Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Barneysmom
    • By Barneysmom 28th Mar 09, 1:16 PM
    • 9,479Posts
    • 24,297Thanks
    Barneysmom
    Things that worked or didn't work last winter
    • #1
    • 28th Mar 09, 1:16 PM
    Things that worked or didn't work last winter 28th Mar 09 at 1:16 PM
    I'm just recapping what we did in the winter (now it's nearly over ).
    Looking at what worked and what didn't, to keep the house warm and dry, and save money.

    Did anyone use bubble wrap on the windows, and did it work?

    Things that seemed to be ok were;

    The thick curtains everywhere, really kept the cold draughts out.
    Putting lining paper then wallpapering the hall and putting the thickest carpet we could afford.

    Spending 1200 on the porch. A big layout but we could open the inner front door in the afternoon to let the sun through to the hall. The K glass kept the heat inside.

    Virkon tablets, supposed to be for use in labs and vets for intense germ, fungus and virus killing, was really good for getting the mould off the bedroom wall and it hasn't come back (you need gloves and open windows for this stuff).

    The big let-down was the conservatory. The inside got soaking wet, the whole room had mould growing on it, as fast as we dried it, it got wet again.
    So we really need to come up with a solution that will work next winter.
Page 1
  • Olliebeak
    • #2
    • 28th Mar 09, 1:50 PM
    • #2
    • 28th Mar 09, 1:50 PM
    ........The big let-down was the conservatory. The inside got soaking wet, the whole room had mould growing on it, as fast as we dried it, it got wet again.
    So we really need to come up with a solution that will work next winter.
    Originally posted by Barneysmom
    Wow what a disappointment for you! Did you get to the bottom of what caused this, Barneysmom? Leaking roof? Condensation? Lack of air-bricks/window vents stopping air circulation? Can you have any come-back on the builder?
    • Barneysmom
    • By Barneysmom 28th Mar 09, 2:20 PM
    • 9,479 Posts
    • 24,297 Thanks
    Barneysmom
    • #3
    • 28th Mar 09, 2:20 PM
    • #3
    • 28th Mar 09, 2:20 PM
    Hello olliebeak, it was purely condensation.
    Whenever the patio door leading to the conservatory was opened, all the heat escaped into the conservatory. The heat hits the cold glass causing it.
    Just too cold in there to dry out I guess
    Also, letting the dog out if it's been raining the water comes in aswell.
    Trouble is we have had the conservatory for 5 years and didn't really have a problem before this year.
    So, should I make heavy curtains for the windows next winter or will it make the problem worse, I don't want to spend a load of money on fabric if they are going to get mould on them?
    • downshifter
    • By downshifter 28th Mar 09, 2:23 PM
    • 1,101 Posts
    • 1,919 Thanks
    downshifter
    • #4
    • 28th Mar 09, 2:23 PM
    • #4
    • 28th Mar 09, 2:23 PM
    I'm just recapping what we did in the winter (now it's nearly over ).
    Looking at what worked and what didn't, to keep the house warm and dry, and save money.

    Did anyone use bubble wrap on the windows, and did it work?
    Originally posted by Barneysmom
    I used bubble wrap and it was great, but only in the spare room/study as although it didn't seem to cut out light, you couldn't see through, so couldn't use it in any other rooms. I took it down a couple of weeks ago but it's gone back up again now, it's blooming freezing!!!

    What didn't work for me was clingfilm on the windows, the first day or two it was great and stopped draughts, but it quickly tore, or came away from the double sided tape at the sides. I used velcro on some of them so they were openable on nice days and that worked better. Thick curtains ok - and I'm v. jealous, I'd love a porch, as soon as the door opens here there's an icy blast right through.

    The best thing was the electric blanket, going to bed on snowy windy night with telly, warm dog and electric blanket can't be beat!!! The other good thing was roof insulation, you can feel the warmth upstairs so well.

    For next year I've started stockpiling newspaper 'logs' - the briquette type and would be interested if anyone else finds these any good. The other thing is much of my house is open plan and I need to find a way of stopping the heat from going upstairs and having a freezing living room!! It's not easy to do because of the layout but will have to sort it for definite.

    Great thread - anyone else?
    • Barneysmom
    • By Barneysmom 28th Mar 09, 2:29 PM
    • 9,479 Posts
    • 24,297 Thanks
    Barneysmom
    • #5
    • 28th Mar 09, 2:29 PM
    • #5
    • 28th Mar 09, 2:29 PM
    Thanks Downshifter.
    The reason we got the porch was my secret saving plan. I saved 8 for 15 years. It wasn't too much to put away so I'd feel like I was paying out a huge amount (to be honest I hardly knew it was there) but the 2,200 I got back was bliss! I blew 200 on clothes for me and DH and spent the rest on the porch and hallway.


    The clingfilm on the windows i used in my old house, but I think once the house is cold, it doesn't make much difference?

    I was given an old but still new in the bag Whitney blanket which I put under the bottom sheet on the bed and it did help greatly but the hot water bottle was best (and the woolly hat).
    • Psykicpup
    • By Psykicpup 28th Mar 09, 3:44 PM
    • 1,391 Posts
    • 1,733 Thanks
    Psykicpup
    • #6
    • 28th Mar 09, 3:44 PM
    • #6
    • 28th Mar 09, 3:44 PM
    I used bubble wrap and it was great, but only in the spare room/study as although it didn't seem to cut out light, you couldn't see through, so couldn't use it in any other rooms. I took it down a couple of weeks ago but it's gone back up again now, it's blooming freezing!!!

    What didn't work for me was clingfilm on the windows, the first day or two it was great and stopped draughts, but it quickly tore, or came away from the double sided tape at the sides. I used velcro on some of them so they were openable on nice days and that worked better. Thick curtains ok - and I'm v. jealous, I'd love a porch, as soon as the door opens here there's an icy blast right through.

    The best thing was the electric blanket, going to bed on snowy windy night with telly, warm dog and electric blanket can't be beat!!! The other good thing was roof insulation, you can feel the warmth upstairs so well.

    For next year I've started stockpiling newspaper 'logs' - the briquette type and would be interested if anyone else finds these any good. The other thing is much of my house is open plan and I need to find a way of stopping the heat from going upstairs and having a freezing living room!! It's not easy to do because of the layout but will have to sort it for definite.

    Great thread - anyone else?
    Originally posted by downshifter
    Have you thought about p[utting ceiling to floor length curtains at the top of the stairs to keep the heat in ? - obviously would have to be carefull if children or elderly around but they could be tied back out the way during the day .....
    I THINK is a whole sentence, not a replacement for I Know




    Supermarket Rebel No 19
    • Barneysmom
    • By Barneysmom 28th Mar 09, 4:09 PM
    • 9,479 Posts
    • 24,297 Thanks
    Barneysmom
    • #7
    • 28th Mar 09, 4:09 PM
    • #7
    • 28th Mar 09, 4:09 PM
    Good idea, I've thought about putting a door at the top of the stairs, do you think it would work?
    • Patchwork Quilt
    • By Patchwork Quilt 28th Mar 09, 4:15 PM
    • 1,837 Posts
    • 11,056 Thanks
    Patchwork Quilt
    • #8
    • 28th Mar 09, 4:15 PM
    • #8
    • 28th Mar 09, 4:15 PM
    I think a door would definitely help but would it be safer to have one at the bottom of the stairs (with the side boxed in, of course)?

    I found in this house that keeping internal doors shut really does seem to help keep it warm. We don't seem to have draughts but otherwise, the heat all ends up in the landing.

    Similarly, shutting the internal door between the front door and the hall seems to help keep us warm.

    Edited to say that keeping all the hedge trimmings, salvaging bits of chopped tree etc has enabled us to have one or two free fires
    • Psykicpup
    • By Psykicpup 28th Mar 09, 4:26 PM
    • 1,391 Posts
    • 1,733 Thanks
    Psykicpup
    • #9
    • 28th Mar 09, 4:26 PM
    • #9
    • 28th Mar 09, 4:26 PM
    Yes a door would be even better but might be expensive to box a whole open plan staircase in...
    also draw the curtain on rooms that have had sun all day as soon as the sun moves away from them to keep that free heat in
    Leave the door to the kitchen open while you cook - the extra heat generated can really help warm the rest of the house
    If you have some warmth even sunshine upstairs it seems to stop the heat being drawn up so much so leave doors open on sunny rooms & close them on cold/dark rooms during the day
    I THINK is a whole sentence, not a replacement for I Know




    Supermarket Rebel No 19
    • downshifter
    • By downshifter 28th Mar 09, 4:26 PM
    • 1,101 Posts
    • 1,919 Thanks
    downshifter
    I think a door would definitely help but would it be safer to have one at the bottom of the stairs (with the side boxed in, of course)?

    I found in this house that keeping internal doors shut really does seem to help keep it warm. We don't seem to have draughts but otherwise, the heat all ends up in the landing.
    Originally posted by Patchwork Quilt
    The curtain at the top seems worth trying, thanks for that idea,Psykicpup. There is a really stupid wide/ high stairwell, I'd love to be able to shut it off at the bottom but if I did that it would eat into the living room too much. And like Patchwork Quilt, my landing's the warmest part of the house too. The door between the living room is shut as much as poss, it also has a curtain as well as a draught excluder along the bottom. Nothing like a bit of overkill, but the curtain still billows out, - the delights of an old house.

    By next yr I hope to have double glazing.

    thanks for the ideas.
    • Barneysmom
    • By Barneysmom 28th Mar 09, 4:34 PM
    • 9,479 Posts
    • 24,297 Thanks
    Barneysmom
    Double glazing is expensive isn't it, it might be worth planning one or 2 windows per year or something?
    That's how we're doing the radiators, did 2 last year and will do this this year and next.
    My brother fits them and I pay for him and his brood to have a The Sun holiday.
    • downshifter
    • By downshifter 28th Mar 09, 4:42 PM
    • 1,101 Posts
    • 1,919 Thanks
    downshifter
    Hopefully the landlady will pay, she's agreed the windows are completely wrecked but can't afford to do whole house (whatever happened to all that money I've paid her over the past 7 yrs?!) Hmm

    So she's agreed to do 3 this year. Not holding my breath but ever optimistic.

    Other things that have been good this year were Aldi thermals, bought last Autumn and they've been so good, nice and long and cosy. I wish I'd bought more at the time, hopefully they'll come back soon.

    Last year I also enjoyed the challenge of delaying having the heating on in October, though I've made up for it since, and will probably have spent far too much on electricity too.
    • Barneysmom
    • By Barneysmom 28th Mar 09, 4:45 PM
    • 9,479 Posts
    • 24,297 Thanks
    Barneysmom
    I know, the gas and electric are a bane.
    I never bought thermals, I just bought a few strappy vest tops so I can use them in the summer aswell, tightwad that I am
  • rosieben
    Heavy lined curtains at the front and back doors made a huge improvement; there's a noticeable change in temperature when they're drawn back.

    Secondary glazed units installed (listed building so we were limited as to options) have made a big difference in every room of the house. I can still easily open the windows to air the house - very important, especially in an old property.

    There was a gale blowing through the kitchen so had draught proofing fitted around the back door; there's now just a draught through the big old keyhole which I cover with a piece of tape :rolleyes:; I never did get around to trying a fridge magnet to block it off. Also had the threshold step repaired and a weather board fitted.

    I use my old quilt under the bottom sheet and have a hot water bottle (two if I have backache or if its really cold )

    Barneysmum, I think the solution is heavy curtains at the conservatory windows. Keep an eye out in charity shops, I bought two large pairs very cheaply a couple of years ago. Might it be worth getting to know the shop ladies and let them know what you're looking for? If there's no heating in there you could still have a problem with damp - are you able to open window in there occasionally on less wintry days? even just for half an hour would make a difference I think.

    I didnt buy the thermals, but I used fleece blankets whilst sitting on the sofa, I have one with 'foot pockets' which is great for keeping the draughts at bay! I like the idea of a wooly hat but havent needed that as I sleep almost entirely under the duvet!

    sorry this turned in to a novel ....
    Last edited by MSE Jenny; 29-09-2015 at 3:10 PM.
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • Topher
    • By Topher 29th Mar 09, 8:29 AM
    • 568 Posts
    • 3,002 Thanks
    Topher
    Things that worked:
    A double sided draught excluder (made it myself from pipe wrap sections and freebie dining chair material).
    Putting curtains up in the kitchen (even tho' the windows are double glazed you could still feel the icy blast on opening the curtains).
    Taking the radiator cover off in the living room.
    Putting extra cheeks, and back fire-brick in the fire (cut down fuel use and still threw out enough heat).
    Using newspaper bricks. (They do work, one buried amonst the "coals" had about 1 hour's burn in it).
    Thermal underwear.
    Spending a huge chunk of time last summer emptying old insulation, making the roof joists deeper and putting in really thick loft insulation, boarding over the top, and insulating the loft hatch, we had a grant for that too.

    Things that didn't work:
    using an old quilt as an underblanket... beautifully warm, but gradually damper & damper (..and we air the beds for the major part of the day).
    When the fire isn't in, in the living room, there's the heck of a draught down the chimney via the second living room door that hasn't got an excluder, so this year, making another excluder same as first, and finding some way of temporarily covering the opening of the fire when it's not in use.

    Topher

    Stay warm everybody, it's not over yet.
    Last edited by Topher; 29-03-2009 at 8:33 AM.
    • Barneysmom
    • By Barneysmom 29th Mar 09, 9:07 AM
    • 9,479 Posts
    • 24,297 Thanks
    Barneysmom
    Topher we had icy blasts from the chimney, we've got one of those next-to- useless gas coal fires.
    We cut a piece of mdf into a half-oval shape, painted it the same colour as the wall and then just put a little hook in the wall that we could turn when we want to remove the board. Very effective and looks good.

    I think I will try curtains next winter.
    • cats whiskers
    • By cats whiskers 29th Mar 09, 9:09 AM
    • 208 Posts
    • 305 Thanks
    cats whiskers
    Thankyou Rosieben

    I have been wondering how to stop the wind whistling through the keyholes in the front and back doors, didn't think of fridge magnets. It's a great idea. I'm off to give it a try right now.
    • Bitsy Beans
    • By Bitsy Beans 29th Mar 09, 9:10 AM
    • 9,433 Posts
    • 65,784 Thanks
    Bitsy Beans
    Had cavity wall insulation put in and I think that made a difference. We don't have a mssively cold house but we suffer from a terrible draught down our stairs. It's not from the loft hatch or from the bed rooms - it's weird. As our stairs come direct into our lounge I think this year I may have to put up a heavy curtain (but really don't want to) because my kids are small they play/sit on the floor and the draught just hits my laminate and it's freezing
    Bought a thermal vest (DS already had thermals and I just well wrapped my DD) which was really useful. Didn't have the heating on much either (hardly ever during the day) and only for a couple of hours morning and night (to take the edge off the cold). Think it's made me a little more hardy!
    On the whole we managed but they still put our direct debits up to cover the rising prices grrrrrrr.
    I have a gift for enraging people, but if I ever bore you it'll be with a knife Louise Brooks

    All will be well in the end. If it's not well, it's not the end.

    Be humble for you are made of earth. Be noble for you are made of stars
    • Barneysmom
    • By Barneysmom 29th Mar 09, 9:23 AM
    • 9,479 Posts
    • 24,297 Thanks
    Barneysmom
    We had our loft boarded out but just in the middle bit, about 3 x 3 metres. The rest is about half ametre high with insultaion.
    But I didn't really notice much difference, the top of the stairs is still very cold, maybe a radiator on the landing would cure it, but it's all money :rolleyes:
    This house is a money pit, the people who lived here for 11 years before us did no improvements at all, very negligent IMO. A 100 year old house needs pampering.
  • rosieben
    Thankyou Rosieben

    I have been wondering how to stop the wind whistling through the keyholes in the front and back doors, didn't think of fridge magnets. It's a great idea. I'm off to give it a try right now.
    Originally posted by cats whiskers
    I cant take the credit though cats, it was a suggestion I read on the Preparing for winter thread last year
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,508Posts Today

8,390Users online

Martin's Twitter