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Old 09-30-2009, 11:49 AM
 
Location: where the moss is taking over the villages
2,178 posts, read 4,714,527 times
Reputation: 1229

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Any good ideas you want to share?

We use a heated mattress pad, electric blanket & wear socks until our feet are warm in bed.

I'm using a heating pad right now to keep myself from turning on a heater. I alternate between having it in my lap & having it on my feet.

We live in a rental & the house is all electric. I think the forced air ducts have holes in them, or something outlandish because the air flow is weak & it takes a monumental amount of money to heat the house (about 1200 sf, 3 story & more expensive to heat than the 2800 sf house I had that used a heat pump).

I'm thinking about getting ski bibs to fight off the inevitable cold that will take over the house soon. Last winter it got to be 40 degrees inside!

Kate
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:41 PM
RHB
 
1,096 posts, read 1,832,681 times
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I don't know where you are, but that seems unacceptable in a rental. Request (in writing) to your landlord to have the heating system checked. If he refuses, talk to the town inspector. Move

Aside from that. It's foolish to freeze. Do you have heavy curtains (quilts) on the window? Is there a way to shut down rooms you don't use? Or only heat the room you are in?

I don't know if they are legal where you are, but there is a heater unit that fits on a gas tank from a grill. It heats a room quickly. It heats with flame, so you would heat up your bedroom, SHUT IT OFF, and turn it back on when you get up. It's portable so you can move it to the room you are in.
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:55 PM
 
Location: where the moss is taking over the villages
2,178 posts, read 4,714,527 times
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I think Chuck (maintenance guy) would say the air flow from the vents is normal. Chuck is always the devil's advocate when I need something. I mentioned your remark to my boyfriend & he thinks I should contact code enforcement/inspector.

The ceiling in the upstairs living room is uninsulated like a cabin from the '70's. It's like a garage when it comes to cold air coming in, etc. There are planks of wood with gaps & I guess it's just roofing material over that.

The windows that are low in the house are curtained with appropriate lining (except in the kitchen). There are windows in the living room that are super high up & only have levelor blinds. I think alot of heat is lost in the ceiling & those windows.

I saw a post today about using bubble wrap to insulate windows. I think we'll do that. Just need an extension ladder. I think we have one that might reach. I can get bubble wrap from a clinic in town.

Also, we're moving downstairs for the winter, using a spare room for watching programs & net surfing. Lower ceiling, insulating curtains, smaller area to heat.

Today with a heating pad, I've stayed pretty cozy. It's 61 degrees & 58% humidity right now at almost 3PM.

Thanks for your concern,

Kate
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Utah
4,970 posts, read 14,011,957 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahkate_m View Post
...Also, we're moving downstairs for the winter, using a spare room for watching programs & net surfing. Lower ceiling, insulating curtains, smaller area to heat.
But heat rises. Is there any way to be on an upper level and just close the doors, and turn off the electric heat in the rooms you don't use?

Try running your dishwasher, clothes dryer and oven late at night if at all possible. The heat from those might help with heating your space. I vacuum at night because my vacuum puts off a lot of heat. But you might not be saving any money that way because you have to have the lights on to vacuum.

I too have used a heating pad to keep warm. A lot cheaper than heating a whole house when you're only one person in one room at a time. Just be cautious that your heating pad is in good working order and limit the use of extension cords with it.
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Old 09-30-2009, 07:35 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,095 posts, read 12,754,363 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahkate_m View Post
Also, we're moving downstairs for the winter, using a spare room for watching programs & net surfing. Lower ceiling, insulating curtains, smaller area to heat.
That's what I was going to suggest, even though heat rises. If the top floor is like an unheated garage, close it off as much as possible. Bubble wrap the doorways and hang drapes or blankets over the bubblewrap!

Long ago in cave man days, I lived in a cabin - when the sun was coming up, you could see sunlight thru the kitchen walls. We ended up hanging Grandma's quilts over the doorway. But going into that kitchen was like walking into a reefer (Wait - you're an ex-So-Cal person! The cabin was way out in the boonies east of Crestline )
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Old 09-30-2009, 07:52 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 22,479,097 times
Reputation: 3869
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahkate_m View Post
Any good ideas you want to share?

We use a heated mattress pad, electric blanket & wear socks until our feet are warm in bed.

I'm using a heating pad right now to keep myself from turning on a heater. I alternate between having it in my lap & having it on my feet.

We live in a rental & the house is all electric. I think the forced air ducts have holes in them, or something outlandish because the air flow is weak & it takes a monumental amount of money to heat the house (about 1200 sf, 3 story & more expensive to heat than the 2800 sf house I had that used a heat pump).

I'm thinking about getting ski bibs to fight off the inevitable cold that will take over the house soon. Last winter it got to be 40 degrees inside!

Kate
I'm both a homeowner and a landlord, and this is absurd and unacceptable.

My family lives in a 2-story brick house (walk up attic), with about 4,000sqf of space, and built in 1928. We heat for about $100 per month, and the house stays nice and warm.

My most recent rental house purchase is a 3-bedroom split-level - about 2,000sqf. I have a brand new high-efficiency furnace, new central AC and it is well insulated and sealed up.


I suspect your house has a crappy OLD electric furnace. That being the case, you should not have to foot the whole bill for heat. It is also ridiculous that you literally can't keep your house warm enough to be comfortable. Absolutely absurd.


You need to find a different place to live.
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Old 09-30-2009, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,420 posts, read 42,778,501 times
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Well, if you are in a rental and stuck with all-electric heat, your options are limited. You might consider putting some "shrink-wrap" type film over the insides of some windows, maybe spring for some better door sealing strips, but you are limited in what you can do both by the landlord and by the fact that you don't want to spend your money to improve the landlord's property.

So you are basically limited to lowering the thermostat, using auxiliary heat like electric blankets, etc. to warm *you* instead of the whole rental house.

The one exception to this, provided you live in a climate where an air source heat pump is worthwhile, is to buy one or more window unit heat pumps - look like an A/C unit but are "reversible". These you can take with you when you leave. Although. These are not cheap, and putting them into the windows is a form of "heavy lifting". But given an all-electric rental house, and I'm assuming it does not have a fireplace, that is all you can do.

Rest assured that all forms of electric resistance heat provide exactly 100% efficiency (although if your heat ducts leak, that's not strictly true for the main heater.

Maybe you should consider a better rental house? Are you getting a good enough deal on the rent to compensate?
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:08 PM
 
10,723 posts, read 20,156,038 times
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I bring my dog up in the bed with us on those cold nights, makes it nice and toasty when she snuggles with us under the blankets! Although she is fairly small at only 70#.
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Old 10-01-2009, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Where the real happy cows reside!
4,281 posts, read 9,283,678 times
Reputation: 10414
sarahkate... MOVE! Like others have said, this is an unacceptable rental property. My neighbors doghouse is better insulated than your rental! I hope you manage to get the landlord to sort it out, or find a better place.

We installed a pellet stove in our basement last month. It's an open planned home and the basement isn't closed off. A ton of premium soft pellets runs just over $200. I think the supplemental heat will help quite a bit.

Even though we have double glazing, we still put shrink plastic on all the windows and have thermal lined curtains. Just doing that really makes a difference.
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:34 PM
 
Location: San Diego California
6,797 posts, read 6,123,932 times
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I agree that you should hold the landlords feet to the fire about this issue, in the interim you can purchase foil backed bubble wrap that has a good insulating value and staple it on the ceiling and where ever else you need it.
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