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Stay Warmer and Save Money
By Plow & Hearth
2/21/2013 3:05:00 PM


Rising energy costs have you worrying about your utility bills this winter? With a “whole house” approach to heating, you can save money and stay warm. Here are some ideas for keeping your bill low while you keep your house toasty:


Keep Heat From Sneaking Out Your Windows And Doors

Did you know that the average household spends 40% of energy related costs on heating and cooling their home? Sure, windows and doors add the value and pleasure of fresh air and sunlight, but they come at a cost of trading home heat with the cold outdoors through air leaks and radiant heat lost through window glass. Here are some products designed to pay for themselves by keeping the cold air out and the warm air in your house:


Insulated Curtains

A 1/32"gap around a 36" x 60" window is the same as having a 6" hole open to the outside. Hang double-layer insulated curtains and you’ll feel the difference immediately. Reduce heat loss by as much as 44% by blocking air drafts and stopping radiant heat loss through windows. Curtains are available in tab-top or grommet-top with a wide variety of colors and patterns to choose from.


Door Bottom Draftstoppers

A 1/8" gap at the bottom of a 36" door is the same as having a 4 1/2" hole at the bottom of your door. You can imagine how much cold air that lets in! A simple insulated Draftstopper is an easy way to keep the cold air out and reduce your heating bill.


Draftstoppers come in several different styles, ranging from balsam needle filled for solid, aromatic insulation to sturdy foam and polyester fill that stops drafts cold. They also come in solid colors that blend into your décor, whimsical designs and even holiday themes to add to your seasonal décor. Double-sided draftstoppers stay with the door as it opens and closes, and is especially effective on interior doors to stop air movement from room to room when zone heating.


Chimneys–Use Them Or Lose Them

A lot of low-cost heat can be generated through burning wood in a fireplace or wood stove, but some of that heat is lost up the chimney, and the warm air often needs to be moved into cooler rooms. When you’re not using your fireplace, keep the damper closed — this will stop up to 8% of furnace-heated air from going up the chimney. Fireplaces that are seldom used should be blocked.


Here are some construction-free ideas for maximizing fireplace and wood stove heat:


The fireplace damper can’t be closed until the fire is completely out. This results in warm air escaping through the chimney. Solid panels (like our folding steel Night Guard) can placed in front of a fireplace opening to keep some of this warm air from being pulled up the chimney.


Steel Fireplace Night Gaurds
Steel Fireplace Night Gaurds


Reflectors are a great way to maximize heat from your fireplace, preventing heat from escaping through the chimney and reflecting it back into your home. Stainless steel reflectors stand behind the fireplace grate and reflect up to 80% more radiant heat into the room. They continue to work even if discolored by flames or soot. Use them with gas logs as well to raise the overall heat output of any fireplace.


Cast iron fire backs are a traditional way of throwing more radiant heat out of the fireplace and into the room. They also serve to protect the bricks in heavily used fireplaces and add a nice decorative touch to the look of the fireplace when not in use.


Moving Warm Air From Room To Room

Help even out the heat through your whole house by using a fan to keep the warm air circulating.


Stove Powered Ecofans are a high tech solution to an age-old challenge. The heat from the top of the wood stove is turned into electricity that powers these safe and quiet fans. The hotter the stove top the faster the fan runs, up to 150 cfm, helping to de-stratify the warm air and get it moving around the house.


Caframo Heat-Circulating Stove Powered Ecofans
Caframo Heat-Circulating Stove Powered Ecofans


The corner doorway fan is one of the most useful tools for effective heating with wood. Mount it in the corner of a door or hallway and it will move 100 cfm of warm air quietly and efficiently from room to room around the house.


Heat The Whole House Or The Room You Are In?

Zone heating is an increasingly popular method of staying as warm as you like without heating unused space. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, zonal heating can provide energy savings of 20-40%. Use an electric stove, fireplace or space heater to heat the room you are using rather than turning up the thermostat to heat the whole house. Choices range from portable, space saving heaters to full sized electric fireplace mantels.



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Tags: How To
Categories: Inside The Home

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