top ten tuesday

our house will be 100 years old next year.  while i love living in a non-cookie cutter, turn of the century home, what i don't love is how drafty this house can get during the winter months.

part of the "charm" of having an old home is trying to keep it true to its original bits and pieces as much as possible.  sometimes that means you might have to sacrifice getting those energy efficient windows.  or repairing and painting the wood siding instead of putting vinyl siding (though i don't care for that anyway).

so today's top 10 is a list of tips and tricks that we've learned since living in this house in order to prevent our heating bill from getting out of control.

top 10 ways to manage your heating bill and stay warm in the house:

 1. three words: peel and seal.  why did it take us 5 years to finally using this stuff?  it's awesome.  seals up all the little nooks and crannies around your windows so heat can't escape and cold air can't come in.  props to our friends sean and katie for suggesting this.

2. put shrink wrap plastic around your windows, especially if you do not have double pane windows.

3. curtains.  even thin ones can keep the heat in.  get the thick panels for the bedrooms and you will be nice and toasty.

4. purchase a couple of portable electric heaters.  turn down the heat and use the portable heaters to heat the main area you'll be using.  i usually do this during the day but once the kids are in bed i turn up the central heating to keep the little ones warm in their room.

5. turn down your heat when you're out of the house.  this one was SO obvious i can't believe i didn't do this more often.  duh!

6. block drafts from underneath the door with a rolled up towel or a nifty door draft stopper (which we don't have but probably should).  you can purchase one or learn to make one here.

7. put weather stripping around the door frame for your exterior doors to get a tight seal and keep cold air from seeping in.

8. get corrie to knit you some super warm blankets and sweaters to use while your chillin' (ha, ha...no pun intended there) on the couch.

9. invest in a pair of warm slippers for yourself and the whole family.  walking around in bare feet (or even in socks) can keep you from staying toasty.

10. get some down comforters for your bed.  that way, you can stay warm while keeping the thermostat down at night.

anyone else have any inexpensive tips and tricks for keeping the heat inside this old, creaky house?


Melissa said...

I think we may need to check out that seal and peel stuff, and I have to agree with slippers keeping tootsies toasty. Funny though, we do the opposite here and turn down the heat more at night. However, we're all camped out in the same room, and our bedroom is definitely the warmest room in the house.

Kristin said...

As a seasoned midwesterner who has spent most of her years in drafty older houses, I would like to congratulate you on figuring out the best tricks! We used to have a door stopper that was made out of an old towel, filled with sand, and then we added eyes and a tongue on one end to make it look like a snake! Max and I sealed his windows this weekend. I've also discovered the value of throwing open the curtains on sunny days to let the sun warm up the room.

Michelle said...

snuggle with your wee ones to get warm!! or husband! hahahaha

little rambler said...

We spent a couple of long winters in a house that I am pretty sure had no insulation whatsoever. We used a lot of the tips you gave, and nighttime was the worst so some of the things we did...

Adult footy pajamas. Not sexy, but definitely warm. I have seen them again at Target this winter!

Hot water bottles. Yes, very old fashioned, but a GREAT way to keep your feet warm when you get into a cold bed, and safer than a portable heater (though watch out for that ice cold bag in the morning!).

We graduated into a condo that amazingly enough only has two outside walls (we have units above and on both sides. It's December already and I am proud to say that furnace hasn't been on ONCE yet!

Corrie said...

Ha! I love that my sweaters and blankets made the list (which reminds me, I need to do something with Aaron's.)

Love the window plastic. I also put it around my air conditioners because they are wall mounted units that don't come out.

And how about (to go along with your socks) wearing a hat? Some days if I just can't get warm, i'll put a hat on and in no time I'll be nice and toasty.

aaron said...

sleepy hats are the way to go. 9 out of 10 randomly selected people you have never met before say that you loose most of your heat through your nugget. this makes this an great way to keep that heat in while you slumber.

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