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


Don’t Let Energy Savings Go By Kelly Trapnell


 and the draft pulls heat from other rooms. So if your thermostat is  temperatures for the rest of the house. 


 times worse than using U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-   


that will circulate hot air into a room to help lower heating costs. But  sources, including constant attention and ash disposal.  


Clean sweep. A National Fire Protection Association standard suggests having your chimney  once a year, and cleaned or repaired when necessary. Even if you don’t use your  annual inspection will  animal nests or other deterioration. Seal those cracks. While sealing drafts around your home, don’t forget to check the chimney.   high-heat areas.


12


Open the fireplace flue when logs are burning to let smoke and heat out. But remember to close it when not in use to keep conditioned or heated air inside.


Fires are a low-efficiency, high- maintenance source of heat requiring constant tending and ash removal.


 lower the thermostat to save energy—just be prepared to wear a sweater in other rooms—and resist the temptation to crank the temperature back up after the  Batten down the hatch. Keep the chimney  conditioned or heated air from escaping. Choose your wood wisely. Wood that’s dried  that’s wet or newly chopped. And the harder the tree  elm, hickory, oak, sugar maple, and beech are good choices. Store wood off the ground and away from your house to remove the threat of termite infestation, and cover the top to lessen moisture but leave the sides open for circulation.


Kelly Trapnell writes on safety and energy efficiency issues for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.


Sources: U.S. Department of Energy, Consumer Reports, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Chimney Safety Institute of America.


Up in Smoke 


to your electric bill. 


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