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Old 11-10-2019, 01:11 PM
PreppingGal PreppingGal is offline
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Default Saving On Heating Costs



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The other week I saw a Youtube video on doing little things to save on heating and cooling costs. One suggestion was using those baby-proof plugs to cover the plug holes in outlets that are on exterior (not interior) walls, as well as using those foam sealers around the sockets in exterior walls. He said that a lot of people just use the foam sealers, then the cold comes through the outlet holes and using the baby protectors will stop it. I didn't think that would make much difference until putting my hand on some of those plugs. They were cold, all right. And I picked up a box of the baby protectors for under $2.

I also picked up some sealer for the places around the windows where the window-to-frame seal is cracking and starting to come loose.

This is a thread to add other bright ideas for cheap things that pay off in savings.
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Old 11-10-2019, 01:30 PM
Eagle Scout Survivor Eagle Scout Survivor is offline
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If you have a basement check to see if your box sill (area where the joist rest on the foundation) has insulation. My current house did not. I bought 3 rolls of 8 inch thick insulation for under 60 dollars and half a roll to spare.

I also bought 3/4 inch thick foam board insulation and used it to cover all my basement windows in the winter. Probably 10-20 dollars depending on size and number of windows.

Finally I threw a towel in front of the side door that we don't use. Even after weather stripping a good amount of cold air could be felt.


--------------------------------

On the more expensive side we also added 6 inches of insulation in our attic, replaced 8 old windows and upgraded from fuel oil to natural gas furnace. Went from 500-600 dollar a month fuel bill to 150 a month. Already broke even after 3 years.
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Old 11-10-2019, 01:34 PM
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You might pickup an infrared thermometer from Harbor Freight and scan the walls , floor, ciellings, etc to make sure there is insulation in all the right places.

Another option is an infra red camera.

door sweeps can usually be improved upon.
ANd if you have a fireplace chimney, close the damper when it is not i use.

Don't forget heat is also transferred by radiation, so closing the shades at night should help.
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Old 11-10-2019, 01:38 PM
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When looking for cracks where is is coming in /going out light some incense and move it around areas you think cracks may be letting air in, Watch what the smoke does, it will tell you if and how much air is leaking there.
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:29 PM
fistfulladirt fistfulladirt is offline
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Check/change furnace filter routinely.
Furnace - turn down at nite, and when leaving for extended periods.
Ceiling fan to force warm air down.
Leave furnace fan running 24/7 to stabilize temps throughout home.
Heat zones, close off unused room heat ducts.

Some basics that I do.
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:15 PM
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Here is one thing I do. Its not for everyone. We take the dryer
exhaust out of the wall in late fall and put it in a enclosure covered
by a sheet to filter out lint. This puts the heat and moisture directly
in the house instead of venting it outside.

We live in a huge drafty house. If you live in a modern air tight
house and have breathing issues it may not be for you.
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Truck Vet View Post
Here is one thing I do. Its not for everyone. We take the dryer
exhaust out of the wall in late fall and put it in a enclosure covered
by a sheet to filter out lint. This puts the heat and moisture directly
in the house instead of venting it outside.

We live in a huge drafty house. If you live in a modern air tight
house and have breathing issues it may not be for you.
Don't do that with a gas dryer, but an electric dryer should be fine if you need the humidity.
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by AnonymousPrepper View Post
Don't do that with a gas dryer, but an electric dryer should be fine if you need the humidity.
Never owned a gas dryer. But the humidity really helps in this
cold house.
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Old 11-10-2019, 08:25 PM
dealfinder500 dealfinder500 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle Scout Survivor View Post
If you have a basement check to see if your box sill (area where the joist rest on the foundation) has insulation. My current house did not. I bought 3 rolls of 8 inch thick insulation for under 60 dollars and half a roll to spare.

I also bought 3/4 inch thick foam board insulation and used it to cover all my basement windows in the winter. Probably 10-20 dollars depending on size and number of windows.

Finally I threw a towel in front of the side door that we don't use. Even after weather stripping a good amount of cold air could be felt.


--------------------------------

On the more expensive side we also added 6 inches of insulation in our attic, replaced 8 old windows and upgraded from fuel oil to natural gas furnace. Went from 500-600 dollar a month fuel bill to 150 a month. Already broke even after 3 years.
My best friend used to do HVAC with his dad before he decided to go to college and be a pastor. 6 or 7 years ago he did a quick walk thru of my house and gave me some little pointers.

First thing he told me was to throw out the cheap filters for the furnace. I don't recall what they were, but they were little flimsy ones that were meant to last 30 days. He said don't ever use those, use the nicer ones that should last all season - you will hurt your furnace otherwise.

Then he had me put insulation in the box sills in the basement. He told me that will keep a lot of heat in. Any extra insulation went up to the attic.

Another thing I have done in the past is gotten those window kits that basically put a plastic cellophane film bubble around the windowsill, and then you seal it tight with a hair dryer. I don't do this anymore thanks to the cats. But now I have heavy curtains in front of the windows. This works by keeping the cold air to the window, rather than allowing it to fall freely to the ground and sending more warm air to the window to be cooled.

If you want to seal a door, the best and cheapest way I have found is to get one of those foam pool noodles that you can find for a $1 over the summer. Cut it to size and then cut down the middle, and it will fit over your door and create a nice tight seal. I have tried towels before but those don't stay there long with the cats, not to mention when you leave for the day.

Some other things I have done in the past is I will use a space heater in the winter as long as I can before turning on the furnace. Then I would set the furnace to about 55, and then use a space heater for where I am in the house. Now I use a Kerosene heater due to problems with my fuel oil tank and the chimney (I'm saving up for a different system) and personally I think the Kerosene heater is very cheap and it heats the house up nicely - often to the point where I've got to change into t-shirt and shorts.

Other things you can do is to put your feet in a bucket of warm water - that will warm you right up. In the summer you can do the same but with cold water. Or sit there at the dining room table with a good book, cup of hot tea, a warm blanket and a candle or two to warm up your hands.

After you have used the oven, as long as you don't have kids or animals, leave the oven door open to let all that heat out.

During the day, be sure to open any curtains that are blocking sunlight, but as soon as they don't get direct sunlight shut them again.

If you have any unused or infrequently used rooms, make sure you keep the door closed. When I used my furnace I got these magnetic covers that fit over the heater vents so I could stop the heat from going to two rooms that I didn't use much.
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Old 11-10-2019, 09:45 PM
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It's not inexpensive, but earlier this year we replaced our windows with state of the art E-glass, triple pane, etc... windows. Not only do they look and work so much better, we've noticed we hardly run the heat or AC anymore. Really am impressed at what a difference it has made. Quieter inside too.

Our house was built in the late 70's and we had casement style, replaced them with double hung (I hate the way casement windows look and work). So much more efficient.
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Old 11-10-2019, 11:06 PM
BrianWorf BrianWorf is offline
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Use an electric blanket at night to keep just you warm, and not run the heat for the whole house. Keep it warm enough that pipes don't freeze. I use a small heating pad, as I sleep hot usually anyway and don't need a whole electric blanket for cold nights.
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Old Yesterday, 04:42 PM
dealfinder500 dealfinder500 is offline
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Oh... I should mention this... do be careful about your pipes freezing! It's not worth trying all these things to save a bit of money if your pipes end up freezing because your house got too cold! That can cost you far more than you saved!

I keep an oil-filled space heater in the basement very close to under the kitchen pipes (why do houses put those sinks and those pipes on an outside wall??). Once it starts to go below freezing I'll turn the heater on low and keep it like that all winter. When it starts to get really cold (like close to 0 or below), I'll turn it on high. I have another space heater in the kitchen that I'll turn on low as well. Additionally, when it gets below 0, I'll throw a towel across the sink faucet to kind of insulate. Plus I'll turn the water on slightly, particularly if I'm not going to be home.

I should mention that those heaters are not digital - they are set by dials. This is ideal because if the power goes out and comes back on, a digital heater may need to be turned back on whereas these ones go right back to making heat. I live in the country and it is not uncommon for the power to go out and come right back on in heavy wind or snow.

We had some real cold days last year and I did all that. My pipes were fine. I know 3 people who did not do any of that, and their pipes froze last winter.

Also, open the cabinet doors under the sink - it will allow the air to move around, and so the same air isn't there around the pipes getting colder and colder.
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Old Yesterday, 06:00 PM
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I live on 64 ac of hardwood trees, and I have a wood stove in each building.
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Old Yesterday, 06:24 PM
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Dad bought the cheapest piece of junk modular home he could find but at least by putting window film over the windows outside it makes a giant difference.
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Old Yesterday, 07:40 PM
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I used to have some friends who lived in a house ready to fall down, every fall they would buy a $100 roll of black plastic and a couple bundles of lath. They would wrap the entire house from the ground to the eaves in plastic. In the most used rooms they cut an opening in the plastic around windows and taped clear plastic over the hole. They also put plastic on the inside of the windows.

It looked tacky and the neighbors complained but I am sure it kept out the draft.
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Old Yesterday, 07:50 PM
woowoo2 woowoo2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dealfinder500 View Post

First thing he told me was to throw out the cheap filters for the furnace. I don't recall what they were, but they were little flimsy ones that were meant to last 30 days.

When I used my furnace I got these magnetic covers that fit over the heater vents so I could stop the heat from going to two rooms that I didn't use much.
Both of these are hard on your furnace.
Use normal filters, and do not block off vents.
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Old Yesterday, 08:26 PM
Ready?mom Ready?mom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksmedman View Post
It's not inexpensive, but earlier this year we replaced our windows with state of the art E-glass, triple pane, etc... windows. Not only do they look and work so much better, we've noticed we hardly run the heat or AC anymore. Really am impressed at what a difference it has made. Quieter inside too.

Our house was built in the late 70's and we had casement style, replaced them with double hung (I hate the way casement windows look and work). So much more efficient.
We did the same and it is a big difference. We also replaced our front door. We tried everything to stop air from coming through and finally gave in, spent 700$ (our door is custom size) and replaced it. With severe arthritis I can’t tolerate cold very well so we always had our heater running. We’ve used it twice since replacing the windows and the door. Well worth it.
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