Those who live in Maine are more dependent upon oil than in other parts of the country. Last fall, I posted a couple videos on firewood and, because this has been an especially cold winter (or as we said a “cold slap in the face), I am going through all of mine. Yesterday, I got delivery of heating oil with a price tag of $3.259. 154 gallons topped the $500 mark! I don’t know where the oil market is going but I am reminded of a few tricks to minimize the furnace:
– Laundry — When using your dryer, disconnect the hose that leads outside. Fill the hole with insulation. Then, secure a nylon stocking to the end of the hose and let it vent in your home. Any lint will be caught by the stocking, and the heat from the dryer will do wonders.
– Woodstoves and inserts — While wood is dirty, I am a fan because it is a renewable energy source. To get the best bang for you buck, be sure the wood is dry. Start with a small fire and let the stove heat up before filling it. Then keep it going. I am able to set my thermostat to 64 but keep the entire floor around 70 degrees working off wood.
– Porch — I have a back porch that gets the afternoon sun. It is not heated, but as we get into March, I make sure the sun shines in and the door to the house is open all afternoon. I even have a fan “sucking” the heat into and around the house. It does make a difference.
– Ovens — After cooking in the oven, don’t forget to leave the door open. If it is 350 degrees that is heat you want to capture. The same is true for the dishwasher.
– Humidifier — Moist air heats better than dry air. Use a humidifier or take advantage of water cooking on the stove.
– Plan ahead — this is the time of the year you want to plan ahead. Order firewood now for next season. Get it green (much less expensive) and let the summer sun do its thing. In fact, check out our video that discusses firewood when you are ready to make the buy.
I am always looking for good suggestions on how to better heat a home. If you have things that you do and want to share, please feel free. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference.
Before long, we’ll be talking about cooling homes. Stay tuned …