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Heating Tips

Wood Stoves
Water Heater
Heating Leaks
Ceiling Fans
Smoke Detectors
Winterize Summer Home
Energy Savings

Wood Stoves

Burn Seasoned Wood

Always burn seasoned wood- that means it has been split, stacked and covered for at least 8 months. Using greenwood means a cooler fire in your woodstove and flue, thereby giving you a greater chance of creosote buildup. So beware!!

Stove Ashes

Coal ashes are toxic to plants, but wood ashes are great for your plants and garden. They help neutralize soil acidity. You can use any type of ash to provide traction on icy walks and driveways!

Treated Wood

A word of caution to all wood burners: Think before you throw any treated wood into your wood stove or furnace! This wood produces very toxic gases and ashes when burned. Play it safe and dispose of treated wood in an approved landfill.

Chainsaw Safety

Just a few rules to remember when using the chainsaw this fall.
  • Never cut when standing behind the saw.
  • Keep your left elbow straight, not bent, to help control kickback.
  • And wear a hard hat, goggles or visor and earplugs.


If you are thinking about burning firewood this winter how do you determine whether the effort will be worthwhile? A shipment of 150 gallons of oil give about the same BTUís as a cord of wood. Therefore, using hardwood you shouldnít pay more per cord than 150xís the price of oil per gallon. ( E.g. Oil at $1.00 / gallon, a cord of wood should cost no more than $150 ).

One Cord Of Wood Equals:

A pile of wood equals 4x4x8 ft. If you take all the air out of a cord of wood you end up with 500 board feet. This could be turned into any of the following:
  • 71/2 million toothpicks
  • 250 copies of the Sunday New York Times
  • 460,000 personal checks
  • 30 rocking chairs, or
  • 12 large dining room tables

Water Heater-

Heater Tlc

To help prevent sediment buildup in your water heater, drain enough water from the water heater until it runs clear. Try to remember to repeat this procedure about every 2 months for better heater efficiency during the heating season.


A simple way to save about $20/year is to wrap your water heater with an insulating blanket. If you arenít sure that your heater needs the blanket, just feel the tank carefully. If you notice any warmth, wrapping will help keep that heat in, instead of going into the air, therefore saving you money!


Savings On Furnace Service

You can possibly save some money by having your furnace cleaned and serviced during the off-demand summer months. Check into having your oil tank filled now also, when the prices are generally a bit lower.

Furnace Cleaning And Tune-Up

Late summer and early fall is a good time to schedule a technician out to the house for the annual furnace cleaning and tune-up. This alone can increase your heaterís efficiency up to 20 %! A savings for the upcoming winter heating bills!

Winter Oil Deliveries

The wind is howling and snow in piles and the oil man is due with a delivery of heating fuel. Where is that oil pipe? Buried under a snow pile?
Plan ahead and avoid this problem. Just place a brightly, colored flag near your filler pipe so the deliveryman can find the pipe with no problems.

Heating Leaks

Want to save some money?

Check out your homeís electrical outlets and switch boxes for air and heat leaks. You can effectively plug those leaks with inexpensive foam gaskets and plastic outlet covers, found at your local hardware store.

Buttoning Up For Winter Weather

Time to buttonup the oleí homestead for the cool winter weather. Donít forget to cover your through-wall air conditioner on the inside and outside. Caulk around the clothes dryer exhaust ports. Also, make sure bath and kitchen exhaust fans are operating properly.

Heating and Cooling System

Insulate Around Windows

One other heating or should I say heat saving tip is, in older homes I have found it very easy and economical to take the trim off around the windows and stuff insulation or purchase that expanding foam spray and seal around the windows . I have noticed a big difference in the comfort level and when it is -30c outside you sure notice the difference with the amount the furnace operates . The cost of doing this little job for me was only about $10 dollars for the whole house and I bet it saved me $50 in my heating cost over one winter.

Thanks to Douglas Maycock in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Automatic Door Sweep

Many rooms have carpeting now-a-days resulting in doors to have some necessary clearance to open and close properly. This opening under the doors can cost some loss in house heat in the winter months. Try installing a door sweep, it works by lifting up whenever the door is closed, thereby keeping much warm air in and cool air out!


Cracks and joints in your homeís exterior always open up in the winter and therefore cause heat loss. When the temperature cools to around 40 degree F. this fall, the joints begin spreading out. Now is the time before its to cold to work outside and the caulking will still set to fill in those cracks and spaces.


Believe it or not, todayís average well-insulated home loses 1/5 of its total heating bill to the earth and air surrounding the basement. The average homeowner can save $140 each year by insulating their basement. A low-cost job that most people can do themselves.


Hypothermia is a life-threatening condition in which the body temperature drops below the normal 98.6 degrees F. from exposure to the cold. Indoor air temperature doesnít have to fall below freezing to cause hypothermia. Therefore, make sure at risk family members, (e.g. Elderly, and babies), wear several layers of loose clothing and have plenty of bed covers at night.

Ceiling Fans

Winter-Reverse Direction

Save some money on your fuel bill by using your ceiling fan now that youíve turned on the furnace for the winter heating season. Run the fans in reverse and set the speed control on LOW. The fan will help drive the rising warm air that collects near the ceiling, back down towards the floor-where people need it most to stay warm!

Smoke Detectors

Yearly Check

Now that heating season is upon us, itís a good idea to replace all smoke detector batteries. If its easier to remember pick a special day each year to replace your batteries, (e.g. Birthdays, special holiday, etc.).

Winterize Summer Home

Closing Up Summer Residence

Now with the cool weather approaching its time to winterize the summer residence. To protect plumbing against freeze-ups, turn off the water at the main valve, then open all faucets and drain the system at the lowest point. Then flush all toilets, and put ethylene glycol antifreeze, (or winter windshield washer solution), into the remaining water-filled plumbing traps,( like the bathtub).


Be sure to check the following before chilly weather sets in:

Energy Savings

Save On Your Heating Bill

Lower your thermostat by one degree F. and you will reduce your heating bill by 2%. Try maintaining 68 degrees as an average daily temperature, with lower temperatures at nighttime. Also, lower the thermostat if you will not be home during the daytime hours.

Hints To Save Your Money This Winter:


Open your drapes in the cool weather to let the sunshine in during daylight hours. This will help to warm up the house. Then draw the draperies at night to help retain the heat.
Also, keep draperies away from radiators, so the warm air has a chance to circulate throughout the house.

Summer Tips

Try to limit the amount of heat entering your house during the summer. Try not to use lights and appliances during the hottest part of the day-they generate more heat! Covering your windows with drapes or awnings will help keep the house cool. Every little bit will help and minimize the use of your air conditioner! That means you save money!!!

Save While On Vacation

If you are soon off on vacation, take a few minutes to unplug small and large appliances not needed. Also, turn water heater and air conditioner to their lowest settings. Backing up your computer is probably a good idea, in case a power outage occurs while you are gone.

Beat High Fuel Bills

Installing programmable thermostats to automatically coordinate your homeís temperatures with your day-to-day patterns can help in the lowering of your yearly fuel bill.

Winter Tips

Try Your Own Energy Audit

If you have any tips you would like to share, please Email them to us and we'll post them!
Thank you for sharing!

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