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Alternatives To Propane Heating

For years propane has been one of the most popular choices for heating homes, powering grills, and more. It’s cheap, clean burning, and easy to access. Additionally, propane is considered by many one of the best fuel sources on the market. However, steadily increasing prices and recent shortages have caused a dip in propane’s popularity.

Do you use propane as the primary heating source for your home? If so, it may be time to consider an alternative other than lowering the thermostat. The fireplace store at Clean Sweeps of Michigan carries a wide variety of inserts, fireplaces, and stoves to meet your family’s heating needs. Trust our expert staff to help you find the perfect heating appliance. Get rid of propane today!

Wood burning heating appliances.

There is nothing quite like the feeling of warmth and comfort that comes with sitting around a crackling, wood burning fire. After all, modern wood burning stoves, fireplaces, and inserts can be used either as a supplemental or primary heat source for your home.

Wood is considered to be one of the most environmentally friendly fuel sources. Burning wood is considered “carbon neutral” as wood gives off the same amount of carbon dioxide, whether it is burned or decays naturally. Wood is also a renewable resource, helping keep supply steady and prices low. Many homeowners are able to further reduce costs. How? By cutting, chopping, stacking, and seasoning some – if not all – of their own firewood!

Pellet stoves and inserts.

Do you like the look and feel of a wood fireplace, but dislike the stacking, storage, and stoking it requires? If so, pellets may be the ideal fuel source for your home. Pellets are made from recycled and compressed wood parts and pieces that are too small to be used in other ways. This makes them an environmentally friendly wood alternative. Why? Since they are made from real wood, their burn closely resembles that of wood logs. Their small size allows pellets to burn more completely, reducing waste and leaving behind less ash and soot.

Pellet inserts and stoves are fed using a hopper; the frequency with which pellets need to be reloaded depends on the size of the hopper. Pellets can be purchased at most home improvement or home supply stores. While the price of pellets is often comparable to firewood, pellets come in large bags that are easier to stack, store, and require less space.

Gas fireplaces and inserts.

If your home already uses propane, switching to natural gas is, for lack of a better word, a natural choice. With low prices, clean burning, and the same ease of use as propane, natural gas is an excellent and cost-effective alternative. With a wide variety of fireplaces and inserts to match your home’s heating needs as well as décor, Clean Sweeps of Michigan carries the perfect gas heating appliance for you and your family!

If you heat your home with propane, don’t get left in the cold by high prices or gas shortages this winter. Instead, stay warm by switching to an alternative fuel source. For more information about new heating appliances and alternative fuel sources, contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today.

Home Heating Efficiency Tips

Home Heating Efficiency Tips - Ann Arbor, MI - Clean Sweeps of MichiganKeeping their homes warm and comfortable is a major priority for most homeowners during the cold months of winter. For many, this heat comes from furnaces, fireplaces, or other fuel burning appliances. Unfortunately, if not used correctly these appliances may run inefficiently, resulting in a loss of heat and energy. Likewise, heat may be unintentionally lost in other areas of the home, even to the point of allowing cold air in.

There are several steps homeowners can take to help their homes heat more efficiently and to reduce a loss of heat and energy. By following manufacturer’s instructions for care and maintenance on heating appliances and utilizing tips for minimizing heat loss, homeowners can keep their homes warm and their heating costs low all winter long.

Insulate windows and doors

Most people have been in homes where there air in front of the windows is considerably colder than the rest of the house. The Energy Information Administration estimates that as much as one third of a home’s heat loss occurs around windows and doors. There are several things homeowners can do to combat this energy loss.

Drapes and curtains: Drapes and curtains covering windows can serve more than just a decorative purpose. When thick draperies are hung over windows, they can minimize drafts and reduce heat loss by as much as 25%.
Caulking: As homes age and settle, small cracks or gaps may develop around window frames. These holes can let cold air in while allowing warm air to escape. Applying caulk around a window frame seals these gaps; weather stripping is recommended for use around a window’s moveable parts. According to the US Department of Energy, the cost of weather stripping or caulking can be recouped through utility savings in as little as one year.

Install a programmable thermostat

While programmable or digital thermostats are the norm in most new homes, older homes may not have them. By installing a programmable thermostat, homeowners can control the exact temperature of their home, some even adjusting to half-degrees. Many models also come with timers, allowing the thermostat to automatically raise or lower the temperature throughout the day. Doing this reduces energy costs as the temperature can be set lower during the day when no one is home so the heater does not run, only to be raised again in the afternoon and evening.

Consider wood or pellet heating

To reduce energy costs, consider using a wood or pellet burning appliance as a supplemental heater. With major advances in energy efficiency, these fuel burning appliances are able to produce large amounts of heat with minimal emissions. Using a pellet or wood stove for zone heating – or only heating a specific area of a home – reduces overall utility costs.

Likewise, larger wood or pellet stoves may be able to be used to heat an entire home, eliminating the need for a furnace or boiler. A 1,300 square foot home will need a unit that produces around 42,000 BTU, while a larger, 2,000 square foot home will need upwards of 60,000 BTU. When selecting a unit, however, it is extremely important to select the right size; a unit that is too small will not produce enough heat, whereas a unit that is too large may overheat the house, making it equally uncomfortable. Because of this, it is best to work with a reputable dealer when selecting a wood or pellet stove.

If you have questions about how to increase your home’s heating efficiency, contact the experts at Clean Sweeps of Michigan today!

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