Getting Ready for Winter 101: Heating Considerations

Wood pellet stove

Heating costs are so high, and fuel assistance programs are being cut back. In Maine, I have heard that there will not be as much funding as there has been in previous years.

Many Mainers have reconsidered how they heat there homes because electric and oil heat have become so expensive. How will you be heating your home?


Many low-income dwellings make use of electric heat. This can be costly, so it will be important to sit down and figure out how to save money with this method. I used to live in an apartment with this type of heat, and remember that it was hard to keep warm.

  • Upstairs was always warmer because the heating elements were in the downstairs ceilings.

  • I used plastic to cover windows, that could be blow-dried on. Or with painters tape that would not peel paint when I removed it.

  • The lowest I could turn the heat to during the day was 69, and we had to wear extra layers and keep blankets downstairs to be warm enough.

  • At night, the heat went down to 65. Extra blankets were placed on each bed.


Oil heat was used in my next home, a trailer. This is also expensive, but there are ways to conserve oil.

  • The heat was kept between 68 and 70 during the day, but turned down to 62 when we were gone.

  • Blankets were kept handy at all times. Fleece ones that kept us extra warm.

  • By placing the beds next to or over the vents in the bedrooms, you can turn the heat down to 55 at night. Pile the blankets on.

  • Dress warm during the day and at night.

Pellet Stoves

I have never used one of these, but know people who do. I know that, while you are in the room with the stove, you are nicely warmed. I do no know anything more. It would be interesting to hear from readers what there experiences are with these stoves.

Wood/Cook Stoves

The old ones were great, and I am wondering if the newer models are as versatile. Many things could be used in an old stove to warm a place, from wood to straw. Some items were more efficient than others, but you certainly had more options for burning than with a pellet stove. I want one or the other of these.

I am aware that the heat does not always travel well throughout the home, and this is fine with me. At night I only need minimal heat.

Combination Methods

I know people who uses a combination of heating sources during the winter. A pellet stove can be placed in a kitchen or living room that’s heating vents have been covered or removed, and oil heat can be used in the bedrooms and the bathroom. I believe that the fire is allowed to go out in the stove at night.

Feel free to discuss how you heat your home in the comments below, and to leave tips for saving on heating costs.


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