Heating your home does not have to cost you an arm and a leg. Heating using wood is still the most cost effective way to heat your home. Compared to fuels, wood is renewable resource and therefore you can use wood that you have cut to save more. Here are some more ways to save money while enjoying your warm home this coming winter season:
- You can save money by getting your name on a list with local tree cutters who will deliver wood to your home. This saves tree cutters money since they do not need to pay for dumping fees and mileage from travelling very far. This practice also reduces landfill dumping. Other tree cutters will even give you a discount if you are a regular customer!
- Another way to save money on your heating bills is to improve the insulation in your home. Just before the winter chill sets in, caulk windows, doors, and pipes to seal air gaps. Consider adding weather-stripping to doors and windows. Check out EPA’s Energy Star Home Improvement tips on how to seal your home for the winter months.
- Great news for homeowners! There are federal tax credits that may be available when you purchase wood or pellet stove. For more information regarding this visit EPA Energy Star website for a possible $300 tax credit!
- You will be able to save when you protect your home and property. The best way to do this is to install a smoke or fire alarm. Each year in the United States, about 3,000 people lose their lives in residential fires, and this is mostly from inhalation of smoke and toxic gases, not as a result of burns. Therefore, properly installed and maintained smoke alarms in the home are considered one of the best and least expensive means of providing an early warning for a deadly fire.
If you burn wood in your home, even occasionally, it is highly recommended that you install a smoke alarm to alert you and your family in the event of a fire. To be effective, these devices should be in the proper location and tested regularly. Be sure that batteries are replaced regularly.
- To save money on medical bills, install and maintain a carbon monoxide detector. When wood is not burned efficiently, the resulting smoke has a number of chemicals such as carbon monoxide (CO). According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are 150 deaths on average per year from CO poisoning which are related to the use of combustion appliances such as wood burning stoves inside the home.
You need to be careful since CO is odorless and colorless. Exposure to CO will cause serious problems since this gas reduces your blood’s ability to carry oxygen. EPA recommends a digital CO detector if you use a wood stove or fireplace in your home. A digital detector will display the concentration of CO parts per million (ppm) and will emit a warning sound that sounds louder as the concentration of CO gas increases. You can find more information about CO detectors and preventing CO poisoning when you visit EPA and read about CO poisoning “Protect Your Family and Yourself from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning (pdf).”