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View Diary: What "60 Minutes" Didn't Tell You About Wilmington, Ohio (41 comments)

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  •  I know it would help here in No. CA (5+ / 0-)

    My utility bills are out of sight, especially in the winter.  I own a 2400 sq ft house with single pane windows and my power bill is almost $500/mo.  Most of that is heat being lost thru the windows.  My summer bill is about half.  I don't have AC but I use fans alot.  The cost of gas and electricity is out of this world.  Before Bush, my monthly power bill was $120 or so.  Gas was pretty cheap.  So the difference between summer and winter was pretty small.  Now my gas is $250/mo in the winter and less than $75 in the summer(hot water only). I got to believe others have had similar experiences.  I'd love to get double pane windows and maybe more insulation in the attic, but I sure can't afford to do it with unemployment.

    "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength", George Orwell, "1984" -7.63 -5.95

    by dangoch on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 11:57:03 PM PST

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    •  put up curtains (0+ / 0-)

      Sew them yourself and save money. The heavier the fabric, the better.

      Put up curtains in the interior doorways too, and only heat the room you're occupying.

      I also think it's somewhat silly to expect fuel prices to remain flat over an 8 year span.

    •  I May Be Insensitive, But,... (0+ / 0-)

      If you can afford to buy a 2400 sq. ft. house, you should be able to afford to winterize it yourself.

      I only have 1350 sq. ft. and I would love to have someone make me a gift of new windows, doors, and insulation.  It would cut down on my A/C bills a lot.

      •  Depends on what kind of house it is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snootless, Albatross

        For instance, he could have bought a 2400-sq. ft. house that was old and nearly unlivable, as a fixer-upper.  That wouldn't necessarily take a lot of money.

      •  Older Houses (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nonpartisan, snootless

        aare very hard to heat. Take it from me, I've lived in many which I rented and live in one now that I own (my wife and I paid off the mortgage last year). It may not be 2400 sf, but it's an 1880s era farmhouse with clapped-out insulation and many "bumpouts" added over the years.

        I'm still fighting with drafts and such, and when warm weather comes there will be insulating under the kitchen floor to do.

        Weatherizing is an excellent return on your investment.

        Sign me: 1978-80 Community Action Program Weatherization Trainer.

        •  I Agree That Winterization is a Good Return.. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nonpartisan

          on your investment.  My only concern is who should  pay for the investment.  

          If the government makes a committment to winterize every older house regardless of condition or size, it will cause another housing bubble, but only in large older homes.  Just like  tax cuts should be targeted to smaller incomes, wnterization needs to be targeted to smaller houses not larger ones.

          •  A lot of "affordable housing" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Nonpartisan

            is older.

            Even over one winter, "winterization" pays.

            Beyond that, it's quite possible to rehab older houses to LEED standards (or something close to what LEED for residences might turn out to be if it is adopted).

            Furthermore, winterization and weathization programs often benefit old and low income people who had nothing to do with any "bubble" and won't create a "bubble."

            It takes more than energy efficiency to create a housing bubble.

            •  Most People Looking For Affordable... (0+ / 0-)

              housing, set their sights well below 2400 sq ft.

              And that size house is what I am discussing.  If a white haired older lady owns her home and it has 950 sq ft and is an older home, I would say this is a great candidate for government assistance.

              In my town we have a weekend each Spring in which we do just that sort of thing.  People on fixed incomes, own their house, no ability to make repairs.  All the churches supply work crews, businesses supply materials, and the city handles the organizing and delivery of materials.

    •  I grew up in far north-west California (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nonpartisan, snootless, Hoosierdaddio

      We had all-electric heat, with some of the baseboard heaters directly under windows.  Every winter after the early 70s energy crisis my dad taped clear plastic inside every window for the winter, and apparently that cut down a lot on the electric bill.  It may not look classy, but when money is tight I think it is worth it. I would suggest clear tablecloths, they are heavier than drop cloths and more transparent,as they are made to protect and display fine wood or fine fabric.

      We also didn't heat the bedrooms or bathrooms except with a space heater for a few minutes before a bath, and on the coldest days my dad would turn on the space heater in my room shortly before it was time for me to get up. Back in those days I showered before bed so my hair would be dry by morning, and I'd have my clothes on a chair near the heater and put them on immediately.  

      Today, I would put a radiant heater in the bathroom instead of a space heater - it heats the objects, not so much the air.  I'd also use a programmable thermostat to control the main heat to turn it way down at night.  Electric mattress pads are even nicer than electric blankets, and use little electricity.  If you use warm blankets you can just turn it on for a short while before you go to bed, then turn it off.

      When I lived in a small apartment made by cutting up a house near Monterey, we didn't have control of the heat and our apartment faced north and got no sun at all.  I used an electric lap blanket and wore sweats at home to stay comfortable.

      Today I live in Toronto Ontario Canada, and the heat is hot water radiators and paid for by the management - the building is at least 50 years old.  Right after we moved in 3.5 years ago they installed triple-paned windows to save themselves money, and the world energy, else we might have put up plastic on the windows ourselves - the old ones were pretty bad for conservation.  The first summer we didn't have an A/C, so we put up mylar blankets to block the morning sun, arranged so we could lift them when the sun was off them.  That helped keep the apartment temperature at a more comfortable level.

      Hope one or more of these tips help you and others in your situation.

      War hath no fury like a non-combatant. - C.E. Montague

      by snakelass on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 12:49:14 AM PST

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