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I just about spit my coffee out when I got my bill in my email this morning.

$103 just on natural gas!

I can't for the life of me figure out why it's that high. All I know at this point is that I need to revert back to some changes I had made before. I turned down the thermostat a couple of degrees to 68. I'm back to drying the clothes on low heat. I told DH I wanted to put in a permanent clothes line and he was indifferent to it. I think that's our plan when the snow melts and the ground thaws. I just need to price out the cost of the concrete, the metal t-pole and the clothes line.

I'm thinking that the high bill might also be attributed to it being -30s and lower in the end of December/beginning of January. That was the date that the bill was set for.

:ugh:
 

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Dang! You wanna swap? We were paying $1 PER HOUR to heat our house for most of January, using propane. We were having an unusually cold winter here. And we don't use propane for anything except heating and our stove, and seldom use the stove oven.

I just made nightshades for the twelve feet of living room windows we have. I used some insulated drapes I bought at a sale for $2. Wish I'd have thought of it MUCH sooner. They've been laying around my sewing room for several years doing nothing for us. I'm trying not to think of the money it's cost us not having them covering the windows in the winter over the past few years. I'm sure we'll get our $2 back just in the heat we save with what's left of this heating season.

Isn't there an icon for kicking oneself?
 

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Spirit deer....that is ALOT of propane! We have a propane heater and stove as well and just ordered more propane today. We still have 18% left in the 500 gallon tank and we filled it at the beginning of September! So far this winter to heat a 1200 square foot house and run the stove (I bake everyday also) and it cost us $800 last September. We live where you do and that seems really high! So sorry to hear that!

Momtotwoboys, look at your statement and see if it is for 33 days. Those few extra days really add up!
 

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I know, Debbie. It's been really bad. We're heating about 2,500 sf to 68 degrees.

We have dog doors and that contributes to the cost, but those were kept closed and insulated on the coldest days. The cat door that goes in the patio door leading to the screen porch has hardly been in the door all winter, and in other years it's been in most of the winter.

It's been better lately when it's been warm enough for the heat pump to run.
 

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spirit deer- might be a stupid question but what is a 'night shade' ?
i'm guessing a shade to help insulate the warmth in the house... do you keep them hung up like a regular shade and wouldn't they serve the same purpose in the summer keeping the hot summer sun out??
 

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I made two six foot wide flat panels to hang across the front windows. I'll be making one for the patio door that's in that room, too. Tonight is the first night we'll have them up since I just made them today. They'll be taken down during the day because I can't stand being in a dark room in the daytime, no matter what it costs. I just put in some cup hooks to hold them up, just a real simple design. I sewed some little rings I had around to the shades to hang from the hooks. I could have used the drapes as they were, but they're sort of ugly and I don't want them to be on there permanently. But the price is right and they're okay since we're not in there much at night anyway.

I'd really like to do some Warm Window coverings but I don't know how that would work on wide windows like ours, and it's expensive anyway.

I can tell already it's going to make a big difference in the heat loss in that room.

For summer, I still need to sew up the shade cloth I've been meaning to make for the front of the house. The portion in front of those windows (which are on the south side in full sun) will be black shade cloth that is transparent even though it provides good shade. The plan is to hang it from hooks installed under the eaves. Those windows overlook the lake and that's our 'money' view, so there's no way we'd be willing to have it covered by the drapes in the summer.

I do use a drape inside a storm door in my cabin. There is no inner door there and it's in full sun on the west side of that building, so the heat just pours in there. The drape helps a lot. It's on a rod and has cafe hardware on the drape so it can be opened easily. I've also used shade cloth attached to the inside of storm doors to shade them.

I put Reflectix inserts in some of our windows in the summer. That makes a HUGE difference because the Reflectix not only blocks the sunlight, it reflects the heat away. But you can't see through it and it does darken the room, so it only goes in windows in rooms we're not in much.
 

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Some helpful hints:

1. If you hang insulated drapes to help stop cold/heat infiltration, that is just part of the solution, and by themselves, if they are open at the top and bottom, are not energy efficient. You may also need a PELMET (topper that goes over the drape) to halt air-flow. In the winter the warm air will come up from the bottom of the drape, travel up across the window and be chilled by the window and exit the top opening. It's pretty much a chimney for heat to cold exchange and not efficient at all. If you top the drape with a Pelmet, that will help stop the air flow and keep more cold air out of the room.

If you make window quilts for your home, in order for them to be effective they should close TIGHT on all four sides of a window using magnetic tape or loop and hook tape. No room air should be exposed to the window by the chimney effect - traveling from the bottom of an open window covering - past the window - through the top of the window.

2. We had new screens made for our home. The original screens were only 1/2-screens (covering only half the window) and the new full screens were covered with UV-filtering screen that reduces the UV by 80%. That made a lot of difference in cooling in the summer. You can find the UV-filtering screen at Lowe's.

3. An inexpensive window insulation we've used for 2 winters now is applying bubble wrap to all the windows.

How to:

http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Conservation/bubblewrap.htm
 

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$103 doesn't seem too bad for natural gas. We use it for heat and hot water only and our equal billing is over $130 a month. We keep our house really cool.
 

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thanks spiritdeer....you 'inspired' me to hang my drapes back up so last night i drug out all the old ones i had from a previous move (they are set to go in my garage sale this spring...but they'll do for now...) like you say they aren't what i really want but for now the price is right...

i don't even have curtain rods installed yet so i just 'tacked' them up...and yup grainlady they are sealed all the way across the top (that's only coz they were tacked up...but what you said made alot of sense about the 'chimney affect'....)

so anyway..its cold and snowy here and the wind is blowing but i can already feel a difference in the family room.... i wish i had done this months ago...but hey- we all gotta start somewhere huh?

thanks girls !!!.....:bowing:
 

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wow I would so take those amounts for natural gas. We got a bill the other day (now we did use more because they got an actual reading and it's been a while) and it was o ver $300. the actual gas was $100 and something and the delivery charge was over $200 (sorry I already filed the bill so I don't know exacly). But isn't it crazy that they can charge that much more just to get the gas to you? CRAZY. Can't wait to get in our new heat efficient home that will have a woodstove. We will have propane but I can't see us using much of that .
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah, there's a few extra days in there. I figured that the increase may have been because it was so abnormally cold during the time that the reading would have covered. The shift to being 2 degrees colder in the house hasn't been too bad, but it's forecasted to be much colder this week.

Our gas bill is normally $65-$80 for the winter and we have a three-level semi-detached home. The only drafty spots are in the kids' bedrooms, the cold air intake with the furnace and the sliding glass door in the living room. We'll see how the reduction in temperature and the dryer settings helps out.
 

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well mom....get that drafty glass door covered up....have we TAUGHT you NOTHING !!!!! :confused:
 

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$103 isn't bad considering the cold snap we had through late december and most of January. People around us are paying $240+ for their gas. We heat primarily by wood, so our Jan bill was $40, but due to billing I didn't get a gas bill this month on my heat/power bill, so I have no idea what it is for the cold snap.

We have some drafty windows too. But they all have some kind of covering. And truthfully when it's -40 out, no window is all that efficient. It's glass, it radiates cold no matter what.
 

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well mom....get that drafty glass door covered up....have we TAUGHT you NOTHING !!!!! :confused:
I am so ashamed! :dunce:

I did buy some window film but it got too cold by the time I wanted to put it up. I could use a hairdryer but with there being ice on the bottom of the door, it's a bit harder than putting a blanket along the bottom.
 
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