With the winter approaching, families are looking into learning how they can save both the environment and costs while heating their homes. There are numerous energy-efficient ways to heat your house that do not take much effort on your part. Believe it or not, making sure your chimney is in good working order impacts energy-efficiency, whether you have a fireplace or a wood stove. Now is the time to call us and schedule your annual cleaning and inspection. If you are sticking with the heating system you currently have, a clean and functional chimney allows unobstructed air flow and proper draft.
If you are interested in installing or upgrading your appliance, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure that the size of whatever you are using to heat the area is the appropriate size for the space being heated. When the appliance is too big, people tend to burn fires at a low smolder to avoid producing too much heat, which will increase the overall wasted fuel amount and contributes to air pollution. Due to the chemicals released when burning wood, some places may prohibit or restrict your wood-burning appliances. You may have to consider upgrading to a newer model certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They include specially design catalytic combustors that clean the exhaust gas and generate more heat. This will also help prevent creosotes from building up.
Another method of heating is solar powered. Active solar heating uses the solar energy to heat a fluid, either a liquid or air, and transfer the heat into the interior of your home. If the solar system cannot provide the entire amount of energy needed you may need a back up system. Space heaters are also a common winter heating solution. They work well for heating a certain room or area, depending on the heater’s size, and can run off electricity, propane, natural gas, or kerosene. However, these space heaters if used incorrectly can be dangerous so make sure you know of all the safety requirements before using any type of heating method.
All of us are thinking of ways to save money. Maintaining proper draft out of the chimney is a critical piece. It isn’t unusual for animals, birds or debris to get into your chimney in between annual cleanings. It is also common for water to make its way into the chimney and provide a breeding ground for mold, as well as cracks to your flue liner. Bottom line: if airflow is restricted or compromised, your heating bill is going up. And nobody can afford that.