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How do I retain the heat in my house?

I am renting an end unit condo that I'm pretty sure has very poor windows. We keep our heat between 70-73 and it's ALWAYS cold in here, it feels like it never gets warm. If I owned this place I would install a pellet stove and put new windows in, but I can't.

Our electric bill this month was $650. I want to cry. Luckily we can afford to pay it, but who wants to pay that much A MONTH!?! Our money is seriously just flying right out the windows.

I decided to turn the heat down to 65 and try to deal with freezing my butt off so our bill won't be as high next month. But can anyone think of any creative ways to try to keep the heat in the house?

As is, we try to boil a large pot of water on the stove, keep the curtains closed to try to keep out drafts. I'm trying to avoid space heaters because I'm really nervous about fires but what the heck else can I do!?!

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Answer Question

Asked by Namaste17 at 10:44 AM on Jan. 29, 2011 in Home & Garden

Level 24 (20,091 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • You can cover your windows with plastic. They make shrink plastic that you apply with a blow dryer, or if in need of a quick fix, simply duct tape plastic or even a garbage bag to your window. (I know it sounds bad, but if that's all you've got, it works). Also, we used to hang blankets over windows to cut down on drafts. Also, hot water vaporizers or humidifiers work. They also have little fans that put off heat. (They are not as bad as a space heater). However, my husband did buy an electric Sunbeam heater last year, and it actually heats up the living room so much that the heat doesn't even need to kick on. Also, it does have a timer so that it shuts off automatically.

    Answer by m-avi at 10:48 AM on Jan. 29, 2011

  • Maybe I can pick up a a humidifier at home depot or something. I have to be careful because our condo rules forbid us from hanging anything in the windows, and I will see if I can find some shrink wrap.

    Comment by Namaste17 (original poster) at 10:52 AM on Jan. 29, 2011

  • I was going to suggest the shrink wrap, too. Since your condo allows the drapes that you already have there, I wonder if you can rig up something on the inside of the room between the drapes and the room, since the drapes aren't doing the job. When you use your oven, leave it ajar to bring the remaining heat into the room. Rugs on the floors can help insulate. $650 is a lot. Also close off any rooms you aren't using. We leave some heat on in those rooms so pipes won't freeze.

    Answer by Bmat at 11:00 AM on Jan. 29, 2011

  • thanks for the advise, our entire condo is already fully carpeted. I can not imagine what it would be like if we had hard wood floors!!! I will try also try the oven thing..... maybe if I do all of these thing it will bring down our bill a couple hundred dollars. Sad that even then it will still be high. UGH!

    Comment by Namaste17 (original poster) at 11:04 AM on Jan. 29, 2011

  • Anything that gives off heat will help. So crockpots cooking all day. Taking the clothes out of the dryer while they are still hot rather than letting the dryer cool them down. Here's one that may be too much, but I do it when it's cold, I let the hot water I cook pasta in stay in the pot after I've removed the pasta. The heat and humidity from the water adds some... heat and humidity.

    Answer by Bmat at 11:36 AM on Jan. 29, 2011

  • Definitely plastic on the windows. As long as you stick with the clear stuff, no one will have any clue it's there. We use it every winter in one of our bedrooms. As long as all the drafts are on the inside of the frame, it will work wonders. If the drafts are coming around the outside of the frame, you either need to cover all the way around and tape it to the wall, or get some clear silicone filler and pipe that around the windows (like caulk, but clear and you don't need a caulk gun). Also complaining to your landlord may help, maybe he'll get new windows or come caulk them or something for you.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:47 AM on Jan. 29, 2011

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