The Family Handyman - - BEST PRO TIPS -

Use your fire­place

Fire­places are no­to­ri­ously in­ef­fi­cient heat sources, as lots of heat goes up the chim­ney. But in an emer­gency, you can keep warm by a fire if you have enough wood to burn. A gas fire­place works too, and is more ef­fi­cient than a wood­burn­ing fire­place.

Block drafts

Lit­tle drafts around doors and win­dows go un­no­ticed when the fur­nace is op­er­at­ing. But when the power’s out, th­ese drafts re­ally bring on the chill. Block drafts with tow­els.

Note: Don’t block drafts if you’re run­ning a fuel-pow­ered heater. Th­ese small air in­tru­sions help the heaters burn ef­fi­ciently and pro­vide ven­ti­la­tion.

Pre­heat your home

If you have ad­vance warn­ing, set the ther­mo­stat higher than usual and heat typ­i­cally un­used spa­ces to boost ther­mal mass.

Keep doors closed

Open­ing a door to the cold lets out a lot of heat. Limit trips in and out of the house, open­ing doors only when nec­es­sary.

Propane and kerosene heaters pro­duce car­bon monox­ide just as gas stoves, ovens and fire­places do. When run­ning any fuel-pow­ered heat ap­pli­ance dur­ing a power out­age, it’s im­per­a­tive to have op­er­at­ing bat­tery-pow­ered car­bon monox­ide and smoke de­tec­tors. Read and ad­here to all of the heater man­u­fac­turer’s warn­ings. In­door-safe propane or kerosene heater

Propane or kerosene heaters are safe for in­door use only if they’re la­beled “in­door-safe” and you fol­low the man­u­fac­turer’s in­struc­tions. They come in dif­fer­ent sizes to suit the area to be heated. Th­ese por­ta­ble heaters are avail­able at home cen­ters and on­line, rang­ing in price from $80 to $500. Man­u­fac­tur­ers rec­om­mend open­ing a win­dow an inch or so when us­ing th­ese heaters, par­tic­u­larly in a su­per-in­su­lated home. If you’re us­ing a fuel-pow­ered heater in a very small room, open a door to an ad­join­ing room.

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