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Safe Heating


This past week it's been cool in the daytime, while feeling cold in the nighttime, and government reports say the costs of heating homes are expected to continue their upward rise this winter. All that means some people may be looking for less-costly ways to stay warm.

This has been one of this week's warmer days, but October has started out being rather cold, and this is the time of the year fires begin, started when people try to keep warm and save money at the same time.

"Furnaces should be serviced by professionals, and change your filters. It not only improves the economy of it, it also prevents the risk of fire occurring as often.”

But people also look to other ways, such as space heaters and kerosene heaters. Those need to be placed at least three feet from items that can catch fire, as well as away from pets, and turning on the oven or stove might also cause problems.

"A lot of people use their stove or oven to take the chill off in the morning," Beckett says. "That is not a good idea because it is not vented properly for the use of heat."

Also, when refueling items like kerosene heaters, take them outside.

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Energy Saving Tips

Insulation

  • check the insulation in the attic, ceilings, basement walls and crawl spaces to see if it meets the levels recommended for your area.

  • Insulation is measured in "R" values -- the higher the "R" value, the better your walls and roofs will resist the transfer of heat.

  • Check to see what your insulation needs are in your area here

  • Insulation usually comes in four types:

    • 1.) Batts: Usually made of fiber glass or rock wool. Made to fit between the studs in your walls or between the joists of your ceilings or floors.
    • 2.) Rolls: Made of fiber glass and can be laid over the floor in the attic.
    • 3.) Loose-fill: Made of fiber glass, rock wool or cellulose, is blown into the attic or walls. Cellulose is usually made from recycled newsprint treated with fire-retardant chemicals.
    • 4.) Rigid foam boards are made of polyisocyanurate, extruded polystyrene, and expanded polystyrene. These boards are lightweight, provide structural support, and generally have an "R" value of 4 to 7 per inch. This is made to be used in confined spaces such as exterior walls, basements, foundation and stem walls, concrete slabs and cathedral ceilings.

    Heating Systems

    • Your home's duct system, a branching network of tubes in the walls, floors, and ceilings, carries the air from your home's furnace and central air conditioner to each room.

    • Unfortunately, many duct systems are poorly insulated or not insulated properly.

    • Sealing your ducts to prevent leaks is even more important if the ducts are located in an unconditioned area such as an attic or vented crawl space.

    • Check your ducts for air leaks. First look for sections that should be joined but have separated and then look for obvious holes.

    • If you use duct tape to repair and seal your ducts, look for tape with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) logo to avoid tape that degrades, cracks, and loses its bond with age.

    • Remember that insulating ducts in the basement will make the basement colder. If both the ducts and the basement walls are uninsulated, consider insulating both.

    • Get a professional to help you insulate and repair all ducts.

    Programmable Thermostats

    • You can save as much as 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills by simply turning your thermostat back 10% to 15% for 8 hours. You can do this automatically without sacrificing comfort by installing an automatic setback or programmable thermostat.

    • you don't operate the equipment as much when you are asleep or when the house or part of the house is not occupied.

    Source: www.eren.doe.gov contributed to this report.


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