Hey everyone! As we are in the winter season, I wanted to share some things that I have been doing for many years to save on my heating bill during the winter months. As I mentioned in an earlier post about air conditioning, I refuse to give the utility companies any more than necessary.
Here we go:
1) Weather strip around doors, windows etc. Place heavy curtains and/or layers of curtains on windows.
We want to keep all that heat you are paying for inside the house and you’ll want to do this to your interior doors as well. In another post I’ll talk a bit about what I’ve done to the bottom of my interior doors.
2) Start training your body by setting the thermostat a few degrees lower than you’ve been accustomed to, going even lower on days when there is a warm spell.
3) Dress in winter clothing ie sweaters, long johns, etc and in layers.
That should be common sense right? However, I hear folks complain about how high their heating bills are, saying that the gas/electric company will charge you whatever they want to charge you. Yet when observing them at home, they are walking around in short sleeves, tank tops, shorts with the thermostat set on 80-85 degrees or higher. Really?!!
Yeah it sounds like I’m criticizing but it makes no cents (pun intended) to have the house like it’s summer in the winter and winter in the summer. Of course it’s your choice, but don’t complain about it when the bill comes each month.
Now I grew up in a cold area of the country. The first place was old apartment building that was probably built around the 1920’s or 1930’s with those cast iron radiators
and before each individual apartment had thermostats. You knew when it was 10:00 pm without looking at a clock, because you would hear a hissing sound indicating that the heat was being turned waayy down. Take a bath at 11:00 pm or after if you want to…I guarantee it would be a fast one and the last one be as you’ll be freezing your behind off. I can also guarantee you that the temperature was set not high enough for you to be able to walk around in short sleeves or just one layer of clothing during the day/evening either.
A few years later my folks bought a two flat apartment building. We lived in one apartment and rented out the other one. It was a bit newer than the apartment where I spent my 0-12 years of age I think, but still old because there was only one boiler/furnace to heat both apartments and of course the thermostat was in our place. I almost forgot, it had radiators too. The furnace was a huge oil unit located in the basement and looked like something that would reach out and grab you if you got too close. You could look through the window on the front and see the flames/oil burning. Honestly, it was scary! lol
Anywhoo…my father would have the heating oil company come out and fill the two large tanks in July or August as it was cheaper to purchase in the summer months. I mentioned before, I grew up in a cold part of the country which means the winters are long. Much longer and colder than where I currently live. That oil had to last us and our tenant ALL winter. If the oil company had to come out during the winter, you’d pay double or more for each gallon of oil. If you read one of my How I Got Outta Debt posts, you’ll remember that money was tight…very tight. My father had a major heart attack just 2 months after he bought the place. So there was no dressing like it was summer time in the house in the winter…unless you wanted to shake what ya momma gave you. I’m not talking about dancing either, though that is a great way to get warm.
I told those stories because I’m not telling you to do something that I have not done or experienced myself. I still dress in layers including wearing more than one pair of socks on my feet while inside my home in the winter and I’ve been out of my parents house, living on my own for almost 30 years. I even wear something on my head most days. Now that my locs are long enough to be on my back, I feel warmer than I did in the early days of my locs so now I’ve got that added warmth. Back then, I had something on my head everyday during the winter/early spring months.
The less clothes you have on your body, the colder you are going to feel. The colder you feel, the more apt you are to crank up the thermostat. It’s much, much cheaper to put more clothing on.
Which brings me to the statement that I hear a lot… “They are gonna charge you what they want to”. This is true but only part of the statement is true. Yes, while they do have control of the rate of each kilowatt, cubic foot, gallon whatever you are being charged, YOU have control of how much you use/waste. The more you use, the more you’re going to pay.
4) If you are just watching TV, reading, on the computer, etc use a blanket, throw or something over your legs. Snuggies are really nice for this. And, yes this is addition to the layers that you are wearing.
Again, much cheaper to do things like this to make you feel warm. If you feel warm, you are less likely to want to crank up the thermostat. The lower the thermostat setting, the less money you will be charged and therefore have to pay. Yeah ,I know I said that already but we learn by repetition right?!
I’ll cover more in the next post.
LOL…..this is winter number two that I am using two electric heaters to heat. I have a split level home and I only heat my master bedroom/bath and my office (when I am in those rooms). My Dec/Jan gas bill was $31.00 (I have gas stove, furnace, and water heater) and my electric bill was $77.00. Two years ago, I received an almost $300 gas bill and almost passed out. I just couldn’t wrap my hard around giving my earned funds over for something that doesn’t really bring me any true enjoyment. Now, I will turn on the gas heat if I am having guests – I keep that to a mininum however. LOL
I, also, wear multiple layers of clothes and have two comforters, a blanket and some throws on my bed. I sometimes wear socks to bed.
*I just got my Jan/Feb gas and electric bills…gas is $28.10. Electric is $100.30. This seems reasonable since has been cold these past few weeks. But I think I can do better!
Thanks for the great post and I’m anxiously awaiting the next post!
I only have gas for the furnace and water heater. But, girl I hear you on almost passing out from that $300 gas bill! 🙂 My first winter gas bill in this house back in 2000 was $210. I almost passed out too, right there at the mailbox which is out on the street because I had the bright idea to open the bill right then. lol Then I get in the house and look at my hubby who was my SO at the time and he is standing in the living room without a shirt on. I walk straight to the thermostat and it’s set on 80 freakin’ degrees! I was seeing red by this time so I told him “I know you done lost your damn mind! Put some clothes on, it’s winter time!”.
Cool! This is what I’ve been experimenting with too and planned to talk about in the next post. I use two comforters as well and that’s been enough so far. These past two winters have been milder than winters past. Hubby since he is cold natured wears socks to bed and if it’s real cold I’ll wear them too. I sleep ALL the way under the comforters meaning my head is under there too, just like a sleeping bag. lol
Your bill amounts have been great I think. If I remember correctly you live in a much colder region than I do. My Dec/Jan electric bill was $62.47 and gas bill $25.10. That’s lower than last year with both winter’s thus far being pretty comparable.
Sis, it’s always so nice to hear from you!
Excellent advice. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for stopping by!
This made me chuckle because of the similarity thing we seem to have going on 😉
Every Winter I start my seasonal grumble about how most of the knitwear being sold as Winter knits are not sweaters, as in keep me so warm I sweat, it’s a fashion statement for those who live in overheated homes. And why is it so hard to find Winter clothes when it is cold, because that’s when they sell Spring clothes. At least grumbling keeps me warm!
I’ve written a bit about the house I live in and the puzzle it is to keep it from not being ice cold. Most of the cold comes from dampness which is due to location. I find if I get really cold inside, rather than make the inside hotter, going outside for a bit then coming back in often sorts it out 😉
LOL @ fasion statement knits!! I know exactly what you mean. Now you know it would be too much like right to sell winter clothes, in the winter!
My house’s humidity level is a bit high too and I have not come up with a cheap way to lower it either. But you are right, after being outside it feels toasty when you come back inside.
There is a product called Kontrol Krystals which helps to wick humidity out of the air and reduce mold and damage to materials due to high moisture levels, but it doesn’t stop the cold of humidity seeping into the bones. Has benefits, is not too expensive compared to how long it lasts, but is not a humidity problem solver.
I’m still going strong with the two electric heaters!!! lol
Awesome and glad to hear!! I am going strong with mine too lol. I had three, one for the teens and single digits nights in my outside utility room but that one went out and I did not want to buy another at the time. So I removed one from the house. I may replace it this year.
This past winter, I still held strong with the two electric heaters. I think I will start checking the clearance aisles to see if I see any mark downs on any heaters for next winter.
Hi!!! Well, I still have those two heaters but I added a third one this year. I do need to replace the older ones as they don’t put out as much heat as they used to. As of now, I am only using the newest one.
Hey Sis! Wow…I apologize and have no clue how I missed this comment.
Yes it does seem as heaters get older, it’s a signal that they wlll need to be replaced soon. I had three (Oil filled) but the first one that I had bought decided that it wanted to retire. lol That’s the one I was using in the outside utility room since it had a wide range temperature adjustment that the new versions of the same brand of the first heater I bought. So that left me with only one heater for inside of the house when temps were going to be below freezing.
I really got to get my but in gear and write about the unglamourous lol things I’ve done to deal with that.
Always so good to hear from you ElleX.
Hi, this past winter was year 8(?) of not using the central heat. I used the same old heaters. Lol.
Awesome!!!! When you say the same old heaters, do you mean the exact same physical heaters or do you mean the same type of heaters?
Same heaters (plus one new one*) and same heat source! *I came across a good deal on a heater online and bought two…one hasn’t been opened yet.
Ah ok cool. I just bought two myself that I need to update/do a part 2 to this article.
Going on Year 9. I am going to replace the furnace next as I transition to retirement and getting the house ready to sale.
I’m hoping that the sale goes well!
I did the math…it’s been 10 years. I started the electric heaters in 2012!!!!
Wow, time has flown by! You started a few years before I did. I can’t remember if you told me elsewhere but if not, I hope that the sale went well.