Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living)

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

Finding heat escapees

It’s so brutally cold outside that even the cold air wants to come inside to get warm.

Just about everyone knows about the cold, cold, weather over several states the last few days. Some states are being battered with way below zero temperatures.  I’m sure hoping everyone stays warm and safe.

Where I live the temps are hovering right around zero outside and dropping.  I can feel it all around me.  My furnace is working overtime to keep us warm.  I have on layers of clothing.  Hmm… this is a great time to find the places where heat is escaping.

Normally the saying is that “heat moves toward the cold” but today the high wind seems to prove that saying wrong.  Today I want to find the places where cold air is coming into my house.  The first place I could feel it was when I stood by the door.  Yes, I knew I’d find an opening here.  See the gap around the door?

Gap around the side door lets the cold air come in to get warm

Gap around the door lets the cold air come in to get warm

I never got around to making the door snake for this door.  I wanted to have someone level the door first.  Well that’s not gonna happen.  No one around who will help.  I have the supplies and will make the door snake this week.  In the mean time I did a temporary fix to keep out the cold.

Temporary solution to keep out the cold

Temporary solution to keep out the cold

I found a few other places that will have to be fixed as soon as the weather gets warmer.  Here is another place.  I  could feel the cold air around my feet as I worked at the quilting machine.

ENERGY SAVING 2014 006It looks small but even a very small space will allow heat to escape very quickly.  Or in this case cold air to get inside.  Another temporary fix.


After fixing all the places I could find around the house, the kitchen still felt really cold.  It felt especially cold near the furnace area.  Strange.  I felt a breeze each time I went to the refrigerator that sets in that corner.  I got an incense stick and lit it to find out where the air movement was coming from.  Ah ha!  There you are.  You naughty draft you.  See that vent up there?  It’s supposed to be an extra air supply for my furnace.


At first I thought maybe the draft was just a result of normal vent activity.  But, I decided to check it out anyway. Just look at what I found behind the vent cover.  Umm…. please ignore the webs.  I never have a reason to be inside this area looking up.  I wasn’t aware of those webs.  I put that chore on my spring cleaning list.  Ok, it’s hard to see but that is an opening, between the studs, going straight up to the attic.



Ok, here’s a better view from the vent side.  Yes, lots of heat has been going right through this opening.  It works just like a chimney.  Well, hmm, now I know why the furnace kicked on so often.  I was basically heating the whole attic.  Err… the whole outdoors because my attic has heat vents to prevent heat build up.


DUH!  No wonder it felt so cold in that area.  I wasn’t aware the furnace guys left that open when they were here five years ago.  I’ve been loosing heat for five years and didn’t know it.  I’ll definitely fix this area ASAP.  A temporary fix for this one simply HAD to be done today.

I had some foam packing material I had picked from a store trash bin.  I thought it might be useful for my quilting. Today I realize I’m glad I have pack rat tendencies.


So, I cut a piece to fit the opening.  I glued it into place with some hot glue.  It’s not perfect but will work for now.  It feels better already.



I couldn’t really see the bottom area of the opening so I took a picture with the camera pointing down.  Awww….. now I know what happened to the spider that made all the webs.  It must have died a long time ago.  Do you see what I see?  A gap opening there too.  It’s the brown line in the center of the picture.  That’s open between two pieces of plasterboard.  Well, heck, if someone put that much plaster board in the opening, why not just go ahead and do it all?  What were they thinking?



I cut a piece of foam packing to fill in this area too.  The whole kitchen definitely felt much warmer after the temporary repairs.


There is a house down the block being worked on by Habitat volunteers.  When they start bringing in plaster boards I’ll ask for a small scrap to fix that whole.  I don’t expect to see any volunteers again until warmer weather.

When this furnace was installed I was told the doors could not be used again.  The new furnace required different doors.  Which is why there are no doors in front of the furnace.  I was supposed to get new ones but my money ran out after paying for the furnace and I haven’t got them yet.  I’m checking the Habitat store regularly.  I don’t want just any kind of doors.  I want a special type.  Sooner or later those will show up.  I’m willing to live without until then.


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