Author Topic: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition  (Read 9076 times)

Calvin

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Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« on: September 14, 2014, 08:35:27 AM »
This is my first post, hello everyone!!!

Winter is coming soon to New Hampshire and I live in an apartment where I pay the oil heating. So, my goal is to keep that cost down by lowering the temperature inside and a programmable thermostat.

Any recommendations for thermal socks? My feet/toes get cold with normal socks.

Any recommendations for slip-ons around the house? I currently wear an old pair of TOMS slip-ons, but they're not insulated. But, I don't really want big slippers because I think that would just make me feel like a lazy blob that lies in bed all day.

Most of the windows should be efficient but the living room has one big single-pane window (5'x6' or so) that will be bad in the winter. Any thoughts on how to make this window more efficient? Maybe thermal curtains or my dad used to put plastic across the windows on the inside (I guess that would make a poor-man's double pane window). Any thoughts on that?

Also, what do you set your thermostat in the winter at during the day/night? I'm thinking I could probably get away with 65/55 pretty easily, but maybe I could do better than that.

Thanks everyone!! Glad to be a part of the Mustachian community!

Calvin

zataks

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2014, 09:04:24 AM »
I recommend decent wool socks.  Should be able to pick them up pretty cheaply at Costco or somewhere similar.  And I say decent because cheap ones seem scratchy to me.

Re thermostat?  65/55 is pretty good to me.  I used to do like 68/60 or 67/58 but I was kind of a complainypants when I lived in the cold climate.  Moved to warmer climate so I don't have to worry about that any more though.  =p

DocCyane

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2014, 09:57:50 AM »
These are my favorite brand of slippers/slip on house shoes.

http://www.totes-isotoner.com/acorn

MayDay

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2014, 12:05:07 PM »
We do 60 at night and during the day, but if we are at home and sedentary, we turn it up to 65. I wish I could convince the hubs to do 55 at night!

I find all wool itchy except smartwool, so I use those ugly grandma fuzzy socks that are available at the always awesome Wal-Mart.

For slippers, I use to have expensive leather ones from llbean. Because I wear them a lot, I wore through the sole in a few years.  I know I could have returned them to llbean, but I think they lasted a reasonable amount of time for the amount I wear them, and felt a return was unethical.  I have now decided to buy the cheaper isotoner ones.

MoneyCat

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2014, 12:33:14 PM »
I wear Dearfoams slippers which I bought at our warehouse store for cheap.  They are solidly made and last a long time and have a nice warm liner.

Sister C

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2014, 12:42:26 PM »
Smart wool socks are very warm and they last for years. I get my winter house shoes for about $15 at Target and they usually last two fall/winter/spring cycles.

Before we got energy efficient windows we used plastic to seal our leaky windows. It is effective and inexpensive. Can't speak to the thermal curtains.

I also recommend a hat and fingerless gloves if you will be sedentary. And, a hot water bottle in the bed helps tremendously at night or if you are ill.

plank

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2014, 12:53:19 PM »
Long underwear tops and bottoms 100% of the time.

Calvin

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2014, 02:05:03 PM »
Thanks for all of the responses! I'm looking at getting some of the smartwool socks and the llbean slippers.

FrugalZony

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2014, 02:27:38 PM »
I own a pair of microwavable slippers.
You are not supposed to walk around in them, but I put them on when I sit at the desk or on the couch.
The are filled with grains and make for really nice radiant heat.

Rube

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2014, 03:35:45 PM »
Someone got me alpaca socks. There's only about 5 days in the winter I can wear them. Otherwise my feet sweat. My wife didn't believe me until she put them on. I wish I would have snapped a photo of her face after one minute of wearing them.  :-)

tracipam

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2014, 03:48:33 PM »

I get cold unless I'm bundled up, especially after dark in winter, so I keep the thermostat low-ish, since no matter how high I set it I'll still feel cold.   

I use a programmable thermostat, because I'm allergic to getting out of my nice warm bed until I don't have to worry about seeing my breath anymore, and I hate coming home to a cold house. 

I used to let it drop to 45 at night, but my current house is old and thermally-leaky and takes to long to warm up, so now it's 52ish at night.  I 'cheat' and use an electric blanket to warm up my bed and then I keep it on low at night, its awesome and cozy that way. 

When I'm home I have it around 62-64, and if I'm absolutely freezing I bump it up a bit.  I make my own microwaveable neck warmers--go to the dollar store and get a bag of beans and some long socks and sew the beans into the socks.  I love having little puddles of warmth draped around my neck or at my feet.  I have wool socks, but don't really use them around the house.  I do keep bundled up in sweaters ad sweatpants and things, though, and usually have blankets nearby for when I'm cuddled up on the couch reading a book or something. 

innkeeper77

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2014, 04:02:08 PM »

Most of the windows should be efficient but the living room has one big single-pane window (5'x6' or so) that will be bad in the winter. Any thoughts on how to make this window more efficient? Maybe thermal curtains or my dad used to put plastic across the windows on the inside (I guess that would make a poor-man's double pane window). Any thoughts on that?


When in college, I lived in a rented townhouse. After realizing how bad the windows were, we went and bought a $10 plastic film kit from the hardware store, and it made an amazing difference! It comes with double sided tape, and a plastic film. You stretch it across the windows, and use a hairdryer to tighten it up. That makes it not noticeably different than a regular window, except then you can no longer open it. The film traps a tremendous amount of air, which is fantastic insulation. I would buy a cheap kit, and install it on that window, maybe more. The extra insulation is much better than even a double pane window- we even left some of the film on year round. (only windows we never wanted to open) Make sure you get a kit that is wide enough for your largest window!

(And if you don't have a hairdryer, your neighbors probably do. We had to borrow one from our neighbors as none of us had one)

deborah

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2014, 04:10:39 PM »
Any recommendations for thermal socks? My feet/toes get cold with normal socks.

Any recommendations for slip-ons around the house? I currently wear an old pair of TOMS slip-ons, but they're not insulated. But, I don't really want big slippers because I think that would just make me feel like a lazy blob that lies in bed all day.
I'd combine these and get some (fluffy, unspun) sheeps wool (for felting) from the craft shop or some crafty friends ( you don't need much) and stuff it into your slip ons. Each time it compacts into felt, add some more. makes them really warm!

Most of the windows should be efficient but the living room has one big single-pane window (5'x6' or so) that will be bad in the winter. Any thoughts on how to make this window more efficient? Maybe thermal curtains or my dad used to put plastic across the windows on the inside (I guess that would make a poor-man's double pane window). Any thoughts on that?
Plastic is good. Thermal curtains are a bit tricky. Does the room get any sun during the day? If so, keep the thermal curtains open while it is sunny, and close them when it isn't. If there isn't any sun, there is no point in having the curtains open.

If the room does get sun, adding some thermal mass can make a huge difference. For instance a wall of plastic bottles full of water that the sun shines on can really keep a room warm.

Emg03063

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2014, 07:38:36 PM »


Most of the windows should be efficient but the living room has one big single-pane window (5'x6' or so) that will be bad in the winter. Any thoughts on how to make this window more efficient? Maybe thermal curtains or my dad used to put plastic across the windows on the inside (I guess that would make a poor-man's double pane window). Any thoughts on that?


Plastic is good.  If you don't want to mess with it, consider this:

http://www.windowinserts.com/?gclid=CLzJ6Z_i7LsCFag7OgodQGYAuA

lizzzi

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2014, 08:50:00 PM »
Thermostat is 67/62. Best I can do without shivering. Ragg wool socks and flannel nightgown in bed, with LL Bean flannel sheets and LL Bean down comforter with flannel duvet cover. Wool socks during the day are men's Gold Toe over-the-calf (i.e. like knee socks.) I found that it was just as easy to wear my husband's Gold Toe socks in the winter, and honestly, there is no way to tell I am wearing guys' socks.  "Slippers" are Uggs classic short boots. We've never put plastic over a window, but I would definitely try it if need be.

Calvin

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2014, 07:54:32 PM »
Again, I appreciate all of the responses! I am looking into getting plastic for the windows. It sounds like that will make a big improvement.

AshStash

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2014, 04:24:13 AM »
As a sufferer of chronically cold feet who has survived Scottish winters without turning into a block of ice, I've got a pretty extensive collection of wool socks. My favorites for around the house or in bed are thick REI brand wool hiking socks. I'm a recent convert to alpaca wool, so if the itchiness of wool socks is an issue, go for alpaca.  I tend to like smartwool or the REI version of smartwool for wearing out and about and save the heavy hiking socks for home. I find all of these wash really well (don't dry them) and last many years. I had a pair of cheap fuzzy socks that started to unravel after a year, so I think shopping sales for good wool socks is ultimately the frugal option.

In terms of slippers, only sheepskin keeps my feet warm enough. I had a pair of the LLBean slippers here for 10 years before I completely wore through the heels. Good quality sheepskin slippers or boots are important and I think an indoor/outdoor rubber sole is important to keep heat from coming up on your feet through the floor and helps the slippers last longer. I tried a new pair of LLBean slippers last Christmas and didn't like the fit, so I'm now using a pair of Emu brand slippers and will hopefully have them another 10 years. I have loafer style slippers but since it's best to not wear socks with real sheepskin, this does leave your ankles and the tops of your feet exposed.

Never underestimate the value of a hot water bottle! I didn't appreciate how much better they are than electric heating pads and microwavable heat pouches until I moved to the UK and was converted.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2014, 04:42:56 AM »
Costco also has good merino wool socks - they are in the stores now.  They kept my feet warm all last winter.

I buy moccasins at Walmart or Canadian Tire.  They have a sole so the cold does not come up from the floor.  For winter I get them one size too large, so there is room for the socks. 

Windows - the plastic is good.  If you need privacy, bubble wrap is also good, and easier to install.

Blackadder

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2014, 04:53:02 AM »
Also, as stated before, consider using hot water bottles and heat blankets. I'm using a "Beurer" heat blanket in my bead which automatically turns off after 45 minutes. Much more efficient than heating the whole room.

Also, my niece suffers from cold feat to an extend that they won't warm themselves up once they're cold because her body tunes down blood circulation of the extremities as soon as it gets a little chilly. She's a student who sits at the table for extended periods and bought an electric foot warmer. It's like a heat blanket, only you put your feet in it. Doesn't use a lot of energy, too, and, again, cheaper than heating the complete room. This approach reminds me of those Japanese heated tables: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kotatsu

begood

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2014, 05:16:04 AM »
Another option is boiled wool clogs, which you can wear over any old socks and they keep your feet warm. They also have the benefit of being able to be worn outdoors.

I had a pair of Stegmann clogs - stegmann.net/ - for about 15 years that were high quality, held up very well, and kept my feet toasty warm!

Squirrel away

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2014, 05:47:37 AM »
I have a pair of fleecy slipper boots that go half way up my leg and they are sometimes so warm that I have to take them off!



Never underestimate the value of a hot water bottle! I didn't appreciate how much better they are than electric heating pads and microwavable heat pouches until I moved to the UK and was converted.

I sometimes take a hot water bottle out to wear under my jumper when I walk the dogs in the winter.:D

RetiredAt63

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2014, 06:09:50 AM »
Ikea has fleecy indoor boots, my DD has a pair.

Handwarmers http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/9e29/

I put one of those fabric bags with oats inside in the bed where my feet will go.  It takes two minutes in the microwave to heat it, then it goes in the bed while I brush my teeth, and I have warm happy feet at night.

I have a pair of fleecy slipper boots that go half way up my leg and they are sometimes so warm that I have to take them off!

I sometimes take a hot water bottle out to wear under my jumper when I walk the dogs in the winter.:D

kimmarg

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #22 on: September 17, 2014, 06:27:25 AM »
I'm next door in maine! a few thoughts

- are you on an oil contract? Might want to look into locking in your price as it usually goes up in late winter.

- get the plastic shrink wrap stuff from he the hardware store and do all the windows. Done right (you'll get the hang of it takes a couple tries) you can still see perfectly through the window and it blocks all drafts. Frost king is the normal brand. It's clear plastic you shrink with a hair dryer and double sided tape.

- LL Bean silk long underwear is the best. Yes it is pricey (look for outlet) but it is think enough to go under your normal clothes without feeling like the Michelin man and very warm.

Squirrel away

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2014, 06:39:43 AM »
Ikea has fleecy indoor boots, my DD has a pair.

Handwarmers http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/9e29/

I put one of those fabric bags with oats inside in the bed where my feet will go.  It takes two minutes in the microwave to heat it, then it goes in the bed while I brush my teeth, and I have warm happy feet at night.

I have a pair of fleecy slipper boots that go half way up my leg and they are sometimes so warm that I have to take them off!

I sometimes take a hot water bottle out to wear under my jumper when I walk the dogs in the winter.:D

That sounds nice. I don't own a microwave so it wouldn't work for me.:D The bad thing about hot water bottles is that there is a risk that they can break and leak during the night but that has only happened to me once.

lizzzi

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #24 on: September 17, 2014, 07:58:20 AM »
For long underwear I like the LL Bean lightweight 100% merino wool. I wear the bottoms as leggings sometimes--with a long tunic over, and classic short black Uggs on my feet, you would never know they are long underwear and not really leggings.  Warmer and more comfortable than cotton leggings in colder weather.

MandalayVA

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #25 on: September 17, 2014, 08:12:31 AM »
I have a pair of knitted slippers from American Eagle Outfitters that one of my sisters-in-law was going to throw out because they were "dirty."  I threw them in the wash, they came out looking like new, and they're my favorite to wear around the house when it's cold.  If I have to step outside for a moment, then I break out the LL Bean moccassin slippers.

PS--glad to see other Bean fans.  No lie, about 70% of my wardrobe is LL Bean, as are my sheets, quilt ... even my alarm clock!

GuitarStv

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #26 on: September 17, 2014, 09:22:41 AM »
55 F is what, 12 or 13 in real degrees right?  That's frigging cold.  I consider myself pretty cold tolerant, and I like to keep the house about 15 or more (60 F).  My experience is that as long as your torso is very warm the feet and hands will sort themselves out . . . so I just wear regular socks and a very warm sweater or vest.

former player

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #27 on: September 17, 2014, 10:58:23 AM »
Hot water bottles are not just for beds but also for sitting on the sofa with a throw.  I'm told it's bad news to use an electric blanket and a hot water bottle at the same time, in case of leaks (you might be able to get one of the old-fashioned ceramic bottles, but it could still leak via the stopper.)

The classic Ugg sheepskin boots are great for keeping feet and ankles warm: they are essentially slippers.  There are cheaper knock-offs, but try for real sheepskin.

I heard of someone using a heated pet bed warmer to put their feet on while they sat at a desk.

Lis

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Re: Saving on Heating Costs: Thermal Socks Edition
« Reply #28 on: September 17, 2014, 11:12:50 AM »
Growing up, my mom always kept the heat on 55 at night and 58-60 during the day (maybe up to 62 if we complained enough). I've gotten used to wearing layers and layers in the winter. Personally, I wear wool socks if I'm moving around, but keep thin cotton socks on if I'm sitting down (I'll usually have a blanket over me and will tuck them underneath me).

I'd look into getting a small space heater too and placing it where you'll be most sedentary during the day. My dad got a decent one for his office in the (very drafty) basement, and it's typically the warmest room in the house. If you use it wisely, it shouldn't increase your bill too much.

Honestly, my two favorite feet warmers are 1) sticking my cold toes under my boyfriend's legs (he really appreciates it, I'm sure, but let's me do it nonetheless :) ), and 2) having my cat curl up over them (his favorite place to lay, no idea why).