Here's what I am working on: (isn't it funny how one thing leads to another?)
1. ordered a cord of wood for back up winter heating. Actually a "face cord" which is about 1/4 of a full cord and about 1/3 less expensive. To be delivered next week. [leading to:]
2. cleaning out the garage to be able to store our vehicles for the winter. I have to make room for a newly purchased wood rack to store wood cut and seasoned from tree trimming last year, and delivered wood in the garage, to keep it dry. [leading to - something efficient to burn all that wood in]
3. we have a fireplace in the upstairs of our home (rancher), as well as the basement. This is a completely inefficient way to heat the home, as smoke (and all your heat) travel up and out the chimney, with little but reflected heat from the fireplace.
Good article for energy efficiency here:
Before you light that fire ...So we are looking to purchase an EPA approved wood stove as a back up heating source in the basement. I know that wood stoves produce a lot of particulates, but then again, what should your back up heat be in a region filled with forests? Certainly not coal. And burning corn, while efficient, just seems weird to me. We're hoping to get a gently used stove that we can get installed by a professional for the most safety. And I am hoping to do it for less than a grand. Dreaming? Not sure yet.
Fireplaces are thought to be a great natural resource because they provide heat with no utility cost. Unfortunately, this is not true.
Traditional fireplaces are among the most inefficient heating sources because most of the warm air goes right up the chimney.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a roaring fire can exhaust as much as 24,000 cubic feet of air per hour to the outside, and subsequently cold air is pulled into your home to replace it. And a home's heating system is usually employed to warm up the cooler air. Have you ever wondered why having a fire tends to make other areas of the house feel cooler?
4. which leads to purchase and update of our smoke detectors and buying a carbon monoxide detector.
5. We need to improve the efficiency of our furnace so we are changing the air filters (ahem, for the first time since we moved in) - but that's not enough, so we are also...
6. Putting in replacement windows in the bedrooms and bathroom. No more cold tush on the toilet this winter! No more tidal waves of cold air cascading down from the single paned bedroom windows.
from the energystar program:
Windows typically comprise 10-25% of a home's exterior wall area, and account for 25-50% of the heating and cooling needs, depending on the climate.I am hoping to see a reduction in the natural gas use by about 15-20% this winter, by the new windows alone - as we will be able to maintain a lower thermostat temperature as we sleep.
As you can see with the temps predicted to start falling and the hand tending to want to reach for the thermostat, I have been a little preoccupied with the upcoming heating season. (although it was 84 degrees today!, it will be 38 this weekend)
Other plans in the works include stocking a modest pantry. Always talked about and yet, still on the "to be done" list. Making out the list for BJ's tonight. Any suggestions?