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Save Money This Winter By Cutting Heating Bills & Lowering Costs

Mac Slavo
September 14th, 2019
SHTFplan.com
Comments (43)

Tackling your heating bill this winter is one way to save money and there are some easy ways to do it!  Lowering your heating costs can help you by having a little more disposable income to use for preps or to buy precious metals, or to stash away in a “rainy day fund.”

The truth is, it won’t hurt any of us to learn to live more frugally. Some don’t have a choice depending on their financial situation, but if you haven’t thought of trying to reduce your heating costs, you should! I have come to view it as almost a challenge.  I try to beat last year’s cost (compared by month) this year.  Turning it into a challenge has really helped, but do what works for you!

1. Lower the Thermostat
You can save up to 3% on your heating bill per degree lowered over a 24 hour period (or about 1 percent per 8 hours). During the winter months, we keep our thermostat set at 67 during the day and 60 at night.  Play around with the temperatures to find something that works for your family. Generally, you’ll want it warmer at night if you have little kids. But just turning it down some saves us a lot of money and you can just toss an extra blanket on the bed.

2. Keep vents and radiators clear

Check and make sure your vents are not blocked by rugs or furniture, or that you don’t have any large objects in front of your radiator. This allows the air to circulate freely and you to get the full benefit of the warm air and put less strain on your furnace. This is also safer!

3. Heat Your Home With Wood

Using a woodburning stove is a lot cheaper than using electricity or propane to heat your home.  While this may not be an option for everyone, it is definitely something to consider if you can pull it off.  A woodburning stove can be a sizeable investment depending on how big of a stove you will need, but it’s nice to have when the power goes out and there’s nothing like the instant warmth it provides.  Back up heat will be invaluable in an emergency and worth the upfront costs! Make sure you able to cut your own firewood, because if you have to buy it, costs could be pretty high depending on where you live and it won’t save you any money.

4. Check For Leaks and Seal Them

Your house leaks warm air, but if you find and seal most of these leaks, you can save between 10-20% on your heating bill this winter. To detect leaks, you should wait until it is cold outside. You will probably need at least a 30-degree difference in the indoor/outdoor temperatures to easily notice the difference. Look for leaks in common areas such as around doors, windows, near the attic, where wires and cables enter your house, and around electrical outlets. Seal all the gaps around any pipes, wires, vents or other openings with caulk or weather stripping.

5. Use a Humidifier

Using a humidifier can reduce your heating costs since moist air retains heat better than dry air. There are other benefits to using a humidifier. They help reduce static electricity, dry skin, and make it easier to breathe. A cast iron teapot placed on a wood-burning stove can accomplish this easily! Just fill it with water and let your stove’s heat do the work!

Hopefully, these tips will help you save money this winter on your heating bills!

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Author: Mac Slavo
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Date: September 14th, 2019
Website: www.SHTFplan.com

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43 Comments...

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  1. Clown World says:

    Although planned-overs can be cooked in the fireplace, using the (state utilities) oven also heats the house.

    This is optional in zone 9, yet we start to smell wood fires, when the temp hits 70F!

    My window is (at least) cracked open for ventilation, unless there is frost or rain blowing in.

    But, solar dehydrators have been used for forced air heating, when off grid. Similar water heaters are shown to work in snow, but imho require bright sunlight.

  2. rellik says:

    Just info for you guys that are considering wood heat.
    I heated homes with a wood stove for 20 years.
    I even had one on my sailboat( but I switched to diesel).
    I don’t know of too many places that allow wood stoves
    anymore as the US EPA has pretty much killed them,
    However if you manage to pull it off make sure you get a wood stove that runs on air from outside the home, it makes a world of difference.
    I used to go through 3 cords of wood( fir, alder, and vine maple) per winter heating 16,000 cubic feet in the mountains 32 miles east of Seattle. I kept the central heating system at 55 degrees. Wood was used to keep us at more normal temps when the home was occupied.
    Definitely keep a tea pot on the stove! Even in a place where we got 100 inches of Precipitation per year( not counting the many feet of snow we would get) the house air would get pretty dry in winter.
    Good luck!

    • Genius says:

      At the house we’ve been using a woodstove for 7 years now. Every year I hate firewood more and more. What a backbreaking, dirty, bug infested, mutherfooker of a way to heat (although it works good). I’m thinking very seriously of getting a pellet stove instead. Ya I can’t cook on it but fook.. so much easier and cleaner! Just forklift that pallet of bags in the truck and yer on yer way. Fook chainsaws and breaking your back and shit all over the place. I wish I could convert the stove we have now to pellets, it has an oven and huge cooktop. We use about 4 cords a year and it takes a shitload of room. I have backup power that will run a pellet stove no problem too.

      • rellik says:

        Gen,
        Pellet stoves to cook on are out there
        ht tps://www.pertinger.com/en/heating-stoves/heating-stoves-fixed-grill/19-5.html
        I know lot of older people that gave up on the yearly chore of chopping wood and went to pellets. If you can power it through loss of electricity and have a good source of pellets GO for it!

        The yearly wood pile was one of many reasons I moved to Hawaii instead of Alaska. No heating or A/C needed, at least where I’m at. Still lots of bugs though.
        If I do want a wood fire( for cooking) I cut down or trim one of my trees.

        • Genius says:

          I looked at the site and they look very pricey (they don’t list prices). Stainless steel would stick out like a dick in a disney movie too lol. Propane is cheap enough here though. I found a 50K BTU unit with a 130lb. hopper for 1200 that looks like what I need. Ya my days of cutting wood are coming to an end. The stove I looked at will go 3.5 days on a hopper full, that’s what I’m talkin bout! I won’t get one this year (spent my extra cash on a side by side) but next year I have a TON of work (union job with shitloads of OT 🙂 ) You might like a side by side where you are, they are great! Go anywhere, low fuel use, lot’s of utility!

          Aloha!

    • Anonymous says:

      .
      I don’t know of too many places that allow wood stoves

      I dont know of any that dont?
      Could that be a local perspective?

      However if you manage to pull it off make sure you get a wood stove that runs on air from outside the home, it makes a world of difference.

      Uh yeah its called building code.

      • Genius says:

        We can have inside air woodstoves. WTF is building code? I would rather have outside air intake but hey, we don’t live in a commie state lol.

        • Anonymous says:

          I dont live in a hippie commie failed state either but since im on a code rant…get a carbon monoxide detector while you’re at it.
          Oh fuk ive gone and done it now.
          Not to mention your homeowners aint gonna pay for a fire resulting from a jacklegged woodburner install.

          • Genius says:

            I know how to install a woodstove. It is probably above code requirements. Your talking about idiots installing shit, I am NOT an idiot. In fact I bet my surround is waaayyyy above code lol.

            • Anonymous says:

              I will take your word for it but you’re giving the insurance company a loophole if you didnt get it inspected.
              They can go dickhead real quick what with all the hurricane shit they’re paying on etc…

          • Anonymous says:

            Is that that the wierdest harvest moon ever or what?
            Wish the ol lady would drag her ass outta walmart ..i wouldn’t mind doing some howling later on lol

          • Clown World says:

            If you’ve ever seen their pics or read the comments, their inspector is looking for fake reasons not to pay.

            Maybe, your own private bond?

            Or, never expect anything from these conniving rip-off artists.

            One of the reasons why I would tell people not to get too deep into vices, why you should value your decorum and honor, is these petty bureau-rats should always be viewed through the lens of identity politics. Be proud, and thorough, and how are they tolerable. You, yourself, are the first thing that should be gentrified.

            “I dont live in a hippie commie failed state…”

            This property is grandfathered, in one.

            Here, in the other South Africa, the social undesirables will put *you in *their rightful place. You better believe it. That will be your claims agent.

            Stay sharp, as though no help is coming — at least, not the kind of help you would want.

    • Anonymous says:

      Radiant floor heat is the shiite .
      If you know how to run pex its easy peasy.
      Very efficient.

      • Genius says:

        Pex? So your using a circulating heated liquid system? What heats that liquid? Gas? Electric? I have installed electric systems and they are nice but are NOT efficient! Besides, do you feel like ripping all your flooring up to do it? We heat a 4 bedroom 2 bath house with wood and use 4 cords a year and temps get down to -15. My average power bill is 40 bucks! I have a 1kw solar grid tie and that’s it. Propane kitchen stove and water heater. Electric clothes dryer. My energy costs are shit except firewood. Same thing applies to solar circulating water heat, VERY inefficient! You can wire solar electric panels directly to an electric water heater and have 10X more efficiency.

  3. asshat says:

    ok i will mention insulate your house. go to depot and buy the canned spray foam. go through your house and fill all gaps and cracks. $3.76 a can. it goes far cus it expands when sprayed. if you make your house tight heat wont leave which means you heat wont kick on as often and you will consume less fuel. less fuel means savings. forget wood stoves and all the little heaters. start with whats cheap. there is cheap window insulating kits too. this is the best bang for the buck. woodstoves are expensive and have to be installed to code plus homeowners insurance goes up. unless you have access to lot of fire wood and time to split it to fit on your stove. oh and a strong back to do it. its not worth your time. around here a proper stove installed will cost 5k you will need a chainsaw a splitting ax or log splitting machine. those run on gas and oil. so you see its not a great option. id rather upgrade the furnace to a more efficient one. only way id consider a wood stove is if i had the wooded land tools and time. for me id have to buy cord wood and its around $250 a cord. not worth the headaches stacking wood to have to lug it in and keep the fire going. id rather set it and forget it.

  4. grandee says:

    Want more moisture in that dry winter air?

    Put a shower rod at the top of a doorway. Hang your dresses up to dry (it’s all this girl wears). Or jeans and pants.

    Get a wooden folding clothes rack and hang your t-shirts, socks, and undies there.

    Your house will smell good and be moist and you will save about $50 a month on the electric bill. 🙂

  5. bb in GA says:

    If you are running a heat pump during winter with electric resistance heaters as your back-up heat source, I think the set back to 60F from 67F might not be a good idea:

    1.) In the morning when the temp difference is usually maximum, you will be firing up the vapor compression part of the system at its lowest efficiency to run for a relatively long time.

    2.) On most systems I am familiar with, when the temp differential between the Room and the Thermostat setting is greater than 2 degrees, the back-up heating system is engaged. This will running resistance heat (COP = 1) in parallel with your vapor comp machine until you get the room up to about 65F.

    You would have to run the numbers for your system, but you might be eating up any savings you hoped to gain from the set back.

    <bb

    • Genius says:

      Heat pumps are the biggest piece of shit EVER! What a joke they are. The strips lose efficiency and use a shit ton of power. Might as well get some shitty baseboard heaters too. Electric heating is the WORST by far! Go with propane or gas or wood. If I were buying a house with electric heating I would deduct the price of adding a good system off the top lol.

      • reper slepr says:

        Got an American Standard heat pump ( made by Trane). Its the only ones I’ll install. We run it most times when the weather is moderate in the winter and does a good job. I don’t have the electrical second stage heater package in the airhandler. I have a hot water coil in its place where if the temps in the house fall below the T-stats set point, it shuts the outdoor condenser off and redirects the call for heat to my cast iron oil fired boiler which sends hot water through the coil and the air handler sends the warm air through the ductwork. Here in Maryland our home heating fuel is taxed. Off road diesel is not. So I get the off road diesel for my 500 gal. tank which is for my tractor use and heat.

        • Genius says:

          I forgot all about oil heaters. I don’t know anyone that has one around here. All the places I have lived that had heat pumps probably had the cheapest pos they could find. All I remember is they didn’t heat worth a damm and drove my power bill sky high. We have a central propane furnace but never use it. I may have it serviced and use it this winter till I get a pellet stove. Propane is about 2 bucks a gallon here so not too bad. 4 cords of wood is about 800 bux which would buy a lot of propane.

          • reper slepr says:

            Well you are right on most of what you spoke of. Those strip heaters ain’t worth a damn and running they will spin that electric meter like a top. Those outdoor units will eventually call for defrost mode to melt the ice off the fins. At that point the system goes in Air Conditioning!, the fan on the outside stops which allows the fins to heat up and melt the frost and the entire time its in AC defrosting, that electric strip heater is glowing and spinning that meter wheel. Once the coil is cleared then the unit will switch over back into heat. And that’s why I put a hot water coil in my airhandler. Besides the heat that boiler also provides me with my domestic hot water, bath etc.

            • bb in GA says:

              @rs

              While it is technically true, that during the HP defrost mode the 4 way valve shifts you into AC mode, you will notice that the outside coil fan is not running. That means not much heat is being rejected through the outside coil.

              The hot compressed refrigerant is forced through the coil to melt the ice and depending how long the cycle is, some is condensed and eventually sent to the evaporator to cool the air stream, but precious little. The Strip heaters are primarily on just to make up the heat not produced by the vapor comp part of the machine. The energy investment in the defrost mode is recovered by the increased efficiency of the now de-iced outside coil.

              Defrost mode cycles on the less expensive HPs are controlled by a timer measuring compressor ON time. The defrost cycle happens whether it is needed or not. Even this crude method is still more efficient in the long run. The higher $ models have a feedback system that only calls for defrost when it is actually needed.

              HPs have their place and they do a great job properly applied at being an efficient use of the heating/cooling dollar.

              <bb

          • reper slepr says:

            There are times here when we get some nasty ice storms. When we do I usually just switch the thermostat over to boiler bring the boiler up as the heat pump condenser outside gets encased in ice. After the storm passes then I hose it down to loosen up the ice and clean it up cause it can tear up the fan blades. Depending on the temp outside I switch back and forth between boiler and HP.

      • bb in GA says:

        @Genius

        I have about 40 years experience w/ HPs. As an engineer I have collected a lot of data on same.

        In our climate (N GA) they work very well. The operating economics of competing heating/cooling systems hinge on relative prices of fuel sources, but they are a clear winner when natural gas is not available in most cases I have seen.

        If the total energy required for heating and cooling is reasonably close (I use about 1 kwh/DD htg and 2 kwh/DD cooling given an average 3000 DD heating season and 1800 DD cooling) they size out real well for the job.

        If you get a climate like Minnesota where the cooling load is a much smaller fraction of the heating load it is likely not as good of a fit.

        Another factor in extremely cold climates is that the COP falls off at lower temps. Some of the newer technology in HPs might address that.

        I haven’t experienced strip heaters losing efficiency. If you can get air through them (not clogged with dust/debris – it is called maintenance here in GA) they perform just fine because they are so simple.

        Of course their COP = 1 so you prefer to have them run as little as possible when you can have a machine that has a COP > 2.5 carry the ball for you.

        Sorry your experience is not so great.

        <bb

  6. Anonymous says:

    Dual cigarette lighter plug in
    Two fully charged battery backups
    4or 5 charging cords and my battery is going dead.
    I have bought expensive and cheap charging cords and anint none of them worth a shit for nothing.
    They dont last for shit.

    Btw farmers almanac calling for coldest winter in 20 years.
    I guess im done
    By genius.

  7. Anonymous says:

    A year or so back there was a thread on here about storms ,tornados whatever.
    One of the regs that knows about power plants commented that the utility companies were no longer clearing the power lines like they used to.
    At the time that was a true statement for my area as well.
    Thats no longer true.
    I dont know what changed but they are now jobbing that task out to the big tree trimming companies.
    Back in early summer i got a flyer on my door that x tree company would be trimming the trees along the road where i live and if i had any questions there was a number to call.
    So i called and ask what they were going to do with all that wood.
    Long story short i got two cords deliverd free of charge already cut up into 16″ logs.
    All i had to do was split it.
    They might have felt sorry for me idk.
    But others have been getting it too.
    Some of it is good hard wood and some is pulp wood but hey beggars cant be chosers.
    That would never have happened back when the utility company was doing it.
    This is going to send some on here into a frenzy but thats the breaks.
    The company cutting the trees is a Christian Company and theres some refrence to that fact on the side of their trucks.
    Either way i was glad to get it and they said if i needed more just let them know.
    You never know till you try.

  8. Happy Free Man says:

    If you really want to cut all your bills, don’t get married. If you are married and you have issues with your wife then toss her out before your get even bigger bills. Women generally are a huge dead financial weight and resource drain on men. That’s not including all the hassles and drama and BS they bring. Every economic and financial statistic from both private sector and public sector institutions prove it, and the courts make sure it stays that way. The same statistics shows being married causes a decline in the standard of living and quality of life for men. Ten years of marriage is the magic number in most states where the wife is entitled to a big percentage of the husband’s pension, in addition to a big chunk of spousal support there is child support if you have a kid. I dodged that one, luckily I don’t have to do all that. If you are not married, don’t do it, you’ll be glad you didn’t when you realize you dodged a lifetime of useless expenses and inevitable unnecessary grief. If you have been married less that 10 years take advantage of the window of time you have left and get out of it while the gettin’ is good. Your life will definitely get better. If you have been married longer than 10 years and you have kids then sorry, you are a loser. I saw a great bumper sticker, it said “ No matter how pretty she is, somebody, somewhere, for some reason, is tired of her shit.”

  9. Anonymous says:

    If youre skeered you oughta say youre skeered….

  10. Anonymous says:

    Good to see yuh repr

  11. If you want to heat a house with a pellet stove and you have more than a thousand square feet (especially more than one story) you will need the same amount of btus as your current furnace/heating unit. This generally means a large btu pellet stove over 100,000 btus. Don’t go with 30 or 50 thousand btu pellet stove or you will be cold and hafta use supplemental heat. Experience says you will be disappointed. Generally speaking, unless you live in a small compact house, pellet stoves suck.

  12. The Deplorable Renegade says:

    I’ve got a woodstove in the cabin along with central heat powered by propane. That’s used more than the woodstove is. All the relatives have propane powered central heat along with either a woodstove or an insert in the fireplace. The younger members of the family do the woodchopping for us old folks. I might look into that pellet stove. But if it won’t work for a 3000 sq. ft. cabin then forget it. Some days/nights I’ll enjoy a nice fire in the stove. Got 8 cords of firewood on hand with a ‘lifetime reserve supply’ all around me, lol.

  13. Rock Roller says:

    I used to heat with wood, but my currant house dosent have a wood stove. Maybe next year. I still save a fortune using a Buddy propane heater, and refill the green canisters myself cheap from a 5lb propane bottle with an adapter . Or you could get another adapter and run the buddy straight from a 5 lb propane cylinder,but I don’t want a 5lb jug (bomb) inside the house. Also I have a big terra cotta flower pot heater I made, on a sturdy table on pavers away from any possible combustibles…it uses tea candles, for about $4.00 a week I can burn it almost non stop and it puts out a considerable amount of heat. The main furnace is electric, I only fire it up occasionally and use more efficient small plug in ceramic electric or infra red heaters instead. Using these three items instead of the furnace much means I spend around $50. a month to heat a three bedroom house as opposed to the $300.or more a month it would cost using just the electric furnace. Plus its nice to know you have a backup plan if the power goes out, which it did for a few days last winter. I do miss my former house that was partially built into the side of a hill though, that was the most efficient place to heat or cool ever.

  14. Anonymous says:

    DID YOU KNOW; you can save 10% on your heating bill by recycling your carbon emissions?

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