Sunday, October 18, 2009

Winter Preparedness~Furnace and Fuels


I love to be warm.  In my first home, which was a 1968 mobile home which I payed cash for and sold two years later for the same, was heated by fuel oil.  It had a huge tank that sat behind the house and each winter at least twice I'd call the "fuel man" to come and put in what I needed so I could run my furnace and stay warm.  This was in my early days of singlehood and I was so proud of my home!  That little trailor was so unlike the modular homes of today.  It has roll out windows, no carpet~but tile flooring and acutal paneling and wood cabinetry.  I loved it except that it was only 8 feet wide~CAN YOU IMAGINE?  God has really blessed me in the 25 years since! But in those days I had to put plastic over my windows to shut out the winter chill, and I also had to roll up towels at the doors to keep out winds.  I used insulated curtains too!

While I no longer live in such a tiny home, praise God with my family of four, I do still use some of those methods to keep us safe and warm each year! Let me say we are blessed with double glass high efficiency windows with storms so I am not rolling the plastic out, visqueen over them anymore! But if you have old windows, invest in a good heavy plastic and cover them up.  Use roll shades instead of miniblinds to block drafts and for more insulation, use insulated drapes.  This will keep the cold from coming in and heat from escaping!

For door drafts: I like weatherstripping, but if I can't do that, I use a rug or roll an old towel to keep out drafts as best we can.  There is a roll type insulated curtain you can purchase to insulate door areas, but I don't have this system.  We do have old doors in this home we are redoing, and hubby is trying to redo the back sticks and while has fresh paint, it's not tight in the frame.  I was given a beautiful antique door, farmhouse style with custom stained glass work from a dear friend. Hubby has promised to rework the antique door and weatherstrip it for us this year! The kicker is we have 6 exterior doors LOL! Our home was originally a duplex! So it's three on each side!!  Well, I am excited to be replacing this kitchen door for this very pretty one!

Exterior light and electrical covers.  Think of the draft that this can let into your home! Be sure they are covered with approved covers~we don't want any fires! I can feel the air flowing through a couple of mine...I need to see to this quick!

Furnace filters.  Replace and clean this area~it's amazing how much dirt can accumulate here! (I couldn't resist this pic~it's a good example of what kinds of filth loom in areas we don't think about! The best furnace filers we ever had are the electrostatic those for getting out time little stuff!)

Ducts and duct covers.  I was looking at our church duct covers and realized they need cleaning...I need to purchase some as some were too destroyed as part of the overall poor condition of our home, but before I install new ones, I can reach as far as I can to vacuum and clean the duct with a damp cloth.  NO water! Just a way to wipe the surface for a fresh duct...of course there are pro duct cleaning services~I like to do it this way!

Wood burning stoves and fireplaces require maintence too.  Have you had your chimney inspected?  It's wise to do this every so often and cleaned to build ups don't cause fires.  Do you have all the wood you will need?  If not wood, wood pellets or coal or whatever?  Now is the time to prepare!  I do have a gas cook top stove so this would help some, but no real heat source...we are working on this though as I do own a Ben Franklin stove that would be great somewhere in our home...stoke the stove and letter roar!!

I like to have additonal heat sources available to me in case our gas furnace or lights go out.  Last year in KY was the worst ice storm on record and many people were plain miserable! I don't have a generator, but it's a good idea if you live in temps like we do that get into the below single digits!!

Being prepared now makes winter months go more smoothly when icy winds and chills are present.  Check on your windows, heat source, doors~weatherstripping and if you have an additional heat source! Better now than sorry!

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