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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.

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Samantha.

Answers:

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

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.

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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

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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