Keeping it cool or making it warm, the two extremes for the Maine home owner who wants to save money no matter which direction the thermostat points.
Maine has four seasons and air conditioning is not a big need like it would be in the hot hot sunny south with humidity or even with dry hot of the southwest.
But here comes winter in Maine ready or not.
And so many myths about our winter weather in Maine.
More on the true picture of the climate, weather, temperatures in Maine.
We don't live in areas near one of the cold poles on the top or bottom of the globe.
We are 19 degrees average winter temperature and not 80 below zero as some outside of Maine who never set foot here would lead you to believe.
And our frugal natures means we all just strive to find ways to make it easier to heat our homes in Maine to save money.
So the house in Maine that needs tightening up to keep everyone inside nice and warm. Toasty, happy, and no one sees their breath when they rise and shine. Or through the day and house plants thrive like the family animals.
If you are the owner of say an old Maine farm house, and happen to own a wood lot, the amount of fuel you chew up over the course of winter is not so critical.
You saw up 10 cords, have another of the same amount all cut, stacked and under cover in the machine shed or barn, under a tarp or in the wood shed. Ready to begin the ritual of feeding the central heating source from the wood furnace in the cellar.
Maine winter not so big a deal.
And to help the furnace with a stick or two put into the antique kitchen wood stove, it's all good. Or the one I use, a 404 Jotul kitchen wood stove that is small but mighty.
How drafty, how air tight the Maine farm house is suddenly is not so important. When your renewable heat source is an unlimited supply of wood for heating the floorplan adequately.
But for the rest of the world that has to listen to the beep beep beep backing up of an oil truck, and worry about how much the 275 or 330 gallon tank downstairs is going to slurp, heating costs are a topic of discussion. When winter rolls around.
Dressing warmer, not just parading around in t-shirts and your boxers is one key point.
And weather stripping those loose as a goose windows.
Adding an outside thermopane to slow down the outside gusts that can howl during a winter storm in Maine.
Basement walls in Maine houses lose lots of heat.
Concrete is not a very good insulator for heat loss. Adding two inches of styrofoam board outside during construction along the wall before back filled would have been a nifty idea. During construction. Or tacking it up inside four feet down on the cellar walls, using maybe fiberglass you cover over with something to protect it works too.
On old cellar walls of field stone with the classic Maine farm house though, not so easy or ill advised.
You want some heat to warm those walls, to keep the mortar intact if it is mortised in place and intact.
Banking the outside walls of the old farm house with sheating, kraft paper or canvas, even plastic and then laying evergreen boughs to form a slanted "tent" can make the dead air space needed to warm the floors, all the other areas in the Maine home.
In the country, the winds can pick up the pace and unlike intown where houses are shoulder to shoulder, the farm house in the rural areas of Maine can get hit with bigger forces. That push the cold in, heat out of a home not prepared for a Maine winter.
Never plowed snow, seen a Maine snow storm?
An old video of the process of plowing, handling Maine winter storm snow fall that happens at the end, beginning of the calendar in Vacationland.
The attic, cover the top of the home to keep the heat from going up and out through the attic. For heat savings and dollars left in your pocket. But also because you as the home owner in winter in Maine don't want the attic any more than five degrees warmer than the outside temperature at the time.
Why? Warm air hits cold roof on the inside and oh oh.
Raining, water droplets drips and stain ceilings, cause mold. Mositure inside a heated Maine home that is tight as a drum in other ways but the attic heat loss is a back combination for whoever lives inside. Black mold on the windows sashes insides cause serious health issues.
Having an energy audit on the Maine home is money well spent.
The infrared camera to show the hot spots, where the temperature spikes high and needs correction measures to seal it up is vital to getting heating costs under control.
To make heating your home in Maine the lowest cost possible.
Putting in the guage to check the stack temperature and test the hotness of the flu gases is revealing too if oil is your weapon of choice for taming Maine's old man winter.
No one has money to burn needlessly. Seal in the attic hatches and pull down stairways that need a dome over them to match the rest of the attic floor insulation is important too.
If the kids are up there rummaging around, did the last guy or gal out seal it back up so months and months of heat sapping does not happen, or go unnoticed?
The big door vacuum testing to see where the pressure inside the home is and how it matches the outside. It is not a bad idea to fire up the devices available to measure the home's efficiency and to see where better results will happen with a few adjustments to the house in Maine.
Easy fixes are open windows in bedrooms where hot hot hot made junior crack it more than a sliver and just forgot.
You have to understand the habits of the folks who live in the house as winter rolls on.
Building science is helpful knowledge too in learning new ways to save money heating your home in Maine.
Lots of new equipment out there to save energy but are those heat pumps, other procedures on the home going to return a gain on the investment? Home work time, to bone up and find out.
Increasing the efficency of the maine home, how to increase the energy performance, to fix safety concerns too at the same time. Making the environment inside the Maine home in winter all it should be.
But remembering, no matter what the season, we spend them outside in Maine. But saving money heating the home just makes sense. And there are no polar bears in Maine too remember? But there is always something going on outdoors in Maine that grabs out attention and fills our lungs with fresh air, plenty of scenery.
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MOOERS REALTY 69 North Street Houlton Maine USA