How to Save Money in the Winter and Cheaply Winterizing Your House

What to do to properly winterize your house in the winter:

  • Watch out for humidity in cold weather.. Far better to use a heater than boil water for that reason.. Humidity will condense on cold outer walls and cause mold, which will potentially cause health problems. I would instead of using a shower to heat, I would suggest using a shower fan (which should always exhaust OUTSIDE the house, not into the attic) and also cracking open a window to provide make up air..
  • If you want ventilation year round while saving energy one of te best things you can get is called a heat recovery ventilator.. They will let you ventilate in the winter without losing a lot of heat..
  • Now when its winter and the humidity is 20% (really, really low) and the air in your house is bone dry, sure, add some humidity.. But more often than not its not that cold and dry and also people often tend to overdo things.. Some of the suggestions are a recipe for problems..
  • Exhausting a gas dryer indoors could be very dangerous of course because of oxygen depletion/carbon monoxide poisoning.. But even with an electric dryer (unless that attachment is in reality a heat exchanger.. ) sounds like bad bad advice if somebody does not heat enough.. (likely if they are extremely frugal) Because it WILL cause mold..
  • To conserve heat, I would suggest taking baths instead of showers and then letting the tub stay full as a radiator..
  • Mold can make people really, really sick. Humidity+paper coated gypsum wallboard (or even dust) as in inside walls) will grow mold.. and the more humid, the worse for your health that mold is likely to be.. there is a direct nonlinear (exponential) relationship between the two..
  • A heat recovery ventilator is good for ventilating without using too much heat… Which is essential in keeping humidity below the dew point (and the level where mold starts growing around 65% RH)

Ideas to save money in Winter Weather:

  • Wear warm clothes – socks, pj pants, a thick sweater. Anything to keep the warmth in. Sometimes either fingerless gloves when at the computer.
  • Keep the blinds open on those south facing windows starting in the morning. Close them at night. Our south-facing room gets the most sunlight and is almost always way warmer than the rest of the apartment.
  • If the air is cold and dry, you can quickly warm up a room by using a humidifier or simply boiling a pot of water. Humidity seems to hold heat better than dry air does and it makes a huge difference. I like to boil a pot of water with a splash of artificial vanilla (the kind you use in cookies) and a pinch of cinnamon to make the house smell good. In the past I’ve used apple peels after making pie or orange peels. It’s easy and smells good.
  • Candles put off a tiny bit of heat! I love candles and they are pretty cheap. Dont get the cheap cheap kind, because they don’t last long. Get the mid-to-low priced ones. They usually smell good and last a few days total. DONT LEAVE THEM UNATTENDED! Things can overheat or pets can get into them! My friend has a long hair cat that loves to rub up against the candles, he’s always getting singed!
  • Drink tea/coffee all day long! Lots of extra water is good for you and the warm drink defrosts you from the inside.
  • During a few freezing cold weeks when our landlord couldn’t seem to keep the heat working, I would bundle up in warm clothes and blankets, with a heating pad on my shoulders, my laptop on my lap and a cup of tea nearby.
  • We have blankets in every single room of the house! I’ve usually got a throw draped over me while playing games, reading, doing homework, etc. Sometimes I’ll put a blanket on my lap with a pillow on top of that to keep all of my heat on me.
  • Our electric dryer has an attachment that can be used to redirect the heat back into the apartment instead of outside. It cost a few bucks and works really well for getting some extra heat and moisture in that part of the apartment.
  • Shower! When taking a shower, we leave the bathroom door open. Once again, the steam travels into the rest of the house and spreads the humidity we need.
  • Baking/cooking at home. This one is a no brainer and can save you money in the long run.
  • I haven’t done this, but those little draft socks for the bottom of doors and windows can probably save some energy. Also, covering and/or sealing windows and doors can probably make a huge difference. This is on my to-do list.
  • We have a lot of pets, so we have to keep the whole place moderately warm, instead of heating just ourselves. If you don’t then you can keep your heat as low as 55 or 60 and keep a warm water bottle/heating/pad/blanket/scarf/think socks/mittens with you at all times.
  • Have people over! Having lots of warm bodies around gets the place super warm!

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