Any tips for saving on Electric Heat in winter?

Discussion in Gas & Electricity started by Mika • Jan 15, 2015.

  1. Mika

    MikaMember

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    I live in a little underground apartment. It's not very big, but it's not too small either. The problem is that it's heated by electric heat. My electric bills are starting to get a bit crazy now that it's gotten colder, so I'm looking to see if anyone has any tips to keep it warmer!

    • I have to keep the heat at a minimum of 68 degrees. I can't turn it down when I leave, otherwise there's a high chance my animals will die. If I could find a cheap replacement to heat their cages (one glass and one plastic) while still providing air flow, I'd gladly turn the heat down.
    • I have the closet closed unless I need in there, and the bedroom stays closed except for the 2 hours before bed when I try to warm it up.
    • I've also put up some carpet "samples" over the extra door that goes to outside - which I don't need to use - to help keep the cold out.
    • The other door going to the outside is raised up about 2 inches from the floor. I put some more carpet samples in front of it, but I haven't been able to find anything better to block it off while I'm away - which is quite often.


    Does anyone have any other tips for cutting back on heating costs?
    Note: I don't have any other troubles with electric other than for heat. I've already lowered that consumption to the minimum.
     
  2. MrsJones

    MrsJonesActive Member

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    One thing is to ask your landlord to put a wind guard on the door to block out the cold air. Another thing is consider investing in an electric blanket to warm up your bed before getting in it. You didn't mention what type of animals you have so I don't have a suggestion there.
     
  3. kjonesm1

    kjonesm1Active Member

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    Get one of those space heaters. They use less electricity and absolutely no gas, so it will keep your utilities down. Last winter my apartments gas heater went out so my property manager gave me a space heater for each room in my apartment. It snows here so I was really irritated that I had to go weeks with no heat. To my surprise the heaters kept my place nice and toasty, not only was it warm, my gas bill was noticeably lower the next month. If I were you I would give a space heater a shot.
     
  4. ohiotom76

    ohiotom76Well-Known Member

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    I would definitely start by getting those gaps in your door sealed off first. Places like TJ Maxx Home Goods stores sell those long "bean bag" type things meant for sealing off drafts from doors too.

    Do you have a lot of windows in your place that are potentially causing drafts? They sell these kits where you can seal off your windows with clear plastic. My parent's used to use them on our windows in the winter. You put this plastic over the window with adhesive strips then shrink it with a hair dryer to tighten the plastic flat. Like what is pictured below:

    pACE3-984182enh-z7.
    You may also want to consider getting a convection heater and only running it in the one room where your pets are while you are gone. Just be sure measure how hot it gets the room, to ensure it's at least 68 degrees.
     
  5. philipgust

    philipgustMember

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    Elements are what they are called in Sweden!
     
  6. kana_marie

    kana_marieActive Member

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    I know it can be a pretty large investment to begin with, but I would say :get a wood stove. This past summer our HVAC went out on us. We had someone look at it and he told us it would cost more to fix it than the entire unit was worth. This entire past winter we only had the wood stove to heat the house. In previous years our electric bill almost doubled. This year it was the lowest it had been through any previous winter or summer. Once you get a good fire going you can heat the entire house with it. The only electric It used was for the blower, which can easily be replaced by a box fan. In -6° weather our electric bill was less than 125$. If you shop around you can probably find one pretty cheap, and portable so you can take it with you wherever you go.
     
  7. Megan888

    Megan888Member

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    We have had great success with the plastic window kits. In addition to that, I have put blankets over our blinds, curtains, and plastic wrap. This keeps some of the cold out. When we had a guinea pig, I would put a blankets over the side of her cage that was closet to the wall. It kept her warm and still allowed her to see out the other sides of the cage.

    We also have these things that slide under the door to keep out drafts. They have a Styrofoam tube on either side covered in fabric. This keeps the under door draft out from both doors and you can still move the door freely without having to move it each time.

    Lastly, I would consider talking to your landlord. Obviously you have got some structural issues that are allowing drafts into your apartment. Although, they might not be required to fix it. You might be surprised though and they might take action to help you out.

    Good luck!
     
  8. Ke Gordon

    Ke GordonWell-Known Member

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    Those are some good tips. I use an electric stove. It helps a lot with heat loss. I also tend to bundle up under an electric throw when I am in the house. I will keep my heat off unless I absolutely need it. I don't mind a bit of chill. I don.t know what kind of animals you have, but unless they are tropical species...they can survive well when the temp is low. I may try a window kit this year on at least one of my windows...because I think we are in for a cold one here.
     
  9. Diane Lane

    Diane LaneWell-Known Member

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    This is the first time I've seen this. I've heard of such products, but was never really sure how they worked, and didn't invest the time, since I assumed they would be messy, but this seems like a pretty straightforward process to apply them, and it says they come off easily at the end of the season. I wonder if it's necessary to remove them, because I'd like to try to insulate my windows to keep both the heat in/cold out in the Winters, as well as the cold in/heat out in the Summers.

    There's also a Duck brand version that I saw on Amazon. I think the difference between the two, from what I've seen at just a quick glance, is that the Ace brand is sized for the windows, whereas the Duck brand comes in a roll that you have to cut yourself, which would be nice if you had odd sized windows.
     
  10. xTinx

    xTinxWell-Known Member

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    Just my two cents: how about looking for non-electric alternatives to save up on electric heat? I think certain stores still sell fuel-run heaters, right? Just keep one at home. It'll be a big boost to your savings. Most non-electric heaters use kerosene, propane or natural gas. As long as you know how to operate this semi-primitive machine, you'll spare yourself from post-winter financial worries.