November 6 2009, 10:33 AM
Last week we learned how to stay warmer at night by creating old-fashioned bed warmers. This week, my blogging partner, Susanna Donato from Cheap Like Me, shares an even cozier way to stay warm at night. She started by turning down her furnace at night and heating the bedrooms using space heaters. Despite her efforts, she noticed her electricity use increase from 450 kilowatt hours (the unit of energy as measured by your electric company) in the summer to 789 kilowatt hours in the winter. So the space heaters were sacked. And in came electric blankets, which she quickly found use just 25 percent of the electricity her space heaters did. (And, she admits, that's if she leaves them on all night.) The effect on her energy bill? Even better. In October 2007, her energy use was down to 272 kilowatt hours (she also installed CFL bulbs to help save energy) and through the rest of the winter, it was closer to 450 kilowatt hours.". Donato offers another way to stay warm this winter, and it centers around the device that keeps you cool in the summer. Like me, she has a roof-mounted swamp cooler, and she can feel chilly breezes through the duct in her ceiling in the winter. She was tipped off to use Warm Window's fabric to insulate the gap; it's made up of layers of cloth, insulation, and a reflective barrier. Though it cost her $22 per yard, and it's estimated she'll save 50 cents per year, she says the extra warmth is worth it. Now I'm inspired to ask my landlord if he'll invest in the same thing for my breezy house.