Thursday, January 3, 2008

Six Tips for Heating a Small Home this winter

Right now in Boston it is -14 C (feels like -32C) [7F (feels like -9F)], so I thought it's an appropriate time to give some tips for heating a small home.

Our home is on the third floor of a three family home, which means the ceilings slope down and we lose a lot of heat out of the roof. We have an old gas heating system, which last year was very inefficient. Those in South Africa will shudder at the fact that we spent a lot more on heating than on food. Apart from the expense, we are using a lot of energy every winter. Without further ado, some ways that we've managed to cut our heating, and heating expenses by 160% so far this winter:

(1) Saran wrap your windows. I also suggest using wrap on all sections of glass on your doors.

(2) Our apartment has a back door leading out onto the fire excape, as well as a non-removable air-conditioning unit, all on one wall. As you can see above, we've made an piece of fabric into an oversized curtain. It also covers the door to a storage cupboard that is particularly cold. As a result, less heat can escape. We've also saran wrapped the air-conditioning unit.

(3) Gas is expensive This winter, gas prices are very high. Where possible, switch to electric space heaters.

(4) Heat people, not space. We have the heating off during the day if we're out. When we come back in, if we're just going to be in for the evening, we heat the bedroom only with a space heater.

(5) Make use of oven heat. If you're going to be home, do some cooking early in the day and use the heat well-- cook several things at once and keep heating low for a few hours after.

(6) Invest in an electric blanket for your bed.


Come back soon for more on recipes, health and saving energy this winter.

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