Author Topic: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?  (Read 15677 times)

KBecks2

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Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« on: October 24, 2014, 07:48:23 AM »
Apparently the Farmer's Almanac predicts that this winter is going to be bad.  I have heard it several ways -- worse than last year, same as last year and a little better than last year.

Regardless, it's probably time (or a little past time) to get ready for the winter chill!   How are you preparing?   Are you making any purchases, have you been winterizing your home or doing anything special?  Any tips for getting winter-ready in an affordable and simple way?


Cromacster

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2014, 08:05:01 AM »
I have to touch up some insulation in my attic that I messed with when doing some other projects and clean up my garage/workshop so I can pull my car inside.

Other than that just enjoy the last bit of nice weather we've been having :)

Affordable tips?  Pull my jacket out of the closet that I wore last year...actually I've had that jacket since 2005.

BPA

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2014, 08:10:02 AM »
I'll be sealing this place up pretty tight.

I bought electric blankets last year that will undoubtedly get a lot of use.  Also, I purchased dog sweaters on kijiji so that my poor pooch will be warm.  I hate when he shivers.  Before the sweaters, I was turning up the heat for him whilst barking at the humans to suck it up and put on a sweater.

Also, I have an apparently very Mustachian nice layer of body fat that will help in this regard.  Take that those on the forum who call overweight people "fatties" and weak.  ;)

GardenFun

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2014, 08:19:24 AM »
- Getting all the hats, mittens, coats, snowpants, snowboots out of the basement.  Never fails that the snow comes unexpectedly overnight and I'm scrambling the next morning to find everything for the kids. 
- Put the blankets/extra hats/mittens in the vehicle. 
- Made sure there are two good snow shovels in garage.
- Need to put some weatherstripping underneath the front door and garage door. 
- Purchased 6 furnace filters for monthly swap-out. 
- Did a quick check of the vehicle tires. 

We had furnace issues last spring so I don't see a need for the fall tune-up. 

Meggslynn

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2014, 08:20:51 AM »
Were putting up those invisible plastic seals on the windows this weekend.

Using the same parkas and snowboots we did last year, even though I tempted to buy a warmer one this year.

Fire wood is chopped and stacked for the wood stove.

We are thinking of purchasing a heated mattress pad. I hate getting into a cold bed.

On my Christmas list is LLBEAN winter flannel floor length housecoat for both my son and I.

Winter tires from last year are still good. ( I hate buying new tires, but I do so religiously every three years as I can totally tell the difference in my little car )

Dusting off the toboggans and can't wait to get our cross country ski's out.

I also have frozen a whole bunch of summer berries when they were on sale.

nereo

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2014, 08:38:38 AM »
we are spedning a crap-ton of money replacing our roof, including replacing the vertical supports and all the plywood (~40 sheets in all).  :-(
It's a very old roof and actually has wool insulation, if you can believe that.

The flip side is that we'll be insulating everything to a minimum R-50.

I'm also replacing the weatherstripping along our two exterior doors.  Besides that I think we're pretty good.

begood

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2014, 08:42:08 AM »
I'm stocking up on Bigelow Orange Spice tea, steel-cut oats, and vodka. Bring it on, winter!

yyc-phil

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2014, 08:45:36 AM »
Here, it is time to switch to studded bicycle tires, the ride this morning was a bit iffy.

GuitarStv

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2014, 08:46:00 AM »
I replaced the cables on my winter bike, re-greased the hubs, put a new brake pad on the front, trued the wheels, and lubed everything up.  Also rigged up an attachment for my rear rack to hold two lights.

trailrated

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2014, 08:53:15 AM »
Winter is coming

RunHappy

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2014, 09:01:51 AM »
This is my first winter in New Hampshire (lived in Maryland for 20 years but not the same), so we have firewood chopped and stacked, extra blankets, I knitted some new wool hats and booties.  Getting snow tires and a remote starter installed in my car (we don't have a garage) and we will be putting plastic seals over the windows.  I will be putting together some crock-pot freezer meals for those winter comfort food days (chili, minestrone, pot roast, etc).

Stocking up my parents house with deicer and crock pot meals.  They live in Texas and do get ice on the sidewalks.

starbuck

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2014, 09:12:36 AM »
Last winter was brutal, but this winter I'll be working from home at least one day a week and feeling the brunt of the low temps we keep the house at during the day. Fingerless gloves and wool blankets have become teleworking staples already.

I think I need to make better use of the plastic on windows that we spend on the most time in. In other rooms, I put up heavier drapes to insulate the windows, but then it blocks out any natural light which can get depressing come February. I think the plastic will be a nice compromise on certain windows.

We've got a senior dog that can't handle the cold very well anymore. I may try sticking her in her fleece jacket full-time if she'll tolerate it. She's got a heating pad for her bed which helps during the night.

We also have two cats now instead of one. One lap warmer per person this winter!

usmarine1975

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2014, 09:36:11 AM »
This weekend I will be removing the air conditioners from windows.  Adding 1 inch insulation foam to the rear windows of our home as they are the biggest heat losses.  Then putting plastic wrap on the inside.  That should beaf up the rear of our home.  The side windows are not a problem and the front as well do well. I had 3 more radiators sand blasted and powder coated with 1 waiting to be installed.  I need to paint the wall behind it. 

I also need to schedule a service on all our furnaces. 

ZiziPB

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2014, 09:50:41 AM »
My house is well insulated and has good windows but I noticed last year that the electrical outlets on the outside walls were leaking in cold air.  So I installed sealers under the cover plates a few weeks ago.  We'll see if that is going to make any difference.  Other than that, a new filter on the furnace.  I still need to get a new wick for the humidifier and swap out the mats in the car to rubber ones. 

starbuck

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2014, 09:54:34 AM »
Oh, and I'm also dabbling in some credit card travel hacking to wrangle our first ski-trip out west this winter!

TrMama

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2014, 10:35:01 AM »
I bought fleece sheets for our bed. OMG fleece sheets are the bomb! I'll look for sets for each of the kids' beds as well.

Replaced the brake pads on my bike and swapped summer chain lube for the thick winter stuff.

Removed all the screens from the windows, washed them and put them in storage. Removing interior screens seems to help stop moisture buildup on the glass. I also bleached all the yucky mold from some of the window frames. I'll tackle the rest of them this weekend.

Yeah for PNW winter humidity :-(

daverobev

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2014, 11:19:50 AM »
Putting up the bubblewrap on the single pane windows and in our bedroom, sealing up cracks with tape.

I did air pipe joint sealing stuff last year. I *think* it helped as our bills weren't too bad.

If it's worse this year than last I will be very sad :P

Still wondering if I'm going to put my car off the road for the winter to save on insurance.

MgoSam

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2014, 11:27:45 AM »
By bracing myself!

sheepstache

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2014, 11:30:13 AM »
Denial.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2014, 11:35:04 AM »
The best time to get ready for winter is in the spring. Jackets, snow shovels, mittens and everything else goes on sale. Right now it's a great time to buy stuff for summer though!

My Winter to do list for the month, mostly finished:
Winterizing the car - winter tires (also a good time to check the spare has full tire pressure, some tires have leaks), checking the emergency kit (booster cables, blankets etc.), check the scraper is still there.
Shed - clean up and pack everything I can into it, kids toys last longer that way
Water Barrels - Empty to avoid splitting
Garden - Clear it off and add leaves to it (I have clay soil so the leaves in the fall make it fluffy, easier to do prep now than rush in the spring).
Yard - clear of leaves, cut it shorter
Eaves troughs - Clean out in anticipation of spring melt :)
Windows - Put plastic barrier on the basement ones, it reduces heat loss.
Planters - Move beside the house so they'll warm up faster in spring and I can plant sooner.




Timmmy

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2014, 12:04:46 PM »
I began eating a lot, my metabolism slows, I grow a thicker coat of fur and begin to look for a place to hibernate. 

aneel

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2014, 01:03:33 PM »
Does everyone here actually tune up their heat system annuallyr?  I'm a fairly new home owner, and we just installed a tankless gas water heater (for hot water and heat) in January, and to me, "annual maintenance" sounds a lot like "pad someone else's pockets".  Anyone care to comment?

Timmmy

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2014, 01:21:22 PM »
Does everyone here actually tune up their heat system annuallyr?  I'm a fairly new home owner, and we just installed a tankless gas water heater (for hot water and heat) in January, and to me, "annual maintenance" sounds a lot like "pad someone else's pockets".  Anyone care to comment?

Read up on your specific system.  I'm sure you will be fine going without for a year but there's likely something that should be done on occasion. 

morjax

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2014, 01:59:50 PM »
I'm stocking up on Bigelow Orange Spice tea, steel-cut oats, and vodka. Bring it on, winter!

YESSS! I just realized that I've done this too without intentionally planning to (albeit with my own favorite teas, and imbibements). As an added bonus, I love the wintertime: crappy driving and drivers be damned, I just love the snow :)

Cheers to you, Begood!

tmac

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2014, 02:47:54 PM »
Stocking up on warm clothes for the family -- sweaters, long underwear, thick socks, gloves, etc. -- mostly from the Goodwill, but occasionally new things.

I've also posted the following signs next to all thermostats:

Please don't ask to turn up the heat unless you're already well-dressed for the cold. This means:

* Socks and slippers or shoes
* Long underwear
* Pants
* Long-sleeved shirt
* Sweater or sweatshirt
* Hat


daverobev

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #25 on: October 24, 2014, 03:13:07 PM »
Does everyone here actually tune up their heat system annuallyr?  I'm a fairly new home owner, and we just installed a tankless gas water heater (for hot water and heat) in January, and to me, "annual maintenance" sounds a lot like "pad someone else's pockets".  Anyone care to comment?

Depends on what kind of system it is.

Forced air should have a filter change.

Radiators (*weeps* for his lost radiators) might need bleeding.

Newer stuff is probably more finnicky and needs looking at more frequently... Or maybe I'm just cynical. Fingers crossed our 30 year old cast-iron-burners forced air system, which apparently has nothing really to break, doesn't... er... break!

falcondisruptor

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #26 on: October 24, 2014, 05:01:27 PM »
Last winter was brutal, but this winter I'll be working from home at least one day a week and feeling the brunt of the low temps we keep the house at during the day. Fingerless gloves and wool blankets have become teleworking staples already.

I think I need to make better use of the plastic on windows that we spend on the most time in. In other rooms, I put up heavier drapes to insulate the windows, but then it blocks out any natural light which can get depressing come February. I think the plastic will be a nice compromise on certain windows.

We've got a senior dog that can't handle the cold very well anymore. I may try sticking her in her fleece jacket full-time if she'll tolerate it. She's got a heating pad for her bed which helps during the night.

We also have two cats now instead of one. One lap warmer per person this winter!

I think you can open the drapes in the day to get some passive solar heating.

All our winter gear is out because we had some chilly days already.  Will be cleaning the gutters and trimming back trees this weekend.  Maybe putting up Christmas lights while it's nice out (won't turn them on yet though)

firedup

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #27 on: October 24, 2014, 08:45:23 PM »
New ductless heat pump. Anyone else have one? Wondering how efficient they are and the "real" cost savings.

vern

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #28 on: October 24, 2014, 08:57:53 PM »
Waxing the XC skis!

begood

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #29 on: October 25, 2014, 07:48:38 AM »
I'm stocking up on Bigelow Orange Spice tea, steel-cut oats, and vodka. Bring it on, winter!

YESSS! I just realized that I've done this too without intentionally planning to (albeit with my own favorite teas, and imbibements). As an added bonus, I love the wintertime: crappy driving and drivers be damned, I just love the snow :)

Cheers to you, Begood!

*clinks tea mugs*

Cheers!

BlueMR2

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #30 on: October 25, 2014, 08:07:24 AM »
Does everyone here actually tune up their heat system annuallyr?  I'm a fairly new home owner, and we just installed a tankless gas water heater (for hot water and heat) in January, and to me, "annual maintenance" sounds a lot like "pad someone else's pockets".  Anyone care to comment?

Ask a trusted HVAC professional about your system.

The systems we have at work need inspection and maintenance every 6 months (among other things, the belts need replaced every time).  My home system I had the guy stop out after buying the house.  He said it was fine and that I shouldn't need to call him unless I experience a problem as it's maintenance free.  I've had him out one time since when a relay stuck and the fan motor wouldn't shut down.  Other than that, I just change the filter myself every 6 months.

Miamoo

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #31 on: October 25, 2014, 11:36:15 AM »
The VTDH (very talented darling husband) has already taken care of the extra insulation and caulking.  Had the gas powered generator tuned up for just in case.

I love the fingerless gloves.  Must do this! 

Aside from the insulation, caulking, layers of clothing, extra blankets etc.  Last year I finally got over my intimidation/fear and started canning in addition to freezing our produce.  Was I ever thankful last winter as the closest 'affordable' - reasonably priced grocery store is 25 miles away through fields and unplowed roads - but I could just grab what I needed from the pantry for the most part.  Even canned a bunch of potatoes when they were .10/pound!  Ramped it up further this year.  (Bulk beans, peas & lentils, steel cut oats, organic brown rice, flour, raisins and walnuts - all bought in bulk - all dry canned).  Only had to go to the expensive grocery store a mile from here for bananas & milk last winter.

MoneyCat

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #32 on: October 25, 2014, 11:42:01 AM »
We had our heating system inspected and that ended up being a smart idea.  Over the summer, the company we purchased the system from had to repair a mistake they made with the Central AC unit which flooded part of our basement with water.  Turns out that the water damaged an important part of our furnace as well, so they had to order the parts to repair it.  This was all covered under warranty, so no problem for us.  I am glad we had the heating system serviced, because we were unable to use the system for over a week while the part was on order.  If we had waited longer, we would have had to deal with frozen pipes etc.

Miamoo

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #33 on: October 25, 2014, 11:46:27 AM »
Oh yeah, we just adopted a German Shepard/Lab puppy to keep the other 2 mutts company.

We're ready for those "Three Dog" nights.  Geezer alert.  You might have to be old to know what I'm talkin' about.

Three Dog Night - Band

Band name origin:

The official commentary included in the CD set Celebrate: The Three Dog Night Story, 19641975 states that vocalist Danny Hutton's then-girlfriend June Fairchild suggested the name after reading a magazine article about indigenous Australians, in which it was explained that on cold nights they would customarily sleep in a hole in the ground whilst embracing a dingo, a native species of wild dog. On colder nights they would sleep with two dogs and if the night were freezing, it was a "three dog night".

The Fake Cheap

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #34 on: October 25, 2014, 01:27:04 PM »

Tune up the snow blower and change the oil in it.  I'm surprised no one else has mentioned this yet.

Rebecca Stapler

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #35 on: October 25, 2014, 02:16:27 PM »
  • Put new wipers on the cars
  • Put our ice and snow scrapers in the car
  • Cleaned and covered our grill
  • Brought outside toys indoors

Still need to:
  • Add a draft stopper to the front door (got it on clearance in the Spring!)
  • Caulk the garage because it makes the first floor suuuuuper cold, there's practically a breeze that blows in at the edge of the floor
  • Hang the insulated curtain at the bottom of the stairs from the garage -- this helped a lot last year

YeahNo

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #36 on: October 25, 2014, 04:17:08 PM »

Tune up the snow blower and change the oil in it.  I'm surprised no one else has mentioned this yet.

You should change the oil before you put it away for the summer, not before you start using it in the winter. You don't want it sitting in storage with contaminants in the oil.

usmarine1975

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #37 on: October 25, 2014, 07:49:24 PM »
I use a snow shovel. No gas to store and it gives the heart a good warm up. Granted our usual snow fall is rarely over a 6". If we got over a foot each snow I would get one.

The Fake Cheap

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #38 on: November 02, 2014, 08:07:28 AM »
We get a bit more than 6" of snow here in Eastern Canada.  My general rule of thumb is that I only break out the snow blower for more than 15 cm (about 6") of snow.  I get a good kick out of the folks around who use the snow blower whenever we get any sort of accumulation to keep their drive way sparking clean.   

Thanks for the tip YeahNo.  I guess next year I will switch the snow blower oil change to a spring time chore. 


2Birds1Stone

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #39 on: November 02, 2014, 08:21:26 AM »
Blessed with living in an apartment with included utilities =D

Penny Lane

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #40 on: November 02, 2014, 08:40:28 AM »
Snowing in Maine today; the heat went on.  Our oil furnace has been serviced; the 2 tanks are filled.  We do about 600 gallons of oil a year ( includes hot water).  We average 62 degrees once the winter gets going; right now it's about 58.

Ergonomic shovels-- these are key!  We get feet of snow per year and using those straight handled shovels will get to you in time. 

Took out an 800 page novel from the library.  This is key.

Mrs. Frugalwoods

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #41 on: November 02, 2014, 08:48:32 AM »
Started snowing lightly here in Boston today! Love the winter. We turned the heat on yesterday and will keep it at 62 (when we're home) and 58 (when we're not home & at night).

Our other preparations include:
-Have salt and snow shovels on hand
-Wear lots of warm clothes
-A little heating pad for our dog's bed so that she's warm enough with our low thermostat temps
-Open curtains during the day to soak in solar heat
-Use zone heating
-Bake and cook to warm house up with oven

Our Frugal Hound says it best:


Self-employed-swami

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #42 on: November 02, 2014, 08:49:33 AM »
We did the yard clean-up a few weekends ago, and the sprinkler system has been winterized (it was here before we bought the house, and we use it, since it's easier than watering the lawn regularly).  Snow tires are on the truck, and we'll swap the car tires as soon as I get home to help DH.

We have plenty of booze, and tea already.  We've got firewood still, but some of it will need rotating and bringing inside to stay dry/accessible for the nights we want it.

Blankets are on the couch, and I've redone the automatic heating schedule (apparently 16.5 is just too cold for my husband, LOL).  I will also switch to the winter duvet when I get home next.  And I bought a new winter coat, and will need to dig out the mittens and toques that I packed away in the spring.

I was just looking at the gas/electric bill, and it looks like I'll have to up the amount of the auto payment as well.  A few years ago, $180/month was enough to build a surplus in the summer, and cover all the colder month bills.  However, I changed the payment to $200 last year, and then up to $225 in the spring, and we still don't have much of a credit. And we replaced the super old furnace last year, and turned the heat down at the same time.  I guess I didn't notice the increase in cost, because we decreased usage so much at the same time.  But, I guess that increase in natural gas has finally 'caught up' with us. 

:/
« Last Edit: November 02, 2014, 08:55:04 AM by Self-employed-swami »

Jessa

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #43 on: November 02, 2014, 09:12:55 AM »
We busted out some of the extra blankets for the bed. SO brought about 6 cords of wood in weeks ago, and finished chopping the firewood for next year. I pulled out my crocheting and have been much better about working on it.

SO traded labor to his folks for an old plow truck, which was frugal but probably not Mustachian. It will make plowing out the driveway much quicker, though. I downloaded the app to work from home so I don't have to burn vacation days when it's bad out, although so far I can't get it to work. I emailed the error message to work, so hopefully I'll get it straightened out.

Prairie Gal

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #44 on: November 02, 2014, 09:44:55 AM »
 - Putting plastic shrink wrap on windows.
 - Getting the winter tires put on the car.
 - Breaking out the crockpot to make a nice big batch of beef stew.
 - Put an extra blanket on the bed.

mike3725

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #45 on: November 02, 2014, 09:54:19 AM »
-We're trying plastic on the windows this year to see if it makes a difference
-Just caulked around the windows
-Check and fix weather seal around doors if needed
-Pull out the blankets, sweaters, and this socks!

aschmidt2930

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #46 on: November 02, 2014, 10:29:51 AM »
How am I preparing for winter this year?  I moved to Texas.

Villanelle

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #47 on: November 02, 2014, 10:37:56 AM »
Hot water bottle is out.  I sang it's praises in another thread, but this prevents so much heat use for me.  It warms me on the sofa after dinner, and then in bed.  Usually, I toss it in bed while I am doing my brief bedtime routine, which takes some of the chill of the sheets.

I also purchased a new comforter, which is in the mail.  (Had to buy online as European bedding sizes are different.)  I'm hoping that's enough to convince Dh never to turn on the bedroom radiator.  I like it cold when I sleep, but he's not quite as big a fan.  Our old comforter has basically lost all it's stuffing over the years, so it's little more than two sheets sewn together.  Fine in summer, but not good in a 40*F bedroom (or however cold the bedroom gets when it's below freezing out).

We've also switched to our flannel sheets and I've dragged out a heavy blanket, but not yet put it on the bed.  Our lows aren't really even into the 30s yet. 

I've gave the radiators a good dust so they smell less like burning when they are fust used, but I suspect they will get dusty again before they are used, so that was wasted layer.

And I've stocke dup on tea, hot chocolate, and Bailey's. 

daverobev

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #48 on: November 02, 2014, 01:07:48 PM »
Did the winter tires on my car this afternoon. Hard work on a Crown Vic :P

Last year for these tires 100%. They may already be past it. But I'm not planning on going anywhere far, and if I do I'll chuck my better winter tires on. Or rather, pay to have it done, as it'll be too cold to do it myself!

DK

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Re: Northerners: How are you preparing for winter?
« Reply #49 on: November 02, 2014, 02:14:13 PM »
The best time to get ready for winter is in the spring. Jackets, snow shovels, mittens and everything else goes on sale. Right now it's a great time to buy stuff for summer though!

My Winter to do list for the month, mostly finished:
Winterizing the car - winter tires (also a good time to check the spare has full tire pressure, some tires have leaks), checking the emergency kit (booster cables, blankets etc.), check the scraper is still there.
Shed - clean up and pack everything I can into it, kids toys last longer that way
Water Barrels - Empty to avoid splitting
Garden - Clear it off and add leaves to it (I have clay soil so the leaves in the fall make it fluffy, easier to do prep now than rush in the spring).
Yard - clear of leaves, cut it shorter
Eaves troughs - Clean out in anticipation of spring melt :)
Windows - Put plastic barrier on the basement ones, it reduces heat loss.
Planters - Move beside the house so they'll warm up faster in spring and I can plant sooner.

Do you shred the leaves, or just put them on it? Work it in now in the fall or in the spring?

This is the first year I've tried doing something with leaves, I shredded them but did not work them in. I also put a bunch unshredded into one of my compost bins to see if it will turn into the magical leafmold i've heard about.

Trying to figure something out to help lighten my clay garden, but nothing seems to have helped that much. Besides graduating from a front tine to a rear tine so I can actually work it up.