Nov 18 2011

Keeping warm this winter

It’s around this time of year that I usually like to post about winterizing your home. Whether you live in an apartment, house, townhouse, mobile or any other dwelling, there usually are measures you can take to make your home more comfortable in the winter.

An added benefit is lower energy costs.

Related: See my old post on taking a quick energy audit in your home

I’m a little nervous about what our gas bill could be this winter. This is our first winter back in Indiana, and it’s the first one we’ve spent in a house. I’m going to go through each room and make a list of what I can do to make it more weathertight. Some adjustments should be a one-time deal (for example, installing foam outlet insulators behind the outlet plate), and others will need done each season.

Our fireplace area is a bit drafty. We’ve closed off the flue or damper or whatever it is, just by uh…closing it. But it’s still really chilly. I know I can get a large plastic window covering and put it over it, but I also want to look into other, more kid-friendly options. If we close it off with plastic, we won’t be able to use the fireplace during the winter. I imagine we’d like to use it every now and then. Ideas, anyone?

Next on my list are those foam outlet insulator things. I haven’t confirmed, but I don’t think they are already installed in our house yet. I’ll just do exterior walls. I don’t think it’s a substantial difference, but sealing every little leak does help in my opinion. We keep plastic outlet covers on unused outlets in part to keep children away, but also to help keep drafts out. Have you ever felt wind coming through an outlet on an exterior wall? I have!

Our garage door has a gap when it closes on the side. We need to get something to pad it to keep drafts and snow out, as well as critters trying to find a warmer spot to sleep.

We also would like to add insulation to our garage (though I”m not sure when we will take this project on.

We’re keeping our thermostat around 69, though that might change. I don’t like it too chilly, especially for the kids. We can turn it down a little at night. There’s a programmable thermostat installed but it’s a bit complicated to use, so we’re always overriding it. We’ll dress in cozy sweaters and slippers and maybe an indoor-type scarf for myself if I’m getting chilly. Drinking hot tea always warms me up, and if I need another boost we can run around the house.

What are you doing to stay warm this winter?

2 Responses to “Keeping warm this winter”

  1. this is our first winter in this house, and it’s our first time ever with oil heat. We are scared. If it was our house, i’d definitely insulate the basement/garage, because currently there is nothing beneath the big garage/basement and our floors, and our floors (ceramic tile and hard wood) are REALLY cold. but it’s not our house, and i’m not sure of the cost, but that seems like a lot of work for a rental. The most “winterizing” we’ve done is i wrapped the huge window AC unit with garbage bags and towels… not the most efficient way, but it was free. i’ve also sealed around some windows with caulking, the windows are really old and I can feel drafts through most of them, i will be buying those lovely plastic window kits to keep some breeze out. b We keep our thermostat at 59, which keeps it about 62 in the house. We’ve gotten used to the temperature, but at first we were always wearing sweatshirts and slippers. I’m at the point now i can wear t-shirts, but my husband still is chilly. The kids seem fine, but I always dress Josiah in long sleeves, pants and socks. We keep blankets and sweatshirts around for any visitors that might come. :)
    We’ve been watching the oil and seem to be burning an inch a week. we only got $400 worth of oil and we have about 9 inches left. not sure what that is in gallons, but our hopes of stretching that all winter are looking pretty impossible.

  2. One thing to check on the fireplace is if it is insulated BEHIND the fireplace. We recently had a gas fireplace installed and were shocked to find out that there wasn’t ANY insulation behind the original fireplace!!! It was just the wood, we could see the staples from the siding. We had them insulate it and the difference was amazing!!

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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