ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Personal Finance»
  • Frugal Living

Save money in electric and fuel bills

Updated on February 28, 2015
Silva Hayes profile image

Silva has a background as a technical writer and in addition to how-to articles she writes about cooking, travel, and personal experiences.

Stay warm this winter and save money on heating bills


Save money in utility bills, especially your heating costs this winter.

We changed the way we heat our home and we are comfortable, plus we have cut our heating costs significantly.

In the winter of 2007-2008, there was a big surge in oil prices and many companies raised their prices and started adding fuel surcharges on top of their services.

All the retailers jumped on the bandwagon, including our propane supplier. They filled our propane tank and left a bill for $600. About three weeks later they came back and filled it up again and left another bill for another $600.

We were running around in circles pulling our hair out, saying What are we gonna do? WHAT are we gonna do?

It was then that I had a brilliant idea. We already owned two wonderful Vornado space heaters that I bought at Dillards in the past. As I recalled, I paid around $90 each for those heaters. I called Dillards and they were out of stock. I got on the internet and went to Vornado’s website, Imagine my surprise and delight when I saw that they were 1) on sale for $79 each (YES!) and 2) offered free shipping. I ordered three heaters, so now we have a total of five. This cost me $237.

We simply stopped using our central heat altogether. We placed the Vornado heaters at strategic locations all over the house, upstairs and down. When we were not going to be in a room for several hours (such as a bedroom) we turned the heater off and closed the door.

We were in the middle of a “cold snap” here in central Texas that lasted for several weeks. I lived in dread of the looming electric bill. The day of reckoning came; the electric bill arrived. It increased almost $100 from the usual amount for that time of year. I was beside myself with relief. Only $100 compared to many hundreds of dollars, even thousands of dollars, of propane use. That one month was the biggest increase in dollars; in other winter months the increase was much less.

It was with barely supressed glee that I saw the propane truck rumble over the cattle guard a couple of weeks later. They reversed and backed up to our propane tank with a flourish. The driver strode arrogantly to the propane tank and was no doubt quite surprised to see that the needle showing our usage had barely moved.

I don’t know what the propane company employees thought since we never discussed it with them, but there might have been some speculation in the office as to how we were keeping warm. Perhaps they pictured us huddled around the fireplace wrapped in quilts and burning our furniture stick by stick. Perhaps it was only my overactive imagination, but I think the propane truck drove away with its attitude damped down a bit.

Vornado heaters are the most efficient electric heater that I am aware of. Experts in the business of air circulation and ventilation, their unique technological advances are backed by advanced research in the physics of airflow.

Vornado heaters use the one-of-a-kind Vortex air flow system that lets the warmth freely circulate and spread out across a room’s area. This is why the Vornado room heater is the most efficient electric heater. With a Vornado, there are no cold spots in the room; air is constantly being heated and re-circulated. Unlike conventional air heaters Vornado makes sure that every bit of heat energy it generates is used well. This saves on electricity and money.

You can turn your thermostat down and use these heaters in conjunction with your central heating system, or you can do what we did and use them as your only heat source.

A word of caution: Do not close off a bathroom or laundry room during a deep freeze. Your pipe may freeze and then burst when they thaw out, causing a huge problem. Always wrap your outside pipes and faucets, and allow a little heat to get to your inside faucets and drains. You may want to allow them to drip slowly during a bad freeze. Running water will not freeze.

Vornado manufactures heaters, fans, air purifiers, and humidifiers. I am familiar with the heaters, as discussed above, and Vornado fans, which are also excellent, a life-saver in Texas summers. I have yet to try their air purifiers and humidifiers.

Vornado’s quality is superb. Their service is excellent. Their products are easy and safe to use. Warmth, quietness, safety, peace of mind. Vornado heaters have safeguards against tipping over, if the grill is covered with material such as curtains or clothes, and a maximum exit temperature that is not hot enough to burn skin.

Save heating costs this winter. Try the Vornado heaters and leave me comments because I am interested in hearing from you. It has worked for us. This is the fourth winter that we are looking forward to saving energy and money by using our wonderful Vornado heaters.

Here's another hubpage with some good advice about lowering your heating and cooling costs:

(additional note here: Vornado's customer service is superb and their products are made in the USA)

1/11/11 -- update; it is cold here, a miserable prolonged cold with an icy little wind, and we are still running our heaters and keeping the central heating turned off. It's not perfect but it's not bad and we are saving hundreds of dollars again this winter.

Check out the Vornado air circulators (fans). They are on sale right now and they are wonderful. Just as effective for cooling in summer as the Vornado heaters are effective for keeping you warm in the winter.

Another type of heater you might like is an oil-filled radiator type Sears Kenmore. They are quiet and efficient. We have one of those. I like the funky design.

Added 11/21/12 - Here's something else that will help tremendously. I made draft stoppers last week to stop those cold drafts around poorly-fitting doors. Easy - fast - economical - Here's a link to the Hubpage article with video that shows you how to make them.

Added January 2015: This is brilliant:

1/30/14 -- HAD to come back and update with this amazing tidbit that I saw on Facebook. An incredible easy way to heat a room in your home if you have a power outage (or to heat a greenhouse or garage overnight to keep plants from freezing).


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Pharmb906 3 years ago

      Hmm it looks like your site ate my first comment it was extremely agecceb

    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 6 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      Thanks! You are an excellent writer yourself! I just finished making your beans and they are excellent. Now off to make a pan of cornbread.

    • Francesca27 profile image

      Francesca27 6 years ago from Hub Page

      This was a great hub! You made me laugh when the propane company came to see that your needle hardly moved. Especially the part about them maybe thinking that you had to burn your furniture, stick by stick. I'll have to follow you now... you are a great writer.

    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 7 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      Hi, Jana. They sure made an immediate difference and that's a lot of money to save every month. This friend bought some small heaters at HEB for only $39 each and he is pleased with their performance. Thanks for the comment.

    • Janna Jones profile image

      Janna Jones 7 years ago

      You are absolutely correct. We purchased 3 space heaters from Sams club and completely turned off our central heat. Ours oscillate like a table fan. Never heard of Vornado room heater, but I will check them out soon.

      We started this last year and our winter bill here in San Antonio was down by just over $150 month...

      Yeah..I'll take that any day...Great hub and so very true!