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jbr12

Winterizing Older Homes?

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We are living in an older home on the NW side. Crappy windows, old furnace. We're on the ground floor of the house and no one is in the upstairs apartment. Our gas/heating bills have been OUTRAGEOUS lately and I was looking for some advice on how to reduce out bill some. Problem is we have a 2 year old so just turning the heat down really isn't an option. Today I'm going to be putting plastic on the inside of all of the windows and 'caulking' some of the more vital ones (around beds, etc) Beyond that, I'm not sure what else we could do. Any suggestions??

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You're probably losing a ot of heat to the upstairs, and there is little you can do about that without ripping our your ceiling or their floor! You didn't say you own the home, so that's probably not an option. Perhaps you can at least ask the landlord to insulate any attic space above the 2nd floor to retain some of the heat. If you do own the home, then that's the first thing I'd do.

Replacing the windows would be my next choice -- along with blowing insulation into the side walls if there is little or none present. Again, if you don't own the home, that's probably not going to happen unless you have a very responsive landlord.

Please do not succumb to space heaters or other temporary fixes. The risk outweighs the advantages.

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We do not own the home, only renting. With the upstairs apartment not being rented for some time, the landlord is unwilling to put any money into 'fixes' until it is rented. I figured most of our heat was being lost t the upstairs. Our daughters room has a tile drop ceiling in it @ 8 feet. That room is crazy warm even on the coldest of nights without plastic on the windows. I am almost considering adding drop ceilings into the other main rooms to attempt to save more heat. Only problem with that is the added cost, loss of lighting fixtures and cost of removal during the summer....

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Had the same problem a few years back... take some blankets that are shoved away for guests and throw them up on the windows. One of the bedrooms 'leaked' pretty bad, so what worked for the windows also worked for the celling.

I guess this only works if you don't care too much for interior design :)

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There was a little article in the Sunday GR Press today about "Ways to lowr heating bills." It was on the left hand side under "Your life Lines" of Section K. It mentions a 2 hour workshop next Saturday at the Housing Center of West Michigan giving examples to "show you have to keep warmth in and the weather out." It gives a phone number to register, but I don't know if I can post it here, so I will send you a PM with the number.

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We do not own the home, only renting. With the upstairs apartment not being rented for some time, the landlord is unwilling to put any money into 'fixes' until it is rented. I figured most of our heat was being lost t the upstairs. Our daughters room has a tile drop ceiling in it @ 8 feet. That room is crazy warm even on the coldest of nights without plastic on the windows. I am almost considering adding drop ceilings into the other main rooms to attempt to save more heat. Only problem with that is the added cost, loss of lighting fixtures and cost of removal during the summer....

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Thanks for the suggestions. I'm going to call the landlord tomorrow and see what he says about it. I think this is the first winter that he hasn't had someone upstairs, so he might not realize the difference it makes. I really wish I could convince him to install new windows and replace the crappy, falling off siding on this house, but I just don't see it happening.

I've been hoping to get a programmable thermostat for some time, maybe its time I stop putting it off and go and get one. Craziness is I'm never cold, but the rest of my family gets cold all the time.

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Forgot (how could I??) to mention: although allbusiness says "no space heaters," you might look at an electric fireplace. It's a space heater that looks like...a fireplace. Has a mantle to hang the stockings from, and real-looking hot-like flames, two heat settings. On clearance at Fred. (I had wanted one for several years, but not for four figures at a furniture store. The smaller one is about $119. Some assembly required.)

It probably won't make a big tangible difference in the ambient air temp but...I turn mine on every morning and sit on the couch with coffee and a throw and a kittie. And every evening. It's probably my favorite piece of furniture these days.

Oh, and I dry socks and gloves with it, too.

ETA: If a set-back thermostat won't interface with your wiring (it happened in my last place, you can rig up a standard timer with a night light. Make it come on when you are away or at night, off when you want it to be warmer. The night light puts out just enough heat to fool the thermostat. (I learned that trick half my lifetime ago while living in Montana!)

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We had a similar heating problem in our rental, and came up with a non-traditional but highly effective solution. We turned our living room into a fort. It's essentially a large tent that encompasses the couches, chairs, table and computer. Right now the thermostat is set to 58, but the temperature inside the fort is close to 70.

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We had a similar heating problem in our rental, and came up with a non-traditional but highly effective solution. We turned our living room into a fort. It's essentially a large tent that encompasses the couches, chairs, table and computer. Right now the thermostat is set to 58, but the temperature inside the fort is close to 70.

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