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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 01:43 PM
Original message
DU advice about keeping warmth in winter affordable?
I think many are in our situation :

The cost of heating oil has basically doubled over the last couple of years. Thus, the heating of our modest freestanding 50 year old home takes about 3500 liters/year, costing (0.79 euro/litre) 2800 euro say 4200 dollar/year or some 350 dollar/month. To me, that is pretty insane.

We have subsidies for solar panels, so that is a possible investment (:-/).
Our windows are single pane, so there too an improvement can be made albeit even more costly.
We keep the temp at 21 C with a timer 6.30-9 and evenings.

Any other advice from experienced DUers on how to keep your heating bills down would be greatly appreciated!

regards
bmc
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. Wear layers of clothing and leave the heat down.
You won't die in a house kept at, say, 60 degrees F wearing a sweater. Some people just don't like the idea of having to wear a sweater in their house.
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Well I would but my SO
indeed thinks you should be able to sit in a nightgown in the evening. Think I'll show her the calculation above and ask her to reconsider.
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Mutineer Donating Member (659 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #2
17. Buy her a cashmere robe or a wool one
they are super warm.
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otohara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #17
82. Cashmere From China
causing lots of pollution, underfed goats. Cheap cashmere is everywhere now, even Old Navy, because it's coming from China.

Thanks to the growing number of goats in China, your cashmere sweater is now cheap as hell. But thanks to your sweater, the once green frontier of Chinas Inner Mongolia looks increasingly like hell too. Those goats, who have grown in number along with cashmere orders from retailers like Wal-Mart and Costco, are tearing up grass faster than ever, helping to desertify Genghis Khans gorgeous grasslands. That means ever-deeper drought and more of the sort of dust pollution that is wracking Chinas north and spreading across the Pacific Ocean to the skies of North America. The government's frantic attempts to stop it aren't working.

Last year, the Chicago Tribunes Evan Osnos wrote a fantastic series of articles entitled China's Great Grab, or how China's exploding appetite for natural resources is reshaping the world, including one on the effects of cashmere. (We covered it previously here, along with a brief solution guide.) For his work he won the Asia Society's Osborn Elliott Prize for distinguished journalismand a spot on The Colbert Report. http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/09/china_cashmere....
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #82
115. Goats are an invasive species around the world.
As cute as goats are, they are an invasive animal.
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debbierlus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #82
149. So, just get a vintage one from Scotland off eBay

They are warmer, better made, & CHEAPER.
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
26. Space Heater
Edited on Wed Nov-28-07 02:27 PM by supernova
That's what I do. I"m very cold natured and have to suffer in winter. But I'm happy to keep the house cooler if I have a space heater to use in the evenings. I can bask in the direct heat all I want. Mine's an electric one with a tip over feature.

edit: and I use an electric blanket to sleep, but since there are two of you, that might not be necessary. :-)
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #26
40. That is a great tip considering my SO is cold natured too
that would probably make her happier than with the 22C in the house!

I have a space heater, a Zibro Kamin that burns oil. I think that will be more expensive than the electric one, it also gives a slight odor...

Actually, before we bought we rented a farm and when we would come in, she would refuse to budge before I installed her with her feet in the flow of this heater. Aaah, good times :D
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #40
46. Here's the heater I have
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OregonBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 07:09 AM
Response to Reply #26
132. Heating Pad. I keep mine on low. Keep it on my back, or feet to get them warm.
Much cheaper than electric heater. I have the kind with an auto shut-off in case I forget to turn it off. It's just enough to keep me cozy. When I'm up and moving about I don't need it but if I'm sitting around reading or watching tv, it is a lifesaver. They have to be replaced periodically but they are not expensive and they really do the trick.
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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 08:17 AM
Response to Reply #26
133. That's a good tip if...
you live somewhere electric isn't wildly expensive. Here in California, if you run a little electric space heater much of the time, be prepared for your electric bill to skyrocket.
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 08:42 AM
Response to Reply #133
135. Nah, overall I use about
Edited on Thu Nov-29-07 09:02 AM by supernova
40% less than an avg household my size.

I'd like to get it down to 50%, but I'll see.
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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #135
154. You're not in California
I used electric space heaters when I lived in Ohio and it did lower my bill but here in CA, I would beware.
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Le Taz Hot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #133
137. I did that last year (space heater)
Edited on Thu Nov-29-07 08:46 AM by Le Taz Hot
and my P.G. & E. was $625.00 for one month! It's the closest I've ever come to fainting. The little sucker's now lost somewhere in the garage where it will remain.
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #2
28. Maybe she wants YOU to keep her warm.
;)
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #28
32. YOU, Ma'am, are pretty spot on
I tend to say males have only two functions crucial to women: the obvious one, and providing heat, especially by accepting cold extremities in a bed :-)
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #2
72. If she gets warmer things, she'll be comfy.
Fleece robes are very warm, and nothing beats cashmere. ;) I have a cashmere nightie that my hubby got me last year for Christmas that I love. That, some silk long underwear pants, and I'm warm in a 65 degree house.
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
78. Oh, and warm socks...
I don't know why for sure, but if your feet feel warm and cozy, you feel warmer all over. Maybe some of those comfy slippers (as long as they have good traction - no one wants to bust their butt walking across the floor). And everyone else's suggestions here seem pretty solid, too.
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Shallah Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #2
89. Get an electric throw blanket for her esp. if you get the solar panels
I got one for my Nana oh nearly 10 years ago that still works good to keep her warm since she is low income and even with help struggles with the fuel bill in the winter.

Maybe your SO would consider something more substantial to lounge in the evening such as flannel pjs? Hopefully the cost of fuel will encourage her to consider the possibilities of how that money could be better spent.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #89
151. there are heating padds for beds that go under the sheets. awesome,
mine. top it with an electric blanket and nirvana.
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Shallah Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #151
155. Yep got one of those electric blanket bed toppers that go under for her too
Not only is she nice and toasty her arthritis doesn't hurt so bad on cold winter nights. She leaves it on the bed year around so if there is a cold damp spell she can plug it back in. She tops it with a couple vellux blankets so weighty blankets don't press on her bugging her arthritis.
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debbierlus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #2
148. That is a luxury...Can you afford it?

My heat is at 58 & it is turned down to 46 at night.

I would love it warmer, but I can't afford it.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #1
57. That's what I do...
and buy funky sweaters and turtlenecks with the money I save. I'd rather spend it on clothes. Actually, I'm sitting here right now in my 100% organic cotton watch cap, fleece sweatpants, thermal top long john and two pairs of cozy socks. Electric heat in my apartment..very costly.

I have it up to 64 degrees..it's cold outside!
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #57
80. I love the cold, especially now that I'm overweight (well, I have been for some time now).
I'd rather have it be 30 degrees and dry in my room than 80 and humid (which is cool by Tallahassee standards for at least half of the year). My gene pool definitely comes from farther away from the equator than I've spent most of my life.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #80
84. Tallahassee.. You got
Edited on Wed Nov-28-07 03:43 PM by zidzi
it made weatherwise! I'm freezing my tush off up here in New York(mid state)..it's going to be 26 degrees on Saturday.

I can't wait to get back to Kauai in 3 years and gimme some of that humidity yur talkin' about! B-)

I know..it takes all kinds. :)
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #84
85. You can have all of the humidity you want. Please, take it!
Heh. I lived in Chicago for a couple of years and it was funny how they thought they could sympathize with the paltry bit of "humidity" they get from the Lake. They have no idea.

I've never been to Hawaii, but then I've only seen the Pacific twice (once from a plane near Seattle and once from a car in San Diego) and I don't like Spam. I do like being on island time, however, and heat and humidity aren't as obnoxious on a beach.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #85
88. Spam? Is that
what you've heard? Poor Hawaiians were never the same after the freakin' missionaries got a hold of 'em.

Do you like Papayas, mangos, avocados, bananas, poi(never mind :), manoa lettuce, purple potatoes, fresh coconut water(to die for) ect,?

You're absolutely correct..humidity isn't as obnoxious on the Beach. I like the Pacific better cause there's less salt and I can swim and Boogieboard in without my eyes getting all hurt. I spent two weeks down in Florida in July, 2002 and swam in the Atlantic off Jacksonville and then in the Gulf off St Pete and I remember my eyes..but the humidity was whopping!

Island Time~..now we're talkin'
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #88
94. Points of clarification: It's the sweet potatoes that are purple
one such was the centerpiece of my bachelor's Thanksgiving dinner!

Also, the enduring popularity of Spam in the islands (Guam eats twice as much per capita as we do!) dates to World War II, when fresh meat couldn't be shipped in because all transport was in wartime mode. It also works nicely in places (like Guam) where electricity, and thus refrigeration, tends to be spotty.
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #94
101. Are congratulations in order for getting married, or was this a different Thanksgiving?
That's pretty much what they said on the shows I saw, with the exception of the Guam bit (at least, I don't remember them mentioning Guam).
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #101
103. Alas, it was this Thanksgiving
what family there is being all the way back East, I settled in to a plate of canned ham (far easier to handle than turkey), Stove Top, canned peas, and the aforementioned purple tuber. And yes, just like in real life, it lasted for three full days!

Now, as to the getting married part... still gotta work on that :shrug:
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #103
107. Duh, sorry, I somehow read "bachelor's party" into what you said.
Marriage itself is overrated unless you aren't allowed to get married. No amount of ceremony makes a committed relationship better, it just costs a hell of a lot more and makes it more of a pain in the ass if things go bad later on.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #103
111. I saw "bachelor" Thanksgiving dinner and
had you all married, too! Take back my "congratulions" on other thread but not the Aloha! B-)
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #94
102. Thanks, KamaAina!
I know they're sweet potatoes..white skin or brown skin but still purple or purple and white inside! :9 I was taking a short cut..they're sweet but not real sweet..just great flava!

Lucky you with your "bachelor's Thanksgiving Dinner"..nice! You still in New Jersey?
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #102
104. I was only visiting in NJ
that was the whole point: had I been there, I would have been taken to the full-on, traditional Thanksgiving feast (minus the purple sweet potato). As it was, alone on the island, I had to make do as described above.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #104
110. Okay..sorry, I
got confused cause I remembered New Jersey once when you were posting but it's been awhile. :)

Congratulations and Ahola! And I can't wait to get out there(Kauai) in 3 years!
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #88
100. Oh, I love most food, which is part of my problem.
I was allergic to mangoes as a kid, but I don't think I am any more, and I can eat myself sick on tropical fruit. I hope to get to Hawaii some day and sample a number of things they grow there (heh, heh). I've got to get a little less broke before that happens, though.

The Spam thing I heard about on a couple of Food Network shows over the years and was like KamaAina said above/below/wherever-around-here, but the shows made it seem like Hawaiians eat Spam from birth. What do I know? I'm the product of Florida public education.

I didn't realize the Pacific had a different salinity than the Gulf and the Atlantic, though I'm not really surprised. I do know we've had red tide algae blooms of record proportions for some years now, and those can make your eyes sting even inland a bit.

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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #100
106. We're getting a real
education here from you, KamaAina, and moi!

I've just been watching Transformers and laughing my head off!

Hope you make it to the Hawaiian Islands one day..it really is worth it.
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #106
109. Ha! Random Ed. 101. And thanks, I plan on it. -n/t
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Shallah Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #80
96. I am overweight and a human ice cube despite northern genes
My fingernails can turn blue in the winter indoors just sitting at the pc. I don't know how my ancestors survived to produce me since human-ice-cube-itis runs in my family!
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #96
97. Heh, maybe you're a mutant...
...or the descendant of master furriers or blacksmiths whose work kept them warm. Or maybe your whole line complained about the cold, but were cute enough to attract mates in spite of it. ;)
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Shallah Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #97
112. it must be my ancestors worked in the warm like you suggest
I don't think fur would be enough cuz my fingers go numb in thinsulate snowmobile gloves when I shovel. Oh well it gives me an excuse to take a break to have a hot mug of tea to unthaw my digits :) And they must have married for true love or else they would have been tossed out of bed for ice block feet and hands!
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The2ndWheel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
3. A nice sweater/sweat pant ensemble works
A pair, maybe two, of good socks. A t-shirt for some layering perhaps.

Other than that, you can go for magic I guess. Failing that, find another dense form of energy.
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
4. The temp in my flat is 60-something, but very low.
I now work late to enjoy the free heat of my employers.
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. I'm interested to know if you have an idea of the difference in consumption
as a function of house temp? Did you ever have it higher and can you compare?
In principle, each degree extra will ask about the same amount of extra energy.
But radiation and conduction losses will disproportionally be higher with higher temperatures, so I think it is not linear.
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
5. close off rooms you aren't using
like closing off the bedrooms during the day. Heavy curtains on the windows, socks and sweaters. and a pot of beans or soup simmering on the back of the stove. :)
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #5
25. The bedrooms we don't always, and the laundry/spare room never
So another good one.

And yeah, that soup on the stove...another very cool one. Kinda gives me the feeling of times my parents would speak about - ice flowers on the inside of windows.

But we have them too. We are not better off than they were, in spite of both having "higher" qualifications...
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #5
62. That's right..I only
live in my bedroom/computer-tv-dvd/dining arena in the cold fall/winter months..with the door closed of course the keep the heat all cozy when you walk in. :)
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #5
152. check your attic. is the insulation deep enough? If not, put down
more. Heat rises and if blocked, will come back to toast you. most houses are deficient in insulation in the roof.
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SteelPenguin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
6. I'm assuming you want inexpensive advice
1) Electronic Programable Thermostats. Have it programmed (or if not programmable, do it by hand) to lower the temperature and raise the temperature when you're not there. If you're gone all day you don't need the house being heated, or at night it shoudl drop a few degrees as well when you' rebundled up in bed.

2) Tape up the windows. lots of heat is lost with bad windows, and the areas around them. If you can't get brand new efficient windows, make sure you get some of that weather tape and tape up every crack in and around the windows to help prevent heat loss and drafts. If you can stand it get a 3M film to cover the whole window area.

3) Check the filter on your heater/furnace. Make sure it's clear. If it's not get a new one and it'll not have to work as hard to pump air into the house.

4) Get a cover for your water heater, available at most home depot, lowes type stores.

5) Add additional insulation to your attic. A little pricey, but it can help.

6) Lower the temperature to 20c (68F). Every degree helps. Dress more warmly in the house, and drop the temp to even 19c.

7) Obvious stuff like if you have any 'in window' air conditioners, remove them.

8) If you have any big double glass door's that you don't use, or dont' need the light from get some big thick blankets and after window sealing them ala #2 also cover them with hanging blankets as well.

If I can think of others I'll post em.



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Turbineguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Towels
at the bottom of doors reduces drafts.
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SteelPenguin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #7
15. Yup, Definately
Forgot that one. Towels at the bottom of doors.

Also you can get some weather strips to put in the doorframe to make it fit snugger for the winter.
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #6
16. Excellent suggestions, thanks SteelPenguin
actually, also advice with some investment is welcome.

1) we have those thermostats.

2) most windows were painted closed before we got here, so there are few cracks. But the holes where the lint of the stores (hope that's clear) goes through brings a lot of draft, dunno how I can fix that. Will have a look at the weather tape though.

3) Gonna add that to the yearly maintenance, good one. The flame and oxygen factor and deposits are checked, but the filter is another matter!

4) Hey! That's on electricity with us, but still a great tip.

5) That's been done too except for the cover of the retractable stairs to the attic. I actually once noticed it acts as a heat sink, so another low hanging fruit.

6) Will negotiate ;-)

7) rather rare here, we have none

8) nope.
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SteelPenguin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #16
31. A few more suggestions
If you have ventilation fans in your Bathroom or Kitchen, dont' use them. (unless you need them in the kitchen to remove smoke). Bathroom fans can suck all the hot air out of your house inside of an hour. You're directly venting your nice warm house air to the outside. Do not use them.

I think someone else mentioned this, but if you have a guest room or rooms you don't use much, close off the vents in those rooms. If they have no manual way to close them, seal them with the same weather tape as on the windows, cover the windows with blankets in addition to the weather tape, and keep the door to the room closed, with a towel underneath the door to seal it better.

Electric Space Heaters. If the problem is gas/oil prices, and you spend most time in one spot when you get home from work, electric space heaters can be good (barring crawling children or some pets). Keep the temperature lower overall, and use the space heaters where you are.

Make sure the temperature on your water heater isn't too high. Anything over 120F is wasting energy.

If you're home. Open the blinds on windows when the sun is hitting them to let in the heat, and close the blinds and curtains when it's not to keep in the heat.

---

As far as larger investments, new windows. That's a big one. If you have old windows and they've been painted in they might stand to be replaced. That's not something you necessarily want to do right now, but it can make a big monthly difference in your bill if you have bad windows. Also just because they're painted in doesn't mean they don't leak air. Seal them up no matter what.

Also a high efficiency furnace. That can be expensive, but depending on what your'e using now, it can save you money sooner rather than later.

Also as far as the attic door, you can seal that similiarly to how you seal the window.

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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #6
122. on windows where you need the light but don't need to look out
bubble wrap is a great insulator and cheap cheap

couple that with heavy drapes for the evening it will make a big difference

our mobile home has terrible windows and those two things have made a huge difference
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
8. For single pane windows...
After making sure the sashes will close snuggly against each other, I've cut 1 inch styrofoam and covered the panes in the top sash of my double hung windows. I found the styrofoam stopped the heat so well that the foam froze to the windowfrost but was warm to the touch...Essentially cutting down on heat loss over half the window without losing all opportunity to look out... pulling the blinds halfway down effectively covered the ugliness.

Styrofoam insulation panels are pretty cheap in the US I don't know about costs elsewhere.

They are flammable so you need to think about how using them might pose an unacceptable risk for some circumstances.





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Whisp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #8
20. there is also a thin plastic-like product
almost like a Saran wrap but not as clingy, that you can make adhere to your inside window frames by applying heat with a hair dryer. We use this in one of our colder rooms and it works quite well.

also for doors leading outside, check out that felt strip around the perimeter to make sure it is in good condition. This may apply to older doors only.
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #20
30. Interesting Whisp, mentioned below as well. Have never seen it here
but will have a look. Does this go on the glass or does it go on the wood of the frame so there is also an insulating air layer between the two? And what about the visibility, acceptable?
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Blue Diadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #30
38. It's actually very clear. We did all our windows with it
last year and the year before. It really made a difference. We have stopped using it because our grandkitten has a tendency to ruin it by jumping up on the window ledge and using his claws to make more room. We also have storm windows on the exterior but believe me, there was a tremendous difference with that plastic up. (100 plus year old home here) Drafts were gone and I could hear nothing at all from outside.

It adheres to the window trim with double sided tape. Then with the use of a hair dryer, it shrinks and becomes very tight fitting.

FrostKing is a name that comes to mind, 3M is another brand. Hope they have something similar where you are.

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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:47 PM
Response to Reply #38
118. We put the extra plastic on the inside face of the storm window
instead of inside the house. It worked and we didn't have to re-apply it. BE sure to close your windows on some foam strips to cut off every draft.
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Blue Diadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #118
145. Good idea.
That would save them from the kitty slasher and still be effective. Then I could stuff some insulation into those openings for the rope/weight area.

Thank you!
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #20
33. Yes, that creates a dead air space and cuts drafts...I was talking foam
that is an inch thick. Not nearly as invisible as the shrink-wrappy stuff.
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conscious evolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #20
70. I have used it before
It works very well.
Also regular clear poly sheeting and duct tape can also be used in a pinch.
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CT_Progressive Donating Member (889 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
9. Frequent Orgies.
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #9
18. Now that is creative :D
keeps you warm and the house too!
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #9
21. hmmm frequent orgies, huh
actually I don't flirt with the girls like I used to do 'fraid one of 'em might take me up on it. ;-)
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The2ndWheel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #9
27. You can't take a chance with those
You get what you pay for. You can't go frugal. Life is not a porn movie. These things don't just happen.
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JoDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
11. A few ideas
1. Cover your windows with the shrink-wrap plastic kits that are available at most home improvement/hardware stores. The kits are relatively inexpensive (about $12 for a five-window pack). I don't know if they will give you the same energy effiency as double-pane windows, but it's worth a try.

2. Consider dumping home heating oil and switching to electric heaters. In most areas of the country, electricity will be cheaper than natural gas and heating oil this winter. Even using them to supplement your central heat could help.

3. Close off any rooms you use only seldomly or never, and shut the vents in those rooms.

4. Look into products like the Vent Miser. It is essentially a cover that goes over your vents that opens and closes according to a timer you set. This allows you to concentrate your precious heat in the rooms you are using when you use them. Combined with the timer you already have, it could help.

5. Keep your eyes open for sales on old-fashioned wood burning, cast iron stoves and heaters. I remember one national chain sold a box stove for about $150 last winter. That could be another cheap way to supplement the central heat.

6. Invest in wool. Dress in layers. Drape your furniture in blankets and throws and use them.
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #11
66. Thanks JoDog
1. Gonna do that asap
2. Never was the case here, but maybe now. However, would require changing the old but very good cast iron radiators we have now I think...
3. Yup
4. We only have a kitchen vent - but am gonna check for loss. It consists of flaps that only open when the kitchen cabinet ventilator is on.
5. I actually have one, but a chimney to rebuild on the ground floor and wood is expensive over here - but hmmm my dad has lots...
6. Can't sell the blankets because of "the fuss" (4-year old prancing about).
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
12. I rely heavily on a wood stove for primary heating...
...and my house is moderately well insulated-- and winters are mild in coastal norcal, so my energy bill is pretty low, typically $70-$90 per month during winter. I burn about $150 worth of firewood between November and April. I typically use my central heating furnace (natural gas) only 30 minutes or so to take the chill off in the morning. Also, I LIKE a cool house, so indoor temps in the 50's at night are common.
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
13. my advice is go and buy yourselves a pellet or corn burning stove
Edited on Wed Nov-28-07 02:04 PM by madokie
if this winter is like the rest of the last 15 or so it will cost us two tons of wood pellets at this years cost of 210 bucks including the tax btw per ton. 420 bucks for the whole winter, how cool is that I ask, oh and I am getting older and like to keep the house warm too, I have the thermostate set on 74 degrees night and day, theres lots of good stoves and they are priced from around a thousands bucks on up. Our first one we bought at the start of the winter of '91 cost us 1268 smackaroos setting in our front room and hooked up. our son and his wife use it now and its still a good stove, I don't know as if it'll ever wear out. It paid for itself in 3 years in money saved over heating with propane. We're on the third year on the stove we have now and it cost us a little over 2100 bucks. this one lights itself and everything in fact I heard it just start up now. but serously check into a pellet or corn burning stove everyone please. carbon neutral ;-) as a bonus

Add: we don't put plastic on our windows or take any other steps to lower our heating bill as its not necessary at less than a hundred bucks a month.
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #13
69. Cross-reference to thread about pellet stoves
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Sounds like sound advice. Need to think about the investment though.
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Ikonoklast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
14. Can you get the heat-activated shrink-wrap for the windows?
They sell them for just about any size window, have adhesive on the edges, and are easy to install. The covering can really cut down on heat loss due to leaks, and actually increase the greenhouse effect inside the dwelling.

Also, get some cans of aerosol foam insulation and fill the spaces around electrical outlets; in an older home, especially, that may have less insulation. On a windy day in some older homes you can feel the cold breeze blowing right through the outlets.

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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #14
60. I have really NEVER seen it round here, either in store or used...
Hope I can find it someplace, otherwise I'll get it online from the US. Sounds like really great bang for your buck!
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 12:16 AM
Response to Reply #60
123. bubble wrap works well too if you don't need the view but want to keep the light
it's cheap, easy to find and works better then the shrink wrap stuff in my book

I use the blue 'painter's tape' so I don't hurt the surface I'm taping to

that, with thick curtains for the nighttime hours will make a huge difference
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #60
150. ace carries it and home depot. I also caulked EVERYTHING.
My bill for natural gas went from 192 a month to a surplus. My electrical went from 200 to 23$. TURN OFF LIGHTS! Put all your stuff on surge protectors and when you are done with the room or the house for the night, shut them off. Things you think are off usually aren't. They suck down electricity all the time. Leaving computers on when you don't use them is killer.

Caulk everything. Use the film. If you can't find film, get visquine and put it on the outside of your windows. You can get some that's pretty clear and use wood strips to tack it up so its reusable. Its worth it. In Oregon, we used to do that and it kept out the wind.
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
19. You are in Belgium? I assume that your winters are cold.
Is there any way for you to switch from oil to electric heating? I don't know if that would be cheaper in Belgium. Electric is much cheaper than gas or oil in the U.S. My 820 square foot apartment runs on electricity, and it only costs me about $45 a month to heat. However, I live in a southern state, where even our nights rarely go below freezing, and I don't have to run the heat all the time.

Another option is to maximize the heat you get from natural sources, including solar. There are lots of websites and books that tell you how to maximize the energy from the sun with passive solar collection.

Also, google the internet to find all the old-fashioned remedies for keeping the cold outside. Weatherstrip your windows and doors to keep drafts out. In the northern U.S., people put beanbags along the bottoms of their doors and along windowsills to stop drafts. Keep the blinds and curtains closed at night, but wide open when there is sun coming in.

Stay warm by gathering the occupants of your home in one room as often as possible. The warmth of everyone's bodies will heat up a room considerably, and it won't matter that the rest of the house feels cold. You can gather in the kitchen around the oven, for instance.

At night, use down comforters to stay warm in bed and turn the heat way down or even off.
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #19
35. Our winters are moderate - nightly freezing pretty frequent but mild.
I am gonna look into solar - not that we have that much sun, but as it's also subsidized...
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:07 PM
Response to Original message
22. heavy, lined curtains on the windows with valance boxes above
I survived single paned windows in New England just fine with that arrangement, cut the drafts to 0. If you can't afford premade, make them yourself out of remnant upholstery material and bargain bedsheets with or without thinsulate lining. Patchwork them if you have to. Remember, this is survival, not home couture. Valance boxes are made out of cheap plywood or Masonite covered by fabric. You can glue the fabric on.

Fleece booties and hats indoors. You lose a lot of body heat through hands, feet and head. I also have fingerless gloves, but find them too cumbersome for knitting and typing and forget spinning. Down vests can also work, but here in NM a heavy homemade wool sweater generally does the trick.

Get an electric blanket and use it for when you're vegging out in front of the tube in the evening. It costs a heckuva lot less to heat you under that blanket than it does to heat the whole room. Be chummy and sit together on the sofa under the blanket. All the better to pass the popcorn.

Consider closing off any room you're not in during the day. Consider putting an Econoheater into a bathroom. Turn it on an hour before your shower and keep the door closed. You'll have a nice, toasty bathroom for not a whole lot of money. I had an unheated bathroom in Boston that was brutal at 3 AM when I needed to pee. A hair dryer on the toilet seat for 30 seconds made it more tolerable.

Above all, keep reminding yourself that not keeping your house at the hothouse temperatures favored in North America cuts down on the number and severity of winter colds, probably because the nasty little rhinoviruses find it more difficult to survive on chilly surfaces.
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Dora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #22
29. Wow. I did not know that about rhinoviruses. Thanks for the tip.
It's good ammunition for the annual "turn-it-up-turn-it-down" thermostat battles in our house. We have a toddler in preschool - anything to reduce the number of colds is a good thing.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #29
36. Just keep the little rugrat dressed warmly
They've discounted the old wives' tale that being chilled causes colds, but they have discovered that having cold feet all the time does lower immune defenses.
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Lars39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #29
91. Our old family doctor that delivered all of us was from Poland,
and he recommended regularly airing the house out in the winter.
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:49 PM
Response to Reply #91
119. I have a theory about that.
My family is Irish, and we were very poor. I suspect any animals shared the house until maybe a generation or two back. My husband's family is German and I think they were rich folks who actually had barns. Anyways, my family like to crack a window open even in winter while his leaves the storms up until July!
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 09:36 AM
Response to Reply #91
144. I have a woodstove
so I haven't bothered to plug up all the drafty bits like outlets on exterior walls and a crack at the back door. I need more air exchanges than if I had central heat with an exterior air source.
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #22
74. Fingerless mitts in sockweight yarns are nice.
I have a pair of Fetching that I made for myself out of a light worsted that are just right, but I could see something out of sockweight or sportweight working better.

I can't spin with mine, either, though. I need my palms free. Sweaters, though, are fine, even with drop spindles (I spin out of the fold, not with the roving over my shoulder).
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
23. A small suggestion
Keep closet or cupboard doors closed.

It will only save a few cents a day, but a lot of little savings add up.
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
24. When you are just sitting, put a heating pad in your lap or on your back
Be sure to turn it off when you get up.

Exercise in the house. Physical activity makes you feel warmer, gets your blood circulating.

Go for a walk if you can do so safely. The house will feel very warm when you come back inside.

I'm not one for orgies, but cuddling over cups of hot chocolate with someone I love (my husband of many years) is my favorite winter sport.
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #24
37. I will ditto the "exercise in the house" tip.
I work out at home a lot. I put on some music -- sometimes I just dance, somtimes I do more of an organized routine of lunges, squats, arm weights, crunches, etc. It's free, good for your health, and revs your metabolism.
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Whisp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #24
56. or a good old fashioned hot water bottle.
I remember the old farm winter days - and I'm talking big winter temps like minus 35 celsius with howling winds. and some of the early years with only a wood stove for heat.
putting a hot water bottle in your bed (all down quilts in those days, we called them 'perrranas' - Ukrainian word ) before you retire was such a comfort and treat. getting out of bed in the morning onto the chilly floor wasn't so much. ;)
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
34. Economical solution: Capilene or silk long johns.
Edited on Wed Nov-28-07 02:20 PM by kestrel91316
http://www.rei.com/gear/feature/search/Google/patagonia...

Oh, and don't forget nice warm wool blend socks. Angora blend socks are really nice and toasty too(but they make my ankles itch, lol, I must be slightly allergic to bunnies).
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #34
42. The capilene undies provide excellent bang for the buck, as does polypropylene
Silk may be a little more comfortable for some people.
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #42
49. thinking along the line of skiing / thermal underwear
and remembering how great it feels, that's a good one for my SO too.
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #34
75. I have some silk ones I got on sale that I love.
They are the perfect layer. I got them at Nordstrom Rack, but they often have good prices here: http://www.sierratradingpost.com/
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:23 PM
Response to Original message
39. Personal Windmill - have you seen these?
I was watching a TV show recently about newer energy technologies and saw this:

http://www.turby.nl /
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #39
44. turby hell that sounds like a name w would use
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #39
48. Was thinking along such lines too
inspired by the news of Gore's venture capital fund for new green technologies.

Price does seem pretty hefty (say 30 k Euro on average), especially considering the need for mast heighth to get a nice output.

However, I should check our electricity usage and see how much we need - maybe you could buy one of these with a couple of families...

Thanks supernova!
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #48
51. The Head Engineer
they interviewed said it would probably replace about 2/3 of your household needs. You'd have to fill out the rest; he suggested solar.

Still cutting your energy bill by 2/3 is great. B-)
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
41. Get cats and let them sleep with you
I haven't had to fire my gas furnace up yet.

(Of course I live in San Diego, but I have added blankets and started wearing socks, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts around the house.)
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
43. We put blankets over our windows and one door that is in very bad
condition. I also went around looking for drafts to close up. Warm clothes, close off rooms.
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begin_within Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
45. Cats
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orleans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:35 PM
Response to Original message
47. couple ideas
i change the furnace filter every month to help w/air flow

run a ceiling fan in reverse so it doesn't blow down on you. when you put the fan in reverse it lifts the warm air and pushes it across the ceiling and down the walls to help heat the room.

weather-strip your doors

if you have a window air conditioner take it out. if you have a wall air conditioner cover it with plastic, towels, weather-strip around frame, buy a nice lithograph and duct tape it over the towels and plastic.

always have extra blankets and pillows on your chairs & couch/sofa so you can throw them around you while you watch tv or hang out in the living room in the evenings

are you in a house? you could plant a windbreaker -- a hedge of shrubs or bushes near the house (we have one on the north side of our house)

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JitterbugPerfume Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
50. I invested in a 100% wool blanket
it is scratchy as hell but with a sheet between it and me I can turn the heat WAY down at night
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harun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #50
76. Where did you get it? (n/t)
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JitterbugPerfume Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #76
86. at a flea market
the guy was selling them for $20 .I wish I had bought more but as usual I was broke
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #50
77. Down blankies help tons, too.
I've found them on sale at outlets and such. Worth the investment.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
52. What can be done about a dryer vent that lets in cold and drafts?
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #52
55. You can get a gravity-operated flapper that seals it reasonably well
Check your local Home Depot or Sears.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #52
65. Inside-the--house dryer vent?

You could vent the heat and humidity into your own house. There's a filterbox you put on the end of your vent hose.

We frown upon such devices in the South, but it might "recycle" some of the otherwise lost energy.
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Froward69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
53. All good sugestions.
what i have found is using caulk si stick the plastic around your windows. big sheets of drop cloths are the least expensive. toss the double slided tape as it is worthless. again use the caulk (cheap caulk pulls off easy in the spring)around the windows to stick the plastic to. if you have a brick structure put the edges of the plastic over the window trim. if you have a good seal the plastic should bulge inward. I am for saving heat, not concerned with aesthetics. another over looked place is the attic door. put a bead of caulk around the opening and a sheet of plastic there too. (Remember heat rises)

the programmable electronic thermostat is a great investment. set it cool at night and during the day. as you sleep better in cool air (night). and the animals have fur for a reason.(day) morning and evening set to be comfy. plastic over the windows and that programmable thermostat will pay for themselves in savings within a month or two. towels along the bottom of exterior doorways. and door weatherstripping saves a bunch. the idea is to keep airflow to a minimum.

therms escape at a given rate through various substances. brick is the slowest, Styrofoam is a bit faster. a sheet of plastic over the windows (without holes) essentially makes the window a double pain.

feel free to PM me to/for more help.

associated note. My sister married well and has a successful career. she has a big house. every year she has me over around Halloween to do the plastic over her windows... (thats over her triple pain windows.) as for where we came from "it just doesn't feel like Christmas, if their is no plastic covering the windows"
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 02:12 AM
Response to Reply #53
127. It doesn't feel like christmas, unless there's plastic covering the windows
that is the spirit!!

And thanks for the advice! :hi:
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Froward69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #127
141. Collectively as a family
Edited on Thu Nov-29-07 09:34 AM by Froward69
We are all thankful for each other, roofs over our heads. Thanksgiving through new years. Presents are not the ideal of Christmas. remembering those who have passed away. With us it is Family, gifts are years old sweaters grandma knitted that travel around year after year. epic monopoly, and trivial pursuit games. snowball fights. some politicking, Interventions for the kids dabbling in republicanism. eggnog, apple cyder, candied Ham... on edit = we try to express love and appreciation for each other. those are greatest gifts. saving heat, trying to be Green before it was hip. latest designs for the solar powered hot-tub.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
54. I keep the temperature in my apartment at 65F (about 18C) and
I compensate by dressing in layers, wearing a zip-up quilt when I'm watching TV in the evening, drinking hot decaffeinated tea, and using a small space heater (about 35 cm on each side) in my office when I'm working there. Even such a small space heater quickly heats up the room if I keep the door closed.

In fact, in one of my previous dwellings, the furnace failed on a day when the outdoor temperature was 18F (-7C), so until the repairman could come, I just stayed in my office with the space heater on, and I was just fine.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:44 PM
Response to Original message
58. Use gallons instead of litres -- they're bigger


;)
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Wilber_Stool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
59. Many years ago
I bought a pair of soft nylon insulated camping booties.
They keep your feet deliciously warm. Warm feet, low thermostat. One of the best buys I ever made.
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #59
63. SO's dress code is gonna be: (:-D)
electric space heater in front
bean bag on her lap
those camping booties
a very warm wool or cashmere robe
long tightfitting underwear

:D
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Whisp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
61. a good old fashioned old country down quilt.
you can survive in the arctic under one of those so night temps can go way down. ;) as a kid tho, I found them massively heavy, but snuggly.
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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
64. Kotatsu
A variant of the electric blanket/heating pad method would be a traditional Japanese setup calld a kotatsu, essentially a low table with a quilted skirt and a heater underneath.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kotatsu
http://www.jlifeinternational.com/furnishings/kotatsu/k...

The "sitting on pillows on the floor" aspect would likely limit its usefulness for some people, but might actually make them more attractive for others.

And you don't need to buy any device to put the general principle to use.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 03:02 PM
Response to Original message
67. bundle


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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 03:02 PM
Response to Original message
68. Build frames that fit inside windows. Attach clear plastic to the frames
then secure and seal. Wear sweaters and a cap. Humidity is good, 40% or above. Look for air leaks around doors and windows. Shut off rooms not used.

Heavy curtains at night and in north and windward side windows.
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
71. Read this thread in 'Frugal and Energy Efficient Living Group'!
Edited on Wed Nov-28-07 03:11 PM by troubleinwinter
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
73. Plastic over the windows
is a cheap way of insulating them, and is quick, too. If it is really cold where you live, put it on both inside and out.

Go to the thrift store and buy quilts and comforters. If you can sew, fold a comforter in half long ways and sew the bottom and side-then you have a snug "slip in" in which to put your body while you are sitting at the computer. Sticky velcro tape on the long side can be used for ease of getting in and out. And if you don't sew, you can get iron on seam stuff which will fuse the fabrics together.

Layer--tee shirt, then thin shirt then sweat shirt over that.

Those are quick things you can do to keep yourself sort of warm.
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harun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #73
79. I was reading online about success in using saran wrap
You crunch it up and use a butter knife to push it in the cracks in windows. I tried it and it worked awesome, cheap too. Then in my bedroom after doing that I put sheets of styrofoam insulation I cut to size over the windows. Keeps the light low as well. I wrapped them in black plastic so from outside it just looks like closed windows. Worked well and will tide me over until I can afford replacing the windows with more efficient ones.
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #79
83. great points!
And you can scrounge for styrofoam. Go by any office and they are likely to have some to give away, especially after they've gotten a new computer or furniture.
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 12:35 AM
Response to Reply #79
124. bubble wrap works well too n/t
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otohara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 03:35 PM
Response to Original message
81. Electric Throws & Blankets - Sunbeam
Edited on Wed Nov-28-07 03:42 PM by otohara
I couldn't live with out my throws. Walgreens, Target, of course Walmart and on-line at Sunbeam.
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Shallah Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #81
92. I got one of the matress pad electric blankets for my Nana who adores it
Keeps her toasty at night and even helped her arthritis. Before that I got her a biddeford throw back when they were made in maine which she loves. Her little dog loves it more and wants to sit on it after going out in the winter and defrost her paws. If Nana does not have it on she fusses until she turns it on for her.
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OmmmSweetOmmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #81
143. I have an electric throw in my office and when really cold use
a sunbeam blanket with my down comforter.
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:18 PM
Response to Original message
87. I have to check out for the night - but thanks for the input all!! Maybe a couple recs?
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Shallah Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:41 PM
Response to Original message
90. Does your country have tax credits for energy saving home improvements like new windows?
IMO that would be worth checking into. If could you tack or duct tape plastic sheeting over the screens? My Gram wraps plastic sheeting that is cut with a bit extra to wrap the around the frame of the screen and tape it down, and puts it back in the window frame.

If any windows are leaky check out weather stripping. Where I live I can get simple and inexpensive weather stripping that even a diy novice can do as it is self-stick.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
93. Close off the heating vents in rooms not used much
especially rooms that "heat up" from sunlight ..

Bake on cold days, and open the oven door to let the "free heat" into the kitchen when you are done baking..

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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #93
153. also, do that with the dishwasher. lots of heat from the drying and
sanitizing modes
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Missy Vixen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:58 PM
Response to Original message
95. We had a week-long power outage last year
Edited on Wed Nov-28-07 04:59 PM by JulieRB
Here are the things that kept us warm:

Gas water heater, stove, fireplace -- I was washing dishes by hand in the sink; the hot water actually helped me warm up.

Tea and hot chocolate, soup, chili, stew

Socks and hats inside. We have Polartec "Santa" hats that got a workout last year. They're soft enough to sleep in, but keep you warm in the middle of the night in a freezing house.

We have multiple throws in our family room. Lands' End no longer makes the double-weave throws we guard like they were gold, but they make several other types. Even when the power's not out, we can turn the thermostat down, because we're warm. Lands' End has many, many items that will help you weather a drop in temperatures. http://www.landsend.com, and I believe they ship outside of the USA. (Their down blanket and six-ounce flannel sheets have probably saved us hundreds of dollars in heating costs alone.) They also have something called "overstocks", which is first-quality stuff that may be in an unpopular color or they don't have enough of to put in the catalog, and at a significant discount.

I can't recommend dressing in layers highly enough, either.

I hope you and your family will stay nice and warm.
Julie
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taught_me_patience Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
98. Take a hot shower before getting into bed
Then cover up with a nice down comforter. You'll toast up quite nicely.
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 06:17 PM
Response to Original message
99. candles, and lots of them.
it's probably too late now, but during the year, pick up big cheap candles at garage sales, and use them in the winter to help with the heat.
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eShirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 04:39 AM
Response to Reply #99
129. but be very careful with open flames
especially if you have pets and/or children

we place our candles in a big shallow pan of water w/ pebbles covering the bottom, looks nice too
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
105. I don't know what your numbers are, nor what house is like, however I'll throw a few things out
I would probably hold off on the solar at this point, and consider it later Solar is a long term positive in the cost/benefit equation, but you're looking for a more short term payoff. You're best bet for the best short term cost/benefit payoff is to insulate, insulate, insulate. Some of this, weatherstripping, insulating the attic, that sort of thing, you can do yourself. You state that you have a fifty year old house with single panes, and that right there is nothing more than a huge sieve. I lived in a house similar to yours, and if your house is anything like mine, you probably have some significant air leaks around those windows due to dry rot, etc. I would replace the windows if it were me. Doing this yourself isn't hard, if you have a modicum of carpenter's skills. However it can be time consuming, and you should also expect the unexpected(we had to replace half the exterior wall in our bathroom due to the water damage from the window that was located in the *shower* :banghead:) If you don't have carpentry skills, then the cost will be significantly higher, but still worth the money in terms of shorter term cost/benefit payout.

Another step that you can take is side your house. We had that clapboard shingle siding that was popular back in the forties. We came in right over that and had Tyvec foamboard(great insulator) put in, and then steel siding on top of that. House looked great and was much cheaper to heat. Between the new windows and the new siding, our heating bill was cut in half.

I would wait on solar panels for the newest tech to get online and then get cheaper. There is now high efficiency thin film photovoltaic that they are forming into roofs, shingles, etc, and while they're a bit pricey now, given a few years the price will fall dramatically and you could install them.

You also might look into putting in a woodstove. Check with your insurance agent to see if, and how much this would drive your rates up. Many interior woodstoves do this, however you can get external woodstoves that keep your rates down. If you can cut wood, your heat will be cheap, if you have to buy it, not so much but better than heating oil.

Good luck :hi:
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DFW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
108. Here in Germany, we have the same problem
No way around it, short of moving to Malta
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Withywindle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
113. Little things
Keep a crock pot of stew or chili going. May be largely psychological but I find it helps me. :9

If you spend a lot of time on the computer posting or gaming or whatever, get a cheap pair of knit gloves and cut the fingertips off so you can type. Very chic, in a Dickensian sort of way.

I second the poster who said keeping the feet warm is the most important thing. I think it's theoretically possible to be comfy in the winter wearing nothing BUT the exact right pair of plushy wool socks. (sexxayyyy....) Wash them frequently because the cleaner they are, the warmer they are. I also recommend keeping them near the heating vent or space heater (but not too near!)

But most body heat is actually lost through the head. You'll feel a lot warmer with a hat on too.

(I used to date a guy who lived in a coach house in Chicago with an *unheated, uninsulated* attic that he used for a bedroom. We used all the tricks. Or I did; he was a native New Englander who had a machismo about stoicism.)

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NoFederales Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 08:04 PM
Response to Original message
114. Here's a couple of great books, easy to do, "Movable Insulation", Langdon &
"Solar Heating Systems", Kornher (sp?).

NoFederales
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:15 PM
Response to Original message
116. I turn on the heat for a half an hour to warm up the house in the evening, then jump into bed
and turn it off, so it's warm when i get into bed, then afterwards you do't know the ddifference under the covers. Also they make some great inexpensive thick fleece covers that feel like fur and are really warm, but are synthetic. At bed bath and beyond they have them for 20 or 30.00, and they are warm..
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:18 PM
Response to Original message
117. Single pane is like having the windows open.
That is THE problem. And it's far more effective to change that than anything else you do. Fenestration is like an open hole in a wall, if it's not at least double pane.

Then there's infiltration. Look for air leaks. Under doors. Around doors. Old windows will have lots of leaks. Vents without louvers.

One way I keep warm is with an electric blanket. The digital blankets are 180 watts max. And there is hardly a better way to stay warm. But then I can't argue with those who say down is also good. I just like the electric because it can be regulated.

Chances are the wall insulation is poor. And attic or roof insulation is often neglected. Especially in open beam homes. Those require insulation on the exterior. Rigid boards up on the roof.

There are a number of ways to improve the situation.

Right now I would stay put and not go solar. I've just spent the last month researching it. I go off grid in a couple of weeks. We're only a couple of years away from the results of decades of research. Both batteries and photovoltaics. However, the incentives are also going to ratchet down as we reach milestones. Now that more people own the systems, the incentives are decreasing. So it's kind of a tradeoff. But if you don't mind 1890 battery technology, then go for it. But that's not going to solve your heating problem. Solar is so expensive still, you can only hope to augment your energy consumption.
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #117
136. Oops. No batteries.
I was thinking off-grid.

But still the basic concept of keeping a house warm is heat in minus heat out. You can work either or both ends of that equation. One is energy consumption and the other is energy loss.
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IronLionZion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 12:01 AM
Response to Original message
120. electric blankets at night
Walgreens has electric throw blankets for around $20. I've been using this for the past 2 winters and it's great. I like this much better than space heaters.

Keep it between your sheet and comforter. Then the heat will stay inside your comforter but won't be touching you directly. Be careful and remember to unplug or turn it off when not in use.
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Liberty Belle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 12:10 AM
Response to Original message
121. portable heater (just be careful not to used frayed cords or extension cords)
I use one in my home office to avoid heating up the whole house when nobody else is home.

Other options:

warm clothes plus Ugh boots or other warm footwear
extra blankets/down comforter
ceiling fans with a reverse switch to bring warm air down from ceiling level shutters to keep warm air inside
exercise to keep warm
hot drinks, hot soup
open oven after use to warm kitchen
use the fireplace (if yours has glass doors, add heat circulating versions)
weatherstripping around doors/windows
hot bath/shower
shut off heat vents in unused rooms
consider a more efficient furnace/heater
clean heating vents
snuggle up with dog, cat or both (the term "3 dog night" originated in Australia among aborigines as a term for how to keep warm in winter)
sleep with a friend ;-)




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Wednesdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 12:46 AM
Response to Original message
125. Tankless Water Heater
Edited on Thu Nov-29-07 12:48 AM by Wednesdays
I posted a thread here at DU a few months ago, asking for advice on efficient hot water tanks, and one person told me to consider getting a tankless heater similar to these on eBay:

(propane):
http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-GAS-TANKLESS-INSTANT-HOT-WATER-...

(natural gas):
http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-INSTANT-TANKLESS-WATER-HEATER-N...

There were a lot of raves about the unit, but no "official" consumer review. Still, we decided to try it out anyway. We bought the natural gas type from that eBay seller for $200 plus $40 shipping (I see the price has come down even since then!).

The biggest downside to it was the waiting period, because it had to literally be shipped on a slow boat from China. We bought the unit on August 16 and it didn't arrive until October 19 -- 9 weeks later. Their eBay page says it can take up to 12 weeks to ship the item.

Once it arrived I had a handyman friend install it...he said it was a piece of cake. You just have to make sure you have enough room on a wall or in a closet for it--any walls have to be at least 6 inches away from the sides of the unit. Also, if you have a 3 inch vent in your house, you need an adapter kit because the vent on the unit is 4 inch. The plumbing salesperson at Lowe's or Home Depot would be able to find this for you, and it shouldn't cost more than $30 in parts.

When we first tried out the unit, we thought something was wrong with it because we kept on getting a "yo-yo effect" (hot-cold-hot-cold, etc.). What happened was the water was getting so hot, the unit's safety shut-off would kick in, and then the water would flow cold...then when the water was cool enough, the heater would kick on again, and so forth. After adjusting the knobs several times, I was able to get a consistent flow at about 108F, more than enough for a hot shower (we use a 1.6 gpm shower head). Even now with the water getting chilly with winter approaching, the hot water is still flowing at about 108F.

I found that when I tried to fill the dishwasher with hot water, the water heater's low-flow safety valve would activate. To avoid this from happening, I open the hot water tap in the kitchen sink while the dishwasher is filling (it doesn't use up that much more water, and I just save it in a pitcher to water my plants later).

I like the various safety features on the unit, and also the fact that it uses 2 "D" batteries for its ignition, so we can still have hot water if there's an electrical power failure.

Every once in a GREAT while the heater would fail to ignite. In that case, I merely shut off the water, wait a few seconds, then try again. Like I said, though, that happens only on rare occasions, and always works on the second try.

I haven't done any detailed figures on how much energy I'm saving, but I'm certain it's saving quite a lot, since it's only ignited a few minutes each day (as opposed to a regular tank, which ignites for several minutes every couple of hours, 24/7/365).

So, overall, I'm really impressed with that unit...I don't think I'll be going back to a conventional tank any time soon.

I'd strongly recommend getting one...but make sure you have a plumber willing to install it for you BEFORE you order it (not all plumbers are willing to install it), and check with your city's code to see what restrictions they might have on tankless units.

There are similar tankless heaters that are electric, too, for reasonable prices...just look around on eBay, etc.
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 12:50 AM
Response to Original message
126. Down, fleece and sheepskin
A pair of Ugg slippers or booties - sheepskin is amazing!
I also have a pair of cheap fleece slippers I got from Target for about $9 which are INCREDIBLY warm, too - plus they're machine washable.
Make sure they cover the ankles!
I still feel the cold from the floor if I just wear socks as opposed to the slippers or booties.

A 100% goose down comforter with higher fill power is the BEST I've found for keeping me warm at night. It's lightweight and traps in the body heat.

I used to have a down bathrobe which actually was became too warm to wear after a short period of time.

I also have a couple of down throws around the house for when I'm watching TV or reading.

I love the idea of warming up the bed before getting into it. I'll have to look into that, but I find with my down comforter even if the sheets are cold, I warm up quickly -- and I'm all alone, so it would be even quicker with a buddy.



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eShirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 04:35 AM
Response to Original message
128. wearing a fleece (like Polarfleece, not sweatshirts) scarf indoors REALLY helps
the fleece is so comfy-soft-warm against the skin. and fleece pajamas are so much warmer than flannel pajamas

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skids Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 07:01 AM
Response to Original message
130. Humidity

Get a $30 humidity meter at the hardware store.

When the humidity is too low, shower with the
door open and bathroom fan off. Let the water
collect in the tub and cool before you drain it.

Moist air feels warmer, and dry winter air isn't
the best to breath anyway.

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Vinca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 07:05 AM
Response to Original message
131. We use a pellet stove during the day and turn the heat off at night.
The only time we use the furnace is if the temperature goes below zero and the pipes are at risk of freezing.
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Danascot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
134. Some advice

from an architect who lives in the Adirondacks in upstate New York (seriously cold winters).

Energy measures in cost-effectiveness priority order:

Stop infiltration - cold air leaking into the house from holes to the outside, especially gaps around doors and windows. Most older houses are like sieves.

Install attic/ceiling/roof insulation - try for R-38 or better

If your heating system is over 10 years old it will be worth replacing with a newer more efficient unit. I wouldn't try to second guess whether it should be oil, gas or electric. Oil is up this year but the future could be different.

In your case it's probably worth replacing the single pane windows with efficient windows, rated U-35 or better. When they are installed it's VERY important that the installer caulk, stuff with insulation or otherwise completely seal any gaps or cracks around the new windows. Gaps around the windows could completely cancel out their benefit.

In New York we have a low cost residential energy audit program where an energy consultant comes out, does an evaluation and gives specific recommendations for your home. Other states may have something similar.

http://www.getenergysmart.org /

BTW this site has a number of useful energy tips:

http://www.getenergysmart.org/WhereYouLive/EnergySmartW...

We use a woodstove that provides almost all our heat. We also have an electric heated mattress pad (Sunbeam?). We turn it on before we get in bed and turn the thermostat down to 50F for the 8 hours or so we're sleeping. It has individual controls for each side of the bed. (Mine is on 1, my wife's is on 10!) We have a heavy down comforter on top.

We do a lot of the suggestions mentioned - dress in polar fleece and poly long underwear. I often wear a cashmere scarf in the house. We use electric heated throws when we're sitting around in the evening. We vent our dryer into the house in winter.

We're also considering a geothermal heat-pump system. We have a large pond out back we could use for a water source. I'd like to use it in conjunction with radiant heat tubing under the floors. I haven't figured out what the pay-back period would be but every time the price of a barrel of oil goes up, it gets shorter.

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Le Taz Hot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 08:50 AM
Response to Original message
138. I'm menopausal and overweight.
Between the two I am my own thermo-nuclear device. B-) Seriously, thanks for this thread, there are some GREAT suggestions (heating pad - genius!)
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windoe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
139. On North/cold walls hang thick fabric
Edited on Thu Nov-29-07 09:09 AM by windoe
or tapestries, like the old castles did--they must have been freezing, use the thick fabric on the walls to add insulation & cut the cold drafts. I think it helps to leave an airspace in between the wall & fabric, make sure it drapes all the way to the floor, and all the way to the sides to seal in the warmth of the room. Years ago I used a power stapler to attach a rug to a wall and it worked pretty well...until I had to remove it, it left marks. The plastic covering for windows (taped on then tightened with a blow dryer) worked very well up north. I experienced 70 below one year, could see my breath inside, used a *lot* of wood, camped out in front of the fireplace (they are sooo drafty!), and wore my clothes & hat to bed.
I have always wondered how to insulate an old house, besides insulating the attic and tending to the windows, have wondered if it would be a good business to add a really high R value siding to the outside of the house, am looking into that option. Make it into a cave.
I just remembered seeing these long skinny pillows in a tube shape that we used to lay on the floor in front of the outside doors to block the draft coming in underneath.
Good luck staying warm, I used to run hot water over the pulse points of my hands to warm them, and a warm soak for the feet works wonders. If you keep your head covered even inside you will stay very warm. Peace.
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Smith_3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 09:02 AM
Response to Original message
140. Go to Venezuela and kindly ask for some developement aid.
;)
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OmmmSweetOmmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 09:33 AM
Response to Original message
142. For sleeping, I use a good down comforter and when extra cold, use an electric blanket. Very toasty.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 10:27 AM
Response to Original message
146. Buy two or three dogs, then sleep with them every night. nt
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IDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 10:55 AM
Response to Original message
147. We use one of these in the bedroom at night and turn down the central heat:
They work very well, but having some of the cheapest power rates in the nation here doesn't hurt!

Oil filled radiator
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OxQQme Donating Member (694 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-30-07 12:45 AM
Response to Reply #147
156. Wood Stove Advice
A friend worked in a small factory making boutique wood stoves. His experience dictated that the single best thing you could do when burning anything (gas/oil/wood/pellets/corncobs/whatever) is to bring outside air up through the floor or a wall and direct it into the firebox with a dryer vent hose and an inline damper to regulate the amount of air getting to the combustion area so the fire doesn't have to suck air in from the outside past all the cracks and various small openings. The fire consumes the oxygen/air and causes a vacuum to exist in the room. If you feed it outside air then the room becomes 'pressurized'. Open a window a crack in a back room, light up an incense stick and watch the smoke flow from the stove all the way to that crack. You can then 'direct' the heat to any room you want.
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