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Coach1310

Saving Heat and Energy this winter

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I thought a thread about what others do to save heat and energy during the winter would be a good idea since we are getting closer each day and the price I paid for propane this year is ridiculous! Ideas...

Programmable thermostat..supposed to save you $$$, by keeping the house cooler when you aren't home

Plastic on windows

Checking windows/door for drafts and remedying the situation

What tricks have you used? How has it gone? Tips for the rest of us. Thanks

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Yep keeping the temp down a few degrees when your gone makes a pretty big difference. I program mine for 71 when were home and 65 when were gone. keep the garage door shut. Turn lighs off when not in use.

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  • Bring up the humidity. Before I installed a whole house humidifier my wife complained even when the house was 74 degrees. Haven't had the house over 67 for the past two years. Been hovering around 63 lately but no complaints.

  • Use ceiling fans to draw air up and move it down the walls. Helps keep the entire room temperature more uniform, helps warm the walls and reduce drafts, helps keep the floor warmer.

  • Close draperies and shades at night, open them on sunny days. You'd be surprised how much heat the sun will generate through your windows.

  • Turn thermostat down at night and when nobody will be home for a while. Programmable thermostats can help cover for our failing memories here.

  • Put some clothes on!

  • Find things to do that require more energy than couch sitting.

Just a few of the things we do.

Bob

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I program mine for 71 when were home and 65 when were gone.

We have ours at 65 when we're home and 62 at night and when where gone. The family loves me for it... grin

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I like all of BobT's ideas. Except I just don't buy into the programmable thermostat thing. Ya, I have one, but have lived here for 7 years. I have not seen a difference before or after the programmable thermostat. I believe they busted that idea and figured out that the furnace just had to work harder when going back up to comfortable temps.

The humidity thing is a good idea as long as you don't over do it.

More activity.....that is probably a good idea for most people in the winter months with all the holiday snacks and Xmas cookies.:)

Be smart about the things in your house that are drafty and you 'plug up' with insulation. There are some crazy things that homeowners do. wink

On older homes, spend the money on windows, doors, and attic insulation. The way it sounds it will be well worth it with the heating cost predictions we are hearing.

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There's a lot of speculation and apprehension about whether turning down the temps at night saves enough to justify it. There are many factors that come into play. How long will the temperature be lowered? How much lower is it being set? How efficient is your heating system? Overall, from the research I have read about, turning the temperature down for eight hours per day can save up to as much as 20% overall.

The humidity thing is one to be careful of. What I have learned is that you can judge by how much moisture is collecting on your windows. You should see roughly about 1/4" of moisture at the bottom of your windows. Any more and you can risk structural damage especially with wood frame windows. It's important to note that you can't just set a humidstat for a specific relative humidity and forget about it either. The colder it gets outside, the lower the humidity needs to be inside because your windows will get colder and therefore condense more moisture. It's not a set it and forget about it process but none of the energy saving ideas are that easy. It takes a conscious effort to do it.

Bob

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All good suggestions.

Aside from new door, windows, and adding insulation in the attic.

Check the weather striping on the doors and windows.

Plastic on the windows is a cheap fix.

Replace that furnace filter at regular intervals.

Inspect the furnace burner and have adjusted if need be.

While my wife would love me to keep the T-stat at 71 or above, I keep it at 68 max and lower it when not around.

In addition to that, you can turn the T-stat down even more if you supplement the heat in the room your using with a portable device. Just be smart there.

Like said, put some clothes on. Slippers are kwel.

If/when snuggling isn't an option, a couple of rounds of Wii boxing will warm you up.

I love cold sheets but the wife doesn't so I put a heated pad on her side. I can turn the heat down even more. smile

Humidity control.

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Great post - I'm definitely looking for things to keep heat loss minimal this season. When you guys talk about putting plastic up over the windows - is it just in the basement or the whole house? I've got a 2 story w/ unfinished basement. I've also been toying with the idea of putting a wood stove in the basement. I know with a gas fireplace you can vent out the side but I believe it's different with a wood stove. Might be more trouble than it's worth. Any opinions there?

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stick..I thought about putting in a wood fireplace in the basement also but you need to vent all the way up the side of the house to like 4' past the roof line. I figured the 40 feet of piping and then to have it framed in was going to be abou t $4500 or so. There is some code thing about the wood burning places (someone can confirm please) that made it way to expensive.

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How thick/deep should insulation be in the attic? I've been at my place for 4 years and thinking I may have to check it out and add some. I have a rambler with a 6/12 pitched roof(at least that is what I think it is) if that matters. Thanks for any help.

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