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.
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