Monday, October 5, 2009

In Search of Energy Savings.

We don't like wasting money on anything that we need daily, especially in regards to energy bills. Our house is 864 square feet. Having such a small house means super low energy bills in comparison to normal sized homes. However, we were still throwing money down the drain. Although we installed new windows and doors, it's starting to get a little chilly out, and there were a few known air leaks throughout the house that we just hadn't taken the time to fix. So we decided to get cracking before the real cold air hit.

Our propane floor furnace is date-stamped 1968. I found out this was only the second one ever installed in our home that was built in 1951, and it was only replaced because the original pooped out and blew black soot everywhere! It is awful at sucking up some propane. Our bill is about $150/month for propane, and $35 for electricity. That's mere pennies compared to most people, but we knew we could do better. In the summer our only cool air is our window a/c unit, and we also try to use the heat function on it as much as possible in the winter so we can avoid using the furnace. We can get by until it gets unbearably cold out by using that unit, and the most we spend on electricity is $50. But being a window unit, it meant that the window had to be open at all times. Even insulated, it still leaked in lots of cold air. Pretty counter-productive!

We took a trip to Lowes and decided to purchase this:
Isn't it cuuuute? :D It uses way less BTU's than the a/c unit, and we hoped by removing the window unit it would block out the air and regulate the temperature in the house. Afterall, we didn't just spent a good $3,000 on all new windows and doors a few months ago for nothing! And this little puppy costs about 2 months worth of propane bills, so we hoped to at least break even soon.

At night, we use a heating blanket, which keeps us plenty warm while we sleep. Also, when we had the windows installed, we somehow got a big gap between the trim and the drywall in the bathroom which was letting in tons of cold air. This is the window next to the shower stall, so it was fr-fr-freezing in the morning! So I spent yesterday afternoon caulking around the window and it instantly regulated the temperature in there. We also noticed a gap around the new doors we installed that missed some caulking, so Drew caulked up around that.

This morning Drew checked the temperature, and the house was at 69*. Lately in the mornings it has been about 50*!! So he turned on the fireplace for about 30 minutes and it sent the temperature to 73*. All we did was just a few steps that took less than 2 hours over all on a quiet Sunday afternoon, and they made such a huge difference. Though we would love to install central air, it's not in the pocketbook now. Hopefully these steps will give us some savings that we can save towards updating the furnace in the house. I can't wait to see those energy bills!

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