It was the coldest night of the year here so far: -14F/-26C out there this morning. Up north in the state it’s -36F/-38C. Admittedly we had the heat on a bit overnight, but it’s off again now.
Here are the two simplest and most cost-effective furnace-minimizing strategies I’ve employed so far this winter (besides just turning the heat down and getting used to it):
1) THE RED RUBBER “HOTTIE”:
This classic hot-water bottle sells for $3.09 at Dan & Whit’s Country Store in Norwich, VT. I bought one for myself, and one for my housemate. They are made in China and, sadly, reeked of diesel fuel or some similar petroleum product until they had been well-scrubbed. I would not advise using one as a canteen or cat-waterer. However, when filled with steaming water and wrapped in a towel, it provides a fantastic and surprisingly long-lasting heat to the bedtime footsies. In fact, the first night, the water was too hot and I had to keep moving my feet away.
2) BUBBLE WRAP:
This nifty idea came from Builditsolar.com. You spray a fine mist of water on a window, then stick a sheet of bubble wrap to it. It’s almost magic the way it stays on, and you can have fun popping a few bubbles along the way. And it still lets in light, so it’s great for bathroom windows and so forth. Allegedly the bubble wrap roughly doubles the R-value of a single-glazed window. On my old windows, I can feel the difference in insulation immediately. This was a free project for me, as I had a pile of bubblewrap saved in the basement from something. But you could <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s?initialSearch=1&url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=bubble+wrap&x=18&y=20
“>buy some cheap. And! You can use it again next year!