Friday, January 18, 2013
Heating oil and my budget
Heating oil is killing me . . I started with an estimated budget, and once we started getting much more frequent oil deliveries, I started tracking how much we were/are using, at what cost.
Aug 15-Nov 16: averaged 2 gallons/day
Nov 17-Dec 12: averaged 6.8 gallons/day
Dec 13-Dec 27: averaged 7.6 gallons/day
Dec 28-Jan 18: averaged 9.6 gallons/day
I did a projection and upped the budget over $100 more/month. Note that hot water is heated through our oil fed boiler.
This is an old, cobbled together home, with poor insulation. I knew that this would be a cold house so I made sure to install a wood stove in the living room. I spent $600 on seasoned firewood.
I spent $$$$ to have the stove installed, figuring that over the few years that i plan on staying here, the installation cost, when prorated, would "pay for itself."
I had an energy audit done at a cost to me of $75.
I called a few weeks ago, I still await the actual report so that I can present it to the landlord, with the hope that she will at least reinsulate the attic.
When the audit was done, the techs did some sealing of gaps. Many more remain, but they did an air pressurization test before and after their work, the air exchange number did drop significantly. Not gone by no means, but better. My $75 was well spent.
I also had the 2 single pane windows of the library wall section of the living room covered with 6 ml plastic.
Draft dodgers are in most windows. Bedroom windows also have spun fleece bedding/mattress pads (think of the material used for Winter boot liners) tacked up over them for insulation.
Door sweeps were added, doors were caulked, felt strips used. 6 ml plastic was used with duct tape to create plastic coverings over window screens in exterior storm doors with the glass storm panels missing.
I am now looking for Freecyled rugs to warm the floors, although we all wear L L Bean wicked good slippers in the house.
Sweaters and/or fleece jackets are commonly worn as an extra layer.
I had 2 programmable thermostats installed, am on the fence about a third.
These will be removed and the original thermostats re-installed when I do move out.
I keep the house at 60 when we aren't home or are asleep, it goes up to 65 when we get up in the morning. We have flannel sheets, several warm blankets, quilts on the beds. We wear warm bedclothes. The house is in 3 zones, I time the thermostats accordingly, and keep whatever doors separate these zones, closed.
I've installed 2 fabric "curtains" as doors in the kitchen, the warmest room of the house (furnace is in the small cellar underneath, cooking and dishwashing adds additional heat). I tend to hang out here once the sun sets. We drink pots of hot tea at night, go to bed early.
I looked for affordable thermo lined drapes to section off the L shaped office/dining room that was once a porch, now enclosed, partitioning it off from the large living room where the wood stove is. I found some at Christmas tree shop, but returned them-wrong beige, decided not to spend the $75 or so in total. I have 3 doorways, 3 large picture widow sized openings to deal with.
While I and one kidlet take short showers, the other kidlet is notorious for taking long ones-I bought him a kitchen timer as a result. If I can shower and wash my hair within 5 minutes, he should be able to as well.
The laundry is 95% done in cold water, only whites and towels are washed in warm.
The dishwasher is only run when full, and I use the water heater feature as well as water miser feature.
So, these bills are frustrating-any suggestions? I've lowered the thermostats as far as I feel I can (special needs kidlet has temperature regulation issues).