We are all stuck inside for the foreseeable future. So what can we do to combat cabin fever and lower our electricity bills?
We have to eat but how do we make great meals and keep the cost low.
Those of us with solar or people who are on T93 have access to either free or very cheap power between 10am and 4pm.
Time to bring out that dusty old slow cooker or crockpot that someone regifted you when you got married and put it to work. Load it up with your favourite meal and plug it in. Basically you’re going to cook your meal for free if you have solar or at half price if you are just on T93. If you are stuck for ideas I use the Slow Cooker Central App and it has hundreds and hundreds of recipes sent in from members. Pretty sure they have a good website as well.
Multi levelled steamers are also a good way of getting the most cooking out a set amount energy as well.
Okay, so we have sorted the food out out. The next thing we like to do when stuck inside is see what we are doing. Maybe its time to swap some of those old energy gobbling incandescent lights and replace them with LEDs. If you have those old halogen spotlights the time to have sapped them out was 3 pandemics ago. They are hot, inefficient and love burning houses down. How they were ever a good idea is beyond.
So our bellies are full, we can see what we are doing now its time to move onto one the next important things. Being warm.
Time to go on draft hunt and I’m going to catch a big one.
Heat loss is one the most expensive things that can happen to a home. Especially older homes. Usual suspects include gaps under doors, poorly fitting windows and no pelmets. Cold is basically the absence of energy so it draws the heat which is essentially energy trapped in the air or mass of object. Heating anything up simply means applying more energy than is lost thus raising the temperature. Things you can do.
If you are handy with a sowing machine you could make some draft stoppers, basically those door snakes you used to see and your grandparents house as kids. I used to whack my brother around the head with one at every given opportunity. While they are largely no longer a commonly used item there effectiveness at stopping unwanted drafts and minimising heat loss. There is plenty of patterns and instructions on the internet. Plenty of fashionable colours and materials you could use. Exercise your imagination whilst saving a few dollars.
If the insulation is a bit ratty in the ceiling cavity maybe its time to top that up? That will keep you fit and be one the best and simplest money savers you can do for your home. Is itchy stuff and some basic mask is recommended.
For those homes with wooden window frames, now is good time to seal up around frames, re-putty loose panes. Look up pelmets on the internet as they’re is some good ideas there. These are huge energy saver. Used to be a mandatory fixture in older homes but somewhere along the way it became fashionable to throw vast quantities of your hard earned away and no use them. Single paned glass offers virtually no thermal barrier at all. With cold winter weather on one side and your warm paid for air on the other these become a very effective heat exchanger. Exchanging your heat for out the outside cold. Pelmets are a barrier to the thermodynamic air movement that takes place across your window panes.
So we’re full, arm and can see what we are doing. Let’s have a quick look at keeping dry.
A lot of damp houses it is a result of a problem outside coming inside. Clean those drains, next time it’s bucketing down have a look how the water is running across your block. Is it running up to the house? Are the garden beds hard up against the external walls? I see this a lot. Well mulched garden beds holding the water like a sponge up against your walls and then it tracks inside and makes the house damp.
The other big thing that makes houses damp is drying clothes inside. Unavoidable at times but that water that was in your wet clothes doesn’t magically disappear it gets soaked up by the house. While we are stuck inside a warm dry environment, we will be more comfortable and healthy for everyone. Also higher humidity makes houses more expensive to heat.
There you have it. Hopefully we have saved someone from going stir crazy and lowered your power bills in these uncertain times.