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Heating tips

Posted by mid_tn_mama (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 9, 04 at 18:01

These came from my electric company:

* Set the thermostat no higher than 68. (Warmer temperatures are recommended for homes with ill or elderly persons or infants). For every one degree you adjust your thermostat you affect your bill by approximately 4%!

* Use an extra blanket at night so you can turn the thermostat down even further.

* Wear several light layers of clothing instead of one or two bulky garments.

* Set the thermostat back to the lowest possible setting (usually 55), which will keep pipes from freezing, when youll be gone for an extended period of time.

* Clean or replace return air filters regularly. A good reminder is every month when you receive your bill.

* Did you know approximately one-third of conditioned air escapes through floors, walls and ceilings? Check to see if your attic and crawlspace and/or basement have recommended levels of insulation. Add as needed.

* Keep all doors and windows closed (even if you have storm doors and windows on the outside) when the heating systems is on.

* Close garage doors.

* Open draperies on the sunny side of the house during the day and close them at night.

* You may not realize that a fireplace is one of the most inefficient heat sources you can possibly use. A roaring fire can exhaust as much as 24,000 cubic feet of air per hour to the outside through the chimney, as the heating system works overtime to keep the house warm. So, when the fireplace isnt in use, keep the dampers closed. Use vented fireplaces or gas logs to try and heat your home, but use them for decorative purposes only, and use them sparingly in very cold weather. Keep heating vents cleared of obstructions.

* Turn off heat and close doors to unused rooms if you have individual room heat. Close vents and doors to unused rooms if you have a central system other than a heat pump. Of course, if you dont have a heat pump, demand to know more about them!

* Seal leaks around doors, windows and other openings, such as pipes or ducts, with caulking or weather-stripping. If pipes or ducts run through unheated areas, insulate them. Leaky ducts can account for approximately 15% of air loss!

* When buying a new heating and cooling system, or any appliance, compare energy-efficiency ratings and annual operating costs. A slightly higher initial cost for a high-efficiency unit could be recovered in a very short time through energy savings and lower utility bills.

* Use kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans sparingly in cold weather. In just one hour, these fans can blow away a household of warm air.

* Consider storm or thermal windows and doors or double-paned glass. A less-expensive alternative is plastic sheeting, which can be temporarily fastened over doors and windows to retain heat or air conditioning.

* Purchase some inexpensive, pre-cut insulation gaskets and seal out the cold air entering your home through electric switches and outlets, particularly those on outside walls.

Any others?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Heating tips

As I suggested somewhere else, a while ago - on a windy day, light a candle and move it around the margins of doors, windows (uncluding cracks in the middle), light switches, wall plugs, range hoods, exhaust fans, etc. to find drafts.

Then - plug 'em.

Somewhere else, a few months ago, I gave instructions for installing a (heavy) plastic sheet (preferably UV light resistant) into drafty windows, holding it in place with slim strips of wood around the margins. In such a way that it can be removed easily in spring and reused for years, unlike the kinds that you install by gluing around the window edges, then tighten by shooting hot air on them. And scrap when you remove 'em in the spring: stores love that kind - frugal folks don't. Or, rather would prefer to find a more economical system, if possible.

If some of you didn't see the instructions you may be able to find them elsewhere on this forum, but if you can't find them and want to know more, send me a request.

Some folks, having worked hard to make their homes more airtight, then found that there was a problem with too much condensation on the windows. So have become more blase [acute accent on the "e" - which my non-French-friendly computer can't handle] about a certain amount of cold air entering the home.

Some years ago, my brother, who lives in an area where the temperatures go as low as -40 degrees, built a home.

They built it so airtight that moisture from cooking (usually for 2, sometimes for three, occasionally for more), showers, etc. collected on the windows to such an extent that they had to put towels down on the sills and floor to collect the moisture.

So - they bought a heat exchanger, which blows heat out of the house through a series of concentric cans, with cold air from outside travelling through alternate channels, such that the warm air is cool to cold as it exits - and the cold air coming in is warm to hot as it enters the home.

Works great. Cost something over $1,000. somewhere around 10 years ago, I think. Haven't talked to him about whether he's had to replace parts, etc.

He's smart and innovative, and loves working in metal, welding, etc. and plans to do more of it, and refurbish some old tractors (including one that we took out from this area when we moved there, nearly 60 years ago), now that he's retired.

He doesn't have an email address: no computer.

He does have a phone, though.

Hope your neighbours can say that your home is full of hot air. Especially when you're there.

Just my way of agreeing that it is a good idea to turn the heat down when you expect to be away for a while.

Probably a good idea to pull the fuses/ flip the circuit breakers on the (electric) hot water heater, as well.

Maybe turn off the gas-fired one - but only if you are permitted to relight it yourself (not need a gas co. technician to do it - which you'd probably find too expensive).

Good wishes for getting all the hot air that you need - at as reasonable a price as possible.

still joyful


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RE: Heating tips

I have an electric warming blanket. It's thinner than a regular electric blanket and is cheaper. Whichever of us get in our jammies first turns on both controls and the last one to bed turns back the furnace thermostat to 60 degrees. We have saved a tank of oil this way so far. If the price of fuel oil keeps going up hubby is going to build a solar heater of some type. Have a ton of old Mother Earth magazines so there will be plans there. Kathy


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RE: Heating tips

The heated throws are nice too - you can use one while watching TV or reading and set the heat lower. They only draw about 100 watts.

You can actually save energy with a portable electric heater, too, if you use it to heat the room you're in and turn the house thermostat down. (If you have electric baseboard heat, however, you can already control the heat in each room individually, so you can heat just the room you're in without a portable heater.)


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