As Winter Nears, The Old House Web Offers Quick (and Low-Cost) Tips For Cutting Heating Bills

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As winter nears, the editors of The Old House Web show there’s plenty you can do to cut down on heating costs without spending a bundle. Caulk can be a homeowner's best friend this time of year.

Cold weather and old houses aren’t always the best of friends – especially not during a year when heating oil and natural gas are nearing record levels.

But the editors of The Old House Web at point out that if yours is one of the nation’s 63 million houses built before 1975, there’s plenty you can do to cut down on heating costs this winter.

And you don’t have to spend a bundle to do it, they note.

“Caulk and weather stripping are the savvy do-it-yourselfer’s secret weapons,” says Kendall Holmes, The Old House Web’s publisher. “They’re cheap. They’re easy to work with. They can help you make your home more comfortable and less costly to heat this winter.”

The Old House Web’s “How-To” section at is filled with advice on cutting energy bills as winter nears.

Here are some tips from those stories:

  • On a cool and windy day, turn off the furnace. Shut all windows and doors. Turn on all fans that blow air outside, such as bathroom fans or stove vents. Then light an incense stick and pass it around the edges of common leak sites. Wherever the smoke is sucked out of or blown into the room, there’s a draft. Make a note of these places and attack them with a caulk gun when you’re finished.
  • Pay special attention to places where different materials meet, such as where floors and walls meet door and window frames.
  • Don’t forget to inspect your cellar. Drafty basements are cold. This makes your floors cold, and often prompts you to nudge the thermostat higher than you otherwise might.
  • And be sure to inspect weatherstripping on doors that open to the outside.

“Too many people think the only ways to make an older house more energy efficient is to do expensive stuff, like replacing the windows or the furnace,” notes Holmes. “But the stories on our site show that there are also plenty of low-cost and quick ways to chip away at high heating bills.”


Founded in 1999, The Old House Web at is the Internet’s leading site for old-house enthusiasts and do-it-yourselfers.

The site offers a lively mix of how-to stories, features, design ideas and first-person stories about living with older and historic houses.

It also offers thousands of independent reviews of new and unusual products to use when restoring, remodeling or decorating traditional homes – plus the Web’s leading guide to companies that make and sell those products.

The web sites is a Forbes Magazine “Best of the Web” selection, a Yahoo “cool shades” site, and has been the subject of many feature stories in national magazines and leading newspapers, including The New York Times.


Kendall Holmes


The Old House Web


Deborah Holmes

Executive Editor

The Old House Web



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