Tips on winterizing house?

Natural gas prices are going higher and I would like to hear some tips on making my house more energy efficient.
Some general details:
Northern IL (west of chicago) 3400 sq ft 5br house 5000 sq ft with basement 23 year old house natural gas furnace.
I have already done some obvious things, like made sure that all windows have been closed (incl the "double window" glass slides, not sure what they are called) and draft free, and that the doors are draft free.
I have a vent over my fireplace and I closed off that one.
I would very much like to know if there is something else that I can do, maybe some ideas etc.
thanks
i
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add extra attic insulation insulate the basement ceiling joists

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fsteddie wrote:

There is such service you can order. They'll pressureize your house and find every tiny air leaks. Also infrared picture will be taken. Then you'll know exactly where your resources should be directed to conserve energy. Most heat loss is thru the ceiling. How much insulation do you have in the attic? Tony Tony
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Where would I look in yellow pages for such service?
My attic has some blown insulation.
i
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Ignoramus15011 wrote:

Your local utility(gas, electric) company will know best regarding this. What they do is, they replace your front main entrance door with specially made door(has mounted fan) for testing. It blows air into your house gently pressurizing it. Then they have electronic, infrared detectors which will sniff out all the air leakagy. I live in Calgary Alberta. Our area needs minimum R40 insulation in the attic, R20 in the wall, R12 on the basement wall. My house is R2000 spec. Too air tight. Needs periodic air exchange for fresh outside air. Tony
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thanks
My basement is warm and finished.
i

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Attic insulation R 40 to 60 cellular window shades R 3.5 Insulating curtains or liners R ? Sealing and insulating ductwork etc etc
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Thanks, I think that I will put in more attic insulation and also cellular shades.
i
Ransley wrote:

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To your "obvious" list add such things as sealing outlet and switch boxes on outside walls, using insulating blinds and curtains, etc.
You might also consider "lifestyle" changes to include cutting back on the rooms you heat "all the time." Lots of folks with big houses often use the basement family room a lot and don't use the "living room" much at all. Get some furniture covers and start using the living room and cut back on heating the basement.
You can consider turning off the heat in rooms that are vacant temporarily (e.g.: bedrooms) when they aren't being used. If you have a hot air system, you might find it useful to replace registers with easier operating models.
If you have gas you might consider using some VENTLESS gas heaters in the family room while it is in use and reduce the amount of furnace heat. Insulating pipes is usually cheap.
You might want to do an informal survey of your house for "weak" spots in your insulation
Finally,you might want to change our your heating plant for a more efficient model and consider changing fuels (or even putting in a heat pump.) Local conditions rule!

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Thanks, good point. There is a couple of spots in the basement that also may benefit from insulating.

What are those curtains? Never heard about them.

forget it, basement is where I like to spend time:)
I do however see how your advice may be used for other rooms, especially the 3rd floor room (we have one room there).

Like what?

We have fireplace in the family room and perhaps I can install some high efficiency fireplace. All in all, it is hard to really cut back on heat as there is a 2.5 year old in the house.

How would I do it?

My heater is already a pretty decent model. I am wondering, generall, if you broke heat loss by kind, what would be the top cause of heat loss?
Windows Walls Attic Unsealed hard to find things (like outlets).
I understand that itis all house specific. Can I hire someone to analyze it for my house not too expensively? If so, what kind of business should I look for in yellow pages?
i

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is that really a god idea to use a vent-less gas heater in room such as the family room?
What abt possible CO build up?
John
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My heating repair co did a blower door test for 250. A good idea. Your furnace is probably 82% efficent you can go to 95%. Insulate hot water pipes. Heat water only to temp needed to shower without adding cold water. Plastic window film.
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Ransley wrote:

is it just a door test? Do they also test windows and whatnot?

thanks, I like the film idea and pipe insulation.
i
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A blower door test shows how many air exchanges your house has a day and where it leaks, they go around with a smoke stick showing you the leaks. You dont want to few exchanges , [ a tight house ] or to many. They will tell you what is optimal and safe. An infrared camera will thermaly show underinsulated areas. These cameras are expensive and cant be rented. I tried in Chgo to rent one. You need a Co that specialises in this work. It may cost 4 to 500 But then you know where you stand .
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (mark Ransley) wrote in message

Ransley, you've been stumbling around with your "smoke stick" a bit too much over the past few months. Try to post sober every now and then.
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On 1 Dec 2003 14:36:28 GMT, Ignoramus15011

Call your local electric and/or gas utilities. Many of them have conservation departments that offer free energy saving consultations.
My electric company came by with a heat camera and photographed the house. This showed where the largest heat leaks were.
Barry
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Ignoramus15011 wrote:

Good you took the advice on improving your attic insulation. Is the 3rd-floor room in the attic space? Make sure the walls and knees are insulated properly too.
Don't just weatherstrip doors and windows; go outside and inspect the caulking on the frames. Inspect the foundation caulking too.
Insulate any ductwork that passes through unheated spaces. Seal your ductwork with aluminized tape to minimize leaks (pressurized air will find the easiest way out, including outside if it can).
Make sure you can easily close off rooms, for the winter or at least the night.
Save energy by making the best use of passive solar heating -- open blinds at daytime, close them again as it darkens and the blinds provide an extra "dead space" of insulation.
Use heavy insulating curtains in rooms you don't use as much.
Use a programmable thermostat to offset the temperature, and keep warm in bed with electric blankets.
etc.
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