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  1. #1
    Liz
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    Moderator Emeritus Liz's Avatar
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    Question "warming blankets" for saving on heating bill

    I was told a couple of years ago that heaters are extremely bad for your electric bill, not to mention safety. One of my residents used one last year and it brought up our bill noticeably. No more heaters!

    I was told warming or electric blankets are much less expensive.

    I have used an electric blanket for a few years, and it doesn't seem to effect the electric bill. The new ones adjust automatically to the temperature - and/or you can manually control them. Also they automatically shut off after 12 hours. Mine never gets very hot, but takes the chill off.

    I would like to get one for each of my 4 residents (we have a residence for homeless women). The house is old and it's expensive to heat (steam heat/gas furnace). I'm trying to save money on the heat in a safe and less expensive way.

    Does anyone know about the blankets?

    Thanks
    Liz

  2. #2
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: "warming blankets" for saving on heating bill

    Hey Liz

    They just had a show about this type of thing on Wisconsin Public Radio today, and someone specifically asked about electric blankets and how much energy they use vs. space heaters. I don't remember what the expert said, but you can listen to the show here.

    http://www.wpr.org/ideas/programnotes.cfm

    It's the 11:00 show with Larry Meiller. I'm planning on getting some plastic window sealer tonight for my house. If you don't already use it, you should consider it. It really helps stop the drafts from leaky windows. Make sure the windows are locked also. The lock on windows pulls them closer together for a much tighter seal. Drapes also help keep the warmth of the room in the room. Open them in the day to let the sun in, close them at night. There are lots of little things you can do around the house to help out.
    Last edited by mjs1973; 10-13-2005 at 07:11 PM.
    Mike

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Lara's Avatar
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    Re: "warming blankets" for saving on heating bill

    Liz, a few things to consider with electric blankets. (My opinion)

    Electric blankets should always be on top of all other blankets on the bed. Nothing should be on top of it.

    I don't have one any longer, but the blanket I did have was the one with the timer and temperature controls.

    You can't wash an electric blanket.

    The blanket should not be sat on, or things put on top of them, ever.

    As you can tell, I'm a bit leery about electric blankets.

    I think Michaels suggestions are excellent. Especially if the windows are not relatively new. A lot of heat can escape from them and of course drafts can be a big problem .
    Lara


  4. #4
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: "warming blankets" for saving on heating bill

    Liz,

    Another suggestion I forgot all about. Last year for Christmas we got my mom a heated mattress pad. It works like an electric blanket only it goes over the mattress and you lay on top of it. Something like this.

    I have never used one, but my mom sure likes it.
    Mike

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  5. #5
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: "warming blankets" for saving on heating bill

    Along the lines of what Lara said, I'd be nervous of having a cat on the bed too (maybe unless it's declawed)...

  6. #6
    Liz
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    Thanks everyone.....

    I appreciate all the input and advice. Actually the new electric "warming" blankets have an auto off after 10 hours, and they are washable. The don't get as hot as the older ones and are supposed to be safe. Let's hope!

    I'm the only one that there would be any danger of the cats crawling on them (clawed). The cats don't go in the other rooms.

    Thanks for all the help, everyone.

    Liz

    Lara - did you find any difference in your electric bill?

    Quote Originally Posted by another view
    Along the lines of what Lara said, I'd be nervous of having a cat on the bed too (maybe unless it's declawed)...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lara's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks everyone.....

    Hiya Liz....We used to use the electric blanket on chilly nights when we had a cabin in New Hampshire. We had no heat except the fireplace and a little electric heater. (This type http://www.air-n-water.com/product/157.html ) I never had any problems with heater by the way. We would turn the heater on at night, but shut it off when we went to bed, then use the electric blanket. As far as the blanket, I didn't notice much of a difference in my electric bill. The newer blankets should be more cost effective too.
    Lara


  8. #8
    Princess of the OT adina's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks everyone.....

    We will be replacing all of our downstairs windows, in hopes that our heat bill will come down some. While we won't recoup the cost of the windows in one year, they are starting to fall off, so I guess it was time

    I read somewhere once that electric blankets can cause cancer. It probably isn't true, but it was enough to scare me into never using one. We all just put an extra blanket on the bed, and the girls wear warmer jammies. I think that the older you get, the more it affects you though.
    I sleep, but I don't rest.

  9. #9
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    Re: Thanks everyone.....

    Along the lines of what Michael was saying, I saw on the news this morning, also Wisconsin haha, that caulking "ALL" openings is extremely important. Something I had never thought about, that they mentioned, was "add up all the cracks in an average home and it would be like having an open window in your home. (paraphrased)" They recommended checking not only the windows and doors, but the areas around your house such as outdoor faucets, eave overhangs, etc.. Any place there is even the slightest gap. They said that doing this might cost about $35.00, but would save tons in heating costs. They also recommended adding an extra layer of insulation in your attic or crawl space.
    Just some ideas for you to consider.
    Ken
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