Sunday, September 30, 2007

Surviving Bushville Part 2

Another installment in surviving Bushville.
Depending on how soon the economy will collapse and it's just a matter of time. If you don't believe it. Remember the economy goes in cycles as it has for hundreds - make that thousands of years. The problem now is that this chimp in chief has spent more than all of the U.S. presidents combined.
As you can't realistically go out buy a solar array and disconnect from the power grid you can do things to cut your energy, food and other bills to survive the coming hard times. Many of these you may know about already and some not.

1. Heating - clean or replace furnace filters and have it checked for proper operation. Even electric wall units need cleaning. Turn off the power to them and vacuum any dust accumulations. Close off any unused rooms. Set the thermostat to 65 degrees. If you use oil for heating buy it now before prices go up. If you can get an averaged price ( price set based on adding up a yearly total and dividing by 12) go for it. Check with the gas/heating oil companies for these programs. I did hear of one program where you could buy at a fixed rate if you agreed to purchase a large amount on contract but I don't remember where that was. Sorry you'll have to do some research on that one.
2. Water heater - unless you have a newer self cleaning model you'll need to purge several gallons of water from the bottom of the tank. There's a spigot at the bottom of the unit. Hook a garden hose to it and drain about 5 gallons into a sink or drain. Careful this is hot water. This gets rid of any sludge or scale that settles in the bottom of the tank. Set the heating elements to 120 degrees (most new models are already set to this). There's usually two side panels to remove. Oh, but don't forget to turn off the power before doing that. Gentle pull the insulation to the side exposing the thermostats. Set them and reverse the procedure. You may want to buy a timer for the heater if you only use hot water at specific times each day. Check with the hardware store about proper installation.
3. Lighting - When in doubt turn it off. Used to be that florescent lights used more energy at start up than if you left them on for five minutes. No more. The energy surge is minimal now so turn them off. Many compact bulbs CFL's are now on sale and some electric companies offer rebates. A 15 watt CFL bulb puts out as much light as a 60 watt incandescent. Check the package for the right usage.
4.Insulate and calk - If you don't live in an apartment or condo you can insulate your attic. It will cost a bit of money but with rising energy costs it will pay for itself quickly. Check with the local hardware about R values and installation. Fiberglass can get itchy. Calk around windows and doors. A 1/4 inch crack can equal a large amount of heat loss when you calculate the whole area of the crack. Check for air leakage around electric outlets on the outside walls. You can buy cheap gaskets that fit the outlets.
5. Food - Many areas have farmers markets this time of year. You can usually buy fresh locally grown produce, jams, nuts and many other items there. Many times you can make the seller a deal if it's late in the day. They don't want to have to pack up a lot of products to cart it back to the farm. If you've done a garage sale you know what I'm talking about. You'll be supporting local farmers and helping the earth at the same time. I'll get into more about food saving later. I'll entitle that one "How I ate during the Reagan recession with no money."

1 comment:

BlueFlame said...

Oh the economy. The Canadian dollar actually passed the US dollar sometime in the last few weeks, and right now we're lower but still close to it. What sucks though, at least for us Canadians, is that we're still paying quite a bit more for everything, even though the exchange rate is more or less equal. Books, movies, magazines and video games are especially bad for this, as the Canadian price is usually about the same as it was 5 or 10 years ago. For example, I pay $60 for a $50 video game.

Sorry, I kinda went on a rant of my own there. My family has actually taken a few of those measures lately. Thanks for the thanksgiving wishes, and in case I forget, Happy Thanksgiving to yourself this November.