Lowering Heating Costs In winter

Joined
Oct 18, 2002
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586
Looking for advice on helping to lower my heating costs in winter. House was built in 1806, origonal windows, doors, siding etc. Their is insulation in the attic but that is it. I do not want to change the house to much IE i am not replacing windows, doors, siding etc at this time.

Things I am going to do.

Close up fire places (4 open hearths) with foam insulation board cut and pressed into flue (no dampers)

Weather strip all the exterior doors and the basement door.

Cover all the windows with plastic shrink stuff from wallyworld. May leave 1 or 2 windows uncovered incase i we get a nice day and want some fresh air.

Install glass in screen door.

reinstall screen door on front door and cover with plastic.

Burn wood in the kitchen wood stove to help keep that end of the house warm.

install outlet cover gaskets ect on all exterior walls

Check and seal up air leaks in each room...baseboards, windows, hearths, etc.

Anything else i could be missing or should look into?

I really want to get a second wood burning sources for the living room but it probably won't happen for this year.

Stew
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2006
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7400', central NM
Wear more clothes? Sweaters on pooches? Sleep w/clean socks on? :flipoff2:

Your list looks pretty comprehensive. Close off rooms not in use. Add more insulation to attic if possible. Insulate water pipes & water heater. Portable electric heater for wherever you are. Ceiling fan(s) set to blow heat back down off ceiling.

I used to keep my place at 50 degrees to save on $$$. Got tired of freezing my butt off and hearing the dogs teeth chattering so now 60 is the goal.

My 2c, HTH & good luck.
 
Joined
May 10, 2005
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Calgary, Alberta
Go to the second hand shops and look for cheap, heavy curtains to hang over the windows. Go with floor lenght if possible and open them every several days to keep the area behind them dry.

Inspect your attic hatch and insulate and seal if necassary.

Look for octogon box gaskets for the ceiling lights .

Sounds like a fun house to own.
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2002
Messages
586
Thanks for the tips on attic/ceiling boxes and curtains.

House has great "Patina" but needs lots of work. I think the only thing i don't like about the house is the high heating costs.

Stew

Go to the second hand shops and look for cheap, heavy curtains to hang over the windows. Go with floor lenght if possible and open them every several days to keep the area behind them dry.

Inspect your attic hatch and insulate and seal if necassary.

Look for octogon box gaskets for the ceiling lights .

Sounds like a fun house to own.
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2005
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Brevard, NC
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Use the 4 fireplaces - wood can be had for free in most areas if you are willing to spend some time cutting and splitting.

Around here there's at least one ad per day on craigslist offering free firewood.
 

landtank

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When you say you don't want to change the house much I'm not sure if this falls in that catagory. But on older windows some have weights to help in opening them. I believe that there is a kit that allows you to remove those weights and then be able to insulate that cavity. It's a simple process and will greatly reduce the heat loss through those openings next to the windows. Those openings are probably one of the biggest single heat loss areas if you have them.
 

MaddBaggins

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Yeah, my gas bill last winter was almost $50 a month. I actually had to wear pants a couple times cause it was so cold.:D


Kidding aside, windows and doors are the biggest culprit of energy loss (heating or cooling). After that, can the roof be better insulated and how about the walls. My house had lots of glass and I mean lots. All of it was 1/8" thick and the whole house leaked energy out of every one of the doors and windows. Over the course of the last year I have replaced every window and door in my house with double pain low-e insulated ones as well has pulled off every peice of siding, removed the 30yr old rock-wool R-7 crap in the wall. Replaced it all with fiberglass R-13, house wrappped with Tyveck and put up all new, thicker siding. I also got the block wall portion of my house filled with foam (the block not the house)After that we got rid of the swamp cooler and put in new 13 seer split system AC. Swamp coolers work well until the summer rainy season hits, then all you get is a damp house and sweat your ass off. My average summer bill only went up about $15 a month. Thats amazing considering that swamp coolers are very cheap to run in the desert and AC is quite expensive if your house isn't efficient. My average bill hardly increased at all. I know people here in the desert who pay as much as $500 a month to keep their house cool. My 4 month average summer bill this year was $149. I'm looking forward to seeing how well the new furnace does this winter.
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2002
Messages
586
Nope don't have double hung windows with weights but that is a great idea that i have never heard of before.

Plan is to put that plastic stuff over almost all the windows (maybe leave 1 or two for nice days without it)

Stew.

When you say you don't want to change the house much I'm not sure if this falls in that catagory. But on older windows some have weights to help in opening them. I believe that there is a kit that allows you to remove those weights and then be able to insulate that cavity. It's a simple process and will greatly reduce the heat loss through those openings next to the windows. Those openings are probably one of the biggest single heat loss areas if you have them.
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2004
Messages
520
Location
Vancouver Island, BC
not an item for this year but look at insulating the ext. walls. maybe do one room at a time.

add more insul to the attic and make sure the attic is properly vented to help with ice build up on the roof.

blinds or curtains also help. also if you have a basement make sure there are no large openings into it as that will let cold air in that will transfer through the floor int o the living space.
 

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