Winter House help - low cost / no cost? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 5 Old 09-30-2013, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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I know there are several threads going about prepping for winter, but didn't want to hyjack them with my questions.


We moved into a fixer-upper in January of this year. It's set up for central air & heat, but it was gutted before we bought it & we haven't had funds to replace the system. We live in South Central Texas, so it doesn't get too cold here most of the time, but it can egt below freezing at night & is often windy. Last winter we got by with 2 small spaceheaters {electric} and lots of baking from the gas stove & oven plus heavy blankets on the beds. But our bill was $300+ a month from the space heaters, and it was never really warm in the house except on warm afternoons, even with dressing warmly. This winter I simply can't afford bills that high - my income has dropped even further :( . Plus I think this winter might be colder too which would be worse.


I know the windows and sliding glass door leak air like a sieve, and it was an issue last winter. I've seen the window kits to put plastic on the windows, but they are pretty costly to do all our windows & the sliding glass door honestly. Is there a cheaper way to do plastic on the windows?


I do have my eye on a gadget to reclaim some of the dryer heat - just waiting until I have enough swagbucks giftcards to be able to afford it. We do at least 1 load of laundry a day so that would help a lot especially if I run it at night. But the laundry room is on the other end of the house from the bedrooms, so not sure how much heat I can get back there. I was thinking of setting up my box fan to push the warm air to the back of the house - has anyone done that?


Any other ideas? I need to check into the local weatherization program, but it's about a year wait & I am not sure we qualify because of issues with the house {possibly foundation problems}.

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#2 of 5 Old 10-01-2013, 10:52 AM
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Heavy curtains in front of the windows can help a lot. Buy them used to save $$. Ours would keep the room tolerably warm while the ice piled up on the inside of the windows.

Also, if you can figure out where exactly it's leaking you might be able to caulk around the window or apply foam strips to stop the leaks.

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#3 of 5 Old 10-02-2013, 12:12 AM
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I bought a bunch of those white fleece throws and modified them into winter curtains.  Seem to make a difference and they're only $5 each.  Each window need only one and because they're white they let in enough light.  I also got some light blue ones for my bathroom, which is unheated, northwest facing and has 3 windows (sounds kinda crazy, but I know they did it for the mountain view).  I think I got them fro Ikea for only $4 each.  You don't have to do this for those windows facing south, southwest and west, as you want sunlight to come in as much as possible.

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#4 of 5 Old 10-02-2013, 03:55 AM
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i think the idea of the fleece throw will work. but i also live in central texas and know it gets cold and windy in the winter. to find those pesky leaks get a candle and light it and bring it to the windows to see where the leaks are then caulk them as best you can. i live in a trailer lots of leaks so this yr i'm starting to save a bit of money so i can get a can of caulking to get some of these leaks. i use one space heater only runs when we are home and it is very cold for the first hr or so we are home. House coats are a gift we all get for christmas. i have a box fan at one end of the house to help move as much heat to the other side of the house. i alo have another fan at the other end of the house so the heat from the kitchen keeps moving also. we hung up curtains through the house we close rooms off as we need in the winter. (this trailer has no doors to close off rooms)slippers are also needed so feet stay warm. last yr i also used a hot water bottle to warm beds up before bedtime instead of electric blankets.

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#5 of 5 Old 10-02-2013, 03:59 AM
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Check/replace weather striping around doors, buy or sew draft blockers, caulk around window frames and any other crack where cold air might enter, close off rooms that are rarely used. Instead of putting plastic over windows (I hate it, because I can't open them to let fresh air in on nice days) I got a huge roll of Reflectix (its like bubble wrap + tinfoil) for like $25 and cut it to size for the windows. It does an awesome job keeping the heat in, but I can take it down easily to let in sunlight or fresh air. Sometimes I also hang blankets over the windows. Rugs on wood/tile floors, Hot water bottles in bed at night, or an electric blanket. 

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