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Question of the Week: What are Your Greatest Energy Concerns as We Approach Winter?

September 4, 2008 - 11:16am


What are your greatest energy concerns as we approach the winter heating season?

Your answers will help us write blog posts that will be most useful to you as you prepare for the winter season.

Our focus on the Energy Savers Blog over the next two months is helping you get ready for winter. So, we thought we'd ask what you feel you need to know to prepare yourselves and your homes to be as energy efficient as possible.


E-mail your responses to the Energy Saver team at


Winter time is always an issue in our house with regards to windows. Even though the home is only 10yrs old, the construction quality is not great. Some of the windows do not fully close due to frame distortion. This leaves airgaps. I am always forced to use the plastic sheets to prevent drafts. Replacement windows are costly, but may need to be considered.

Posted by: Charles Nichols | September 04, 2008 at 12:32 PM

The energy consumption for heating. We've got a heat pump, which works great until it gets below 32 degrees. Then the electric resistance heating takes over and that is expensive. Last year, I used the fireplace more regularly and this helped prevent the resistance heating from coming on as soon as it used to.

Posted by: Robert Long | September 04, 2008 at 04:40 PM

Anyway to save money, I am looking for info on weather proofing, discounts, and any other tips on keeping the cost down.

Posted by: Apex | September 05, 2008 at 08:03 PM

I am mostly concerned with the costs associated with heating my apartment. Winters are cold in Wisconsin, heat is expensive, plastic on the windows helps. I can't really alter my apartment, mostly due to the fact that I don't own it, and I need good plans to help me reduce my usage and need of energy to sustain myself.

Posted by: Gina Owens | September 06, 2008 at 03:50 PM

The greatest energy concern that approaches me for the winter is the paying for the cost of fuel oil for the furnace. Being able to affort fuel oil will limit the amount of money used for other needs.

Posted by: Dustin | September 08, 2008 at 01:54 PM

I echo Dustin's thoughts. The cost of fuel oil is so expensive and winter is fast approaching. I have a wood stove to supplement the oil furnace, but the cost of firewood is going up as well. If I had the money, I would be investing in Geothermal heating.

Posted by: Favelle Maschke | September 08, 2008 at 02:34 PM

Thanks to Charles, Robert, Apex, Gina, Dustin, and Favelle for your thoughts. You've given us some great ideas for blog posts to help you prepare for winter. Keep those comments coming!

Posted by: Allison Casey | September 08, 2008 at 05:18 PM

I am concerned with the high cost of heating my home. Heating costs have recently doubled. I believe there should be more incentives for home owners for efforts to conserve energy. I also would like to see landlords be required to make their rental properties more energy efficent and incentives to this end for them should be available on a per unit basis. Perhaps upgrades performed by the renter should be allowed to be taken off of their rent.

Posted by: Greg Ramlow | September 09, 2008 at 12:05 AM

Well I would have to say that my main concern about heating and energy during this winter season will simply be the cost of heat. It seems like each year, it costs more and more to heat the house for energy used and everything. With the furnace running on gas, it is calculated by therms and it sure doesn't seem to be too cheap. So my main concern would be how expensive it may be to heat the house this year.

Posted by: Cole Klismith | September 09, 2008 at 09:57 PM

My greatest energy concerns as we approach winter are oil prices and how much it is going to cost to heat my house. Almost everything revolves around the fuel prices and this winter rising prices could have a negative effect on our economy.

Posted by: jace | September 10, 2008 at 10:18 AM

Like many others i am concerned about the cost it will take to heat my apartment this winter. I feel like i loose alot more energy in my apartment than most do in their homes because of effecintcy, it would be great if their were incentives for either the property managers to improve it or if their was a bennifit to the renter to upgrade certian things and somehow not lose the money invested with the lease runs out.

Posted by: Adam Mezyk | September 10, 2008 at 12:51 PM

My greatest concern is keeping my new apartment heated. I don't have to pay for electric however I am conscious of my use. I found out recently that the apartment is poorly insulated. We can try to cover the windows and only heat the rooms we are in to reduce our needs. However, I get cold really easily and don't really want to walk around in a winter coat inside my house all winter. What other options do I have to reduce heat loss in a place that I don't own?

Posted by: Kendra | September 10, 2008 at 02:18 PM

OPEC just announced they would reduce oil output by 520000/day. Conflicts between Russia and Georgia, which sits over the Caspain and Asian oil gates, still run high. Despite the EIA report (and others) that distillate prices are dropping, my concern is domestic and international political motivation may lead to a higher than needed home heating cost.

Posted by: Kristi O | September 10, 2008 at 03:22 PM

My concerns for the upcoming winter is the cost to heat my home. I do my best to prep my house for winter, Plastic over the windows, doors are sealed, and caulk added to any cracks. Last year we also bought a couple programmable electric space heaters to heat just the areas of our home that are used the most, rather than heat the whole house. A big issue I am concerned with after reading the blogs are people living in apartments. I used to live in a downstairs flat and the house was so poorly insulated I know my heat loss was huge. Is there any thoughts of how to make a landlord responsible for making thier rentals any more energy efficient?

Posted by: James Miller | September 11, 2008 at 10:52 AM

Being moved into a duplex opposed to an apartment I was in a year ago, the insulation and heat efficiency is much better than the apartment was. The duplex I live in is about 3 years old so it's pretty efficient. However, the rise of heating costs is a huge concern for me still. Since much of the appliances and things in the duplex are energy star, it makes for some hefty electric bills as well.

I'm concerned with the rising costs of heat because it seems to follow the gas price trend lately. People have to go so far as to limit how much heat they use and a lot of people I know have to set their temperatures so low they wear sweatshirts all winter. My fiance and I used to set it at 72 but went down alot because of how much our heating bills were.

We have the heat that comes out of the heaters along the floorboards so it helps also that we can close the vents on these in rooms that we don't use. That seems to cut down a little bit of the cost since we aren't trying to heat the whole house, especially the rooms we don't use that often.

Posted by: Andy | September 11, 2008 at 02:22 PM

Like most people i'm concerned with how much my bills which will increase once the winter comes. I heat with electric basboard heaters which aren't very efficient and pretty costly. I hooked up seperate thermostats for each room which helps conserve some power. I plan on stock piling some wood and use the wood burning stove soon. That should help out with the energy problem.

Posted by: Steve | September 11, 2008 at 08:21 PM

My concerns are my house being energy efficient. I don't know how my house is going to be this winter, nor do I know how high the energy bill will be, most of the windows are single pane and a couple have cracks, plastic over the windows is the only option at this time.

Posted by: Chris W | September 11, 2008 at 09:52 PM

My greatest concern looking into the winter months is the cost of oil. It is the ways most heat our houses and with the oil prices going up at their current rate it's going to get ugly. I'm not looking forward to seeing how much my energy bill goes up every month. Every possible way I can conserve, I will.

Posted by: Seth | September 11, 2008 at 11:12 PM

My greatest concern is spatial heating for the winter. I find it cold enough in the mornings during the fall, to have it worse would be a nusiance. Blankets are fine and all, but I find myself clinging to them as a heat cove when I wake up, which then leads to falling back to sleep and getting up late, ect.

My second concern would be water. Having the shower heat up requires the waste of cold water. If they do exist, then a smart shower where a person can prepare the water temperature before letting loose any water would be excellent.

Posted by: Neil B. | September 12, 2008 at 04:57 AM

Like Kendra, I do not pay for my heating bills. At age 25, I actually never have had to do this. I went from home, to dorm living, to shared apartments and group homes where electricity was (always luckily) included in a pre-determined rent price.

My concern is that there are so many people out there like me who think nothing of turning up the thermostat to 80 degrees or higher to get warmed up. We leave the furnace running all night no lower than 75 degrees. I care about saving energy, I really do, but there are so many like me that just don'

What is the solution for this? I don't know. I suppose as heating bills increase our landlords will raise the rent and we will get be affected that way. But that won't stop us from turning up the furnace...or having disregard for energy conservation.

Posted by: Sarah | September 12, 2008 at 09:39 AM

my biggest consern is heating my house i just moved in to my own house and it is poorly insulated. but i am planing on keeping the heat set low and have plastic over the windows. i might put a small electric heater in the living room depending on the electric bill.

Posted by: ben | September 12, 2008 at 09:49 AM

We have saved a tremendous amount of money since we put in our wood stove, but I'm still concerned with the steep rise in the cost of home heating oil. Filling up a 250 gallon tank costs about as much as our mortgage. I would like to see the govenment put in much greater incentives, to allow us to do some of the really high dollar upgrades like newer siding and windows. These replacements are so expensive, that I don't see a day anytime in the next couple of years that we will be able to afford them. A direct pay to contractors would make it so much easier to do this. Instead of us putting out all of the money up front and waiting for either rebates or tax credits.
Posted by: Anne Bembenek | September 12, 2008 at 12:16 PM

My biggest concern is the ever rising cost of natural gas. My wages increase only so much every year yet the cost of LIVING just keeps going up and up. I will do what I can to minimize my costs but I will still feel the pinch every time I get that bill.

Posted by: Russell | September 12, 2008 at 12:32 PM

Check out this video about energy efficiency and suggested actions for positive change.

Posted by: Ann | September 12, 2008 at 07:26 PM

My biggest concern for the upcoming winter is the price of heating fuel. As an alternative to defrey the cost we purchased a pellet stove now we are watching the price of pellets. Our old farm house gets plastic on the windos every winter and a major remodel scheduled in the near future but until that happens the price of fuel is our highest concern.

Posted by: Gary DeWilde | September 22, 2008 at 06:00 PM

Working in the PA, NJ, DE and MD areas we've done some really nice home makeovers and seems like more people are fixing up their homes than buying new ones nowadays. There main concern seems to efficiency hands down.

Posted by: Window Man | October 21, 2008 at 02:38 PM

on any baking dish do not preheat the oven
saves energy & no change in the product that you are baking
information from prof roger d probst
flordia international university
boca raton fl

Posted by: wfprobst | October 26, 2008 at 09:04 PM

I think its very important that people really start to think about ways to save money and the planet by using multifuel,solar or wind power.Lets be honest we've already reached a tipping point with regards to both peak oil and our planets health.
Keep the Home Fires Burning!

Posted by: Tony | April 25, 2009 at 01:41 PM