October 26, 2010 at 12:00 am #64792elnavMember
having read all your three posts I think I have an idea of your situation. The miracle material you are probably thinking of is called thinsulate. It is used in jackets over pants and gloves as well as winter boots.I have not had work for about two years now I am worse off than a pensioner with a limited but predictable income. We shop at the garbage dump swap sheds and the good will stores if and when we have a bit of money. We both lucked out in finding warm winter wear this year. In particular jackets and outer pants made with goretex are wonderful. Goretex is a space suit material that breathes thus allowing sweat moisture to evaporate away from the skin while providing for a layer of insulation. So the goretex is next to the skin and a thin layer of thinsolate provides for retention of body heat the outer shell is wind proof nylon or similar. a similar approach is used for rain wear but has less insulation than snow country suits and jackets.
Goretex jackets are expensive costing new around $160 – 4200 but I was blessed in finding a ski jacket at Salvation Army for $10. The wife found a goretex coat for free at the swap shed. A ripped seam required a bit of stitching but so what?
We lost our house last January to the bank when the insurance company keep scooping the mortgage money from our bank account just before the bank did their automatic withdrawal. Probably had something to do with how the computers list the accounts numerically or alphabetically.
We lucked out by finding an abandoned trailer with broken windows a leaky roof and frozen pipes. The gas company had locked off the gas furnace but the electrical company had not got around to shutting off the power.
We improvised. I had an arctic sleeping bag and we found a second one in the garbage dump swap shed. Even when snow was blowing in through the broken window we could stay warm in the bedroom. Lacking the money to get the gas turned on we scrounged some of those radiant dish heaters ad one oil filled heater. I have a power meter and soon realized these were in fact cheaper tp run than conventional heating systems. We place the dish heaters to warm us when sitting in a chair reading or standing at kitchen counter making meals. We reserves the oil filled heater for the bed room because it is safer, if clothing or bedding accidentally touch it. The outer surface gets warm but not too hot to burn. or cause a fire.
we subsequently learned friends of ours who also had gas heat are doing the same and they say this is half the cost of heating with gas.
We have also determined by using my power meter that the electric stove is a huge waster of power so now we cook mostly with counter top appliances and save power that way. My dream of building an off grid house is temporarily on hold but we are still planning for the future. We have reduce3d our power bill to less than $100 per month despite using electric heat. We live in the north west but way up at latitude 54. To go to Alaska we go west,not north.October 26, 2010 at 12:00 am #64793starliteMember
Thanks for the tips. I have added thinsulate to my list of fabrics. I called a store that does some outdoor wear and they mentioned polypropelene fabrics [not sure how they are used]; primaloft in jackets, and microfiber fleece. Had not heard of these. Am going to be shopping in the next week but not alot of selection in my rural town. Thinking of catalogs like LL Bean, but those seem so expensive.If I must turn on heat this winter I, too will use space heaters. I have a lakewood radiator heater that is oil filled, and plan to get another, put them on either end of the living/dining room. My research seems to be saying that radiant heat such as what those give off is best for maintaining warmth. Wish I knew what to put on the huge windows that make up most of the east and west wall in this room. The plastic film thing would not work as these two single pane windows are huge and high.
Sounds like you have had the same kinds of problems as those affecting so many today; you’ve been thru it. It would seem the pension I have is stable, but it is run by a lawyer[syn.crook] and invested and I have reason to fear, so I have empathy for the uncertainity that you have faced. I am looking myself to go back into the workforce for this reason, if I can find something.
I am thinking of moving to an area in the southwest that isn’t too dry, so as to avoid the cold and the subsequent fuel bills. Of course, some areas there require ac, no getting around it; plus, I am not sure about the crime situation in New Mexico. I know there is alot in Albuqurque.
StarliteOctober 26, 2010 at 12:00 am #64795elnavMember
Starlite, Something else you might want to consider is wool socks. My wife knits to keep her arthritic fingers nimble and those hand knittedpure wool socks are really warm. Local people heard about them and pretty soon she could not keep up with orders. Another trick for indoor warm foot wear. Outside snow boots have a replaceable inner liner. Old styles are felt but newer styles use thinsulate plus a layer of thin felt. A friend bought liners and used them for real warm slippers. Because the tops did not close he wrapped duct tape around the top as a cuff.
Before you move to the south west where heat is not needed remember in the summer you will more than likely need air conditioning which takes more energy in electricity than heating does. More people die from heat prostration in heat waves than die from freezing to death in a cold snap.
There are more technical solutions available for keeping warn than there are for keeping cool. You have only begun to explore these options.October 26, 2010 at 12:00 am #62778starliteMember
I am trying to get along without central electric heat in the winter. I know there are some new miracle fabrics that are lightweight yet very warm. Does anyone know what they are called, where to get them, whether they work and are comfortable? I am wanting to wear them in the house so I don’t have to use heat much. What are your favorite fabrics to wear for warmth inside the home? I am allergic to wool. thanks for any suggestions.
StarliteOctober 27, 2010 at 12:00 am #64805WrethaOffGridParticipant
I use a down blanket at night in bed, we don’t heat our cabin very much, in fact, it’s not uncommon for us to see our breath inside the cabin, I used to freeze at night under layers and layers of blankets, my MIL sent us a down filled blanket and it made all the difference in the world, I am comfortable at night now, in fact it’s about time to get it out and get it on the bed. Thinsulate is a good material, down filled is good (not feathers, get down), wearing layers helps, I know you said you are allergic to wool, but perhaps you can wear wool in a layer that is not next to your skin. I am also knitting and crocheting fingerless gloves, hats and socks, it does keep me warmer.
Remember, layers are good, loose layers allow air pockets between the layers and that helps, wearing a hat is also good.
WrethaNovember 10, 2010 at 12:00 am #64822WrethaOffGridParticipant
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