As I sit huddled in a fluffy robe, unwilling to turn on the boiler yet because it is just too early in the season to turn on the heat (and because it requires moving some stuff in the basement first), I contemplate the many other ways I have and still need to do keep warm.
First, I caulked the hell out of the windows when I first moved in, taking my winter bill down from $250 to $180.
Added insulation in the attic and some walls. $130.
Bought (and installed, because it actually helps to do that part too) honeycomb window blinds for seven windows in the house. Bill down to $110.
Insulated outlets and light switches, and where pipes travel between floors. Probably went down to $100 (I didn’t track it then.)
Replaced four leaking windows. Now $80.
Past and Future
I used to do plastic film on the windows, but it is a ton of work, so I am looking into interior/exterior storm windows for the front of my house.
Close the curtains at night. Still $80, but I think it makes a difference.
Have a cat who likes to cuddle – she radiates heat.
Oh, and I close the doors for the room I am in at the time, to keep my own heat, the cat’s heat, and the computer’s heat in.
Wear fuzzy socks.
Drink hot tea or, better yet, hot chocolate.
Use a space heater for one room only, using my solar power during the day. Even if it wasn’t solar, heating one room only is better than the whole house. (Added 11.2020).
Lots of quilts at night.
And now I contemplate being active by moving the kitchen cabinets I am planning to install from in front of the boiler. That will warm me up.
Stay warm Northern Hemisphere folks. Stay cool Southern Hemisphere people. (And folks in Australia, my thoughts are with you about the fires.)
UPDATE: I was reminded by someone in our FB group about energy audits, and yes – I’ve been planning to get one. Washington DC helps with free energy audits. I will soon – after I get those storm windows. Further ideas welcome!