Your Turn – Cutting your heating bill

This is a new thing I would like to start to get us all chatting!!! I’ll post a question and if you have any good ideas please email me at mummydeals at gmail dot com (take out the spaces, I’m just trying to avoid spam!!) Then I’ll post all the ideas in a blog a little later in the week.

This weekend we finally knocked one project off our list that we’ve been meaning to do: Insulate our windows. For only $10 we bought the “saran wrap” kit and sealed most of our windows. I’ve heard it really helps and with winters here in Chicago, we’re gonna need it.
We also put in some eco-friendly light bulbs as those are supposed to cut bills too.

I am going to do a post on ways to save money on heating bills here and I thought I’d get your input. Please leave a comment or email me with answers to this:-
What ways has your family found to cut your heating bill?

Comments

  1. Ellie's mom says:

    We try to turn the thermostat down when we are not home and at night when we are under blankets. You can also program your thermostat to turn on for around the time you do come home or wake up so that you aren’t freezing. This has saved us a lot on our heating bill.

  2. My husband and his friends just installed a wood burning stove insert in our fireplace. We haven’t run our heat since we installed it – about 5 days ago. We also got the wood for free – our friends lost a lot of trees when we had that tornado this summer, so he was able to go to his friends and split the wood. A lot of work – but we think it’ll be worth it in the end! Oh – and he found a used insert on Craigslist, instead of paying at least $2,000 for a new one! 🙂

  3. I called NIPSCO and asked if they had peak and off peak hours. meaning you get charged twice as much during peak times than you do during off peak times and they said there was no such thing. A mom i talked to on cafemom did this, says every company like NIPSCO has times like these but don’t make it public knowledge. So after a ton of searching on the website, I found it!
    Summer times:
    PEAK: M-Sat 8am-11pm
    OFF PEAK: m-sat 11pm-8am, all day Sunday and major holidays

    Winter times:
    PEAK: m-f 8am-11pm
    OFF PEAK: m-f 11pm-8am, all day Saturday and Sunday and major holidays

    So in other words you want to run your dishwasher, washer,dryer, appliances if at all possible during the off peak times. This mom also suggested running your thermostat higher at night, and lower during the day. the heat at night will last a while during the day. our home is well insulated so this works well for us and saves us a lot of money, and unless i really need to wash clothes, i do it on the weekends. In 2005, in the witner during peak times we were charged 4.3 something per kilowatt hour and during off peak times it was 2.2 So just think about what it is now in 2008!

  4. My mom had a woodstove for a number of years.It is a lot of work,but she didn’t have a heating bill either.My brother does tree work,so she always had wood.Sometimes you can get wood for free if you check craigslist and look around when you are out driving.People stack it at the curb for pick up,so just ask.

    I also put plastic up at the the windows.I still have a few left to do.I put the tape on the frame instead of just the glass.I’ll have to clean the tape residue off and proably touch up the paint,but that’s ok,because it’s worth it to help keep my home warmer.

    The other thing I do is hang a sheet or blanket at the kitchen entry.I live in an older home,so I don’t have an open floor plan or ten foot ceilings. This helps keep the living room warmer.If I am going to cook a lot,I slide it open and let the warm air into the living room.

    We use space heaters in the bedroom and bathroom.Just have to think ahead and turn on the one in the bath before you plan on taking a shower.

    We have pull down attic stairs and I will be adding weatherstripping and extra insulation to the stairs.Also,I have plans to add insulation to the attic.It needs to be redone,but money is really tight,so we are going to add when we can.

    Be sure to check seals around all of your entry doors also.We use draft dodgers at these doors and will be replacing the piece at the bottom of the front door this weekend.Can’t think of what it’s called.

    I have read where some suggest you remove the screens from the windows so more sunlight,thus more heat can come in.I haven’t ever done this myself.

    I hang heaveir drapes in the winter,even with the plastic up.I try to open them during the day for sunlight,but if we are going to be gone till dusk or night,I won’t open them.The little bit of heat from the sun will quickly disappear once the sun goes down.

    One other thing We will do this year is hand a quilt or blanket at the entry doors this year.I have done this at another house I lived in a few years ago,and even though the weatherstripping was good and I didn’t feel any drafts,it made a difference.I put up a drapery rod and attached rings to the quilt,then put the slid it on the rod and hung it.It slid open for easy access to the door.Made a nice addition to the room too.

    The only other thing I can think of is to remember to use your ceiling fans to blow the warm air down.Theres a switch the you need to change on the base.We don’t currently have one for the living room,but hopefully one will pop up on craigslist soon.

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