Saving Energy in a Year of High Prices and Possibly Shortages!

Fall is upon the Northern Hemisphere, with Winter to soon follow. Utility bills will likely be higher this year, with the bizarre environmental and energy policies of the democrats in the U.S., and other Western nations, alternate heating methods will assuredly be employed by many people. Zone Heating, i.e. the Heating of a Specific Room by some means, while leaving Unused Areas at a cooler Temperature, will assuredly be employed by many. This Discusses Various Means of Saving Energy.

1. Insulate Windows, use the Shrink-Wrap type Kits that used Adhesive Strips, the Shrink Wrap is laid on the Strip, and a Mating Piece of the Strip is used to clip it in place. This is done around the Window, then the Shrink Wrap is Heated with a Hair Dryer, and it Shrinks Tighter, hopefully eliminating the wrinkles. This Form of Insulation creates an Additional Air Space Between the Window and the Shrink Wrap, and the Temperature of the Shrink Wrap (in use) Doesn’t Get as Cold as the Glass, hence the Room Air is Less Influenced by the Warmer Surface of the Shrink Wrap. In addition, worn or poorly fitted Seals on the Window are no longer able to allow Air into the Room from Outside.

Heavy Curtains. We use Heavy Curtains in the Winter (haven’t done the Shrink Wrap yet, but we bought it last season), on many Windows. If it’s Sunny, consider opening them for the Heat from the Sun. As the Sun no longer comes in, or on Cloudy Days, or at Night, Close those Curtains. Before our Current House was Insulated, in the Bedroom we used 2 Heaters, on Low (see Heater Safety Below), on Different Circuits, Heaters Cycling, and my wife Installed Heavy Curtains where there was no Windows. You can buy Tapestries, with Very Stylish Images on them, on Amazon. I can’t vouch for them, but my wife hanging the Curtains on the Wall made the rooms at least Habitable. You can use a Tapestry for a Classy Look, just be careful if you use Open Flame Heating or Open Flame Lights, Near Fireplaces, Near the Discharge of Heaters, etc. Curtains and Tapestries create an Air Space that reduces the Heat Exchange of the Warm Room to the Cold Walls, I’d imagine you could hang Blankets as well.

2. Get a reliable Set-Back Thermostat.

Thermostat White Rodgers 5-2 1F78

Commonly, they are available in 7 Day (each day can be individually programmed) or 5/2 Day where there is a Monday thru Friday as one Programmed Unit, and Saturday and Sunday as the other. Figure out what time you go to bed. Set it to a lower temperature to begin 15 minutes before you go to bed, or if your house is drafty, set it for your bedtime, or even 15 minutes after. Set it to return to the desired Temperature about 15 minutes before you would normally get up in the morning. The 7 Day Programmable Thermostat is more accommodating to varying schedules, the 5/2 is likely easier to program. But if the house is vacant sometime during each 24 Hour Period, due to people being at Jobs, School, etc., and with proper respect for domestic pets, set the Thermostat to a lower temperature about 15 minutes before the house will be vacant, and to increase to the desired temperature about 15 minutes before someone is to return.

Turning down the temperature too low may cause pipes to freeze in colder homes on very cold days. My house was not insulated, there is Vinyl Siding, covering the original Wood Siding, attached to Studs, there is an Air Gap of a few inches (4″ or so when 2 x 4 are used for Studs), then:

Click on Image for the Full View:

• Lath Board, and Plaster


• Plasterboard (Drywall)

That 4″ or so Gap is where the Pipes are located. In the winter, the outside Temperature influences the Temperature in the Gap, as does the inside Temperature. The house must be kept warm enough so that the Pipes don’t Freeze in the wall. Insulated homes likely decrease the concern of Pipes Freezing. Basement Pipes may be subject to Freezing in older homes and very low Nighttime Thermostat Settings. On Forced Air Furnaces, be sure the Basement Heat Registers (Vents) are open sufficiently to keep the Basement adequately heated. Monitor the conditions in the Basement periodically.

3. Close off the doors to unused rooms. In Unused Rooms:

• With Forced Air Furnaces, reduce the opening of the Heat Registers in those rooms, do not close. Monitor the conditions in the room periodically.

• With Electric Baseboard Heat, set the Room Thermostat to a lower temperature or Off, according to your previous use. Monitor the conditions in the room periodically.

• Hot Water Baseboard Heaters supplied by a Central Heating Systems may be adjustable. Consult manufacturer’s or online instructions.

To Monitor Areas of the House this year, I bought this Thermometer. It measures the Room Temperature/Humidity the Base is in, and comes with 3 Remote Sensors that it also displays the Temperature and Humidity for any room or even one placed Outside (sheltered).

ORIA Indoor Outdoor Thermometer with 3 Wireless Sensors, Digital Hygrometer Thermometer, Temperature Humidity Monitor Meter with LCD Backlight, Wireless Thermometer for Home, Office, Bedroom, White

Remote Thermometer

My Remote Thermometer. Display is Clear. My Photography needs to Improve.

The Top Horizontal Readings (69.8° F and 49% Humidity) is the Measurements from the Display Unit itself, that’s the Temperature/Humidity Near it. The other 3 are the Temperature and Humidity Sent to the Display Unit from small Remote Sensors mounted wherever you care to Monitor.

1 =  Main Bedroom     2 = Small Bedroom     3 = Basement

This Type of a Device can help to monitor Temperatures in the Winter. Of course, you can also just place Thermometers in Each Area you care to Monitor, and visit them periodically, and record the actual information.

4. Dress Warmer while home. Wear a warm hat or cap, wear warm socks. Remember, you’re trying to have affordable heat. Use a Heavy Blanket. We used our dog as a heater, he liked to sleep on the bed, he was 95 lbs, and it made a discernible difference in temperature.

5. To discuss in more detail another time, Kerosene Heaters and Oil Lamps, must be used with Extreme Care. I also have a Candle Lamp (Holds 3 Candles, Can Burn 1, 2, or 3 at the same time). Fire and Carbon Monoxide are concerns with Open Flame Devices. Follow the Manufacturers Instructions and Common Sense.

UCO Candle Lamp

My Candle Lantern Model, Shown Above, creates heat, but it is only a Fraction of the Heat produced by Oil Lamps such as the Following Currently Manufactured Aladdin Oil Lamp.  Images are Not Shown To Scale:

Aladdin Oil Lamp

We use them, but we have Fire Extinguishers in various places around the house, we have multiple Smoke Alarms and 2 Carbon Monoxide Alarms, You SHOULD NOT LEAVE OPEN FLAME LIGHTS UNATTENDED. DO NOT NOT SLEEP WHILE ONE IS IN USE. One of my sons saw a Trailer Burn Down, that he and others were having a party at, when a Decorative Candle was too close to the Ceiling. It ignited the wood underneath the Ceiling Material and the Trailer burned fast. A Narrow Boat YouTube Show had a man that bought a Wall Mounted Oil Lamp for heat. It was too close to the ceiling, and I wrote to:

W.T. Kirkman Lanterns (very knowledgeable)

He advised that it needed to be 18” at a Minimum from the Ceiling. The Narrow Boat Show had it much closer than that. I wrote to the Narrow Boat Show and told him about the concern.

Center or Side Draft Oil Lamps (the Aladdin is a Side Draft) can often be operated in such a way as to not produce an odor. But they can run away, especially shortly after being Lit, and they must be attended. By “run away”, I mean that they may increase in Draft after being Lit, to the Point that Flames come out the Top of the Chimney. You Simply Turn Down the Wick to Lower the Flame. If the Flame is too Low, the Combustion is Incomplete and the Lamps make a Kerosene Smell. I light my Lamps in the House, Work the Flame up over 15 Minutes to the correct height, and when I extinguish them (usually just 1 is lit), I take it outside. This way, no Kerosene Smell in the House is Noted.


6. Electric Heaters. The following Tag is the reason I wrote this blog.

An Electric Heater used Safely in a Bedroom may permit the Furnace Thermostat to be Set Lower than normal at Night while still keeping the Room Warm.  If Multiple Rooms are Involved, Multiple Heaters may cost more to Operate than Running the Furnace at a Reasonable Nighttime Temperature and may Cause Issues with Wiring Overheating if the Rooms are not Individually Wired.

This Tag is on a bathroom portable heater. I used Yandex to Extract the Text from a Photograph of the Tag. It did it almost perfectly. The Text from the Tag is Below the Image of the Heater Itself.

IMG_20221003_184355 2

When we bought this house, we had it rewired. When we inherited our former house, we had it rewired. Older homes can be very deficient in wiring.

The Cautions on this Tag are not Absolute, Different Rules Apply for Different Heaters.

From the DeLonghi HFX65V15L Heater:

DeLonghi HFX65V15L


1) Do not place any objects such as furniture, papers, clothes, and curtains closer than 3 feet (0.9 m) to the front of the heater and keep them away from the sides and rear when the heater is plugged in.

2) Do not place the heater near a bed because objects such as pillows or blankets can fall off the bed and be ignited by the heater.

3) Always unplug heater when not in use.

4) Always plug heaters directly into a wall outlet/receptacle. Never use with an extension cord or relocatable power tap (outlet/power strip).

5) Do not operate heater with a damaged cord or plug or after the heater malfunctions, has been dropped or damaged in any manner. Discard heater or return to an authorized service facility for examination and/or repair.

6) Do not run cord under carpeting. Do not cover cord with throw rugs, runners, or similar coverings. Do not route cord under furniture or appliances. Arrange cord away from traffic area and where it will not be tripped over.

7) Check your heater cord and plug connections.

a: Faulty wall outlet connections or loose plugs can cause the outlet or plug to overheat. Be sure the plug fits tight in the outlet.

b: Heaters draw more current than small appliances, overheating of the outlet may occur even if it has not occurred with the use of other appliances.

c: During use check frequently to determine if your plug outlet or faceplate is HOT!

d: If so, discontinue use of the heater and have a qualified electrician check and/or replace the faulty outlet(s).


We have a Special Dedicated A/C Outlet in both of the Bedrooms in our House. This means a Breaker Feeds a Cable that only goes to One Receptacle, and another Breaker Feeds a Cable that goes to the Other Receptacle. We use the Dedicated A/C Receptacle for a Heater in the Winter Time, the Honeywell HZ-2110/HZ-2110C Heater with 600, 900, and 1500 Watts.

We do use a Heavy Duty Power Strip (Metal Construction, it’s designed for use with Tools in a Shop Setting), despite what the Tag (above) says. We only use the Heater on 600 Watts or 900 Watts, and be sure the Room is Warmed Up and the Heater is Cycling, before falling asleep.

See My Blog below, on Power Strip Failure, when used with High Wattage Devices and from a Failure of the older Non-Fused MOV Style Strips when the MOV (Metal Oxide Varistor, used to Suppress Voltage Spikes and Transients) fails.

Power Strips, Information on Use and Safety

Power Strips, Information on Use and Safety

The Current Used by the Different Wattage Settings are Listed Below:

Power = Voltage x Current

Current = Power ÷ Voltage

600 ÷ 120 = 5 Amps
900 ÷ 120 = 7.5 Amps

If we used it on 1500 Watts, that would be:
1500 ÷ 120 = 12.5 Amps

  • The higher the Current, the more likely that issues will arise.
  • The Longer the Heater Runs before Cycling Off, or if it Cycles-Off for only a Few Seconds, then back On, the more likely issues will arise.

Basically, if the wiring is not in great shape, if the Plug is not a Tight Fit to the Receptacle, if Heater Wire Connections are not Solidly Connected to the Plug Prongs, any Electrical Resistance will result in Heating the Plug, Receptacle, and/or Wiring/Breaker. 

We have Commercial Grade Receptacles throughout the house. This house; and our previous house we had Re-Wired; I bought Commercial Grade Receptacles and had the Electrician Install them as they Re-Wired each Home. Receptacles are less than $1, and Commercial Grade may be $2 to $3 dollars each, and they are worth the investment. They Hold the Plug Tighter, Reducing the Heating that occurs from a Less Firm Grip.

I found what appeared to be a Large Candle Light in the Trash. I brought it home, and it’s a Duraflame MODEL: 10ILH100-01H Heater. 

It has 1000W and 1500 Watts, and NO THERMOSTAT (by design), Apparently you Turn it On when you’re Cold and Off when you’re Warm. It’s Runs with Heat, or the Lights can be Turned-On without Heat, but you can’t set it to Turn-Off or Cycle at a Specific Room Temperature. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS HEATER TO ANYONE.

I Disconnected the 1000 Watts Element, (if I remember correctly) only leaving the 500 Watts one intact. That way, it is Less Likely to Cause Trouble if someone Turns the Heat On. We use it for the Light, with the Heat Off. And I can disassemble it and Restore the 1000 Watt Heating Element if Needed. The Unit Does have Protection for Internal Over-Temperature, but I don’t think there is a Tilt Switch.

So, No Thermostat and 1500 Watts. The Original Plug is Still in use, but you can see that, at one time, it was subject to distortion from Heat, and no wonder. Imagine this Heater, Unattended, on 1500 Watts, for an Extended Period of Time.

At work, there was; in the small office I worked from, a shared office space, behind where I sat; a Blackened Receptacle (Seriously Overheated). I’m an Electrician, I should have replaced it, but I didn’t use it. We were not permitted to have Heaters (though an Under the Desk Radiator (flat) type thing was approved, and it was Low Wattage). So, someone was using a Non-Approved Heater, and frankly, I can’t blame them, but they needed to be more careful about its use.

  • See the Warning Tag from my DeLonghi HFX65V15L, and Consult the Specific Warnings for any Electrical Heater you use.
  • Keep the Heaters on the Lower Wattage Settings if Possible.
  • Make sure the Heater is Cycling, if they run on Higher Wattage Settings for Extended Periods of Time, or Only Cycle Off for Seconds, they May Overheat the Plug, Receptacle, Wiring, or even Breaker.
  • When I Turn-Off a Heater, I always Check the Plug Body to see if it’s Warm (or Unusually Warm, as Some “Warmth” will occur if the Heater is Running in Longer Cycles).
  • Unplug the Heater when Not in Use.
  • We use a Heavy Duty Power Strip Made of Metal, and we Turn-Off the Devices Plugged into it, then Turn-off the Power Strip Itself. Ordinarily, you should Plug the Heater Directly into the Wall.
  • When I use a Heater in the Living Room in the Winter, I use a Very Short (5’) Appliance Extension that uses 12 Gauge Wiring and is Intended for High Current Devices. My Heater Cord will not Reach the Receptacle from the area where we need it.

Don’t use the Heater:

  • That is Damaged or isn’t Operating Correctly (on some, the Thermostat Sticks with the Unit On)
  • Has a Damaged Power Cord or Plug
  • Plugged into a Receptacle that has issues
  • If the Plug Fits into Loosely into the Receptacle
  • That is on a Circuit Shared with other Moderate to High Wattage Devices (Including Other Heaters)

Consider having a Qualified Electrician Install a Dedicated Circuit for use with an A/C or Heater in the Room where it’s Needed. 

Author: Dr-Artaud

A Doctor that is not a Doctor, but named after a character in the movie "No Such Thing", as is the Avatar.

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