have had the trim redone on them. We're going to do the other two since it still gets a bit cold in the kids' bedrooms. We also are looking at thermal underwear and stuff for the kids, plus DH and I have a nice comfortable duvet in our room now. We also have curtains up, which we didn't have before. I'd like to invest in some of the same plastic they used to separate the insulation from the drywall and hang that from the sliding glass door in the living room. I have a door sweep that I'm putting on the front door (where the draft was pretty large) and some new caulking for the window next to that.

    I usually walk around with two layers of shirts on, plus wool socks and this year it might be time to invest in some good warm gloves that allow me to do things with them on (like typing and folding clothes, etc). I got this awesome touque last year for Christmas, plus I'm not afraid to walk around with a scarf on. I'd like to keep the heat at 68 this year, as opposed to 74.

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    We will use space heaters this year and only heat the room we are in. But I live in the San Francisco Bay area where it doesn't get too cold in the winter.

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    We've already got "sweep the chimney" on our to do list for August. We have a wood burner in our basement, that will really help keep the house warm this winter. We have ample amounts of free & seasoned firewood at our disposal. Brian cut up a HUGE hickory tree that was struck by lightning about 15 months ago. So it should be ready to burn this winter. The upstairs thermostat will be set at 67, and the downstairs will be set at 65*. I'm going to measure all our windows, and most likely will order blinds for most of the windows. Getting blinds has been our list of things to do for years now, and well, I think it's time to get it done!!

    I bake a lot in the winter time, so that will help some too, although I'm not sure how cost effective it will be!

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    Last winter we kept the heat set on 60 and zone heated with space heaters. We completely kept the heat off in the basement and just didn't use it.

    Lucky for me, DH is like a furnace, he puts off a lot of heat -- if he could he'd sleep with the windows open with snow outside -- so he loved it, he was comfortable. And usually he'll help heat up a room when he's in it. But, like the delicate flower I am, I freeze at about 80, so, I had a twin sized electric blanket I would warm the bed with and just get under when I was too cold. It's extra cozy 'cause all four cats lay on me when I have it.

    We were able to reduce our usage over the year before, but I don't know how much better we'll be able to get in this winter. We're thinking of trying plastic on some the windows, but I hate the thought of how that will look.

    I over dress and wear fingerless gloves, too.

    I am going to change a couple of our CFLs back to regular bulbs in the winter. One lamp inparticular in our living room puts off an awful lot of heat, and while it will be using more energy, it's gotta be less than cranking up the heat all over.

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    We have started to research pellet/corn/wood burners. Either a fireplace insert or an outside unit.

    We have discussed closing off our family room. I really hate to do this, I really like hanging out in this room (computer & all kids toys are in here.) But, I will if I have too. We would only use it one weekend a month when my DH is on midnights. Otherwise he'd never get any sleep as our bedroom is off the great room, where we'd all be!

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    Registered User joyofsix's Avatar
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    We made a real effort last year.

    ~heat in bedrooms at 60, kids in the basement used electric blankets

    ~heat off in kitchen at about 60 t00

    ~living room at 65

    ~used our fireplace with the fan and scavenged wood to help living room

    ~only turned on the heater in bathrooms when taking a shower or when it was below 10 outside so no frozen pipes

    ~let in the sun on south and west sides when it was shining

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    Moderator aka AmyBob AmyBoz's Avatar
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    We keep our house at 58 and we bundle up. The thing that would save us the most money would be to get our front window fixed, but we just don't have the money for that. No one ever wants to come to our house in the winter because it's so cold. Tough luck.

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    Registered User sunshine's Avatar
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    We've built some, and are building a couple more, heat grabbers.

    We put foam board insulation in the north and west facing windows, put window quilts on the others.

    Use space heaters in the area we're occupying, and leave the main temp set at 60.

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    Okay, I actually thought about this issue as I was making the bed yesterday. I always hear about people struggling to pay their bills for heating oil. California is the only state I've ever lived in - we don't have heating oil bills. Why do you have such a thing? Don't you have central heating so you can just click the button and on comes the heat? This is just one of many things my brain has no idea about

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    Registered User sunshine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilovesewing View Post
    Okay, I actually thought about this issue as I was making the bed yesterday. I always hear about people struggling to pay their bills for heating oil. California is the only state I've ever lived in - we don't have heating oil bills. Why do you have such a thing? Don't you have central heating so you can just click the button and on comes the heat? This is just one of many things my brain has no idea about
    Sure - I have central heat, that's run by propane. . . if I click the button and turn on the heat -- my propane bills skyrocket. Here in flat central IL, in the deep winter, wind chills can be as low as -98 degrees. That will eat up a lot of propane, if you don't take steps to conserve.

    Plus -- it's good stewardship of the Earth's resources to conserve. (my Christian and Native American heritages chiming in)

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    Registered User AspiringToBeFrugal's Avatar
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    We will likely keep the thermostat at 68 or so. I'm always warm (I'm sure being pregnant will not help that at all!) so I don't get terribly cold in the winter. DH however has close to no body fat (he's a biker and runner) so he's always cold. I'll just have to tell him to put on a couple of extra layers!

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    Blown in insulation will be our fall priority.

    Also, we have a dining room window that needs quilted curtains.

    Until I find a job, I'll be the only one home while the kids are in school in the fall. I can be tough I need to knit myself fingerless gloves. If you can knit, you can do this.
    http://www.knittersreview.com/articl...e/071011_b.asp

    I need to knit another afghan - the kids fight over the one in the family room.

    As for pellet stoves, they create a lot of "white noise". The fan is what moves the heat. So when you check them out, ask to listen to that model.

    As for blinds, the best for heat purposes is the honeycomb blinds. Or years ago I made our own insulated shades. I had bought this therma quilted stuff - layers of fabric, batting and mylar, they you put your own fabric on the outer part.


    How do you get a fireplace to heat a room? When we use our fireplace, I feel the heat if I sit RIGHT in front of it. Other than that, the room itself (it's a small room) doesn't seem to warm up. I figured most of the heat basically went up the flue. And was one reason the old homesteads had the chimney in the middle of the house.

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    Registered User champagnium's Avatar
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    Hmm...we live in an apartment that has electric heat, and I'm a bit of a heat general. I don't let it be put above 15...and here it gets to -30 (don't know the conversion) quite regularly in the winter. We noticed an increase of about $75-$100 every 3 months on our bill, so not too bad. Many friends of ours who use oil and like their houses relly warm were spending a lot of fuel, and some used electric heat AND a woodstove (I always fall asleep in their house..it's GROSSLY warm) so I think we made out ok. I don't mind dressing warm and having an extra blanket on the bed, but I don't want to have to wear gloves when I'm indoors...I have to bundle me and the dog enough just to walk four times a day
    For those of you who really bundle...consider Under Armour. I know it's expensive to buy..but I wore it all winter under my riding pants riding in -18 and didn't need any snow pants over. Under Armour tights (what I had) fit under everything and don't get caught up with jeans ect. like long underwear did the winter before. I also had the mockneck and wore in under a v-neck thermal, with my winter coat outside, and was perfectly fine all winter. It really is worth it if you live somewhere cold and have to layer. When I pulled the tights over my feet under my socks, I didn't even need a second pair, and I was outside 4-6 hours!!

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