drdiy

Handy Tips on Heating Costs For A Chilly Winter

In Q&A, Winter Tips For Your Home on December 12, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Q:
If people want to save ten to twenty percent on their heating bills, do they need to be handy?

A:
They don’t really need to be handy, just take their hand and set the thermostat back to 68-degrees. This is one of those energy saving tips (read that as money saving) that you’ve been hearing for the past decade but still forget to do. For every degree you turn your thermostat back, you save approximately one-percent on your heating bill. That could accumulate to some big bucks.

If you’re elderly or have infants in the house this tip may not be such a great idea since it could affect their health. But for the average household, if you dress for the temperature by wearing a sweater for example and by controlling drafts by closing the blinds or drapes on the windows you shouldn’t have any discomfort. Also, don’t forget “clock thermostats”, which cost anywhere from twenty to fifty dollars. Older models just had one or two setbacks that automatically turned the heat down in the evening just before you went to bed and had it start up fifteen minutes before you woke up in the morning.

Newer, more complicated models can be programmed to accommodate any schedules you and your family may want it to go off and at any time of the day you need. Some digital thermostats contain little computers that accommodate your weekly schedule including the weekend. If you’re following my advice, you’ll be a little cooler, and that’s not a lot of hot air.
Q:
The static electricity in our house is a shocking problem. What can we do about it?

A:
Static electricity in the house is usually more of a problem in the winter when the relative humidity is very low than in the summer when the humidity is high.

You know the expression, “It’s not the heat it’s the humidity”. Well, static electricity is the build-up of an electrical charge brought about by rubbing two dissimilar, non-conducting materials together. Moist air is a better conductor than dry air and as such, helps dissipate the charge before it becomes noticeable.

It’s a good idea to add a humidifier to your forced air heating system if you have none. Also, if you have a humidifier it may need cleaning and maintaining. Another problem I find with many units is that they are just too small for the square footage that they are trying to humidify. You m ay need a second unit to replace the one you have with a better one or larger model. Studies have shown that in order to prevent static shock in rooms with carpets of wool, nylon and some other synthetic fibers, the relative humidity should be 35 to 45-percent.

Some manufacturers have introduced conducting fibers in the carpet to minimize the problem. One such example is Monsanto’s Ultron line. In the meantime there are products available in grocery stores such as Static Guard® that can be sprayed on clothing and some furniture that eliminates static cling.
Cutting & Stacking Firewood

Cutting and stacking firewood is not only hard work it can be dangerous as well. Not every chain saw user understands how to work safely outdoors. Conditions, especially when cold or wet, are often less than ideal. Woodcutting is heavy, strenuous work. That’s why I avoid doing it at any cost. Special safety gear is also recommended whenever these tools are used and are available from a variety of sources including chain saw manufactures and distributors.

You know the best defense against injury is always work carefully, without hurry or distraction (I’m sorry, what were we taking about?) and to prepare for the job at hand. Good footing and support are essential, both for the material you are working on and for yourself. Boots and ankle supports are better than low shoes or sneakers, also back supports should be worn when handling heavy objects or doing repetitive tasks, as when lifting and stacking firewood.

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