Saving money on utilities the winter?
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    Default Saving money on utilities the winter?

    Does anyone have any tips on saving on electricity and heating oil this winter?

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    Registered User arnie's Avatar
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    We bought a few space heaters from Walmart- they were about 40 bucks each, we only use them in the rooms we are in and leave the rest of the house unheated. We did this all winter for the past few years and do not turn the furnace on at all. It has saved us tremendously. I am not sure how cold it is where you live. I am in the south but we do get temps in the 20 and 30 degree range at night in the winter. We were able to tolerate it just fine.

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    Registered User mh3rdwheel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatieJo78 View Post
    Does anyone have any tips on saving on electricity and heating oil this winter?
    We put plastic up to the windows also around the kitchen door (our only door to the outside) we put weather stripping around the door. This has helped.

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    Registered User Debbie-cat's Avatar
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    Put all electrical appliances on powerstrips. Turn powerstrips off when not in use!! Phantom power will suck up alot of your money.

    As far as the heat is concerned, you are in Minnesota like me ... I think? Our heat is kept at 62 degrees during the day and 58 at night. It took a while to get use to it but now anything higher is too hot for us. Wear slippers, sweaters, use afghans in the evening sitting on the couch. Put window plastic up if your windows are drafty or you could make window quilts to hang at night. Use draftdodgers at doors and be the 'close the door!' police.....I am!!




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    Moderator Ceashels's Avatar
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    There are also foam pads that can be placed behind the outlet and switch plates to help reduce little heat escapes. These areas on outer walls are not as well insulated and can suck heat out of a room.

    I would also see if you have appropriate insulation in the attic. If the snow melts off the roof in the winter, heat is escaping through the attic and melting it away. It is a more expensive project but can be cost efficient in the long run.

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    Registered User lisaflex's Avatar
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    agree w/ all posted above.

    our furnace is kept at 61 when noone is at home and about 65 when at home (unless it is bitterly cold...then it goes to 69) and 60 at night (10pm until 5:45am then to 66 to warm up for the morning wakeups...)

    dont use the hot wash or sani rinse on your dishwasher unless someone is sick. no need to use heated drying...open the dishwsher and the steam warms the kitchen and adds some humidity.

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    Moderator Ceashels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lisaflex View Post
    dont use the hot wash or sani rinse on your dishwasher unless someone is sick. no need to use heated drying...open the dishwsher and the steam warms the kitchen and adds some humidity.
    A word of caution, Greebo and I used to do this and over the years it has destroyed the particle board/laminate counter top that was over the dishwasher. I would only open to dry the dishes if the counter was solid indestructible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ceashels View Post
    A word of caution, Greebo and I used to do this and over the years it has destroyed the particle board/laminate counter top that was over the dishwasher. I would only open to dry the dishes if the counter was solid indestructible.
    Makes sense, but I never gave that a thought!

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    Moderator nuisance26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ceashels View Post
    A word of caution, Greebo and I used to do this and over the years it has destroyed the particle board/laminate counter top that was over the dishwasher. I would only open to dry the dishes if the counter was solid indestructible.
    ~This happened to ours as well. I actually didn't realize that the under counter lip wasn't surfaced until it started to swell and shred sawdust. The counters at my childhood homes had protection on the underside. One counter was actually real wood under, probably plywood. They make everything so cheap now.
    You can wait about an hour after the washer stops though before opening it to towel dry. That way everything will have cooled and you won't have a ton of steam going into the air. I never found that this saved more than $5 a month in electricity though and I run at least a dozen loads a week with very high electric rates.~

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    Registered User frugalfranny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ceashels View Post
    There are also foam pads that can be placed behind the outlet and switch plates to help reduce little heat escapes.
    They are cheap and they really do help!!.........hold your hand at an outlet on a windy day to see how much air they let in. I had to cut some to fit some of my triple sockets but they work fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Debbie-cat View Post
    Phantom power will suck up alot of your money.
    And I found the dryer to be one of the worst for phantom elec. If you can easily reach the plug.........unplug it between uses.

    Also.........don't forget the water heater blanket........that saves quite a bit too. Every little bit helps. The blanket can be found at Lowe's, HD, or even my WM had them. Run close to $20 but easy to wrap around and mine has more than paid for itself.

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    Registered User lisaflex's Avatar
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    i dont actually air dry the dishwasher, it was just a tip that i have heard of...thanks though....

    in all honesty, i use heted drying as it reduces some of the spots imo....

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Close off rooms you don't use. It's tough to do in today's modern open-floorplan homes but it can make a big difference in heating.

    I shut the vents and closed the door on our basement rec room yesterday and had to drop the thermostat 4 degrees last night because so much more heat was being directed upstairs into areas we live in.
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

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    One more thing you can do and I do this myself alot; fill your slow cookers with water. If you don't intent to cook anything for that day let them continually run on high. They don't pull alot of electricity and the warmth they give off is tremendous.

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    Registered User Nana2two's Avatar
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    I have one of the small electric fireplaces in the living room. Thermostat is set at 55 we have gas heat and use the electric heater to warm the the 2 rooms down stairs we are always in which is the office and the living room. We can't sleep with heat up stairs. We put plastic on the windows and and quilt in the stair way going up ,that helps alot.

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    Registered User khaski's Avatar
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    We often will light up a few candles after the kids are in bed and we're just watching tv- still have some light, but not running the lights. I collect candles cheaply at yard sales throughout the summer. Use a slow cooker rather than the stove as much as possible, or even use your grill (outside, of course)! Running the oven 45-60 minutes to cook meat each night really ups the power bill.

    Also, call around to local oil companies to inquire if they have 'pre-buy' options. Usually they're offered in late/spring, sometimes mid-winter for the NEXT heating season. It works like this- you agree to 'lock in' at price x and purchase 'y' amount of gallons (round here the min. is 500). Yes, it's a lot of $ to come up with at once, but USUALLY you end up purchasing at a cheaper price for the upcoming season.

    We 'pre-bought' 550 gallons last Jan. @ $2.99 for this year's season, oil is currently $3.49-3.59 a gallon as of today, meaning if we got an oil fill today we'd have saved at least .50 a gallon by prebuying! In the 6 or 7 years we've done this, we've saved hundred of dollars each year, save one (when we pre-bought at over $4 a gallon, back when oil prices were sky high in the summer but dropped by the winter). Each company's pre-buy program runs a little differently, so be sure to understand all the details before commiting to anything. The other up-side we enjoy is knowing our oil is already bought and paid for well before the cold comes- no more 'We're low on oil, where are we going to get $800 to fill the tank right now?' It's already taken care of- we usually save a bit in the months leading up to the pre-buy time, and set aside some of our tax return to cover it as well.

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