questionswhat are you doing to keep warm at home and not…

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i make sure to have draft stoppers in front of my doors and cover any of my windows that i feel the cold air coming through.

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The shrink wrap plastic over the windows helps some, those insulating curtains also help a lot. I also have a programmable thermostat, have the heat turned way down during the day when I'm gone at work and also again about 90 minutes after bedtime. When I'm home I keep the bedroom doors closed, as it cuts down on how often the furnace runs. Other than that I set it at the temperature that I can knowingly afford to keep it at and bundle up if necessary.

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I wear multiple light layers and good socks. A friend of mine has had good luck pre-heating her bed with a heated blanket, which turns off a few minutes after she's in bed.

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Sitting in the living room, toasty, in my boxers while it's snowing outside is so worth the extra 180 bucks or so a month on the heating bill :) Totally

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I keep the heat at 66, except early morning & early evening, or if someone's not feeling well. There's an oil-filled electric radiator in the bathroom, in case someone wants to shower outside those hours. During the day, I wear a sweater when I'm cold & if I still feel cold I exercise. I feel like I'm doing myself a good turn both by keeping the heat down & exercising to keep warm.

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We are having solar panels installed on the 16th. It is supposed to drop our utility bill by ~$125/mo. We use propane heat, which while not cheap, appears to be a more efficient way of heating the house. We also have two zones in our heating system so when we go to bed we drop the temp in the zone we are not occupying and put it at a comfortable level (still damn cold but that is what the wife wants) with a down comforter. If my HOA would allow us to install a windmill I would do that as well, but alas I don't think they would nor is the area a really good zone for wind power.

If things get really bad I have a fleece sweatshirt I like to wear and a comfy blanket to cover myself with.

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Just installed a programmable thermostat and a draft guard under the door. Heat here isn't too bad, so doing OK keeping heat around 68 when I'm home (56 when I'm not and at night). Was much worse in NY where we'd pay $300-400/month to heat the house to 60.

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My officemate is in Japan at present (not for best of reasons... his FIL died just before New Years... they barely made it back in time to see him).

But anyway, he was telling me about how they don't have central heat and he could see his breath as he was talking to me. They use electric blankets (more like electric mattress pads) and things like that, only heating small spaces within the home.

At present, I'm in a condo with shared heating that I don't control (in fact, I have my bedroom radiator turned off because I like it cool at night) but when I owned my own place we kept the heat at 65 and wore sweaters and used electric blankets. In my daughter's room and the bathroom (both small rooms) we used heaters.

The windows were sealed with plastic sheeting and I used candles (the smoke after you blow them out) to hunt down drafts which I then fixed. We also used ceiling fans (blowing upwards very slowly) to make the radiators more efficient.

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"derp derp, I live in El Paso, I don't have to worry about getting cold." While it doesn't get as cold here as other places, it still gets cold. We had a white Christmas this year, I had 3" of snow at my house! Ways I save money on heating:
1. I only run the heater when I am home and awake. So on work days I only run it from 6:30pm till about 11pm.
2. I use an electric blanket to keep warm at night. I put a blanket over my dog on his thick memory foam bed and the cat sleeps with me.
3. My house is almost 100 years old and I have one of those gas furnaces in the floor between the living room and dining room. It's pretty inexpensive to run but it can't really warm the whole house, so I close doors and heat only the living, dining, bath rooms and kitchen.
4. I keep an electric throw on the sofa to make up the difference between the house being heated to 65 and being comfortably warm. I wear lots of layers at home.
My gas and electric bill combined were $91.33 this month.

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@thumperchick: I preheat my bed with the electric blanket then turn it down to the lowest setting to sleep. Since I don't heat my un-insulated bedroom it will get down to 30 or 35 at night and even with a pile of blankets on top I just can't maintain my body heat. But a setting of 1 or 2 is enough. Getting out of bed is no fun on cold mornings, but I am definitely awake.

I left out keeping the windows in the main part of the house covered with thick wood and fabric blinds.

vote-for7vote-against

I know its not a small thing, but it really is worth it in the long run to install good insulation in your walls. It will save you a lot of money and keep you much warmer during the winter.

Along smaller lines, if you open up your curtains/blinds when the sun is shining through directly window it will make a noticable difference in the room temperature. You'll want to use thick curtains and close them on windows when the sun isn't directly hitting them to help keep some heat in.

Using plastic wrap over windows will help, though it really only seems to make a difference if your windows are leaking a lot of heat. On a well insulated/double-pane window they don't seem to help to much.

Like other people have said, a programmable thermostat is a God-send, it can save you a ton of money. You can get a good one fairly cheap too, easily for under $40.

If you have a fireplace and you're going to be in the same room that its in, burning wood in it can also save you a bunch.

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i also sleep with an electric blanket in the winter, aka right now. geez it got cold suddenly!
-have individually controlled heaters in LR and BR's and keep the others lower than my bedroom
-have a space heater in my bedroom that shuts on or off depending on the preset temp i choose
-shut my bedroom door at night
-keep throws on the couch for extra warmth while watching tv
-wear my thick fleece robe around the house

at my aunt's house in georgia during winter it gets cold. you'd think not since it's georgia and their late December was mild but i would freeze to death at night if i didn't wear very thick socks, a fleece pajama set, and 2 blankets folded over a few times on top of me. i swear her guest room is missing all possible insulation or something

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@moondrake:

Hey.

Just curious: what is your actual cost per kilowatt-hour of electricity? By actual cost, I mean the total cost including all taxes, delivery fees, etc. divided by number of kilowatt-hours. (For reference, in NY City I pay 27-30 cents a kilowatt-hour.)

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@baqui63: On my last bill, which was for November, I used 256kWh and paid $32.43, which comes out to 12.67 cents per kWh. My peak months for electricity are in the summer, when I am running the swamp cooler the same hours I run the heater in the winter. My bill goes up to maybe $65, but the gas bill is negligible. Between the two they stay under $100.

This includes small amounts on my electric bill for the Energy Efficiency Cost Recovery Factor (nuclear power plant I am buying for my neighbor's kids) and Military Base Discount Factor (I guess we are also underwriting Fort Bliss).

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While it's not as much the heating in winter as it's the cooling in summer I deal with in SoCal, my solutions were still the same.

- Close the cracks. All the air drafts around the windows, door frames, etc. add up. Caulk, spray foam, weather strip, and replacement windows (as I find them from my local Habitat for Humanity Restore or Craigslist) were the fixes here.

- Insulate. The more the merrier. Keep the temperature you want in, keep the temperature you don't out. Start from the top of your house (the attic) and work your way down if needed.

Neither are considered "easy fixes", as if it's not money, it's time. From the energy savings perspective, however, they have already paid back for me in 2 years. (It'd be over 10 years if I had to buy my materials full price, though.)

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Lined curtains that are open when the sun shines and closed when it doesn't. A programmable thermostat and lots of throws and sweaters helps too. I'm the only one home most of the day so I heat my office with a propane heater and the rest of the house is usually around 62*.

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We do not have central heating here, so we only warm the rooms we spend the most time in. If you are able, close off the areas that you do not regularly use. Each of our rooms have sliding doors, so it is easy to control where we heat or cool. We also have blankets to use in the sitting areas and wear slippers.

Someone else also mentioned opening the curtains to allow the sunlight in. Hopefully your home is situated so you can take advantage of several hours of direct sunlight. Unless it dips below freezing, I can have the heat off on sunny days by doing this.

I have also found that running a humidifier helps make the air feel more comfortable. Winter air can be so dry. It also seems to bump the ambient temperature up a few degrees.

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Warm clothes, blanket, and a dog.

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I live in the great White Northlands of Wisconsin. I just installed a programmable Thermostat. It cost me $25, and took me 15 minutes to install.

With this magical wonderbox, I have 4 programs I can run each day... so, "Sleep" is 60, "Wake up" is 70 (for a 2 hour window) "Leave" is 62, and lasts until 7PM, then "return" goes back up to 67 for 2 hours. then, back to sleep, which is of course 60. There's a separate program I can run for weekends, and I keep the daytime temp at 62 instead of 60.

For keeping warm at night, everyone has electric blankets and/or heated mattress pads. they only burn through about 200 watts a pop at the highest settings, and very few people keep theirs that high.

December electric and gas bill just came in at $287, (113 for Gas, 174 electric) which isn't bad for heating a 2200 square foot tri-level house.

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Heated mattress pad for my bed and a heated throw on the way (yeah, the Sunbeam that was on sale recently, go figure) for my computer chair.

Soup and warm beverages are very much in play around here, too.

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Thinking about burning $1 bills in my fireplace...probably most effective use for them today.

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I grow more hair in the winter

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Brr. I am feeling colder just reading these responses. (And now I know I can't afford to live in either Wisconsin or New York.)

I am fortunate in that gas heat is included in my condo fee. I tend to be cold all of the time so I usually keep it at 65 at night, around 70-72 during the day. I'm still cold at that temperature so I have a lot of sweaters, throws and slippers to layer on. Activity helps, too. Cleaning is a good way to warm up.

I once used plastic over the windows on an older apartment I lived in. One breezy night while I was doing the dishes, the cats and I were startled by a loud noise. It was the plastic popping. It was a very drafty apartment....

cf cf
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It was 82 on New years day here in Tucson, AZ. I had to run the AC in my car. To keep from getting cold here? I turn off the AC.

vote-for5vote-against

After seeing some of the more in-depth answers, I'll add to my list
(Our avg. gas/electric bill is $175/mo, 1900sq ft)
Layers of light clothing
Good Socks
Heated Blanket to pre-heat beds
Automatic Thermostat that's preset to change temp at certain times. (57° between 11-6am, 60° between 6am-8:30am, 62° from about 9am-11pm - I'm home during the day)- This saves us a ton, mostly because we have a new furnace that's running at a high efficiency.
The windows were upgraded to dual pane vinyl.
Have 2 dogs and a husband in your bedroom, that'll keep the temp up.
Layered blankets on the bed.
We have a terrible joke in our house that goes something like, "If I get cold, I've been away from the kitchen too long." It's kind of true, if I'm cold, it means I sat down and stayed there long enough to get cold. I usually solve this by cooking or cleaning something else.
We just installed e-shield. It's a reflective insulation. High up front cost though.
Snuggles. With dogs or hubs.

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We are fortunate that our heat is included in the rent. However we tuck our slippers under the radiators to keep them warm and also keep a bath towel on the bathroom radiator to have a warmed towel waiting when I get out of the shower.

Mmmmmm, warm cloth.

vote-for5vote-against

We keep the thermostat at 66 morning/evening, 60 when we're away and during the night. I use a small heater in the bathroom to make showering tolerable, and we have a lot of fleece blankets/throws around. And I'm waiting on that sunbeam electric throw, which I will use to pre-heat my side of the bed at night.

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I use warming throws in every room (and at work), such as the one I just posted:

http://deals.woot.com/deals/details/1283d8a4-83db-4b9e-b1a9-eaebdd86fba4/sunbeam-microplush-heated-throw-add-to-cart-to-see-discount#0

Don't buy the sucky Beautyrest. Last year I got a Sunbeam and a Beautyrest, which died less than a year later. Sunbeam is still going strong. I discovered the sale yesterday when the Beautyrest died.

I keep the temp at a steady 60, and actually open my windows when it is warmer outside than inside. I got a warmer for my cats, which they live on when I'm not home with a heated throw (apparently, I'm warmer).

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001AZLVG6/ref=wms_ohs_product

In my den, my "mouse hand" gets cold, so I bought one of those silly looking fish from Merritline. I cut the fins off because it was too wide, but it works surprisingly well.

vote-for4vote-against

Having lived in a number of different houses over the years i can vouch for insulation being key. Plastic on the windows does help. Wool socks on top of a thin cotton pair when it is really cold. Down, down, and more down. My parents' house was so cold "Santa" gave us all down comforters one year and I kid you not when i say that was a very merry Christmas.

Failing the above cheaper ideas get a good wood stove with a little blower in it. One of those freakishly cold winters we all slept in the living room toasty warm next to ours.

Ideally? Upgrade your furnace and windows if you can. My parents had to replace their electric heat pump (the reason we froze) and modern ones can actually keep a house warm. I keep my house warm on 69 and it costs a fraction of what I paid to heat my old house to 65. If you are paying $300+ per month just to keep your pipes from freezing (like some ppl I know) it is time to upgrade.

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No more than 70 degrees on the thermostat and 68 at night. Cold still? Too bad. We have sweatshirts, blankets, and fuzzy socks.

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I set my thermostat at 70 during the day, and 68 at night. Our electric bill is only around $113 a month. Granted, it's a newer 2000 sq foot home with a modern furnace.

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The High Desert is a strange place temp wise. In the 70's during the day and in the 20's at night.

The original owner of the home I have didn't extend the central air into the add-on where I hang out and it gets butt azz cold. I wear wool socks, wool sweater, thermal pants, Bionaire Micathermic Convection Heater with Fan (thanks home.woot!) 2 down blankets and a warm snuggly kitteh for bed...and I still get so cold I can't sleep sometimes.

For the rest of the house, a new programmable thermostat at 68 (granny gets cold easily), new mink faux fur throws, slippers all around.