Insulating your home in Maine, how to heat it more efficiently when the dollars are scarce.
This blog post is about how to stretch your heating dollars. Because money left over from heating your Maine home can be applied to other financial obligations that visit your crowded mailbox monthly. Let’s face it, Maine is loaded with older housing stock. When many of the homes were built, heating oil cost just pennies on the dollar. Wood lots surround us too because Maine is 91 percent timberland. The forest offers plenty of low cost, of renewable heating resource opportunities. If you have the gumption to a season ahead cut, split, stack and prepare your house chimney for heating with wood.
I’ve blogged on the love affair of Jotul woodstoves before which you already know about if you have hung around this channel for any length of time.
Woodstoves offer more to simple living in Maine than just the heating your home benefit. Cardio exercise from the yearly trip to the wood lot to gather and process your winter fuel give you a self sufficient feeling of contentment. The rising cost of other fuels to heat your home don’t concern you so much when the four, eight or however many cords of seasoned wood are neatly stacked in the 4 x 4 x 8 rows.
Cooking on a wood stove and heating your domestic hot water are secondary gains helping stretch your Maine energy dollars. The cheerful blaze that lights up your winter hibernation improves your bottom line financial health tremendously. So do southern exposure insulated walls of glass that get sealed in and buttoned up with Roman shades when the yellow orange ball disappears from high overhead.
But whoa big fella. Neck reining to get back to making your home in Maine easier to heat.
Besides the energy heating credits for installing heat pumps, high efficiency water heaters, the space you live in can be tightened up.
To reduce the need for whatever is used to heat your living area called home. Closing off unused areas, wearing more than t-shirt short sleeves around your home lower the energy costs too. It does not mean being able to see your breath or wondering why the house plants are dead or the domestic pets seem a little frost bit. But lots of articles promote 65 degrees as the benchmark to maintain.
The t-shirt under the long sleeve whatever you wear is the one extra comfort level to remove the chill of winter living in Maine. Reaching for the afghan or couch throw blanket becomes a habit that replaces twisting the thermostat dial so hard to the right to stay warm while feeling guilty at the same time. Whatever you wear has to breathe like your attic and venting, wicking all make what you wear an educated choice whether your put into your house for insulation or hang on your body for lasting warmth.
The home itself, what can be done for low cost improvements to keep the heat inside longer?
The best return on whatever the energy cost updates you do select are the ones underwritten by government agencies. Here is a list of energy saving conservation funding sources to consider tapping into to help chisel away the size of your heating and electrical lighting bills. Heating oil assistance is one of the most searched for terms in Maine. Considering a smaller square footage energy efficient home is a smart move too if the house around you is just too darn big. Or converting part of it into a rental apartment could be a wise move if you want to keep the same mailing address. Turning your home into a money making rental for a loved one brings families closer together. The trips to the grocery store include consideration of someone other than yourself that needs a loaf of bread or a quart of milk.
Energy efficiency in your Maine house starts with an audit.
Let’s face it. Most of use don’t have money to burn and heating the great outdoors is not your goal because we all know you and I were not really brought up in a barn. The simple habits to close the exterior door when you go out and come in is a given common sense maneuver. If you educate your kids to consider the warm air in your home is like water. That leaks out through holes in your house that all add up. Turning off lights becomes a habit if it is taught early on out of respect for the monthly budget bottom line painful check writing.
Weather stripping, beefing up your attic and cellar wall insulation. Caulking around window and door cracks and gaps. Stuffing insulation in the cavity voids around new insulated replacement windows tightens up the efficiency of the energy use you are determine to ride herd on better. This is the Department of Energy’s list of where your heating air escapes and areas to double up on to stop the leakage. More on rebates and loans for energy conservation in your Maine house. To save money and get efficient. Frugal is not the same thing as cheap. It is a true desire to use less, get more and be efficient. In control of your energy dollars when winter is in full swing outside your home sweet home.
Adjusting your house thermostat for eight to ten hours can save ten percent of what you shell out for energy. A programable thermostat would be a thoughtful stocking stuffer for the person on your gift list that could sure use it to trim their household heating and cooling bills.
Not everyone hangs a heat pump or two on the outside of their home.
Stacks of wood for the kitchen stove, cellar furnace or the outdoor boiler behind your home is not everyone’s path to energy use dieting. Rebates for updating Maine home oil or gas furnaces explained in the highlight link you just past and need to put ‘er in reverse to check out if you have time for more belt tightening tips and cash back options.
Annual servicing and filter replacement in the energy tune up of whatever furnace is purring down cellar or in the ground floor utility room of the Maine home is money well spent. If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace in the Maine house, remember that when used they only are about five to ten percent efficient. Once you remove the romantic value of those positive ions spilled into your living room, consider there is another use. Slide in an insert with a pellet or wood stove or considering adding a gas log for a warm glow in your living space.
All the calculated maneuvers help make your home in Maine easier to heat and cool.
Cheaper costs for the energy to do both if nothing is rushed and the home work to heat and cool the sticks and bricks is a well thought out plan. One funded by the money you already waste if you do nothing but shiver, bitch and complain. Get determined not depressed. Take some steps to shake it up. Often you are cold because you just simply are not dressed right. Layering those clothes, changing up what you wear for comfort is just a smart move. Requiring a little thought when you slide out the dresser drawer or reach into your bedroom closet each morning for something parked and waiting on a hanger to consider wearing today.
Like if you don’t ride herd on your credit card use, lack of thought put into how you heat and live in your Maine home can suck you deeper into a financial black hole. Not one has to be cold nor should they be. But being warm as toast does not just happen surviving a Maine winter. Landlords can tap into available funding to make rental apartments warmer, to save themselves and their tenants hard earned money.
It’s up to you and you can be independent. By making a game of being thrifty in whatever you use for a heating resource combined with tightening up the living space you call your Maine home is just good business. Your kids are watching and learning from your dance to save money and stretch those smaller piles of dollars too. Too practical or square? Or survival life skill? How do you approach energy conservation regardless of your savings account size?
Heating your Maine home for less means adding double pane windows that can account for 25% of your energy waste during the heating and cooling seasons. Or shortening the marathon showers where waste means extra dollars you may not have to spend. The ones you might enjoy not frittering. Instead used for something you would rather see them spent on for something a little more worthwhile to improve your life experience.
Making your home easier to heat and cool.
Whatever you do, when you feel a chill, don’t heat up the entire household to chase it away. Consider space heaters where you are hanging out for the next few hours watching a movie. Or better yet, say sayonara to your couch and go cross country skiing, ice skating, for a walk in the wintery wonderland during a Maine winter. Attend a local basketball or ice hockey game and don’t hunker down all winter long stuck inside your home in Maine.
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MOOERS REALTY 69 North ST Houlton ME 04730 USA