More energy savers

Budget101 Discussion List Archives Tips-n-Tricks More energy savers

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    • #266804

      I live in Maine so right now I am trying to save on HEAT. During the night this time of year its down to 63 (later I will have to bump it up or the pipes will freeze in basement)

      furnance maintenance: was is cleaned recently? do you need to move furniture so vents/baseboards are clear? do you need to vac the baseboards?

      wear layers inside: everyone in the house has a vest, fleece works great .. when the kids and dh whine about the heat i remind them they have l/s flannel shirts .. i have some sweat shirts that i just cut the front (or back if it had a cute design on front) straight down, this makes like a sweater sweatshirt (*i hate feeling confined by pull over) ..
      this also included feet, yep slippers are back ..

      i love the slipper socks for wearing with boots etc
      those wrap around blankets, i remember those from 20 years ago well they are back, I got some for everyone in the house (still gotta get one for me – since I am short may make one)

      line your curtains: i have lined all the curtains at camp, and working on the ones at home with old acrylic blankets .. for some reason wm did not have any this year, finally found some on markdown at 4th store. It is worth the hassle to do it, makes a huge differance at camp (2 inch walls, crappy windows etc etc).

      If you don’t have a sewing machine you can safety pin to the backs of your drapes.. if you have a sewing maching sew blanket to the back of the curtains .. if you can make button holes you can match them to the hook placements on drapes and slip them on ..

      I made new curtains at camp using fabric i had on hand (*sorta like pillow cases with open seam on side for the rods)

      open southern curtains on sunny days: if you aren’t going to be home till after 3ish don’t bother chances are the heat lost once the sun moves is going to be more than the gain during the day. Once the sun moves at my house I close down the curtains and try to keep the free heat inside. (*usually I am starting to cook shortly after so I make some gains that way too)

      get moving: staying on the computer makes you colder, so get up and do something else for 30 mins, then check mail for 15 mins. (also helps on weight)

      close off rooms that are not used:

      basements: since these usually have the furnance why loose that heat out the windows? cover them with plastic .. usually basement exterior doors are lousy, put up a blanket curtain.

      if its really bad pick up some styrofoam boards and make an insulated ‘wall’ . i do this at camp for one of the doors i put duct tape on the edges and around the pieces so they won’t break (and numbered them for next year). in an emergency we could get out, but the cold can’t get in as much

      bathrooms: if you have littles teach them to dry off inside the tub with the shower curtain/door shut – much warmer. if you are running the heat low, an electric heater helps the bathroom. if everyone takes showers one right after the other residual heat from showers/bath helps keep the room warm and less electric heat is needed.

      in my house if you don’t get shower ‘now’ then the electric heater is not going to be on for you.
      i figured out i could get a shower in 5 mins, including hair .. I start yelling at the kids at about 7 mins to shut down the shower

      replace the bulbs: i don’t care what they say the 60 watt swirlies do not give enough light to read, so I did replace the lamps where we read with the 100 watt swirlies ..

      find the thermos or caraft: if you drink hot tea or coffee, put in the thermos and it’ll stay hot all day without using electric. i preheat the thermos with hot water (while doing dishes). if i am making for the guys and they are hunting i boil the preheat water (then dump in my dishes) so its really really hot.

      for takeaway thermos, old stretched out hunting socks are another layer of thermal protection. you can make a bag to carry with handle using old towlels for liner), placement cover(so it looks prettier)

      plan your meals: with a menu plan and an idea of what you have in freezer (that needs used before freezer burn) you are saving gas, and replacement of food that was ruined.

      clean your pantry area, find the weird cans and make a meal. using it up means more space in pantry for a sale. cleaning also means you can see if you have a problem with miller moths etc

      use the crockpot, make soups (it also helps you loose weight)

      i plan on cooking in the oven at night so it gives extra heat during the day, even a counter top looses some heat .. if you make the no-knead bread you need to pre heat the baking container, find another dish that will fit in the oven at the same time and cook something. last night i was cooking chicken at 350 but went ahead and preheated the bread container – figured just a few mins at the 450 vs 30mins ..

      the bread was fine, just popped it out and back on rack with stove off ..

      beds: flannel sheets feel warm, down comforters work great .. if needed electric blankets may help for arthritis (it works for mine). the magic gloves work great if you are camping, or have lousy circulation

      grow something: it just feels warmer when you have plants

      time for a break to do something else


    • #403867

      I really liked your post. Very helpful, with great reminders for all. I thought I was the only one that didn’t like the idea of feeling confined with a pull over. And those zip up blankets are the best, I got myself one last year on clearence..

    • #403874

      hi JoAnn,
      I have never liked tight stuff especially around my neck, and with the advent of menopause in my 20’s and the lovely hot flashes etc I really hated it.

      Today (30 yrs later) I still haven’t got my temp regulated so being able to take on and off something is much more comfortable. My dd ended up with ovarian cysts and a super heavy and long periods – it started me back (I was NOT pleased) now that she has been gone a year I think I am going back into menopause with the up and down temps again.


    • #403875

      Your really covered this topic! Lots of great suggestions, some things I am already doing. I so agree with the swirlie lights, 60 watts is just not enough to see with.

      Thanks for sharing this information.

    • #406746

      I’ve got you beat on the thermostat, dear…mine is set at 61! LOL! I live in sweat pants, socks and ‘thick’ slippers or moccasins, a turtleneck with a sweat shirt on top.

      however, I have mini blinds and toppers on my windows. after reading the posts, I’m thinking that maybe I should do curtains. I let the sun in during the day with my south-facing windows and close the blinds as soon as the sun crests the trees.

      do you think that curtains would make that big a difference? I snuggle with an afghan and the cats when watching tv or reading. also, do the ‘swirlie’ lights really make a difference?

      I have regular 75 watt bulbs in all of my fixtures except for the the 3-way that I have next to my chair for reading. I’m in the south and the weather has been crazy! two days of 65-70, then it’ll be 30s and 40s for a couple of days, then back up, etc.

      tonight it’s going to 19, so I’m in the ‘cold’ mold again;-

    • #406752

      @mos 96297 wrote:

      do the ‘swirlie’ lights really make a difference? I have regular 75 watt bulbs in all of my fixtures except for the the 3-way that I have next to my chair for reading. –

      I replaced all my regular 60 watt bulbs with the swirlie’ lights and my electric bill dropped over $20! I also have much brighter light and using 16 to 23 watts instead of 60.

      I’m in NW Missouri and it’s been in sub zero to single digit temps for a couple weeks. We made it up to +8 today and we all so excited as they said it would get into the 40’s on Friday!

      We put in a pellet stove last month. We use one bag of pellets per day and the furnace has only came on once so far (set on 62)

    • #406755

      hi mos, I found out much lower than 66 and the pipes freeze, so I run a kero in the basement .. as least the pipes don’t freeze and the floors aren’t super icy.

      last year it was 68ish this year its 65-66, maybe next year it can be lower. Depends on the arthristis too.

      Dollar Tree had 1/2 gloves and I need to pick up some for inside the house


    • #406756

      SWIRLIES: yes they make a differance in the bill, however if you are older try using the 75 for reading vs the 60.

      curtains & liners: big big huge differance using the liner. at camp we have the old louver windows and it made such a differance.

      i used the cheapy acrylic blankets as liners. you can either sew them to exsisting curtains or just pin


    • #406762

      Water lines won’t freeze until it hits 32 degrees! It has gotten to -36 here and my basement was unheated and only got down to +38 degrees– no frozen water lines! If your basement in in the ground and is insulated it should stay warm enough to not freeze.

      My entire south side is open with lots of windows and huge double doors but it still stays above freezing (+32 degrees)

    • #406776

      Thanks for all the great tips!!!

    • #406794

      My reg water lines don’t freeze up, just the hot water baseboard heat lines. The house is 250+ years old with basement walls that are combos of rock, brick, concrete and/or wood. I think what happens is the lines near the rock or concrete freeze because it gives off extra cold.

      Basement is not heated except for whatever comes off the furnance (if its cranked low then of course not much). if the heat is low then the water doesn’t circulate so the pipes freeze. luckily i have been able to thaw them both times with no damage.

      now i run a kero to keep some heat down there just for the pipes


    • #406803

      Do you have your water lines covered? There are several different items to cover your water lines with-heat tape, foam, insulated tape, etc. They really work wonders, I don’t have a basement so the water lines are close to the ground.

      We end up getting snow packed in under the house and in one bathroom (farthest from the hot water tank) the hot water will freeze up but only when it is actual temperatures of around -15, once it gets to 0 outside the pipes will thaw back out. We did discover that some of the heat tape was missing and plan to get some foam in the spring to put on the lines.

    • #406812

      Heat tape is one of those great inventions. Hubby and I used that many years ago.

    • #406830

      I can’t heat tape the hot water baseboard pipes unfortunately – not sure why but the oil company guys said no.. I trust John, have it for reg water pipes


    • #406843

      Great post! Thanks for the tips

    • #406858

      when the temps hit 27 or below, I turn the bathtub faucet on to get a good, steady drip to that my pipes don’t freeze. they’re insulated, but I don’t take any chances. I’ve had to crawl under and defrost;-
      I didn’t know that they make 75 watt swirlies.

      I’ve only seen 60 and 100. I wish that they made 3-ways after reading everyone’s comments.
      I guess I’ll get curtains and then line them with something. thanks!

    • #406874

      Mos, this spring/summer you can temp pull the foam insulation stick up some heat tape, put the foam insulation on top and then you won’t be wasting the water next winter. Invest in a ground fault plug in .. I have some that are like extension cords for pool, back yard especially if the ground is wet (lower section is usually damp even in Aug).

      Up here you used to see pump houses glowing at night, people used to put a reg lamp with the reflector surround in an insulated pump house so it wouldn’t freeze .. Unfortunately I think trying to do that under a house would not work.

      If they are cold water lines, grab the kids pool noodles from the dollar store and slice down on one side – not sure if those would work on hot water lines


    • #406911

      Remember saving energy is not only good for the enviroment, but the wallet

      Heading over to the strip that has the rechargers on it and turning it off —

      also think its a great soup day (more snow)

      have a safe holiday everyone .. i still don’t have the ‘spirit’ haven’t even bothered with a tree ..

      pulling from files:
      smart plug could save you $$150 in electricity
      the mcube90G smart-plug hub plays the role of a strict bartender at a bar full of heavy drinkers — only in this case, the drinkers are power-thirsty gadgets running up your tab.

      Research has shown that the average American family pays anywhere from $50 to $150 extra a year on wasted energy costs from plugged-in electronics that aren’t being used, such as dvd players and tvs that are ostensibly “off” and cellphones that are fully charged but whose chargers continue to draw a trickle of electricity from the wall outlet.

      it’s the latter category that the upcoming plug hub from innergie targets: it cuts off the electricity flow of gadgets at the moment they’re done charging, offering a good energy efficiency option to those looking for ways to save a few bucks.

      while many gadgets know when they are charged fully by an internal indicator, their chargers often continue to pull energy out. since most people don’t have the time or the inclination to constantly plug and unplug appliances, even with easy-to-see standby settings, this gadget’s steady, silent work should make things easier.

      the gadget is compatible with many different types of electronics and you should be able to plug them all in at once. this will save you the trouble (and the space) needed to carry an extra charger for each.

      the mcube90G uses technology developed by San Ramon, California-based Green Plug. The latter’s “Greentalk” open system is an universal interface that will also be adapted into the gadget charge systems of other consumer electronic companies, in addition to this stand-alone unit.

      But this hub will only be regarded as an intermediary solution to a larger problem. It doesn’t track the detailed consumption in a visual data form, like the Wattson power monitor. It also depends on the volition of individuals to use them with all gadgets, as opposed to being part of a complete home energy system.

      According to Innergie, one of the most interesting features of the mCube90G is what it calls its ability to “dynamically adapt” to the energy demands of individual gadgets. For example, if you plug in a large laptop at only 20 percent of energy, a cellphone at 80 percent and a low-powered lamp running LEDs, it will funnel most of the energy from the charger to the laptop until its close to full, while it slowly siphons some to the ones who need it less.

      And when all the juice is consumed and every gadget is nice and toasty, the plug turns off the lights on itself by shutting down. That sounds like a responsible way to deal with the terrible addiction that is the leading symptom of years of energy abuse.

      The mCube90G will be available in 2009, presumably after its CES debut. There’s no word on the price.

      8 ways to save money on your computers consumption of electricity
      The Simple Dollar 8 Ways to Easily Reduce the Energy Consumption of Your Computer – and Save Big Money
      from ria: well i hadn’t plugged my speakers into the strip, guess i need to do that

      battery facts
      1. One rechargeable battery can replace up to 1,000 disposable batteries.
      2. According to the EPA, Americans purchase 3,000,000,000 (three billion) batteries every year.

      For pollution-free recharging, choose “green electricity” (made in Maine from hydropower and wind facilities). Or choose a battery charger with a built-in solar panel or adapters for plugging in to a solar panel.
      4. Small disposable alkaline batteries (sizes aaa, aa, c and d) start at above 1.5 volts and drop unevenly to 1.0 volts during discharge, whereas nickel metal hydride (NiMH) rechargeable batteries stay at a relatively constant 1.2 volts for most of their discharge cycle.

      A nine volt battery is six smaller 1.5 volt batteries wired in series.
      6. Older types of NiMH rechargeable batteries would self-discharge at about 1% per day, requiring frequent recharges. Newer NiMH batteries lose only about 0.07% of their charge per day, making them much more practical for many uses.

      NiMH rechargeable batteries are qualified as non-hazardous.
      8. Lithium ion rechargeable batteries (typically used in laptops and cell phones) are also qualified as non-hazardous.
      9. The older nickel cadmium (NiCad) rechargeable batteries are hazardous and must be disposed of as household hazardous waste.

      Avoid this type of battery if possible.
      10. Lead acid rechargeable batteries (typically used in cars and uninterruptible power supplies) are hazardous and should be recycled.
      11. Disposable alkaline batteries manufactured before 1996 could contain mercury and should be considered potentially hazardous.


    • #406945

      I have a pump house and when it hits the teens, I turn a low watt light bulb on. there’s no outlets in there or I’d try your idea of the heat tape. it’s the main water line coming out of the ground from the pump house…which is really an incorrect name since the pump is in the ground…but the pressure bladder is in there and the line from the well comes in through the bladder, then back in the ground and comes up under my home.

      when it’s nice and warm out, I’ll see about the tape.

    • #406947

      Oh you poor dear! I had to run extension cords out to my pump house to keep it warm enough so it wouldn’t freeze! It was such a mess as even with the added heat when it fell to sub zero we had a problem!

      finally 2 years ago I found a friend who understood my system and ran the water line from the pump in our pond straight into my basement and no more pump house. He said I didn’t need a second pump to get it up the hill and he was right! Still got 1500′ of cords ran up to the stock tank so the animals got water when they can’t break through the pond ice.

      Hope you get it figured out!

    • #406948

      Pump houses need insulation, and make them as physically small as possible too (not too small that the heat lamps cause a fire of course) .. putting down insulation on the ground around the pump floor also helps ..

      if you have a removable roof you can rig up brackets so it can reattach and while its off spray with the spray foam and make sure it fits well .. then reattach using the brackets.

      They make foam with silver backing that is about 2 inches thick, this can be cut to fit in between the joists or studs.

      Cold water pipes can be insulated with pool noodles from the dollar store .. The ones that have the hole in center, use a razor and slice down.

    • #407015

      I would so love to get everything under the home and completely get rid of the pump house altogether…more garden space;-)

    • #407020

      garden stuff:
      if you are tight on space try a mix of swc & raised beds

      this next year i hopefully will be making some swc (self watering containers) from plastic totes. they are in the yard and never made it into the shed, hopefully they won’t crack from weight of snow and ice. these can be put anywhere even on the driveway

      have some raised beds, which are pretty tight plant wise. in my 2×10 and can get 31 tomatoes in it. Absolutely NO weeds cause its so close.

      I found the 4×4 were really hard on backs, so I use 3×5’s. If you make rows with the raised beds its more efficent for space

      I have really really good dirt. Hopefully this year will have good weather for the garden so I can can up my ‘maters


    • #407031

      I love the noodle idea HSLINKS…..thanks!!!

    • #407033

      If you have a pump in the water you can do away with the pump house. We took the electric line from the water in the water and extended it up to the house basement and hooked it directly into the pressure tank and from the pressure tank into the electric circuit breaker box. Now it gets turned on and off as we use the water and the pressure tank clicks on and off.

      It was a happy day when I was able to kiss my pump house good bye!

      We just built a fenced area and put in 32 raised garden beds. We made the beds out of cement center blocks because they don’t rot and they don’t leach harmful chemicals into the soil as lumber does. We filled them with an equal mix of compost, rice hulls(or vermiculite) and peat moss.

      When we replant we add another 1 cup of compost to every 1 foot square area. We can grow everything we need for the whole year plus we have a few others who subscribe and we take them baskets every week and that pays for our garden. We started last year with 10 beds and this coming year will be the first year we start with all 32 beds.

      We might be able to extend our offering to more than the 10 we have now. They each paid $15 per week and took whatever we brought. If we offered down in Kansas City or up in Des Moines we’d make a lot more and have many more takers but I don’t want to have to deliver 90 miles away.

      We’ll stay with what we have this coming year so it stays local. The government inspector does come out a couple times during the year to check as we as organic. We bought compost last year because we added more beds than we could come up with our own compost and one load we got tested bad.

      I had it tested because it didn’t feel right to me and sure enough it was 87% clay and was full of chemicals. Had a whole pallet of the stuff and a neighbor bought it from us to fill a hole on his farm. So we test every load now just to make sure what we are getting.

      We stay organic because that’s what we want for ourselves and it’s nice to be able to tell those we sell to that we are organic and be able to prove it.

      Sorry so long, I’ve been breaking out with hives today and taking benidril to calm it down and in a kind of daze today not thinking clearly! Sure hope we can figure out what’s causing the hives!

    • #407037

      after a while the pool noodles break down and leave pieces all over the pool or water, recycling them for insulation is better than just tossing.

      Not sure if they can tolerate the heat from hot water pipes or not. Bought insulation covers are a denser foam, but if you have none, noodles would be better than nothing


    • #407049

      actually, I’m not short on space Ria. I have an acre — my home is smack, dab in the middle — so I have 1/2 in front and then in back. however, 1/4 in front is a natural area that I leave to the Mother as insulation and camouflage from the road.

      I’d like to plant some ornamental trees and flowers that I lost during the fire and if I get that darned, old pump house out of the way I can plant some more — it’s huge! 6X4! I do plant raised beds because my soil is mostly clay, sand, and rock.

      I build 2X2 boxes and plant in those, so before the fire, I had ‘boxes’ everywhere in front with little paths in between for tending;-) the back yard, which was fenced was for the dog. I had to let poor Chester go a few months ago — very aggressive bone cancer — and I just haven’t had the heart to adopt another dog yet. I did adopt another cat so Beauty and I have another cuddle-buddy;-) back to the yard…

      while I was living in a hotel for months after the fire, poison ivy invaded the back yard and is rampant! ack! so my task, come warmer weather is to attack that and then i’m considering adapting my front-yard strategy to the back yard for more herbs and veggies.

      i’m hoping that by the end of the summer, i will have saved enough money (from not having to purchase produce) from my efforts to purchase a freezer to freeze all of my efforts. i would so love to be able to have most of my veggies for the winter in the freezer and not in a grocery store! lol!

      my gardening this year was poor due to the drought, in spite of the fact that i had some milk jugs in the boxes with water. the heat was awful! evaporation was incredible!

      okay! i’ve babbled enough! lol!

    • #407050

      I was just thinking of going with the concrete blocks due to the cost of lumber (and the fact that it burns;-() when I read your post. I think I’ll try that route! I actually have a stash of blocks for about three boxes sitting over on the side that the contractors left behind. I was angry at first that they didn’t take all of their materials with them, then decided that I might find some use for them;-) I’m sure it was accidental that they left them behind, but I figure it’s been a year…sooo….

    • #407056


      poison ivy:
      here in maine we have something that is called ‘spring bamboo’ its really japanese something or other .. originally it was an ornamental they thought would be great to spread – well it did everywhere. so far the only thing that has killed it for good, is about 3 layers of carpet, left for at least 3 years (better if you go for 5)

      Supposedly goats eat poison ivy, but other than trying the carpet I don’t know how you are going to get it out of there.

      Keep some bleach around to scrub down with in case you get into it. Bert works in a paper mill and they get it in there and thats the ‘cure’. Got any jewelweed growing?

      its suposed to help with the reaction.

      I understand wanting to wait for another dog. We used to have chows and it took a long time after they died before we got another dog (Bangor was poisoned and She died years later from cancer). These were the best dogs, fantastic with my kids and anyone elses, very protective of littles.

      Dobie was a dob/rot cross (who was the dumbest biggest baby) great with kids, the seizures got really bad before she died. Now we have a setter retriever cross, smart but not too crazy about some kids, but was fantastic at Lammas (so maybe it has to do with who is around) .. Well maybe smart, come to think of it he’s been hit by a skunk 3 times so far

      well if you can get them manuvered around to make the boxes, sounds like a winner. You can put carpet under the blocks and boxes if you have the poison ivy where you want the garden.

      When Bert bought camp he never checked the soil. We have 2 ft of clay – he thinks we can just add compost to it LMAO.. I told him we could add compost from now until we die and it still will be nasty.

      He eventually wants to move there (closer to work), its also 2 more frost lines away so the growing season is much shorter.

      Our gardens last year were dry in the spring and flooded the summer – pretty much useless. Another reason I am thinking about doing the SWC, water won’t evap as easily and if its too wet I can cover or dump


    • #407111

      yeah, my immunity to poison ivy ran out last summer. Chester had apparently been wallowing in it and got the oil on his coat and I always gave him a big hug when he came back inside. within hours, my right arm, neck, and part of my face was covered in a rash.

      it was so bad that I had to go to the doctor for steroids. I have a ‘kit’ now at the back door for when I knowingly expose myself! LOL!
      maybe if I work the back yard in sections with the boxes and trying your carpet suggestion, I can eventually smother it and then cut up the carpet in between the boxes.

      the English ivy that I planted along the west side seems to be holding the enemy at bay and covering the ground nicely. it’s crept out about 12 feet from the fence line and runs the entire length of the back yard, which is what I had planned when I planted it ten years ago. I’ll have to keep an eye on it as I don’t want an entire yard of English ivy!


    • #407127

      Another way to save a lil cash on electricty and water if you don’t have a well is to bathe kids together. If they aren’t too old of course plus side is they normally have blast in there together. We also have a family game night once per week.

      Not only does this make us a closer knit family but it also forces us to turn off alll electronics. I make sure every electronic is off and on most unplugged (it does save you a little) before we evern even start to play. Plus we are all in the same room so all the other lights in the house are off.

    • #407146

      Get some long sleeve grubbies to do the dastardly killing of poison ivy, and plan on just chucking them in the garbages especially since you had such a bad reaction to it before.

      Don’t forget hair cover and tape all possible openings of clothing

      If you put down the carpet in the spring when its little, you shouldn’t have to trim/cut the plants. You could go ahead and dose the ground with vinegar or concentrated round up before laying carpet.

      if you have to cut the plants you might want to consider wearing a mask just in case. i’d rather be hot and uncomfortable than breathe it in.

      usually if you post to fc you can get all the carpet you want. since it sends out runners (like the japanese knotweed i knew eventually i’d remember it’s real name) start at least 5-8 ft from the outside edge and work in. Otherwise it sends out runners to the edges, this way it sends back to center and eventually it will die (evil laughter).

      Lay carpet at least 3 layers thick do not have any seams on top of each other or the darn runners will creep out.

      Since you have clay, you might want to just leave down the carpet and put new soil, compost etc on top and build from there. Raised beds etc

      warning poison ivy:
      be aware that, even after you kill poison ivy plants, they remain toxic. so be careful in disposing of the roots of the dead vines after pulling back the smothering agent (even if you’ve waited for years).

      ideas from online:
      you can stick the ends of the vines in bottles of weed killer; neater than spray, easier than painting.

      use a paint roller to apply the poison ivy “killer”. it only goes where you want it, doesn’t spray onto the veggies and is quite effective.

      another thing i have done is to cut down the vines on a hot day, mid-day when the sun is high and hot. apply the weed killer directly to the newly cut stem and the plant will suck it right up! use a systemic killer for this and it will go no further than the poison ivy.

      how to get rid of poison ivy plants
      how to get rid of poison ivy plants – wikihow


    • #407150
      hslinks;96841 wrote:
      warning poison ivy:
      be aware that, even after you kill poison ivy plants, they remain toxic. so be careful in disposing of the roots of the dead vines after pulling back the smothering agent (even if you’ve waited for years).

      yes! it’s very toxic even after you kill it! i killed off a huge patch years ago and then went out several days afterward to pull it all and bag it.

      i ended up in the hospital fighting for my life! i wasn’t even allergic to it at this point. i had to overwhelm my system to become allergic!

      the best solution to this so far is to cover the whole area in old carpet! you’ll be recycling! carpet is right up there with baby diapers and plastic bottles in the junk yard.

      it takes like 70 years to decompose! Cover the whole area with carpet and you can build your beds right on top of it! No muddy walk ways!

      If you don’t like the look of the carpet you can put wood chips down to cover it. People in my area beg me to take their old carpet. The carpet layers will rip it out and lay the new carpet but you have to pay to get it hauled away!

      I cut it into 6′ strips and ran a path all the way around our lake. We’d tried to clear a path before but the weeds always over take it. the carpet path lives on 2 years later!

      (Took a lot of carpet to do it though!)

      Good luck on your project and be careful!

    • #407187

      Thanks for posting this. My daughter’s room is really cold so I am going to try lining the curtains and seeing if that helps. I appreciate the info!

    • #407203

      keeping the room warmer:
      some things you can’t change – heat travels to the south, so northern rooms are usually colder than southern. its also harder to get heat to those rooms from other areas. keep the door open to gain heat from the other parts of the house.

      if the room is next to a set of stairs – cold air will be coming down those stairs and it will cool down that area

      if you move bed (couch) off the exterior wall it helps

      check the heat source:
      do you need to clean the vent? move furniture? if you have baseboard heat you can vac the fins and it helps.

      up here in maine (new england) the old old houses did not have heat upstairs at all. i put in floor register on the landing so the heat went upstairs faster. other than having little toys coming down on heads its worked well for 30 years.

      If anyone needs to know how to put in floor register and the metal walls let me know.

      #1 what shape are your windows? gaps mean lots of air infiltration. If old windows and the caulk is missing more wind.

      They make a reusable rope insulation (sorta like clay). If its really cold caulk may not stick to the cold glass. Stop as much wind as possible before putting up plastic.

      #2 do you have storms? if not try putting plastic on the outside of house, and inside too (double is best). If you have littles or have kids with mental health issues that can’t have plastic inside put it on the outside at minimum.

      Cats will wipe out the plastic in no time – renenforce with duct tape or packing tape

      #3 Pull the mouldings around the window and check for insulation – many times it doesn’t have any .. Buy the super skinny mini rolls of insulation for door frames use a spatula or paint scraper to stuff it in the gaps around the window

      Then use a caulk gun and caulk on top of it .. (wet finger to smooth it) use exterior grade caulk.. let dry then put the trim back up

      electric outlet/switch heat loss:
      pull any electric outlets or switch plate covers on exterior walls .. buy the foam insulation for them — if you can’t find it you can:

      myo switch & electric oulet plate insulation
      using foam trays from the grocery store trace out the plate (mark where the screws go). you will need to cut them about 1/4 inch smaller all the way around. I use a razor cause its easier to cut the curve of the electric plug.

      If you loose your screws local hardware will have them

      curtain liners:
      these can help a lot. make sure your curtains go above the window and all the way to the side walls. if no heaters below you can go all the way to the floor with the curtains


    • #407212

      I have noticed for some reason in my boys bedrooms that the closets are a source of tremendous amounts of cold. Not exactly sure why-guess they are not insulted quite the same as the bedrooms themselves. If they leave their doors open a crack the room temp will drop about 10 degrees.

      We keep the doors closed and even have towles up against the bottom of the door to keep the col from blowing through.

      To help find areas that cold is coming in your house we have walked around with a lighter and watch to see if the flame moves. Just be careful that you pay attention to the lighter while you are doing this or you could set the whole place on fire.

    • #407217

      are the closets on the exterior wall?

      Basement/attic? could cold be coming up inside the wall from basement or attic?

      It might be worth pulling the drywall this summer and putting in insulation. While the closet is cleared you can always customize it for better utilization of space too

      Changes in temp like this can also cause mold to build up (*especially if kids have stuff leaning against the back wall). Camp had closet on exterior wall and we had this issue


    • #407346

      woo hoo! I so love it when my students give me gift cards! LOL!

      I was able to take all of my gift cards for Target and buy insulated drapes for my windows! they’re ivory and go with the color scheme — earth tones…greens, browns, beiges, tans, etc. so tomorrow I’ll be hanging drapes over my blinds in every room and hopefully, my electric bill will go down a bit.

      the electric company does a free energy audit and I’m gonna call and arrange an appointment. on a side note, one student gave me a gift card for Penney’s and I bought a lovely shower curtain — green with with flowers on it for a splash of brighter colors;-)

    • #407347

      thanks! I saw carpet and carpet scraps on FC so I’m gonna go back and see if I can find it and scoop it up!

    • #407461

      ya’ll might not believe me, but the drapes that i put up must be having an affect! i hung all of them today and made sure they were open to let the sun in to do its job;-) when the sun crested, i closed the blinds and drapes. it is currently 53 degrees outside and it must be a comfortable 70+ inside and the heat has yet to come on (still set at 61).

      I will update ya’ll in the next few days as it is supposed to become really frigid at night. and yes, I’ll be letting the bathtub faucet drip tomorrow and the following days — just in case;-

    • #407501

      oh I believe you .. I have good windows double glazed,with e gas but still you loose heat through windows .. anything you can use to keep some inside is a plus.

      We have cold coming here too .. my house had gotten up to the 70’s last night too because it was relativily warm day, but its 3:30am now and its down to 67.. can’t imagine what it would be w/o lined curtains


    • #408889

      Its been getting down to low 40s in Texas. The house I live in doesn’t have a heater and tends to hold in cold more than it should (we can walk outside sometimes and it’ll be at least 10 degrees warmer out*) so we use electric ones when it becomes too cold to go without. But I know if I start doing dishes with hot water it helps me warm up, or if I start to play wii fit or do an exercise tape.

    • #408953

      Check the recipe section for something to bake or cook in the oven and that will help heat the place too.

      At camp (no heat except kero) when its been empty & we come in during fall/winter it is really really cold (Maine). I will stick something in the oven to help with the heat, ’cause it takes a while to notice anything

      Ria (Maine)

    • #408956

      Great tips. I also substituted lamps but still haven’t noticed any difference in terms of $. Just in August…

      We use fleece sheets which are really warm and the kids love them.

    • #409063

      Last year I replaced all my lightbulbs with the energy efficient ones. ge brand.
      i wish i could take them all back for a refund! i replaced with the max wattage for the overhead lights, lamps, etc.

      they are so dim! i only put up with them until i can try another brand. my mom has the sylvania brand and her’s are brighter than mine, same wattage and all.

      they do help on the monthly power bill,even when i have all my lights on because of the lack of light.

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