Thursday, February 7, 2008

Heating tips

I subscribe to Thriftyfun for ideas for saving money and doing things in a frugal way. Some things are not what I would call frugal, but some are very helpful.

Recently there was some great tips on there from a woman who called herself "mom in Missouri" I have copied her suggestions since I think they are worth considering.

  • Make sure fireplace dampers are closed when not in use, and cover the opening.
  • Insulate light switches and receptacles that are on outside walls
  • Insulate attic and pipes
  • Use ceiling fans, remember to use the winter setting to force warm air back down.
  • Use plastic on north windows. Other windows also if necessary.
  • Skirt trailers. Make sure crawl spaces openings are covered.
  • Keep garage doors closed
  • Use insulated or thermal backed curtains and drapes.
  • Do your baking either in the morning to help warm up the house, or during the coldest part of the day that you are home.
  • Try to run your clothes dryer during the coldest time of the day.
  • Boil water. Moist air feels warmer.
  • Keep closet doors, cabinets, pantries closed. Why pay to heat an un lived in space.
  • Make sure that if you have a room above the garage, the garage ceiling is insulated well
  • Use rugs on the floor
  • Drink warm drinks during the day; tea, coffee, cocoa, jello water, etc.
  • Keep thermostat down during the day, and set it lower at night.
  • Layer your clothes. Right now I have on long johns-makes a huge difference
  • Wear slippers and socks.
  • Use flannel bedsheets and an extra blanket.
  • Sweats are warmer to wear than jeans
  • I have a hook hanging in my bathroom above a heat register. Before I shower, I hang my towel on it. My towel is toasty warm when I get out of the shower. I also hang my nightgown on it and then change into my nightgown a few minutes after I hear the heat blower turn on. Again, its toasty warm to put on.
  • Do your vacuuming, dusting and other exercises that require movement when you get to feeling cold. This may mean you spend 15-20 minutes every 60-90 minutes cleaning--kind of in spurts.
  • While sitting at the TV or computer, cover up with a comforter. Or, several family members on the sofa can benefit from sharing an electric blanket.
  • Leave home! Turn down the thermostat and go to the library where its free and warm. You can get online there, read the paper there and study there. Or check out your local community center, go walking if they have an indoor track.
  • Make sure all windows are closed tight. Lock them to be sure, a window that is open if even a tiny bit usually will not lock.
  • I love to crochet in the winter. My blanket or afghan I am working on keeps my lap warm!
  • If your heating system is the type where you can close off a room, close off what you don't need. Right now one of my daughters is sleeping in with her sister because her room has its own heater and hers is turned off.
  • Open the curtains and drapes when the sun is hitting them. Close them back when temps start to drop and the sun moves on.
  • Get a lap cat!
  • Wear warm PJ's to bed, or sweats or long johns, instead of some thin materialed short nightgown. Wear socks to bed, or at least until the bed feels like it has warmed up.
  • If you heat with oil or propane, watch your prices. If prices drop during the summer months fill up then. Add up your total bill for a year, and try to budget that out over 12 months. When you fill your tank, take the money budgeted to that point and use it. For our family, our propane comes out to around $72 a month. Yet we only fill the tank twice a year. But, I try to tuck that $72 a month away for the next tank filling.
  • Use door gaskets around doors and windows that have air coming in through the cracks. To find where you have air coming from, CAREFULLY hold a lit candle and go around your door and window frames. When the flame flickers, you have found an air leak.
  • Do what you have to do. Right now it is so cold and windy, I have a blanket tacked up over a door that currently feels like ice. The blanket is stopping some of that cold air. May be ugly, but its working.
  • Try to combine your trips in and out of the house to one trip. This saves you from opening and closing the door.
  • Insulate pet doors or block them off
  • Eat warm meals instead of cold ones. Hot cereal in the morning instead of cold cereal. Hot ham and cheese sandwich instead of a cold one.

For more Frugal ideas check out Frugal Friday at Biblical Womanhood.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing these ideas. It's so cold right now (after almost spring-like weather), I can really use them.