Green Lizard's Blog

The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.

Keep out the cold! It’s Curtains for you!

Our energy bill is something of a triumph! Unusually in the current climate…..

It’s going down!

For the last x years we’ve managed to have a rebate on our gas and electricity. In The Netherlands you pay a monthly tariff based on the number of people in the house and our regular use over the years.

Now it’s still a big cost but we’ve done a few simple things to help reduce this monthly cost!

Shut it!

Our house was built in the 1950s. The building industry was very pressured to find resources. So it’s a bit thin on bricks and the bricks are thin.

There are definite hot and cold spots around the place. One simple thing we do is keep the internal doors in the house closed, not just the external doors. We want to stop air moving around then the heating in each space is under less expectation to improve temperature.

When it gets dark we shut blinds and curtains around the whole house!
Windows let heat out.

We did some small alterations.

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We added a curtain rail over the front door. Then we added a curtain rail at the bottom of the stairs to the attic. With an attic conversion, our house has a lot of stairs which allow air to move up and down the house. Hot air rises. The attic is the warmest space in our house so we blocked those access points.

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Sewing!

I used a spare piece of material to make a draft excluder for that front door.

We shortened the living room curtains. They were covering the radiator before; that looked nice but it also pushed all the heat towards the space behind the curtain.

Foiled again!

Every radiator on an outside wall in the house got a tin foil reflector panel against the wall behind it.

Fire starter

And we did <a href="http://“>this.

I’ll be blogging about the briquettes in more detail but this wood stove utilises the existing chimney. We had it cleaned and the handy fella worked on the fireplace.

This refurbished French stove which was about a hundred years old was good value.

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Let it burn!

We fuel the fire with tree trimmings and offcuts, briquettes from paper, cardboard and recycling. It closes the recycling loop and is better than shredding as our private paper goes up in smoke!

So we look forward to the fuel bill to see what the refund is going to be!

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19 comments on “Keep out the cold! It’s Curtains for you!

  1. quarteracrelifestyle
    March 27, 2014

    Oooh, I love your fire!!

    Like

  2. litadoolan
    March 27, 2014

    Didn’t think of closing internal doors. Great tip! Bravo on the energy rebate. What sweet success to make a nice saving 😉

    Like

    • lizard100
      March 27, 2014

      It’s quite gratifying. The first year was a big windfall then they adjusted the bills!

      Like

  3. silverbells2012
    March 27, 2014

    I keep meaning to put a curtain up over my front door and foil behind the radiators. Hope your bill goes down 🙂

    Like

    • lizard100
      March 27, 2014

      It’s a really good move. It takes a short space of time to do it and is beneficial for a long time.

      Like

      • silverbells2012
        March 27, 2014

        And the curtain will make downstairs look cosier, too!

        Like

      • lizard100
        March 27, 2014

        It’s a good tool for making the house look more occupied as well.

        Like

      • silverbells2012
        March 28, 2014

        That’s a good point!

        Like

  4. truckerturningwrite
    March 28, 2014

    I installed a stove in our house two years ago. Best thing I ever did.
    Oil has gotten too expensive, which was probably all for the best.
    Great post!

    Like

  5. Rambling Woods
    March 29, 2014

    You really live it…love it

    Like

    • lizard100
      March 29, 2014

      Thanks. It’s been a great progress into the many possible new habits!

      Like

  6. solarbeez
    March 29, 2014

    I’m curious, do you separate ‘color slicks’ from the regular newsprint? We use blank newsprint to start the fire, but burn mostly wood when it’s going…wood in Oregon is probably much cheaper than that in the Netherlands. I’ve heard of newspaper logs. I think it’s a good idea, but not sure about the hard metals in color inks.

    Like

  7. lizard100
    March 29, 2014

    We don’t have magazines at all. So it’s all newspapers (but very few), envelopes and bills. There’s virtually no significant colour print. I think I would if we did though.

    Like

  8. Jenni
    March 30, 2014

    Fantastic ideas and I know what you mean about the increasing cost of energy. Our last bill was – well let me just say that it was not small.

    In North Qld the problem is the heat so – air con is standard in most homes and the older ones burn electricity. I’m saving for solar panels because when we moved the new place didn’t have them but we needed to do some other things first. I don’t understand I mean daa Australia – all that sun why on earth aren’t they on every house.

    A friend actually gets cheques for Ergon as what energy her family doesn’t use gets sent back into the grid. In the mean time it’s been a devastatingly hot summer and the real problem is the humidity which is so bad on some days that it is like breathing hot air plus the pressure of the moisture is so heavy is has a psychological draining effect on you.

    I will send you heating tips to my mum however as she is in the south west of Qld in a curious depression at the base of the mountains where the cold in winter is devastating but the area is so beautiful that she won’t leave and neither will her husband.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lizard100
      March 30, 2014

      Sounds like Australia has such broad climate options. We often forget here that’s it’s large enough to cover the whole of Europe. We wanted solar panels too but our roof is very small. But you’re right if solar is useful here then in your climate it’s a no brainer. Thanks for sharing.

      Like

  9. Frugal Hausfrau
    September 23, 2014

    Great ideas! I live in a 1942 house. I have storm doors and have weather stripped, but I still get a draft on my north (kitchen) door – it’s a weird door and a custom size so it would be very difficult to replace with a modern door. I love the curtain idea.

    I do go around in the winter and open curtains on the sunny south side of the house in the morning in the winter which helps warm the house up, and in the summer I do the opposite. Make sure during the day that the curtains on the south are closed and open the windows and drapes on the shady north side.

    I also have an attic conversion and with the kids gone, the upstairs bedrooms don’t get used much, so the idea of closing off with a curtain is a good one, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lizard100
      September 23, 2014

      It’s very simple and really effective. Our hallways and stairs are like a vast chimney carrying warmth up to the roof. The curtains really help make a difference.

      Liked by 1 person

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