Spring is almost here, and I can tell you with total certainty that it was worth sealing the windows and electrical outlets in my apartment last October. If you recall, I installed insulation around the electrical outlets, I put foam tape around all of our windows, covered them with painter’s tape so they wouldn’t come loose, and covered the whole window shebang with plastic. During particularly frigid days, I put rolled beach towels along the window sill to keep out that last bit of cold.
It cost about $25 in materials and took about an hour total, or so. (This post shows that I spent about $15. Well, I had to buy more foam tape, so now the cost was about $25.) Plus, it was really easy.
Our heat didn’t kick on until around Thanksgiving.
Even though we’ve kept the daytime temperature at around 65 degrees and night time temp at 62, it hasn’t felt cold. It isn’t drafty in here. The heater isn’t constantly running. We survived! True, we wore pajama pants and long sleeves to bed on some nights, and usually wore a sweatshirt or sweater around the house. We have a huge pile of blankets for snuggling with while reading or watching TV.
There were occasions when I turned the heat up a few degrees to 67 or so. And, I’ve been known to take hot showers to warm up.
But, all of these sacrifices were worth it, and it really didn’t feel like a sacrifice 97 percent of the time.
Check out our last few electric bills:
Date KWH used Cost
8/21/07 – 9/21 672 $89.41
9/21 – 10/22 648 $86.46
10/22 – 11/21 516 $67.09
11/21 – 12/21 588 $72.86
12/21 – 1/23 732 $83.43
1/23 – 2/21 792 $89.22
You’ll notice that during the last billing cycle, we used 792 kwh and spent about $89, and our first billing cycle we spent the same amount, yet used 120 kwh less. How can this be?
Our apartment is all-electric. Our electric company has a discounted rate from October-April. So, for every kwh over 500 that we use, we get a discounted rate on that.
I used the electric company’s online calculator to predict our electric bill. If our windows were not tightly sealed, we could expect to spend more than $200 on electricity in February. We came nowhere near that! In fact, we didn’t even hit $100 on a bill.
This was our first winter in Pittsburgh, and it wasn’t all that bad. Outside temperatures seemed to be in the 30s most of the time, with just a few spurts of days in the teens or colder. We didn’t get much snow, just a few inches here and there.
The windows are still sealed, and I’m hoping that I can open my windows within a few weeks.
You can be certain that next fall, we’ll be sealing the apartment as tight as we can, and continue to have the heat set in the mid-60s.
As for this summer, we’ll have the windows open most of the time, and only run the AC when absolutely necessary (95-degree nights, anyone?).
How was your heat bill this winter? Did you winterize your home? Was it worth it?