Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cheap fixes


With winter headed our way, and I hear this could be a bad one, many out there are out stocking up on firewood and whatever else they burn in stoves these days. Last time I checked a cord of wood was over $100 but that was a few years ago. From what I've been told most people can burn two to three cords of wood over the winter. The reason I bring this up is that I finally got around to doing one of those jobs I've put off for quite some time. During some storms last winter I noticed a lot of air coming from a light switch near my back door. That's funny as I had installed a foam seal behind the switch cover some years back. So last week I pulled the trim boards on the outside wall and armed with $8 worth of spray foam and a tube of calk filled the gap at the top of the wall. I didn't notice any difference until last night when I ran the dryer. It got so hot in here I had to open the windows and crack the door.
My point in all this is that rather than spend hundreds of dollars on a heating bill each winter it's much cheaper to stop heat loss in the first place. Last winter I only had to run the heat a few times. With the latest fix it's 39 degrees outside and 73 degrees in here. Actually that's a little too warm for my liking.
Depending on your income the government will give you between $1500 and $6500 to weatherize your home. That covers double pane windows, added insulation, calking etc. This is a rebate of course but the savings can be substantial.

11 comments:

Randal Graves said...

You've hit the nail on the top of said nail. Unless you have zippo insulation, all you need is to run it for a few hours at night, and you'll be pretty cozy the rest of the time.

The Blog Fodder said...

People don't realize the value of insulation. Western Canadians on the Prairies HAVE to insulate but as far as I am concerned all houses should be very well insulated to keep heat in and/or out. Either way costs big dollars these days if you have to heat or cool a house with gas or electricity.

If there is government money to do it, even better. Good post.

BBC said...

My place is pretty weather tight, made it that way when I gutted it out and redid it.

Firewood here is $150.00 and up a cord, I'm sure it's more in your area. An older country home will go through 4-6 cord a year, Helen uses about three.

The trucking company is always putting out pallets, I've cut up hundreds of them the last 12 years.

an average patriot said...

We had an every audit and did everything advised and are pretty tight but it get's as cold as hell here and you need oil and heat all day every day. It is supposed to be a snowy cold winter and I like winter as long as I can come in from the cold.

BBC said...

I often wonder why with all these upgrade rebates and such that in floor heat never comes up. That shit is to die for.

Demeur said...

In floor heat is great but you need to rip up the floors to do it.

Jim if you need to keep the heat on all day then you don't have enough insulation.

The high temp here hit 58. It hit 81 inside with no heat turned on. That was all just free heat from the sun.

BBC said...

In floor heat is great but you need to rip up the floors to do it.

No shit? Who told you that?

tim said...

You should start another blog, Mr.Fix it or something like that.
Good advice never is in vane..

an average patriot said...

Demeur are you kidding I have double insulation including in the attic. When they did the energy audit they said if you change your windows we will take them. When it is zero for prolonged periods your heat is on period.

Ranch Chimp said...

Well Ya'll ... I'm exempt here ... I live in a condo/ apt, I have all electric, been in the same place for 11 year's now (share with one of my daughter's, and her boyfriend spend's weekend's here, 2 Bdr/ 2 Bth). I do have a yard and patio, so have to rake leaves from a large tree there as well. Other than that ... we have a 24/ 7/ 365 maintenance crew to handle any other need's. Even have a 12'ft swimming pool less than 15'ft from my front door they keep up with. I know ... I'm lazy, heh? :)

Ranch Chimp said...

Also weather here is somewhat moderate compared to place's like Seattle, I never been to Seattle, but been to Portland(OR) .. I lived in Toronto(Ont) Montreal(QE) London(UK) Buffalo(NY) Brooklyn (NY)and Chicago(IL) in winter month's too ... so I know cold as well.