I just love those WWII posters! It's almost November and it’s quite cold here already. We still have some nicer fall days but when the wind blows it’s carrying the bone chilling winter wind right on in. I've mentioned it before but my house is far from snug. Even though it’s small it’s poorly insulated and very drafty. The biggest windows in the house face the north and when the cold north wind blows it gets very unpleasant. Even though we follow our tips to stay warmer in the winter we still have to do more than that to beat the draftiness.
This is where we take a page out of the pioneers’ book. They built small cozy houses here for very specific reasons. One of them being they didn't have many rooms to heat, usually just one large room, occasionally 2. When the cold wind starts blowing in we take to that rule and cozy up! I close off the 2 bedrooms that are on the north side of the house and bring anything needed into the living room and our bedroom (which is on the south side). Instead of trying to heat up my whole house we now only have to heat the main room and the main bedroom where we will do most of our activities. Does that mean we can’t go into the other rooms? Of course not! But I won’t be fighting with the wind to try and keep them heated when they aren't really needed.
Not only is this nice on your heating bill, it’s nice on your family life. We feel closer and tend to do more activities when we aren't all off in separate rooms. As a bonus my house is staying cleaner since it’s easier to only have to clean a few rooms!
We switched to this new method in the middle of October. Here is our electricity (our home is 100% electric) over the last 3 months.
The green bar is our overall electricity the yellow bars are our heaters (which are electric and on a separate meter). The red, black, and blue lines are for the high, average, and low temps respectively We only used heat for half of the month of September and October before we turned the heaters off and tried our new method. Since we purchased the infrared heater it has been very cold (under 30 degrees) and it has been running constantly. But you can see on this chart that our electric overall (the green bar) has not gone up because of this heater, in fact it's gone down!
This didn't solve the problem of draftiness in the main living room, which has large windows that also face the north. So I sealed around the windows and the front door (which isn't used) to prevent the drafts from the north from making their way in.
Something else we did was ditch the electric cove heating. Unless you live in an area where there is never wind, don’t ever put in cove heating. It’s expensive to run and inefficient. Thanks to allergies we aren't going to be able to run the wood stove this year so instead we purchased one of those infrared heaters. So far it’s been working very well and we are impressed that it can heat our entire house.
So if you are like us and fight with winter draftiness you might want to try these things:
- Cozy up. Condense down to only the space you really need.
- Block the drafts as much as possible.
- Make sure you are using the right kind of heating for your house and your area.
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