Winter weather has arrived here in Philly, with temperatures in the teens after the wind chill is factored in. Brrrrrrrr! And along with this cold snap we got a nice surprise last week…our oil tank was already empty and had to be refilled! Considering we filled it up when we moved in, this means we were burning through the oil at an alarming rate, and one our wallets did not want to deal with for the next four months or so.
In order to cut back on our heating bill, we took on two projects this weekend. First, we shrink wrapped our 45 year old windows. I bought window kits at Home Depot and Friday night we started on the main floor.
First I ran the double sided tape included in the kit along the inside of the window frames.
After letting the tape set for 15 minutes, I stretched the plastic over each window.
The final step was heating the plastic with a hairdryer to shrink it.
This was the most tedious part of the project, especially on these 8′ windows in the living room. It took us most of the night Friday and a few more hours on Saturday to finish up just the windows in the living and dining room. We’ve still got the family room and bedrooms waiting, but since all of those windows are smaller hopefully it will go a little more quickly.
The other project we tackled was changing out all our our ancient thermostats for new programmable ones. Most of this project happened while I was working on the windows, but I did snap a few progress shots.
Reading the directions like a responsible DIYer. (Oh yeah, and we decorated for Christmas. More on that coming when I find my camera charger).
He installed the base for the new thermostat. That wall underneath is just gorgeous, huh?
Then attached the wires, added batteries, and attached the front of the thermostat to the base. We programmed it to drop the temperature way down both while we are at work and while we are asleep.
Each floor of our house is on its own thermostat, so we programmed the upstairs similarly to the main floor. We did not put a programmable thermostat on the lower level. We aren’t spending any extended time on that floor, so we aren’t heating it right now. We actually just moved the newer of our three thermostats to that level. Down the road we will certainly switch that one out as well, but for now we’re ok without it.
I’ve already realized now that we have the new thermostat upstairs that the old one was very inaccurate…It was probably 75 degrees up there when it was set in the mid 60’s! These two projects together cost about $100 for the window kits and new thermostats. Hopefully we will more than make our money back in the amount we will save on our oil bill. I’ll let you know how it turns out…as long as we haven’t run our oil tank empty again in five weeks I’ll consider it a success!