quick and dirty tips for better insulating zonal heated room?

This year, to try and save oil costs, I'm attempting zonal heating of the room most occupied in my house, about 120 sq feet, using a Honeywell portable electric heater placed roughly in the center of the floor. Currently, I'm operating the heater on the lowest, 750 watt setting, and it's maintaining a fairly comfortable 70 F with outdoor temps around 47 F. It has been running continuously for 7 hours. However, I don't think this will be efficient enough once temps drop more, and the idea is to run the heater less if possible. Since only one person occupies this room (me), does anyone have any quick and dirty tips for better insulating the room? I could easily get by, for example, using just half of the room space. I have to be careful with spending... if I have to go and buy too much insulation, then that will undo the costs I'm trying to save. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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replying to JBI, Iggy wrote: Spend your money on the ceiling and circulate the room's air with a small fan aimed at the ceiling. Hot air rises, so you want to retain the heat for as long as possible...this is what insulation does, it doesn't "stop" anything. If you have access to an attic above the ceiling, then Batt insulation will be your best value. If you can't insulate anything but the room itself, then Rigid Foam Panels are your only choice and can be screwed or glued directly to the ceiling.

Even 1-inch thick Rigid Foam Panels with an R-value of just 4 will make a noticeable difference and the Home Improvement stores have them starting at about $15 each for a 4-foot by 8-foot panel. 2-inch thick panels are, of course, just about double the R-value and cost. If the ceiling isn't quite enough and you feel a breeze or drafts, then you'd do the same to any exterior wall(s) as your next course of action. Sorry but, blankets and rugs tacked anywhere don't do much of anything.
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On 11/20/2017 03:14 PM, Iggy wrote:

You know what, I have a ceiling fan right there and have forgotten all about its possible use! So, I've just started it with the blades going clockwise (which is reversed from what it was). Now I'll see if that makes any difference.
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replying to JBI, Iggy wrote: Fan-tastic! The lowest setting should be perfect to keep the entire room comfortable and stop the heat from lingering at the ceiling and away from you.
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On 11/20/2017 12:12 PM, JBI wrote:

With the one of the highest electric rates in the country here in CT. that electric heater would cost more than running my oil burner for the entire house.
Your heater on low would cost me 16 cents an hour. You do have to maintain the rest of the house above freezing too.
Your 7 hours is about 17,500 BTU of energy. I would use 23 cents in oil to generate that heat versus $1.12 for electric. My point is, your savings overall may be less than anticipated and you will be living in a half room like a prisoner in solitary.
To insulate more you can put up some foam panels on the outside wall or hang a drop cloth or curtains to block off part of the room. Be sure you have plenty of roof insulation in the entire house as that is the biggest heat loser.
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On Monday, November 20, 2017 at 2:47:10 PM UTC-5, Ed Pawlowski wrote:


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The poster doesn't say what size the whole house is, but if they closed off the vents in unused rooms, etc, with the differential in the cost between electric and other heat, they could probably keep the whole place going for the same amount or less than the cost of the electric heater.
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On 11/20/2017 02:55 PM, trader_4 wrote:

The entire house is about 900 sq feet. Currently, the oil burner is set at minimum, which means it won't come on unless the temp drops to 48 F. I was going to try living another winter this way to save fuel costs, but I'm having a tough time with the cold even with layered clothing. So, I decided to try keeping the aforementioned room at 70 F with the 700 W floor heater while keeping the rest of the house at minimal thermostat. The heater is on a timer for 16 hours/ day. Today it wasn't that cold and it ran most of that time. I do have some unused 100% light blocking curtains I once used for my darkroom so maybe I'll try stringing those up.
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On 11/20/2017 7:56 PM, JBI wrote:

What is your electricity rate? I pay about 21 cents kW and that heater would cost more to run than oil for the entire house. I just got oil last week for $2.30.
Look for ways to cut the heat in unused rooms. Close the baseboard dampers or the valve to radiators. Be prepared to be shocked at the electric bill.
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On Monday, November 20, 2017 at 8:24:12 PM UTC-5, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

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Maybe buy a kill-a-Watt meter for $20 to measure what the electric heater i s costing. If it's running constant when it's 47f outside, that doesn't sou nd good. Closing vents so the one room is warmer and using oil might be ab out the same, but also would make the other rooms warmer.
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On 11/21/2017 8:04 AM, trader_4 wrote:

Most people are too fusking stupid to realize sealing cracks and adding insulation pays dividends for life.
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On 11/20/17 11:12 AM, JBI wrote:

People used to cover the windows of the old farm houses with some form of plastic. They'd make the covers overlap any cracks between the windows and the frames. Laths would hold the covers in place.
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