Friday, October 3, 2008

Preparing for the Cold Winter

Like most people, S and I are really worried about the coming winter. Oil prices are sky high and our house is not the most efficient when it comes to heat. We have been working hard at figuring out cost effective ways to heat our home so that we don't spend a fortune on oil this winter.

Our first project is to make sure that we have curtains on all of our windows. We have five very large windows and we know that by just having curtains over them at night, we will keep some of our heat inside. We also plan to put plastic over the skylight and the large windows upstairs. Our next project is to install thermostats that have timers. This way they will know when to heat the home and at which temperature because I often forget to turn the heat down during the day. The third project is to call someone to have our furnace maintained and cleaned. We used so much less oil after doing this last year.

We then plan to move Z's bedroom. Our guest room is the first bedroom on our heat zone. We stayed in that room one winter when our bedroom was under construction and let me tell was a real sauna! We figure that if we put Z in that room then we can keep the heat lower and it will be nice and toasty for him and S and I can just use an extra down comforter :)

Our last plan is to figure out a way to heat our big family room. It has many windows and cathedral ceilings with a skylight. It also has a space that opens up to our upstairs and this room is very hard to keep warm. We have a fireplace but it may as well be outside because it does not throw off that much heat. We are debating between investing in a wood stove insert which would have a blower and heat much of our downstairs or the much cheaper option of an infrared space heater. They supposedly don't get very hot (there are pictures of cats laying on them in their ads), run off your electricity and they say they heat up to 1,000 square feet. This one seems to be the popular one. If you have heard anything (good or bad) about them, please let me know.

We would welcome any other tips you have for preparing for the winter. According to the Farmers is going to be a VERY COLD one :) :(


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