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Inexpensive Heating

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I would like to know if anyone can help me and my mom save money on heating. We have Seco electric; we live in Florida. Our electric bill was $460.00 for 1 month. We of course heated our house, it has been cold here.

We had a man from Seco come out and he said they had been called a lot by customers with extremely high heating bills. We live on a fixed income and I just thought to stay warm that this bill is outrageous. I know there are heating strips on the air conditioner here in Florida.

I would know about the advise to just turn off the heat, but my mom is 65 and I don't think she should have to be cold. Does anyone know of a good way to help us cut this bill down without having to turn off the heat? I need advice, if not for this year maybe next, because it will be OK soon. Is there maybe something we can change?

By Laura Lynn from Ocala, FL

Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By Tori [1]02/13/2010

Being from Canada I know a lot about being cold. lol space heaters are great but never leave unattended. Use an electric blanket at night when its best to turn the heat down. Dress warmer during the day ie slippers sweaters. Insulating your windows helps tremendously as well. Also if you have a furnace think about getting your ducts cleaned out. I cant even imagine a heating bill that high especially in Florida.

By jassy [1]02/10/2010

I have two programmable isolating space heaters; I got them at Wal-Mart for about $40.00 each. They have a thermostat on them and a fan. They work great and cost way less than the electric bill. They are very safe. I put them in my kids's rooms, when they were babies, and set the temperature. That way I am only heating the rooms they were in and not the whole house. Delonghi is the name brand on the heater.

By Lelia Jo Cordell [49]02/10/2010

This may be late, but if you're on a fixed income, you may qualify for the Percentage of Income Payment Plan, or PIPP. It's a little like the budget plan mentioned on this thread, but goes by your actual income rather than averaging the bill. Hey, all you can do is ask!

By Dotty Lewis02/08/2010

Eden Pure Heaters work wonders, and they're not very expensive to run. The initial cost may be around 400.00, but worth it. Close doors and heat only the room you're in, and roll it in your mom's bedroom on low for the night. dottyduck

By Susan Mickelson [6]02/08/2010

Being on a fixed income, most power companies have a budget plan. They average out the yearly cost and average it out through the 12 months. That way you will know what your bill will be each month. I have even worn a hat in the house to hold the heat in my bod! May look weird but who cares!

By Sarah [4]02/08/2010

You may want to try using the shrink plastic sheets over your windows that you can get at Home Depot. It can help lower your heating and cooling costs if you're not one who opens your windows a lot.

By Leah Jones [4]02/08/2010

I live in Australia in an area where it is freezing at times during the winter. During the day we layer clothing, and wear sheepskin boots. At night time when we settle down, we have a small two bar electric heater, wear thick socks, and have a hot water bottle each, with a blanket on top. It's really warm, and only costs heating a jug of water each. I'd say that the hot water bottle lasts until we go to bed. I have a woolen underlay on the bed, and it never feels cold getting into it. That was the expensive part, but it's good quality, and I expect it to last many years.
Hope this was helpful to you.

By Laura Lynn Jump [9]02/07/2010

Thank you for all your feed back. I did get two heaters I found them in the garage. My mom had stored them. I've only been home a short time and we set the thermostat lower so hopefully next bill will be a lot lower and I know my mom is not old, but she does have lupis and her bones ache. So please don't take that I was saying she was old, she is not but anyway, thank you, for the help. I'll let you know what happens.

By kathleen williams [23]02/03/2010

We have 2 small electric heaters, 1 in living room & 1 in my bath room. I switch them off at night,we allow the c/h/ to run when it's very cold at night & switch it off at in day time. The heaters keeps us warm in day time. Our bill is not as much as some neighbors, good luck.

By Patricia Eldridge02/03/2010

We use the oil-filled radiator type heater they sell at Walmart for less than $40,00. It has wheels on it so you can roll it to any room in the house. These heaters do not tip over, and they are very safe and energy efficient.

By Keeper [57]02/02/2010

I'm on a fixed income also and I hear you. My thermostat is set on 65º. I also bought 2 portable heaters from Wal Mart. I live in a single wide mobile home.I put 1 in the far back bedroom and the other in the living room. Both heaters totaled $65.00. My electric bill was far lower than several of my neighbors.Also plastic kits are available for windows etc. Best of luck.

By OliveOyl02/02/2010

What temperature did you set the heat at? You can lower the thermostat and wear warm clothes at home--socks, slippers, tee shirt with sweatshirt over that, etc. That's how we do it in the northeast and I keep the temperature around 65 degrees and we are comfortable. You get used to it. Your mother is not old and can tolerate a little chill.

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Archive: Inexpensive Heating

Our energy bills have been enormous this winter. Unfortunately, we rent a house with only electric heaters. Does anyone have any tips for heating the house or keeping it warm during the cold months for cheaper? Thanks.

Samantha.


RE: Inexpensive Heating

Here some tips that might help in your circumstances from an article we wrote in 2000.
  • Set your thermostat on the lowest comfortable setting and leave it alone. You will adjust to lower temperatures and possibly sleep better as well. 68 degrees is a comfortable temperature.
  • Insulate and weatherize your home properly. This is not an easy task if you have an old house, but some little things you can do relatively cheaply are: Put plastic on your windows. Use foam weather striping around your doors. Close off rooms that you are not using.
  • Close drapes or curtains at night and on cloudy days.
  • When the sun is shining, open drapes to take advantage of the natural warmth.
  • Keep windows on the south side of your house clean to maximize solar gain.
  • Keep doors and windows closed. This may sound obvious, but many children tend to leave the door open when they go outside to get firewood.
  • Contact your local energy department to see if they offer a free audit.
  • Caulk and weather strip around doors and windows.
  • Tip: Looking for drafts? Hold a piece of tissue up around doors and windows. When the tissue flutters, you have a draft that is affecting your heating bill.
  • Wear warm clothing, extra socks, and sweaters so you can tolerate less heating. We have polar fleece lap blankets that we can use while sitting so we don't need to turn the heat up so high.
  • If you have very dry air, put a pot of water on low on the stove so to raise the humidity in your home. It will make it feel warmer. (01/08/2003)

By ThriftyFun

RE: Inexpensive Heating

If the house is elevated or has wood floors, buy room-sized rugs or carpet remnants. People were always commenting on how beautiful our wood floors were, but no one appreciated how cold they were in the winter.

If you've cooked a meal in the oven, turn the oven off and leave the door open and allow the heat to escape into the room.

If you are planning to stay in the house for several more years and if possible, place insulation in the attic. You can buy rolls of fiberglass insulation. Check what is the best rating for your area. If you can afford to hire someone, do it. If not, you can do it yourself. As a 34-year-old woman, I placed a single layer of insulation over the area that is the ceiling in my mother's house, which was built in 1967. My mother has stated that her gas/electricity bills have never been lower or the house warmer.

I will warn you it's hot, cramped work. Keep a water bottle nearby. Also, you'll need to be properly attired, long-sleeve shirt, jeans, tennis shoes, long socks, and work gloves. Don't forget your air filter, you don't want to breathe in the fiberglass.

You'll need to seal off openings, cuffs, collars, and pants legs. Fiberglass is a notorious irritant. I used electric tape to close off these areas. Cover your head with a scarf and cap. And finally, cover your face and neck with Vaseline, the fiberglass will stick to it and not your skin. (01/08/2003)

By Regina

RE: Inexpensive Heating

Put a pan of water on the stove and enjoy warmer feeling air through the steam that is released out/off of the pan. We do this every year. Also try wearing thick woolen socks (we do even with our "house shoes" while staying indoors). Special house shoes are only worn in the house and never worn outside or anywhere else.

Why we even sleep in our "very special bedtime only socks". As a lot of heat escapes a body through our scalps and our feet we had learned. Learning this a few years ago, we tried it and could not believe the difference it truly made in each of our own aging personal body comfort.(09/25/2006)

By Paula Jo

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