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Conserving Heat

Blog entry by MsDebbieP posted 11-02-2008 08:04 PM 2442 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

November 2, 2008

Last year, I put in a beautiful little propane stove (fireplace) in my living room and it was WONDERFUL. A great investment. It heats most of our downstairs and last year it probably saved us about $500 in heating bills (or there about).

The layout of my house doesn’t allow us to close off any rooms in order to save on heating bills, other than my beloved porch which gets REALLY cold in the winter and fortunately has two access doors to the rest of the house and I can keep them closed for the winter.

Last year I tossed around the idea of adding additional insulation on the windows/patio door by hanging some of my beautiful quilts (that my Mom has made me over the years). I gave it a try and I just didn’t like the look. It just made the room too dark and closed in. I decided that the cost savings just wasn’t worth it to me at this point in time.

This morning, I did hang a plastic drop cloth over the doorway to the basement. Oh my goodness. What a difference!!! The temperature change from one side of the plastic was unbelievable… and the plastic still allowed light to pass through the area so this was good! Win/win.

With the success of the plastic I am now back in the living room with renewed interest in putting up a barrier between the living room and the hallway that leads to our back door and our patio door.

I scrounged around and found a second drop cloth (used but still in good shape) and thought I’d give it a try to see what the effect would be.

The cloth fits in the room opening perfectly (a plus) and the plastic allows the light to shine through the room (a plus). I can still see outside, although it is, of course, blurry. (a half-plus).

The drawback is 1) it’s a hunk of plastic hanging in my living room and 2) it’s hard to navigate through the house.

Option:
So I’m thinking that perhaps I’ll hang a large curtain rod (it’s a big area) across the opening and put two pieces of plastic up, with the opening in the middle. this will be easier to get through than trying to find the edge.
Hmm maybe I can put one wooden rod and staple one plastic sheet to one side and the other sheet to the opposite side. This will allow me to overlap the sheets in the middle, increasing the effectiveness. A strip of duct tape along the edge will mark the “opening” making it easier to pass through it.

I also think I’ll make a little door covering for the doorway between my living room and my dining room. I can keep it open when everyone is home and when it’s just me I’ll close it off and keep the heat in this single room as much as possible.

I feel like Red Green… the room will be “handy” not “handsome” :)

-- ~ Debbie, Ontario Canada



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MsDebbieP

632 posts in 3592 days

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View Karson's profile

Karson

97 posts in 3559 days

posted 11-03-2008 05:53 AM

Hay: Home Depot and Lowes have a big curtain that closes their back door opening. That way they can drive their fork lifts through but keep the heat and cold separate.

Good luck on solving this problem. But, what do you care what others think. Get your self comfortable and worry about what others will think later.

-- Retired in Delaware

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MsDebbieP

632 posts in 3592 days

posted 11-03-2008 01:03 PM

this morning when I came downstairs the temperature was quite comfortable and we didn’t have put turn the heat on.
Perhaps it was warmer outside last night and perhaps the plastic has made a HUGE difference.
Next—I’m going to cover the opening to our stairs. Pretty soon people will know my house—it will be the one wrapped all in plastic haha

-- ~ Debbie, Ontario Canada

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MsDebbieP

632 posts in 3592 days

posted 11-03-2008 07:57 PM

wow.. it’s a little windy today and when a gust of wind comes through the plastic curtain looks like it is sitting outside!! (well, not that bad but it does move about) So I’m thinking that this “fix it” is really going to make a difference

-- ~ Debbie, Ontario Canada

View Bill's profile

Bill

131 posts in 3579 days

posted 11-03-2008 08:01 PM

A nice discovery MsDebbie. Since you do some woodworking, how about making some frames that would hold the plastic and fit inside of your windows? They could be inserted in the window box, held in with something temporary like velcro, and be see through. The plastic would be see through, and you could remove them when you wanted.

Another option I have thought of for a few of my windows that do not open is to make a frame, with a glass insert. The glass could be then decorated with stain glass coloring, and you would have a nice design. You could remove it when you wanted, and yet enjoy the design year around. If make several and have holiday themes if you want.

Good luck on the “house warming”.

-- Bill - Turlock, Ca. - http://www.brookswoodworks.com

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MsDebbieP

632 posts in 3592 days

posted 11-03-2008 11:00 PM

thanks Bill
those are great ideas!

-- ~ Debbie, Ontario Canada

View dustygirl's profile

dustygirl

321 posts in 3366 days

posted 11-09-2008 09:36 PM

Hi MsD. We just finished putting that platic wrap that you shrink with a hairdryer around the door and windows in the sun room.What a huge difference it has made.It keeps the wind out totally and our propane fireplace barely has to be turned on to heat the room now.Maybe you could try that on your door and windows.I can also see very clearly through it.

-- Dustygirl Hastings,Ont. Life is too short to sit around doing nothing

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MsDebbieP

632 posts in 3592 days

posted 11-09-2008 09:56 PM

thanks D-girl. It’s on our list to do.. I just never remember to buy the stuff when I’m shopping.

I can’t believe the difference the barriers make. In the mornings it is warmer in this room than the rest of the downstairs and it certainly wasn’t like that last year.

-- ~ Debbie, Ontario Canada

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dustygirl

321 posts in 3366 days

posted 11-09-2008 10:11 PM

It’s amazing the difference a little plastic here and there makes in keeping out the wind and cold.

-- Dustygirl Hastings,Ont. Life is too short to sit around doing nothing

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

123 posts in 3588 days

posted 11-09-2008 10:29 PM

Have you seen these spring tension rods?

They make it easy to put up & take down.

-- ** Dick, & Barb Cain *************** http://lumberjocks.com/jocks/Chipncut

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MsDebbieP

632 posts in 3592 days

posted 11-09-2008 10:50 PM

that’s what Rick suggested that we use. The first space I was going to use is quite large so i don’t think they would work there, but now that I’ve moved it around the corner I think it should work just fine. I’ll have to look for them – when I’m out shopping and looking for the window barriers!!

If I used the tension bars I might even be able to put up a quilt so it would look pretty. I don’t really need the sunlight to pass through it now, based on its location.
If it would hold a quilt up there… that would be great.

-- ~ Debbie, Ontario Canada

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MsDebbieP

632 posts in 3592 days

posted 04-09-2009 03:13 PM

I took down the plastic a couple of weeks ago – prior to our last bout of winter arriving.
I’m not sure exactly how much $$ we saved but we have noticed that with the plastic down we have to run the fireplace a LOT longer to keep it warm in here. So that must have been some savings.
We definitely took it down too early. We missed our cozy warmth this past week.

-- ~ Debbie, Ontario Canada

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