Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
If we have been using the oven during the winter or cooler months, we leave the oven door open after baking. The heat is turned off of course but my goodness, all the heat you can "recycle" by simply leaving the oven door open for a few minutes.
I refer to it as "recycled heat" because we've just paid for it to cook/bake with and now we can use it for additional warmth to the kitchen area. You don't want to do this during the summer or hotter months because it will make your kitchen even hotter. However, during the cold winter months, it sure feels good to feel it rolling out of the oven.
By Marsha from Greenville, NC
What do you need in winter? Heat and humidification. Disconnect the dryer vent in the winter and let the heat and moisture stay inside. Smells nice too.
I believe everyone these days are complaining about the high electrics bills we are receiving. The company which supplies my electricity keeps going up several times a year. In Dec. alone they went up 15.5%, after going up several times earlier in the year.
If you have a kerosene heater or an electric space heater, I believe you could save some dollars by using it and turning down the heat pump or electric heat. The space heater runs off 110 while your furnace uses 220. It has been really cold where I live for the past month.
So, I started using my space heater. When the room got warm enough to my liking, I turned the knob down until it cut off. I keep it in this position so it will cut off and on by itself. I have been very warm and my heat pump hardly ever has to come on now. I will find out next month how this will affect my electric bill.
By Tricia M. from Ridgeway
If you have a wood burning stove, this helps run that during the day throughout your home and shut off the oil heat and only use the oil heat at night when you are sleeping. That is what we do and it has made a big difference for us economically. These are just common sense though. I don't know what else to really do other then those tips :)
By Lynne in Maine
Also reserve your hot water just for showering, you can safely wash clothes and dishes in cold water. Water has small amounts of chloride in it, this is a germ fighter. You don't have to wash your clothes in hot water to kill bacteria. Also your detergent is enough to safely clean clothes and it works in cold just as well as hot. I have been washing clothes in cold water for over 20 years with no problems.
By Cathy S
I cover my windows with those plastic sheets and 2 sets of heavy curtains that I knit some years ago. I also insulated my basement walls with styrofoam sheets, which helped and now I don't worry about my water pipes freezing. And I agree that a knitting or crochet project can keep you warm while you're working on it.
By Taylor from Switzerland
I can Honestly tell you that we are using HALF the oil we used last year. Go to your states web sites, see what they are offering. They also help out low income family's. If you are lucky enough to be able to switch to natural gas DO IT !! I also recaulked the window's and used leftover insulation (from the ductwork), in window's at the back of the house & in the basement. We also have a whole house humidifier, Yes, moist air is warmer! It is the box kind, enclosed in itself (cool air).
I have found that the mist kind promotes mold. I also buy candles when they are are on sale, and burn a few in a safe place in my home. They do help with warmth and the glow is comforting. I also invested in down comforters for the whole family.
We had a very sensible Xmas this year. It is far cheaper to buy sweat pants and shirts,than a tank of oil. We also wrapped our hot water pipes with those foam tubes the sell in hardware stores a few years ago. Every little bit helps. My next project after the hot water heater will be thicker curtain's. I want to make them myself. Buying the new furnace was stressful.
You must do your research! I had 6 different contractors give me price quotes. I heard every kind of Hornswaggle imaginable. The Worst was from a national company that used to have a great reputation. You know who, In the mall. (hint hint) If anyone really needs advice, You can e-mail me by going to the seed swap. I am the lady offering the Organic lemon basil. Before I had any contractors in, I did as much research as possible. The better business bureau is a great place to start. Good luck to all, Ask for a hotwater bottle for Valentines day! (har har) Thank you thrifty fun community, You have helped me a great deal.
By BX Barb
I had a room with 4 HUGE single-pained windows that faced south. This room was too hot to use in the summer and waay too cold to use in the winter! I remedied the situation by first sticking a piece of plastic shower curtain (or mylar) to the window itself. I then bought 2 inch thick foam-core insulation boards from Home Depot... (These cost only $4 each!)...The foam-board fit INSIDE my window sills perfectly! ..I then calked these in with silicone calk... (you don't really have to use the calk if you want to take the foam down in the summer) Over these I hung a piece of plastic (like you'd use when you paint) Then I lastly hung up a large curtain that matched my wall. Now the cold and heat stays out year round. hat hard foam-board really does the trick and it comes in MANY different thickness. You can cut it with a jig-say, a hacksaw or an electric knife, or just score and break it. This little room I now use year round for my Craft/Sewing room. It's been a blessing to have the extra space! NO, I don't get much light but that's okay, at least the room in now usable! (I still have a door to my backyard that I can open for ventilation in the summer evenings)
Draft dodgers are great for blocking cold air under the door, but they don't stay in place and they get really dusty. If you can make your own, fill it with a washable material - or just make a slip cover for one filled with non-washable material. Also, apply a strip of velcro to both the base of the door and the draft dodger; then you won't have to reposition it all the time and it can easily be removed for washing.
Again, if you can sew, miniature or smaller-sized draft dodgers work well at the base of older style windows too!
And to Bob and Lisa - we also own a home that is over 100 years old, and we live in the cold and snowy midwest. I know the light/gas companies keep raising the rates, but saving money doesn't necessarily mean "cheaper than before" - it means "cheaper than it would otherwise be". The bottom line is that if you do things that will cause you to use less electricity/gas/oil, your bill will be less than it would if you'd used the usual amount.
DO NOT wash your dishes with cold water. There's not enough chlorine in tap water to kill all bacteria. If you do your dishes in the sink, it doesn't take that much hot water to wash/rinse them, anyway. Don't risk getting sick, just to save a few cents.
Keeping your thermostat too low can result in nasty flare-ups of various health problems. It's better to insulate and use space heaters, while shutting off heat to rooms you don't use.
Aside from that, I've found a lot of tips here that I will definitely try this winter!
Do you have any ideas? Feel free to post them below!
To save on your heating and cooling costs, keep your closet doors closed (same for dresser drawers, cabinet doors and such). Why pay to heat spaces you are not living in?
Tips and advice to heat your home for less this winter as suggested from the ThriftyFun community. To help heat our home, we winterize by covering all the windows with the plastic made especially for them.
To stop cold air leaks from coming in your unused heat register vents just cut up one of those large magnetic calendars for your fridge. I got 3 covers from a Dollar Tree calendar.
To save on heating fuel in the winter, insert the drain plug in the tub when showering and leave it in afterward until the water is cool. It adds warmth as well as humidity to your home. It's such an easy thing to do!
Last year I did an experiment. Would heating with an electric room heater in each room be more expensive than heating with my gas furnace? I found out the electric heaters are much more expensive than turning up my thermostat on my gas heater.
A winter storm is quickly approaching and you listen to the roar of the furnace as it works to heat your home. With every cold snap you count pennies burning away in your home's heating system.
Fall is a great time for a home-energy audit, and there are a surprising number of ways to save energy in your home without investing a major amount of money-or even time.
If you use fuel oil for heating, have your tank topped off now, the price will be more expensive when you need it in the heating season.
To save on heating costs, we close off the rooms that we're not using during the daytime by cutting off the heating system in those rooms and closing the doors. Before bedtime, we open the doors or turn the heat back on. This saves us quite a bit on electric bill.
Buy the fuel that you heat your home with during the winter in the summertime. It'll be cheaper then!
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
I was wondering if anyone could tell me approximately how much money they've saved on heating bills by putting plastic in the windows to keep drafts out? I know this will depend on a lot of things, but I'm just trying to see if this is worth doing.
I'm on the 2nd floor of a two family house built in the early 1930s. I suspect the windows are the originals. I have a gas furnace that is probably at least 10 years old. I live in Upstate New York where it is pretty much cold and snowy from November through April.
By Kitschqueen from Syracuse, NY
I don't know how much money you will actually save, but the plastic kits are cheap and easy to install. The plastic keeps the air out and makes the room feel a lot warmer. I do it every winter.
We've also done just a thick plastic you buy in rolls at Home Depot. They cost a few dollars per window and it is definitely worth it in the added comfort. We have a few old windows we are not ready to replace yet, so we cover them and it makes a huge difference. Not sure on actual dollar savings, but I'm sure it's enough to cover your time to do it.
If you go to WalMart you can get clear plastic on the bolt priced per yard starting under $1.00 and a little over depending on the thickness.
If your windows are drafty; chances are you are losing heat and putting plastic up saves $$ yes I do believe it is worth the small expense for the winter months when compared to the cost of heating bills for the cold season.
My husband made a wooden frame and put WalMart's higher quality plastic on it and we use the same plastic & frame each winter to cover the sliding glass door.
Buy carpet 'tack strips' to seal the plastic to the outer window frames if they are wood. They are easy to remove in the spring and can be used repeatedly.
I can tell you that the plastic will help--I can't tell you how much.
However, consider using something like either the Warm Windows product line from a fabric store, or purchasing radiant barrier material from a hardware store (or you can order it online from Farmtek) and improvising curtains. If you just use them at night, it will help hold heat inside like crazy. The radiant barrier looks like bubble wrap with tinfoil on it, kind of, and you can cover it with fabric and just roll it up in the morning.
Anything that keeps the drafts out will be keep money in your pocket.
For years before we replaced our old windows, we installed the window kits every fall. Almost the instant we finished the window kit installation, the house was not only warmer, but maintained the heat very well through out the entire day.
There was a home renovation show I saw that demonstrated the heat loss in a home with drafty windows. For 6 windows that leaked out the heat, it was the equivalent of having a hole in the
wall 2' X 2' - The window kits are well worth the few dollars they cost. If done properly, it will take you a couple of hours to do the entire house. Make sure you have a blow dryer/hair dryer, as it is crucial to the proper installation. Good Luck & stay warm.
I live in the Western NY area about an eighth of a mile from the lake. We have the wind to contend with also. My house was built around 1920 and we use the plastic kits also. They work great if used properly. We have saved about 200.00 a winter on the gas bill. It may not seem like much to some but when your gas bills are 350. - 400. a month every little bit helps. Good luck
You could get a tube of window caulk and make sure to seal around the window insides that may be leaking. Also, you could use old quilts (if you don't have them a thrift shop like goodwill or salvation army would), cut them up to the size of the window and you could stitch them nicely and use velcro strips on both quilt and the inside of the window inside the framing of the window, that way you can take them down when desired and put them up next year-and also that will give you room to hang thermal curtains in front of them. You can find at walmart.
I am in upstate NY in the Capital District. My windows are only ten years old, but they aren't top of the line either. I use the interior plastic on them and just by stopping some of the cold air from drafting or seeping in makes a difference. No, I can't tell you how much you'll save, but it's worth it. I can tell you that if you wash them before you put the plastic up, when you take it down in the spring your windows are still nice and clean!
Everything helps! My 100 year old house has original windows in a large portion of it. We put heavy plastic between the window and storm window as well as insulated drapes and shades on the inside. Because I have a leaded window between the big picture window and fully insulated front porch, I just have insulated drapes, shades for that.
I also made special curtain/drapes for the upstairs bedrooms. My granddaughters' room has 3 pair of fully sewn drapes, one over the other. Done in colors that make it look darling with all of them on the window. The last one on top is a poly white fabric that looks somewhat shear but is like a nylon fabric. The other colors all come through. Nice days, I take the under curtain, wrap it around the top in circular loop style. It is the princess room, so we have the pinks, blues, yellows, white, greens all together in the curtains, rather than the paint on the walls.
Depending on what you want it to look like. We used bubble wrap on the walls and ceiling of my greenhouse. Because it has the air chambers it works amazingly. Cool in summer and keeps the warmth in winter.
We have propane heat. Heating costs are suppossed to go up by 70% this year. What are simple things that we can do to save money but keep our home warm?
i have electric heat. but 1 thing i do know that has helped in the past is the window cling. i put that up at as many windows as i can. i can tell the difference the room seems warmer and the area near the window isnt windy.
i would also think rugs over rugs and carpettring would help. vacuum your filters if you have them maybe once a wekk.
i am going to put the same ? up for electirc heat.
There are many things you can do to help keep the heat inside. Re-caulk all window panes (if you have leaky windows) before winter sets in and put clear vinyl over every window frame on the outside. Use the indoor plastic window sealer on the inside. Close off rooms not used. Seal doors so draughts don't come in through cracks. If you have a ceiling fan, set it to rotate in the opposite direction so warm air is circulated back to floor. (If not set a fan as high as you can pointed at the ceiling and turn on low.) Wear 2-3 layers of clothing (undershirts, long sleeve knit shirts and sweat shirts.) Use electric blankets on beds and to bundle up while watching TV. Set dryer to exhaust into the room, not to the outside. Open oven doors after taking out food to discharge heat into kitchen. If you have south facing windows open blinds on a sunny day. I also have propane, plus 10 foot ceilings so keeping my house warm in winter has been a challenge. Good luck
As a bachelor, I hate to heat the entire house when I am in one room for hours. I have found using a space heater saves money. It is more economical than turning the thermostat up, running a large furnace (220v) and burning natural gas for the entire house. Set the house thermostat lower to your comfort. I live in West PA where there is a glut of natural gas but prices go up every March. It is obvious we are being hosed.
I seldom turn up my house heat yet the cost is my biggest expense; how can I reduce it? (I've done all the obvious.)
By Kay from Babylon, NY
You might have to keep it turned down and wear more clothing. For me a high heat bill would be worth it in order to be comfortable, I don't like the feel of wearing several layers of clothing, I always feel like they are confining my movements.
Do you cover the windows with plastic in the fall? Also hanging blankets or polar fleece over the windows will help, the only thing is it will also keep light out and you won't be able to see out very easily.
Check with local govt to see if there is a program that will come out and do an "Energy Audit" and/or "Weatherization Program" to find and eliminate hidden heat lossers. Sometimes it's even free.
Since you're a Long Islander, like me, go to the LIPA (the electric company here) website; they have a lot of tips, some of which you might not have thought of, and offer home energy audits. They also have links to programs that give grants for upgrading & replacing insulation, heating systems, etc. These usually go through NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research & Development Authority), and you might qualify for these programs. Their website also has helpful advice. The links are:
www.lipower.org and www.nyserda.org
Invest in a couple of (hot steam) vaporizers like I have done...and boil water to put additonal steam into the air...moist air feels better to the skin then cold air.
Also then invest in a dehumidifier to run while the vaporizer is running so that mold and mildew will not build up in your home's walls & ceilings, including carpet or on your windows panes of glass.
You can find both of these items at your local area Good Will or Salvation Army Stores for around $5 each... or purchase them both brand new for under $100.
They will save you money in the long run I promise! I have been doing this for years and live in a mobile home.