How do you heat your home, oil, gas, electric or by some other means? However you heat, I’ll bet it’s expensive and becoming more so every year! At this time of year, we still have time to consider our heating choices and figure out ways to save on the heating bill. Have you considered diversifying your heating? A lot of people I know, particularly seniors, are installing pellet stoves in their living rooms to do the bulk of heating. I took a different route and installed a heat pump that provides heat in cool weather and air conditioning in hot weather. There are probably many other ways of diversifying the heating costs that I’m not aware of. Many here may not be familiar with pellet stoves that are quite popular in BC but relatively unknown elsewhere. They are stoves that burn little pellets of wood made from waste sawdust. The pellets are sold by the bag or by the ton, depending on your requirements. The stove uses a tiny little screw-type of auger to feed a few pellets at a time to a burner dish. The initial pellets are ignited by a hot electric element to get the fire started and then a blower feeds air to the flame that ignites all the incoming pellets as they reach the burner dish. Another blower forces hot air from the Firebox into the room. These stoves burn with about 80% efficiency releasing very little heat up their chimney and no smoke. Pellet stoves have a hopper on the back to store pellets. Pellet stoves are much safer, cleaner and more efficient than traditional wood stoves. Another method popular here is a backyard boiler system fueled by wood. This is great if you either have a ready supply of logs or can have them delivered cheaply. The boiler unit is manufactured as a complete unit and looks a bit like a small shed. The boiler is located at least 100' away from The House (a large lot is a requirement) for fire safety reasons. It will supply all of the homes hot water needs and heating needs. Check out the classified ads in Popular Mechanics or Google "Hot Water Boilers" for more information.