Best Non-Programmable Thermostats You Can Buy in 2021

best non-programmable thermostats

While most people are looking for the latest and most advanced programmable and smart thermostats, many still prefer a no-fuss and basic unit for their homes. But with the many models and varieties today, it can be difficult to find the right one for you.

So to help you out, we have listed down our top picks for the best non-programmable thermostats. As your guide, we also included the most important features you need to look out for when choosing which one to buy.

But before that, let’s first answer one very common question, “why should I buy a non-programmable thermostat instead of programmable or smart thermostats?

Our Top Picks At A Glance

Best Overall
Honeywell TH3110D1008 Pro Non-Programmable Digital Thermostat, 1 Pack, White
Best for Budget Shoppers
Non-Programmable Thermostat 1 Heat/1 Cool
Best for Multi-Stage HVAC Systems
Emerson 1F85U-42NP Non-Programmable Thermostat
Honeywell TH3110D1008 Pro Non-Programmable Digital Thermostat, 1 Pack, White
Non-Programmable Thermostat 1 Heat/1 Cool
Emerson 1F85U-42NP Non-Programmable Thermostat
Backlit digital display
White or green LCD display
Backlit LCD Display
Battery powered and hardwired
Battery powered and hardwired
Battery powered and hardwired
Best Overall
Honeywell TH3110D1008 Pro Non-Programmable Digital Thermostat, 1 Pack, White
Honeywell TH3110D1008 Pro Non-Programmable Digital Thermostat, 1 Pack, White
Backlit digital display
Battery powered and hardwired
Best for Budget Shoppers
Non-Programmable Thermostat 1 Heat/1 Cool
Non-Programmable Thermostat 1 Heat/1 Cool
White or green LCD display
Battery powered and hardwired
Best for Multi-Stage HVAC Systems
Emerson 1F85U-42NP Non-Programmable Thermostat
Emerson 1F85U-42NP Non-Programmable Thermostat
Backlit LCD Display
Battery powered and hardwired

Why Use a Non-Programmable Instead of a Programmable Thermostat for Your Home? 

There are many reasons why a lot of people still use non-programmable or manual thermostats for their homes. And these reasons are:

  • They are easier to operate

Programmable thermostats can be complicated, especially for a non-tech-savvy person. Everything can be very confusing, from choosing which type and model to buy to setting them up, programming, and running them. While there are already smart thermostats, they can still be difficult to understand. You’d probably need to do some research to make them work efficiently. 

With non-programmable thermostats, however, you can just apply the necessary changes when needed. You can control your indoor temperature without going through a complicated process or doing extensive research. You can also easily and quickly make changes in case a cold front, heatwave, or other unexpected weather conditions hit your home. No need to alter the program, which can be a little harder and time-consuming. 

  • They are cheaper

Non-programmable thermostats are also cheaper upfront. You can even buy a unit for as low as $10. On the other hand, programmable units have an average cost range of $20 to $125 while smart thermostats can cost anywhere from $150 to $300. 

  • They are simple

What most people like about non-programmable thermostats is their simplicity. They don’t have fancy and advanced features or extra parts. Just basic designs and all the essential components to help you control the temperature in your home. 

Overall, if you are looking for a simple, cheaper, and easy to operate thermostat that won’t require you to go through a very complicated set of instructions, then buy a non-programmable thermostat. It’s a more practical option for those whose schedules vary from week to week or day to day. 

Take note, however, that this type of thermostat is better for those who are always around to change the settings. If you are retired or working or taking care of the kids at home, then this is a great option for you. However, if you frequently leave your house unattended, then programmable or smart thermostats may be better choices. 

Best Non-Programmable Thermostats

If you are looking for the best non-programmable thermostats you can buy in 2021, here are our top picks to help narrow down your options.

Best Overall – Honeywell Home TH3110D1008 Pro Non-Programmable Thermostat

Recent Price Drop!
Honeywell TH3110D1008 Pro Non-Programmable Digital Thermostat, 1 Pack, White
  • Pro 3000 1 heat/1 cool non-programmable digital thermostat white
  • Model - TH3110D1008
  • This is manufactured in United States
  • Non-programmable digital thermostat
  • Type: Digital
  • Display: Backlit digital display 
  • Power Supply: Battery powered and hardwired
  • Other Additional Features: Shows both set temperature and the current temperature at the same time

There’s a reason why Honeywell Home is so popular and highly rated in the thermostat market. It’s because their products work. Just check out the Honeywell TH3110D1008 Pro Non-Programmable Digital Thermostat. It is the simplest, no-frill, and best digital thermostat today. 

Sure, this basic thermostat doesn’t have fancy features as some of the high-end smart models do. But even with its basic control and features, it can surely get the job done. Plus, it comes with a reasonable price that’s just hard to beat.

This Honeywell Home thermostat is designed for single-stage systems – one heating and one cooling. It has a backlit digital display, making it easy to read in any lighting condition. It also shows the set temperature and actual temperature and uses slide switches to easily select from heat or cool mode. There’s a switch to operate the fan as well. But most of all, the Honeywell Home TH3110D1008 provides an accurate performance with a temperature setting of ± 1 °F (± 0.5 °C).

Best for Budget Shoppers – Heagstat Non-Programmable Thermostat

Recent Price Drop!
Non-Programmable Thermostat 1 Heat/1 Cool
  • Single stage, 1 heat/1 cool, Non-programmable
  • Compatible with heating, cooling and heat pumps without auxiliary heat. Does not work with electric baseboard heat (120-240V) or multistage HVAC systems.
  • Electric or Gas configurable, Accurate temperature control of +/-1-Degree F for consistent comfort
  • Dual-powered (battery and/or hardwire 24Vac power), Easy access battery compartment.
  • Type: Digital
  • Display: Available in white or green LCD (4.5 sq. in.)
  • Power Supply: Battery powered and hardwired
  • Other Additional Features: Shows both set and current temperatures at the same time

Working on a budget? Try Heagstat’s non-programmable digital thermostat. While it may not be as popular as the Honeywell Home brand and is the cheapest on our list, this unit doesn’t fall behind in terms of performance. With a large screen, backlight, and clear display, this is a thermostat that you won’t have any trouble reading and seeing. It also has easy-to-use slide switches for selecting either heat or cooling mode and for operating the fan. 

The Heagstat (1H/1C) Non-Programmable Thermostat is designed for single-stage heating and cooling systems as well as heat pumps without auxiliary heat. It’s dual-powered and has a precise temperature control of ± 1 °F for consistent comfort. 

Best Non-Programmable Thermostat for Heat Pumps – ELECTECK Heat Pump Thermostat

Recent Price Drop!
ELECTECK Heat Pump Thermostat with Large Digital LCD Display, Nonprogrammable, Compatible with Multi-Stage Electrical, Gas and Oil Systems, Up to 2 Heat/1 Cool, White
  • Heat pump thermostat, multi- stage, up to 2 heating and 1 cooling, electric or gas/oil configurable.
  • Work with multi and single stage heating, cooling and heat pump systems. Does not work with 120/240-Volt electric baseboard.
  • Easy-to-read digital 4.5 sq. in. LCD display with large characters and blue backlight. Big separate buttons for easy setting.
  • Precise temperature control with +/- 1 degree in Fahrenheit and Celsius for ultimate consistent control.
  • Type: Digital
  • Display: Backlit LCD Display (4.5 sq. in.)
  • Power Supply: Battery powered and hardwired
  • Other Additional Features: The fan switch has “on” and “auto” functions. Air filter change indicator

If you are looking for a thermostat specifically for your heat pump, we suggest the ELECTECK Thermostat. It’s a multi-stage unit that can handle up to two heating, one cooling, and heat pump systems. It is also electric and gas or oil configurable.

But what’s truly great about the ELECTECK Heat Pump Thermostat is its large display and characters, which makes it very easy to read. Furthermore, it has big separate buttons and a simple menu for quick and easy operation. It has a precise temperature control too with ± 1 °F (± 0.5 °C) for the ultimate consistency. On top of that, it’s fairly cheap.

Best for Multi-Stage HVAC Systems – Emerson 1F85U-42NP Non-Programmable Thermostat

Emerson 1F85U-42NP Non-Programmable Thermostat
  • Big, clear display - easily read in low lighting
  • Easy installation - built in level indicator, pluggable terminals and streamlined configuration menu
  • Advanced features - keypad lock, temperature limits, backlight button
  • Dual fuel standard - no sensors needed
  • Type: Digital
  • Display: Backlit LCD Display (5 sq. in.)
  • Power Supply: Battery powered and hardwired
  • Other Additional Features: Keypad lockout, automatic heat/cool changeover option, filter change reminder, temperature limit, and customizable “Away” button. 

Do you have a multi-stage HVAC system and looking for ways on how to enjoy some energy savings? If so, then the Emerson 1F85U-42NP Non-Programmable Thermostat is your best option. It features extensive compatibility with your air conditioning, heating, and heat pump, allowing you to regulate their capacities through one device. It can work with single-stage (one heating / one cooling), conventional (two heating / two cooling), and heat pump systems (4 heating / 2 cooling). 

The Emerson 1F85U-42NP has a 5 square inch screen size backlit display that’s very easy to read even in low lighting. It’s easy to install as well with a built-in level indicator, streamlined configuration menu, and pluggable terminals. Plus, it comes with Easy DIY Install Wizard, which is a convenient feature that will walk you through the installation process. 

What to Consider When Choosing a Non-Programmable Thermostat

When it comes to choosing a non-programmable thermostat, there are several factors for you to consider. This is to ensure you’ll only end up with a reliable unit that can prevent you from ever having home temperature troubles. To help you with that, here’s a quick rundown of the most important features you should look for in a non-programmable thermostat.

Manual vs. Digital Non-Programmable Thermostats  

There are two kinds of non-programmable thermostats available today: manual and digital. Manual models are operated by mechanical switches or knobs. Similar to an analog watch, they display the temperature through a dial.

On the other hand, digital thermostats are those you see with backlit screens and digital displays. They can be controlled through buttons or a touchscreen. More importantly, they can lower your energy usage by as much as 10 percent due to their sensors and efficiency settings. Meaning, you can expect to see some energy savings.  

While manual thermostats may look aesthetically better with your home’s interior, they tend to be less accurate than digital. They are also less refined, which can result in higher energy bills. So while they are cheaper, we suggest choosing a digital non-programmable thermostat instead. 


Look for a thermostat that can properly display the information you need at any given time. It should have a big screen size, backlight, and very readable characters. These are important features to look for since there’s a high chance that you’ll change the temperature late in the evening or while you’re half asleep. 


There are different ways on how to power a thermostat. You can choose from battery-powered, hardwired systems, or dual-power. Find out their differences below. 

  • Battery-powered: This is very common on digital thermostat systems. What’s great about running a unit with a battery is that it won’t be affected during power outages. But unless you have a backup generator, your HVAC system is unlikely to function. Also, with a battery-powered thermostat, you’d have to remember to change the batteries now and then
  • Hardwired: When a thermostat is hardwired, it means it’s connected directly to your home’s electrical system. While most will require a common wire or C-wire, which will also connect the thermostat to your HVAC system, some will not. Either way, with a hardwired set up, your thermostat will run without a problem as long as your home has power.
  • Dual-power: This is a combination of battery-powered and hardwired. So your thermostat will be tied directly to your system with or without C-wire and still equipped with a backup battery for continuous power even in emergencies. 


One of the things you should look for in a thermostat is its ease of installation. If you are planning a DIY installation, you’ll want something that you can set up in just minutes. To see how easy or difficult it is to set up a thermostat, check the comment and review section of a particular product you are interested in. This will give you an idea of its design and installation process. 

Other Additional Features

While non-programmable thermostats are designed to be as simple as they could be, some units offer advanced features that are certainly very helpful. The more features a unit has, the more convenient it is. Such features can include the following

  • Temperature Limits: With this feature, you can set a max upper and lower temperature limit. This will prevent your kids or other individuals from setting the temperature to insane levels when you’re not around. 
  • Keypad Lock: This is another neat feature some digital thermostats offer. It keeps children and guests from making any changes to your home’s temperature. 
  • Extra Details: Aside from the temperature some units also display other information such as outdoor weather conditions and humidity levels. 

Safest Indoor Propane Heaters and Safety Considerations

safest indoor propane heaters

As the cold weather sets in, keeping your home warm and comfortable can be challenging. While you can always crank up your thermostat and take out all the electric heating devices you have, this can be very expensive real fast. So to help you keep down costs while staying warm and safe, consider getting one of these safest indoor propane heaters.

A propane heater is a great alternative to an electric heater. It is highly effective in warming up an area, is cheaper to run, and doesn’t get affected in case of a power outage. A portable propane heater is also great for outdoor use, including patio or porch heating and camping. 

Now, the problem is, there are lots of propane heaters in the market – and not all of them can perform as well as they claim to be. So to make sure you only end up with a good and safe unit, we did the job for you and listed the best propane heaters you can use indoors. We also included a list of the safety features you need to look for when choosing an indoor space heater. 

Our Top Picks At A Glance

Best Overall
Rinnai FC824P Vent-Free Propane Gas Heater
Best For Small Rooms
Mr. Heater Vent-Free 18,000 BTU Radiant Propane Heater, Multi
Best For Large Areas
Dyna-Glo BFSS30LPT-2P 30,000 BTU Liquid Propane Blue Flame Thermostatic Vent Free Wall Heater, White
Rinnai FC824P Vent-Free Propane Gas Heater
Mr. Heater Vent-Free 18,000 BTU Radiant Propane Heater, Multi
Dyna-Glo BFSS30LPT-2P 30,000 BTU Liquid Propane Blue Flame Thermostatic Vent Free Wall Heater, White
8,000 - 22,000 BTU
20,000 BTU
30,000 BTU
Convection Heater
Radiant Heater
Convection Heater
Best Overall
Rinnai FC824P Vent-Free Propane Gas Heater
Rinnai FC824P Vent-Free Propane Gas Heater
8,000 - 22,000 BTU
Convection Heater
Best For Small Rooms
Mr. Heater Vent-Free 18,000 BTU Radiant Propane Heater, Multi
Mr. Heater Vent-Free 18,000 BTU Radiant Propane Heater, Multi
20,000 BTU
Radiant Heater
Best For Large Areas
Dyna-Glo BFSS30LPT-2P 30,000 BTU Liquid Propane Blue Flame Thermostatic Vent Free Wall Heater, White
Dyna-Glo BFSS30LPT-2P 30,000 BTU Liquid Propane Blue Flame Thermostatic Vent Free Wall Heater, White
30,000 BTU
Convection Heater

Understanding the Different Types of Indoor Propane Heaters

Before we proceed to our top picks for the best and safest propane heaters, let’s first discuss the different types of space heaters. When shopping around for a vent-free indoor space heater, you’ll usually come across the terms “Radiant” and “Convection“. These are the most common types of heaters and they are very different in how they can keep you warm. 

Radiant Heater

A radiant heater, or also called an infrared heater, warms objects and people in a room. If you are sitting near it, you will immediately feel its effects. So if you are looking for a unit that can heat an area faster, then this is your best option. Radiant heat is also more ideal for uninsulated areas, including unfinished basements and garages. 

However, keep in mind that radiant heat presents a fire risk when positioned close to combustible or flammable material. This means you can’t put it near your curtains, bedding, and furniture. Also, such units can be very hot, so keep them away from your pets, kids, and foot traffic. 

Convection Heater

A convection heater, or also known as blue flame, is similar to your central heating unit. Instead of people or objects, it keeps you warm by heating the air inside a room. Thus, it will take longer for you to notice its effects. However, if you want to warm an entire room in your home, this is a better option. 

5 Safest Propane Heaters for Indoors

Considering British Thermal Units (BTU) rating, heating capacity, efficiency, customer reviews, and most importantly, safety features, here are our top picks for the best indoor propane heaters:

ModelBTUTypeHeating Area (Square Feet)Customer Rating
Rinnai FC824P8,000 – 22,000Convection331 – 1,6004.6 out of 5 stars
Enerco MHVFRD20LPT Propane Heater20,000Radiant5004.8 out of 5 stars
Dyna-Glo BFSS30LPT-2P30,000 Convection1,000 4.6 out of 5 stars
Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy4,000 – 9,000Radiant225 4.7 out of 5 stars
GASLAND MHA18B18,000Radiant4504.6 out of 5 stars

Top Pick for the Best Indoor Propane Heater: Rinnai FC824P Vent-Free Propane Gas Heater

Rinnai FC824P Vent-Free Propane Gas Heater
  • Rinnai FC824P Vent-Free Space Heater - Propane
  • Input range 8,000 to 22,000 BTU/hour
  • Ideal supplemental heating solution for room additions, basements, and sunrooms
  • Tilt Switch - Push-Button, Electronic Ignition

Our top pick for the best and safest indoor propane heater is the Rinnai FC824P Vent-Free Propane Gas Heater. It is flexible, easy to install, and highly effective in rooms and spaces that are hard to heat. Moreover, it is designed for indoor use only, so it will work well for homes, apartments, condominiums, and other residential or commercial settings. 

The Rinnai FC824P has a BTU rating of 8,000 to 22,000, which is enough to cover 331-1,600 square feet of space and keep you warm even in the coldest days of winter. It also has a programmable thermostat so you can control the heat output you desire. You can use it for your room addition, basement, cabin, or sunroom. The only drawback is that the Rinnai is a lot more expensive than most propane heaters in the market. But if you believe in the saying, “You get what you pay for”, then this is the perfect heater for you.  

Safety Features:

  • Cool-to-the-touch cabinet
  • Child-safety lock
  • Electronic ignition (no pilot light)
  • Tilt switch
  • Overheat switch
  • Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS)
  • Flame failure device

Top Pick for Small Rooms: Enerco MHVFRD20LPT Propane Heater

Recent Price Drop!
Mr. Heater Vent-Free 18,000 BTU Radiant Propane Heater, Multi
  • 18,000 BTU Liquid Propane heater to heat spaces up to 500 sqaure feet.
  • Radiant heat burner
  • Automatic low oxygen shut-off system (ODS). CSA Certified
  • Operating this heater at altitudes over 4,500 FT above sea level could cause pilot/ODS to shutdown the heater.

The Enerco MHVFRD20LPT Propane Heater is a great supplemental heater for cold rooms, sunrooms, cabins, and additions. With a high BTU output of 20,000, this unit can provide you the warmth you need even on the coldest days. You can install it on your wall or floor with ease since all the mounting hardware is included. 

Like most propane indoor heaters, the Enerco Ventless Heater is equipped with a thermostat that allows you to control the temperature in your space. It also has a battery-powered electronic ignition for quick starting. 

Safety Features:

  • ODS
  • High Limit Safety Shut-off (HLS)

Top Pick for Large Areas: Dyna-Glo BFSS30LPT-2P Blue Flame Heater

Dyna-Glo BFSS30LPT-2P 30,000 BTU Liquid Propane Blue Flame Thermostatic Vent Free Wall Heater, White
  • Liquid Propane Ready (Fuel conversion not permitted)
  • Blue Flame Technology works by convicting heat to warm the air the same way as a central heating system
  • 24, 000-30, 000 BTU's/hr. adjustable heat output for up to 1, 000 sq. ft.
  • Thermostat control knob automatically maintains your ideal heat level

For large rooms and areas, the Dyna-Glo BFSS30LPT-2P Propane Heater is your best option. It has a high BTU rating of 24,000-30,000, which is enough to warm a 1,000 square feet area. It also features a built-in thermostat control knob, which automatically maintains your ideal heat level. To top it all off, this unit is upgradeable. You can purchase an additional fan to improve circulation or legs for floor mounting. 

Safety Features

  • ODS or auto shut-off when it detects low or lack of oxygen

Top Pick for RV and Tent: Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy

Recent Price Drop!
Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater, Red-Black
  • 4,000- to 9,000-BTU radiant heater for spaces up to 225 square feet. Approved for indoor/outdoor use; clean-burning; nearly 100-percent efficient
  • When operating the heater at altitudes over 7,000 FT above sea level the heater may shut off.
  • Auto shut-off if tipped over, if pilot light goes out, or if detects low oxygen levels. Fuel Consumption/Burn Rate (Gal/Hr) at 4000 BTU = 0.044 Gal/Hr, at 9000 BTU = 0.099 Gal/Hr
  • Fold-down handle; swivel-out regulator; connects to propane tank (not included); Run Time (Hrs at Max BTU): 3 Hours

Here’s a portable heater that you can take just about anywhere. You can use Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy Propane Heater indoors, on your patio, porch, garage, shed, barn, workshop, and even inside a tent. It will also come in handy during a power outage. This unit provides enough warmth with heat outputs of 4,000-9,000 BTU, covering up to 225 square feet of space. 

Safety Features:

  • Accidental tip-over safety shut-off
  • Automatic shutoff if the pilot light goes out
  • ODS

Top Pick for Garages: GASLAND MHA18B Propane Heater

GASLAND MHA18B Propane Heater, 18,000 BTU Warm Area up to 450 sq. ft, Portable LP Gas Heater for Garages, Workshops and Construction Sites, Ultra Quiet Propane Radiant heater with LP Regulator Hose
  • ☀【Cut Down Your Electricity Bills】With Gasland Portable Cabinet Heater, No electricity required. All you need is a 20lb liquid propane cylinder and you will have plenty of warm. Never worry...
  • ☀【Safe & Reliable】Our propane radiant heater is equipped with Tip-Over and Low Oxygen Shut-off for safety concerns. Since our small space heater is easy to move, they may be easier to kick down....
  • ☀【Mobile & Space Save Design】The Gasland portable propane radiant heater features a handy, mobile and sapce save design intended to be used in the ventilated garage, office and workshop. Take...
  • ☀【3 Heating Modes】 Freely customize the heating mode (High/Medium/Low) to maintain a pleasant warmth in your room. Outputs up to 18,000 BTU of heat to warm rooms up to 450 square feet.

If you are looking for a propane space heater as the source of heat for your garage, workshop, or construction site, then consider the GASLAND MHA18B. With 18,000 BTU, this unit can heat a 450 square feet room in no time. You can also choose from 3 different heating modes to achieve your desired warmth. 

What makes the GASLAND MHA18B Propane Heater unique is its mobility. Built with wheels, this is a handy and portable propane heater that you can take from room to room with ease. So aside from your garage, you can also use it for your patio, office, and other well-ventilated areas. 

Safety Features:

  • Tip-over protection
  • ODS
  • Protective guard in the back 

Safety Features to Look For When Buying Propane Heaters

Safety is the most important factor people consider when buying an indoor heater – and for good reason. While a propane heater is considered safe to use for home heating, there are instances when it caused accidents and injuries.

In 2017, for example, an RV caught fire because the owner’s dog knocked over a propane heater. Luckily, no one got hurt during that incident. But this shows how important it is to use propane heaters properly and to buy products with safety features to prevent such accidents from happening. So to help you with that, here’s a list of what you need to look for in a propane heater. 

  • Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS): Also known as an oxygen shutoff sensor or oxygen sensor, this is a feature that disables the gas supply to the propane heater when oxygen levels in the area drop below a preset limit. 
  • Tilt Switch / Accidental Tip-Over Safety Protection: This feature will stop the gas supply if the heater gets knocked over. 
  • Overheat Switch: This will automatically turn off the appliance when it exceeds a predetermined temperature.
  • Flame Failure Device: This will automatically shut down the unit if the burner flame is extinguished.
  • Child Lock: Since kids have a way of pressing almost every button they see, try to look for an indoor space heater that has a child lock feature. This will prevent any unintentional operation, which can lead to failure of the unit, damages, or accidents. 

Safety Precautions When Using Propane Heater for Indoors

To ensure your family’s safety, you should also make sure that you are using a heater properly. Here are some of the most important precautions and safety tips to remember when using a propane heater indoors: 

  • Make sure to use propane heaters that are rated safe for indoor use. Using outdoor-only propane heaters at home and not having proper ventilation can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. 
  • Keep the unit away from flammable items, including beddings, doors, curtains, and furniture. 
  • Ensure ventilation and always crack a window open. This will normalize oxygen levels, expel any unwanted byproducts, and protect you from carbon monoxide poisoning. 
  • Check for gas leaks every time you connect the heater to the fuel tank. You can use your nose to smell gas or ears to hear a hissing sound. If you suspect anything, try applying soapy water to the connections to see if there’s any sign of bubbling. 
  • Always store the fuel tank outside.
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) has no color, taste, or odor. So to protect you and your family, make sure to install a carbon monoxide detector. For an accurate reading, do not put your heater too close to the detector. 
  • Check your local codes if ventless heaters are permitted in your area. 
  • Recognizing the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning is key to preventing more serious problems or even death. So watch out for nausea, headache, confusion, dizziness, and weakness when using a propane heater. 

Kerosene vs. Electric vs. Propane Space Heaters Comparison 

When choosing a space heater for your home, your main options include an electric heater, propane heater, and kerosene heater. To help you make an informed decision, here’s a quick breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of each type, including the factors to consider. 

TypeCostFuelEnvironmental ImpactDisadvantage
ElectricCheaper upfront cost but more expensive to operateNoneEco-friendlyYou will have no heating in case of power failure
KerosenePricier upfront cost; cheaper to run More difficult to find; pricier fuelHigher levels of carbon and emits strong smell and harmful fumesNo temperature control Produce many fine particles Requires frequent maintenance
PropanePricier upfront cost, cheapest to runEasily accessible; cheaperEco-friendly; does not emit CO2 or greenhouse gases A propane tank is difficult to store If not used or installed properly, can cause a gas leak

Electric heaters are a great choice for an indoor space heater. However, as a supplemental heater, it may not be the most practical choice. For one, during a power outage, you’ll be left cold and uncomfortable since all your heating systems rely on electricity. Secondly, adding an electric heater to your central heating system can get very expensive. So if power outages are common in your area or you want to save a little on your utility bills, then consider buying a kerosene or propane space heater.

But what is better? Kerosene or propane? This depends on what you are looking for. If you are merely considering the price, then choose a propane space heater. Not only is its fuel easier to find, but it is also cheaper. Additionally, propane does not emit ash, smoke, or soot. It has low carbon content as well, making it a better option for enclosed spaces or tents. 

However, if you want a heater that can deliver the most heat output, then kerosene is a better option. Since it is a highly combustible substance, it can produce a lot of heat at a much faster time than propane. 

Best Wood for Fire Pits – Which Wood Should You Use?

best wood for fire pits

After an arduous process of choosing the right fire pit and installing it in your home, you finally get to enjoy that warm and cozy fire you have always wanted. You’ll just need to buy firewood from the nearest grocery store or gas station, and you are all set. After all, wood is wood – they burn the same way, right? 

Well, not quite. 

See, the firewood that’s easiest to access may not be the best wood for fire pits. It also doesn’t offer you the best value for your money. The small bundles of wood you see in many stores around you are called softwoods. These are usually pine and cedar, which are easy to light but quick to burn. So if you want your fire to last for several hours, you’ll need to buy a lot of them. Thus, making your expenses higher. 

But what exactly are softwoods? If these types of wood aren’t a great option then what is? Let’s find out below. 

Softwoods vs Hardwoods

What is Softwood?

Softwoods come from conifer and evergreen trees, such as spruce, pine, fir, juniper, or cedar. Their seeds are typically enclosed in cones and they don’t produce flowers. They grow fast and are usually less dense. 

What is Hardwood? 

Hardwoods produce flowers with their seeds enclosed in a fruit. They have a seasonal life cycle and grows slower than softwoods. There are many types of hardwood trees, including maple, oak, walnut, and more.

What is Better for Your Fire Pit? 

Both hardwoods and softwoods can be good choices for your fire pit. It just depends on how you are planning to use them. For instance, softwoods are great if you are not yet good at starting fires or if just want a quick and occasional fire for your little get-together. However, for a longer-lasting fire that can offer you the most heat, hardwoods are your best option. They have a lower moisture content and are denser, which allows them to burn slower and cleaner. 

In terms of price, softwoods are cheaper upfront. However, they are also less dense, which makes them burn faster. Approximately, it will take twice as many softwoods to produce the same burning time as hardwoods. So you may get a better value for your money with hardwoods and find them cheaper in the long run. 

Overall, hardwoods are a more efficient and economical choice for your fire pit. For a quick-fire experience, however, softwoods will suffice. You can also combine the two and use the softwoods for starting the fire and switch to hardwoods to make it last. Either way, your choice should depend on the availability of woods in your area and the purpose of your fire. 

Best Wood for Fire Pits

1. Oak 

Oak is a type of hardwood that is extremely dense, provides a long burning time, and high heat output. If you want a fire that can last through the evening, this is one of your best options. Yes, oak firewood has a more expensive upfront cost than softwoods. But since it burns longer and hotter, you will need less of it. Thus, making it more economical. 

Furthermore, oak is also readily and highly available in most parts of the country, so you won’t have a problem looking for one. The only downside is that it can be challenging to light and requires about two years to season properly. 

There are different types of oak wood, including the following:

  • Black Oak: This type of oak produces the least amount of ash. Thus, making it easier to clean up. 
  • White Oak: While white oak produces the most ash than any type of oak wood, it does provide a long, hot, and steady fire. 
  • Coast Live Oak: Coast live oak is long-burning firewood that offers high heat output without producing too much smoke. 
  • Valley Oak: Like others, this type of oak wood burns long and slow. Thus, giving you more bang for your buck.

2. Ash

You’ll often find ash as one of the most recommended woods for fire pits. The reason for this is that ash is easy to light, split, and provides amazing heat without producing a lot of smoke. Sure, it doesn’t burn as long as oak, but it is quick to season. You can even burn it while it’s still green. Of course, it’s still better if you can wait for it to season. But if you can’t, Ash will still burn fine even before drying out completely. 

3. Beech

Beech is very similar to ash. It provides a high heat output and burns for a very long time. It also produces a hot and clean fire without making a lot of sparks. Like other hardwood, beech takes a while to season due to its high moisture content. But it doesn’t take as much time as oak wood. Once seasoned, this type of wood can keep you warm in your backyard or patio even on the coldest winter nights. You don’t need to activate your patio heater if you have one since your fire pit is doing an amazing job keeping everyone comfy.

4. Hickory

Hickory is among the best types of firewood due to its very high heat output, long burning time, and great smell when burning. Compared to other types of firewood, it provides the second-highest heat output. It also has a low sap content, which results in less creosote and better burn overall. Most of all, it has a relatively low smoke output. 

5. Maple

Here’s another type of wood that provides a great aroma when burning. Maple is a good choice for your fire pit since it splits well, burns clean, and produces little smoke with almost no sparks. Once seasoned properly, maple can provide you with a long and steady burn.

One thing you should know about maple wood is that it has a lower BTU than other types of hardwood. Meaning, it can’t provide as much heat as the others. So if you are using your fire pit as a heat source, this is not the best option for you. However, if your main purpose is to create a welcoming fire for parties or gatherings, maple is a great choice. 

6. Black Locust

Arguably the best type of wood you can use in your fire pit, black locust is prized firewood. Many people prefer this type of wood over common favorites such as oak or ash – and for good reason. It can produce a lot of heat, is easy to split, burns slowly, and produces minimal smoke. It also creates a nice and hotbed of coals that can burn throughout the night. 

What Not to Burn in a Fire Pit

Now that you know the best woods for your fire pit, let’s head over to an equally important topic – what not to burn. There are certain types of wood that you should never burn in your fire pit, including the following:

  • Painted, stained, or pressure-treated: According to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), you should not burn coated, painted, and pressure-treated wood. These types of wood can release toxic or harmful chemicals when burned, so avoid using them in your fire pit by all means. 
  • Wet or green (unseasoned): EPA also states that you should not burn green or wet wood. These types of firewood are not seasoned and have high moisture contents. Thus, making them hard to light and burn. They will also pop, sizzle, smolder, and produce a lot of smoke – which will make your fire pit experience unpleasant.
  • Wet, rotted, diseased, or moldy wood: Included in the list of EPA’s “What Not to Burn” are wet, rotted, diseased, and moldy wood as they can also release toxins in the air when burned.
  • Ocean driftwood, plywood, particleboard, or any wood with glue on or in it: Burning these types of wood can produce chemicals that can be harmful to people. 
  • Wooden Pallets: Some wooden pallets are treated with chemicals, which if burned, can be released into the air. So unless you know for sure that the pallets you have were not treated, it’s best to avoid them altogether. 

Watering Plants In Winter: When Is It Too Cold To Water Plants?

when is it too cold to water plants

As the air gets colder and the first snowfall nearing, many plant owners find themselves in doubt. Should you water the plants in winter or not? When is it too cold to water plants?

If you find yourself asking the same questions, here’s a guide to help you. 

Should You Water Plants in Cold Weather?

Most plants go dormant during winter, regardless of whether they are indoors or outdoors. Since they stop growing, many people believe that watering is no longer needed – which is inaccurate. See, when a plant goes dormant, it does not die. It is simply taking a rest and trying to conserve energy to last the winter or dry season. And because your plants are alive, they still require water from the soil so some of their basic metabolic functions can continue to work. 

For many places in the country, watering plants in winter is necessary. If your location rarely receives heavy snow or usually experience drying winds, then watering even when it is cold is crucial. But aside from your geographic location and climate, the age of your plants is also important. For instance, young plants that are only just starting in your garden need sufficient water. 

Lastly, you should water your plants in winter to keep them protected against the freezing night. See, as long as you do it at the right time, the water you’ll provide will trap heat and help your plants stay warmer as the night comes. Add a couple of insulated covers, and this extra heat will prevent any damages to your plants. 

When Is It Too Cold to Water Plants?

Now that we have established the need to still water plants even if it is cold, let us answer one of the most common questions people ask: when is it too cold to water plants? As a rule of thumb, you should water your plants only when it is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or above. Anything below freezing is considered too cold, and it won’t do your plants any good to water them. 

Furthermore, if you notice the ground or soil already frozen, you may want to skip giving your plants water as they won’t be able to absorb it. This is because the water may only freeze, or it might be unable to reach your plants. Also, any water on the stems, needles, or leaves can freeze as well. 

When to Water Your Plants During Cold Weather

While your plants don’t need as much water as they do in warmer months, you still need to water them deeply during winter. However, you should also make sure that you are not giving your plants too much water as it can do more harm than good. So what should you do?

When watering plants in winter, check the temperature. If it isn’t below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and it isn’t freezing, then you are good to go. However, make sure that the soil is dry to touch. If it is damp, do not water. Additionally, only give your plants water if they are just establishing themselves in the ground and if you do not experience heavy snow. 

Keep in mind that timing is everything when it comes to giving your plants water. So watch weather forecasts closely. Before the cold front comes, make sure that you have watered your whole yard and not just your tender plants. This will raise your soil’s temperature by at least 5 degrees Fahrenheit compared to dry soil, and it will remain until early morning the next day. 

Since the worst conditions usually occur at nighttime or just before sunrise, you should water your plants early in the day. This will give you enough time for the water to soak deeply into the soil before the expected cold arrives. 

How to Prepare Plants for the Cold Weather?

Aside from watering plants, there are other steps you can take to protect your plants from the cold weather, including the following:

  • Move Potted Plants

Remember that some plants are more sensitive to low temperatures than others. For instance, tropical plants are so sensitive that they can be damaged even if it doesn’t reach freezing levels. So to protect them, try moving potted plants near your house where they’ll have southern exposure

  • Cover Your Plants
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To reduce heat loss and to protect your more sensitive plants, consider using covers. You can use cardboard boxes, plastic tubs, or even large trash cans. Your main goal is to cover them from the ground up. This will keep the soil warm, which helps keep your plants warm. 

You can also use a tarp and drape it over your plants towards the soil. This will trap warm air around your plant. Just remember to secure the tarp with some board or rocks to keep it in place. 

Must Read: How to Cover Plants in Cold Weather?

  • Raise the Temperature
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Even if you are only expecting a light freeze, consider raising the temperature around your plants for added protection. You can place holiday lights and cover them with a tarp. You can also add insulation. 

  • Mulching
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In case of a heavier freeze, watering and use of lights and covers may not be enough. So, if possible, move your plants to a western or southern exposure. Then, apply very heavy mulch or straw in the container. This will act as a blanket or cover for your plant. 

On the other hand, if you are expecting long freezing temperatures or a hard freeze, best to move your plants to the garage or indoors. For your flower beds, you may cover sensitive plants with a heavy layer of leaves. 

How Cold Does It Have to Be to Kill Mosquitoes?

how cold does it have to be to kill mosquitoes

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been more than 60 limited outbreaks and more than 150 locally acquired cases linked to mosquitoes in the United States. There have also been more than 2,000 cases of malaria reported every year. So not only are these insects a nuisance, but they also present a big risk to people’s health and lives.

When the weather starts cooling down, many think mosquitoes stop being a problem. While this is true for some places where practically everything freezes, it’s not the same with other states. See, for many parts of the country, the temperatures don’t go low enough to kill such insects. But exactly how cold does it have to be to kill mosquitoes? Let’s find out below. 

How Cold Does It Have to Be to Kill Mosquitoes?

Most mosquitoes, according to WebMD, will either die, migrate or hibernate when temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This is why in the United States, the mosquito season typically starts during early spring and ends when the first freeze arrives. However, for places with warmer weather, you may have to deal with these blood-suckers all year-round. 

Unfortunately, some mosquitoes have already adapted to all weather conditions known to man, including the cold. You can find mosquitoes even in arctic areas like Alaska. Additionally, their eggs can withstand the cold as well. And as soon as spring arrives, these eggs will all hatch. 

That said, while cold temperatures affect mosquitoes by slowing them down or killing them, you still need to take extra precautions to protect yourself from mosquitoes and the illnesses they carry. 

How to Protect Yourself From Mosquitoes?

Luckily, there are simple ways that you can do to protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes, including the following:

1. Use Insect Repellent

An insect repellent is safe and effective in keeping mosquitoes away from you. Even pregnant and breastfeeding moms can use them with no worries. Just make sure that you use EPA-registered mosquito repellents that contain either DEET, IR3535, 2-Undecanone, Picaridin, para-menthane-diol (PMD), or oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE). If you are going to use it on your child or anyone under 3 years old, look for products that do not use OLE or PMD. 

While many can attest to the effectiveness of natural insect repellents, such products have not been evaluated by the EPA and CDC. Thus, their effectiveness is not known. So if you want to be sure you are buying a product that works, best stick with EPA-registered repellents. 

If you are interested in buying an insect repellent for your whole family, you can check out the OFF! FamilyCare Insect Repellent III. It can repel mosquitoes, biting flies, no-see-ums, chiggers, and gnats for up to 2 hours. It also features a low DEET formula combined with a light scent that won’t irritate you or your kids.

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For something stronger, consider the OFF! Deep Woods Sportsmen Insect and Mosquito Repellent II. It can protect you from mosquitoes, sandflies, ticks, black flies, fleas, chiggers, no-see-ums, and gnats. Moreover, it can provide up to 8 hours of protection.

2. Cover Up

Aside from using insect repellent, you should also cover-up. For instance, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. For added protection, you can buy permethrin-treated clothes and gears. Or you can use permethrin to treat your things, including pants, socks, boots, and tents. Having this insecticide on your clothes and gears will help kill or repel mosquitoes. 

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To give you an idea, the RealTree Men’s Insect Shield can help keep mosquitoes, bugs, ants, ticks, and other insects away from your feet and legs.

There are also permethrin-treated long-sleeved shirts that are effective in protecting you from mosquitoes, like the Solstice Apparel Insect Repellent Hooded Tee for women or the ExOfficio BugsAway Sandfly Jacket for men. 

3. Check Inside and Around Your Home

One of the best ways to protect you and your family from mosquitoes is to stop them from laying eggs in or near a water source. So once a week, empty and clean, cover, turn over, or get rid of items that may hold water in and out of your home. This includes flowerpots, trash cans, tires, buckets, pools, birdbaths, planters, and even toys. 

4. Use Screens on Windows and Doors

To protect your home from mosquitoes, consider installing screens on your windows and doors. If you already have them, make sure there are no holes where these insects can enter.  

Frequently Asked Questions 

What diseases do mosquitoes carry?

Mosquitoes are known to spread the following diseases:
1. Zika: This disease is found in many parts of the world, including South and Central America, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean. It is known to cause microcephaly, which is a birth defect that causes brain damage and small heads. 
2. Dengue: This disease is common in Southeast Asia, Latin America, Puerto Rico, and Latin America. It is, however, rare in the United States. If caught, you can experience fever, headache, bleeding gums, rashes, and get easily bruised. In worse cases, it can lead to hemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal. 
3. West Nile: Here’s a more common disease in the US. It can be found in every state except for Hawaii and Alaska. It can cause fever, diarrhea, vomiting, rashes, and joint pain. It can also cause brain infections such as meningitis or encephalitis. 
4. Malaria: Most cases of this disease occur in South Asia, South America, sub-Saharan Africa, and many other regions. 
5. Yellow Fever: Mosquitoes are known to spread this disease in places like Latin America and Africa. From its name, it causes your eyes and skin to look yellowish. In less serious cases, it will give you chills, backache, headache, and make you vomit. 
6. Chikungunya: This disease was originally found in India and Asia. But in more recent years, there were cases recorded in the Americas and Europe as well. It can cause severe joint pain, headache, nausea, rashes, and fatigue. 
7. La Crosse Encephalitis: This disease can cause you to have fever, headaches, and nausea. In more serious cases, it can lead to nervous system changes. Mosquitoes that carry this disease usually live in wooded areas in the mid-Atlantic, upper Midwest, and Southeast states.  
8. Rift Valley Fever: Symptoms for this disease include weakness and dizziness. It is also known to damage your eyes. Furthermore, it is common in some parts of Africa as well as Yemen and Saudi Arabia. 
9. Jamestown Canyon Virus: There are less than 50 cases of this disease reported annually in the United States. It has similar flu-like symptoms, including headache and fever. But it can also cause more severe problems such as the inflammation of your spinal cord or brain. 
10. Snowshoe Hare Virus: While decades-old and originally found in Canada, this disease is now showing up in the United States. It can cause dizziness, rashes, headaches, and vomiting. It can also lead to inflammation of the brain. 
11. Japanese Encephalitis: When bitten by an infected mosquito, most people will have no to mild symptoms. However, it may cause inflammation of the brain, high fever, coma, tremors, convulsions, headache, and disorientation for a small percentage of people.

When should you worry about a mosquito bite?

If you notice any of the following symptoms after being bitten by a mosquito, seek emergency medical assistance immediately: Rash, Joint or muscle pain, Exhaustion, Persistent headache, Fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, and/or Difficulty in breathing.

Do male mosquitoes bite?

No. Male mosquitoes do not bite people or animals.

How long do mosquitoes live?

Many mosquitoes live for only 2 to 3 months. However, there are also species of mosquitoes that live much shorter. Culex pipiens, for example, only has 7 days to live. But generally, female mosquitoes live longer than males. 

When Is It Too Cold to Fertilize Lawns?

when is it too cold to fertilize lawns

Your lawn has a huge impact on the overall look and feel of your home. A green and lush lawn is welcoming and warm, whereas a brown and unhealthy yard makes your home look sad and uncared for. So to keep your lawn – and home – looking at its best, you have to make sure to perform the needed maintenance for your grass. And this includes applying fertilizer. 

Using a fertilizer ensures your lawn is getting all the nutrients it needs to be healthy and green. However, when used too much or at the wrong time, it may cause more harm than good. For instance, it may burn your grass or encourage weeds to grow. Thus, knowing when to fertilize and when is it too cold to fertilize lawns is key. To answer such questions here’s our quick guide for when to fertilize your lawn.

Know Your Grass Type

Generally, there are two types of grasses in the United States: cool-season grasses and warm-season grasses. The best time for you to fertilize depends on what type of grass you have and your location. So before we can proceed to when is the best time to fertilize and answer when is it too cold to fertilize lawns, you should first determine your grass type. 

Cool-Season Grasses

These grasses are usually found in the northern parts of the country. Some of the most common ones are tall and fine fescues, Kentucky bluegrass, and ryegrass. Their peak growing periods are early fall and early spring or just after their winter dormancy. Furthermore, they thrive in lower temperatures. In fact, in high temperatures during summer, and when they lack water, these cool-season grasses can go dormant. 

Warm-Season Grasses

If you live in southern states, these are the type of grasses you have. Warm-season grasses prefer warmer temperatures, meaning their ideal growing period is during midsummer. Such grasses can include Bermuda grass, Kikuyu grass, St. Augustine grass, centipede grass, and Zoysia grass. 

Special Consideration

Those who live in a transitional zone may have a combination of both types of grasses. If you do not know which grass type you have, look out for its behavior. Does it turn brown after the first frost? If so, then you may have warm-season grass. On the other hand, if it generally stays green throughout the year, then you may have cool-season grass. Take note, however, that cool-season grasses may die during summer when temperatures are extremely high. 

When to Fertilize Your Lawn?

Generally, the best time to fertilize your lawn is when your grass type is actively growing. So for cool-season grasses, you can do it in spring and fall. To get the best results, apply fertilizer heavily during the fall and only lightly in early spring. Make sure to fertilize before temperatures spike in summer. If you prefer to fertilize your yard only once a year, September is the best time for you to do so. 

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For warm-season grasses, the best time to fertilize your yard is during late spring and summer. If you notice your grass starting to turn green in spring, apply fertilizer. Then, you may apply the second round of fertilizer once the peak of the summer heat has passed.

When Is It Too Cold to Fertilize Lawns? 

The type of grass you have will also determine when it is too cold to fertilize your lawn. But instead of thinking about the air temperature or weather, your focus should be on the soil or ground temperature. Furthermore, pay attention to when your type of grasses are active since they will benefit more from fertilizers during that time. 

For instance, if you have cool-season grasses like Fescue, the ideal temperature to be fertilizing is when the soil reaches 50 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. So avoid applying fertilizer when the soil temperature is lower as it is not beneficial and considered too cold. On the other hand, warm-season grasses thrive when the soil temperature is between 64 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The 60s is the minimum temp range for fertilizing such grasses in spring, and anything below would be too cold. 

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To know your soil temperature, consider buying a soil thermometer. You can also check out your local university extension office or use GreenCast’s soil temperature maps.  

Now, knowing when is the right time and when it is too cold are just among the factors to consider in fertilizing your lawn. You should also choose the right type of fertilizer, how much to use, and how to apply it correctly to make sure you will have a healthy lawn all year long. Moreover, always check with your local municipality before applying fertilizer to your yard. There may be specific guidelines on how much fertilizer you should use and when to do it. 

Suggested Read: When Is It Too Cold to Mow the Lawn?

How to Cover Plants in Cold Weather?

cover plants in cold weather or during winter

As a plant owner, one of the most important things to look out for is the weather. When temperatures start to drop, your plants will require help and additional protection to last the season. And one of the easiest ways to do this is to provide them with a cover. But how exactly do you do that? Here’s a list of how to cover plants in cold weather.

Tips to Cover Plants in Cold Weather

1. Common household items

You can cover your plants with a sheet or blanket if you are expecting a light freeze or short cold snap. This will act as insulation and help keep the air warm from the ground and around your plant. Thus, preventing your plants from freezing. 

You can also add plastic over the sheet or blanket to provide added protection to your plants. This will help keep the warmth in during a freeze. Just make sure never to use plastic alone as this could damage your plants. Always keep a blanket or sheet between the plastic and your plants.

Other materials you can use as a cover include a tarp, cardboard boxes, bed sheets, and towels. You may even use plastic tubs and large trash cans. But no matter what you use, make sure you are covering from the ground up. This will provide more secure protection against the wind and cold. Plus, it will keep the soil warm, and as a result, keep your plants warm. Just make sure to use bricks, rocks, or firewood to keep your cover in place.    

Additionally, you have to remove all these covers first thing in the morning to prevent condensation from building up and freezing again – which can end up damaging your plants. Also, the heat from the sun can accumulate under the covers and cause your plants to die. 

2. Bucket or pots

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In frosty conditions, you may cover your tender plants with upturned flowerpots or buckets. This is a quick and simple step that creates a huge difference. 

3. Tree wrap

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For trees that are young or have thin barks, consider wrapping them with a tree wrap. This will provide a layer of protection to the bark and prevent them from splitting. Tree wraps are available in different materials, depending on the brand you purchase. The most common ones are paper, burlap, polypropylene fabric, and corrugated cardboard. 

4. Mulch 

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If you are expecting a short cold period, you can cover your low plantings with mulch and apply it around the base. This will protect the root zone from the cold. You can use either leaf mold or straw. Once the danger of frost is over, remove them. 

For a longer period of frost, consider applying heavy mulch around the roots of your plant. You can use either hay or wood mulch. If you want to add more protection to your plants, you can burrow jugs of warm water in the mulch every night to help reduce some of the colds that may damage or kill the roots. 

When Not to Cover Your Plants in Cold Weather

Keep in mind that covering plants may not be always necessary. This is because some plants are capable of surviving just fine, even in winter. For instance, hollies, pansies, and azaleas need not be covered. While they may wilt overnight, they will come alive again the next day. 

How Do Cold Weather Affect Plants?

While plants have different tolerance and hardiness, the cold weather can still affect them in the following ways:

  • Under freezing temperatures, ice crystals may form in your plant’s cells. As a result, the movement of fluids and nutrients are disrupted, and water becomes unavailable to the plant’s tissues. This destroys your plants from the inside, causing them to wilt even after the cold weather has passed.  
  • The frost can damage the leaves and make them turn black or dark brown. 
  • The cold weather may cause the soil to freeze, leading to desiccation. Meaning, your plants will transfer a great deal of water from the leaves and into the atmosphere. This may lead to the death of your otherwise healthy plants. 
  • The cold weather is usually more brutal to younger plants that haven’t established themselves yet in your garden. This is because they still don’t have the strength or structure to support their cell tissues from expanding. 
  • Your plant’s enzyme activity will be reduced in colder weather, affecting its nutrient intake. As a result, their growth will be halted. In more severe conditions, it may cause them to die. 

Must Read: Best Humidifier For Plants

Other Ways to Protect Your Plants in Cold Weather

Now that you know what the cold does to plants, it will help to apply some defensive measures to help them survive temperature drops. So aside from covering your plants, consider doing the following steps:

1. Water your plants

Keep in mind that your plants still require watering even in cold weather. So water your plants when temperatures get a little warmer. If the soil is frozen, best to skip watering your plants since they will be unable to draw up water through their roots. 

2. Move potted plants

For your potted plants, consider moving them to a sheltered spot, such as your garage, shed, porch, or under a deck. Then wrap the sides of the pots with either a fleece plant wrap or a bubble wrap. 

Do not, however, take your favorite potted plants indoors during cold conditions. The sudden temperature change may cause damages to your plants or, worse, kill them. 

3. Use lights

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Consider hanging lights on your bushes or trees to keep them warm in low temperatures. You can use holiday lights or incandescent light bulb for this. Or if you have those giant and old bulbs, bring them out and hang them. The bigger the light source, the more heat it can produce. Thus, making it more effective. Take note, however, that new LED lights may not do much at all. 

4. Start at the planting stage

The most effective way to protect your plants from cold damage is to start at the planting stage. Only choose native plants or hardy specimens that can best adapt to your climate. And place them where they can have some shelter. 

If possible, avoid any marginal plants. But if you can’t resist buying one, keep such plants in a container and take them to your basement or garage. Once the danger of frost is over, take them out. 

How to Exercise Dogs in Winter – Best Tips For Dog Owners

how to exercise dogs in winter

Winter is truly the best time to stay inside your home and curl up under a blanket. With freezing temperatures, snow, and the cold air outdoors, working out and exercising may be the last thing on your mind. However, the same can’t be said when it comes to dogs. 

Daily exercise is essential to your furry friend’s mental and physical health – even for you too. It keeps your pet’s joints stay strong and healthy, helps his/her mind stay sharp, and prevents being overweight. It also reduces behavioral problems, including excessive barking, digging, licking, and chewing. Plus, it helps combat anxiety and strengthens your human-animal bond.

So even with the cold weather, do consider adding a little bit of exercise to your daily routine. If you are out of ideas on how to do that, here are 8 tips that every fido will surely enjoy.

How to Exercise Dogs in Winter – 8 Tips for Fido

1. Create an Obstacle Course

If you are stuck indoors, you can create an obstacle course inside your home where your dog will be forced to weave and navigate to get out. Not only will this improve your pet’s agility, but it will also exercise his/her mind. Moreover, setting up the obstacle course can be a fun activity you can all do as a family. 

To make an obstacle course, you can use common household items like chairs, buckets, tables, boxes, blankets, brooms, etc. For instance, you can encourage your fido to jump by placing a broomstick or a pole between two low objects like flower pots or a stack of books. The boxes can act like mock tunnels where he/she can go through.

Don’t have boxes? You can drape a blanket over some chairs. 

Now, to make building the course easier, you can also buy dog agility equipment. For one, there’s the 10-Foot Dog Tunnel by Better Sporting Dogs. It features two sandbags to keep the tunnel in place while indoors. You can also try the company’s Deluxe Agility Equipment Set, which includes the following:

  • Adjustable bar jumps (2)
  • Adjustable tire jump
  • Fixed base weave poles (6)
  • 10-foot long tunnel
  • Chute tunnel
  • Pause box

2. Hide-and-Seek

Playing a game of hide-and-seek is a great exercise. It gets your dog up and running, and it keeps him/her mentally engaged. It is also a good way to reinforce the “come” command. Moreover, it is very simple. Just throw a treat or a toy as a distraction and hide in any part of your home. If your dog doesn’t instantly come looking for you, try calling his/her attention. 

You can also try hiding a treat or his/her favorite toy. Just make sure that your pet is familiar with the stay command if you prefer to use such items. Also, at the beginning of the game, it is best to choose a hiding spot that’s not out of sight. This way, your dog can find you, the toy, or treat the first few time,s and he/she will be able to figure out the game. Successfully finding you or the items will also boost your dog’s self-confidence.

Once your dog has got the hang of it, make it harder. This will keep him/her engaged and encourage him/her to use his/her sense of smell, sight, and hearing. 

3. Smart Toys

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  • Safe & durable: FDA food-grade polycarbonate of the body, cover, and the tires, strong and soft, protects your puppy's claws and teeth.

What’s great about technology today is that pets can enjoy them too. Smart toys for dogs, for example, have become very in demand. One of the most popular is the Wickedbone Smart Bone, which allows you to play and interact with your dog through an app. So you can make your furry friend run around your home and get him/her moving by controlling the bone with your phone. 

This smart bone also features an interactive auto-play mode that allows it to automatically adjust its reactions based on what your dog is doing. For instance, if your dog runs, it runs after him/her. If your dog chases the toy, it turns around and runs away. And when your pet ignores it, this bone will start teasing him/her.

4. Use the Stairs

For those with multi-level apartments or homes, you can take advantage of the free workout equipment that you already have – your stairs. Just walk or run up and down the stairs with your pet, and you instantly have a tiring workout. To make your routine more challenging, you can walk up sideways or take two steps at a time. But before you start making your pet use the stairs, make sure that he/she has healthy knees. 

5. Skijoring

If the weather is nice outside and you want something more exciting than just walking around, you can also try skijoring or dog skiing. It is a dog sport where your pet runs through the snow with you in tow. It’s like dog sledding minus the reins or whips. To do this activity, your dog should be healthy, weighs at least 30 pounds, and has the stamina to pull you. 

Skijoring is perfect for dogs that love snow. And it’s great for you too since it allows you to go outside and have a little adventure. The best part is, it is easy to learn, and you don’t need much to do it. 

You simply need a mushing harness like the Alpine Outfitters Urban Trail Harness.

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You will also need a gangline or bungee leash to attach you to your dog. If you don’t have one yet, you can check out the Tuff Mutt Dog Leash, which already comes with a waist belt.

Tuff Mutt Hands Free Dog Leash for Running, Walking, Hiking, Durable Dual-Handle Bungee Leash is 4 Feet Long with Reflective Stitching, and an Adjustable Waist Belt That Fits up to 42 Inch Waist
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However, if you want something thicker, stronger, and sturdier, you may need a skijoring belt like the Neewa Canicross & Skijoring Belt

Canicross & Skijoring Belt to Run or Walk with your Dog
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  • Lightweight, Breathable, Non-Allergenic Materials

Other items you will need include your snowboarding helmet, a good pair of ski boots, and skis. Also, consider getting slightly longer poles so you can have more leverage when pushing with your arms. 

6. Snowshoeing

Here’s another fun exercise you can do with your dog outdoors when the weather permits. This is perfect for fidos that love snow but aren’t big enough or are too old for skijoring. However, make sure that your pet is healthy and not overweight. Snowshoeing is an incredibly challenging workout, and if your furry friend is obese, he/she may not be able to handle it. 

If you are interested in snowshoeing, you will need a few items, including the following:

  • Snowshoes: You can either rent or buy snowshoes. Just make sure to choose which one best fits your weight, comfort level, terrain, and snow conditions. If you are looking for snowshoes for hilly and steep terrain, try the Atlas Spindrift. For all terrains, you can check out the Franklin Sports Arctic
  • Winter clothing: Always dress in layers that will protect you from the cold and wet outdoor conditions. 
  • Insulated hiking boots: Your boots should be warm, comfortable, insulated, and waterproof. It should also have thick soles with rubber or leather uppers. For instance, the Oboz Bridger 9” Insulated B-Dry Hiking Boots for women and Oboz Men’s Bridger 10” Insulated B-Dry Waterproof Hiking Boots are both perfect for the job.  
  • Poles: This is optional. However, if you want added balance and security, do consider having them with you on your trip.
  • Others: Other items you should never forget are gloves or mittens and a hat. For gloves or mittens, make sure they are made of waterproof material. If you don’t have one yet, the Carhartt Men’s W.P. Insulated Glove is a great choice. For women, the MCTi Ski Gloves are effective yet affordable. When choosing hats, headbands, or balaclava, try looking for wool or synthetic material. 

7. Tug-of-War

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A game of tug is a fun exercise that can help build your pet’s muscles. It also strengthens your bond and relationship. Moreover, you can both enjoy doing it together indoors when the weather isn’t nice outside. There are a wide variety of tug toys you can choose from today. And if you are looking for a new one to play with your dog, you can try the Chuckit! Ultra Tug

8. Game of Chase

Want a simple and effective way to exercise your dog? Then a game of chase is perfect for you. By simply chasing your pet around your home, you can strengthen your bond and wear him/her out. The best part is, you don’t need anything to play a game of chase. 

However, do make sure to keep it light and make him understand that it’s just a game so your dog won’t get too aggressive. Additionally, always play in a safe place where there aren’t any items that could get you or your pet hurt. 

Best Humidifier for Plants

best humidifier for plants

The winter season brings in additional responsibilities and changes both in and out of your home. For one, it can cause very low humidity when the heater is running, which is not good for indoor plants. See, low humidity can dehydrate your plants and make them wilt quickly. Luckily, you can prevent this by using a humidifier. 

However, with the many models available today, it can be difficult to choose which one to buy. So to help you out and keep your plants healthy and happy during the colder months, we have made a list of the best humidifier for plants. 

Top 5 Humidifiers for Plants

1. TaoTronics Humidifiers 4L Cool Mist Ultrasonic – Best for Small Areas

Tank Capacity 4 liters
Recommended Room Area107 to 322 square feet
Working Time12-30 hours
Noise LevelLess than 38 dB

If you are looking for a humidifier for a small room, here’s the perfect unit for you. It has a 4-liter tank capacity and can last as long as 12 to 30 hours. It is safe to use and automatically turns off when the water runs out. It’s also incredibly silent, producing less than 38 dB of noise. Thus, making it a great choice for any room in your home. 

This humidifier offers three mist levels, so you can set your desired humidity. It also has a built-in humidistat that tells you the current RH, a nightlight, and a sleep mode. But more importantly, this unit has tons of positive reviews from plant owners. There’s even one who said:

I got this just for my plants! My monstera d seems to enjoy it. I keep this humidifier inside my room with the other plants that like humidity. The humidifier has a big opening, so I’m able to clean the inside more thoroughly. You can adjust the level of humidity. Works good for my king sized room.

2. Homech Cool Mist Humidifier – Runner Up for Small Areas

Tank Capacity 4 liters
Recommended Room Area215 to 430 square feet
Working Time12-50 hours
Noise LevelLess than 26 dB

The Homech Cool Mist Humidifier is slightly bigger than the TaoTronics 4L Cool Mist, making it more able to cover a larger area. It is also quieter, and it can last around 12 to 50 hours on a single tank. Furthermore, it is easy to clean and automatically shuts down when the water tank is empty. 

This is an easy-to-use humidifier that allows you to set the humidity through a handy dial knob. It’s filter-free as well, so you can save money on filter replacements. Moreover, similar to the TaoTronics, the Homech has positive reviews from people who used it for their plants. Just recently, a customer shared:

Love this humidifier! 10/10 would recommend. Sleek and compact, our plants are loving it!

3. Honeywell HCM350B Germ-Free Cool Mist Humidifier – Best for Medium-Sized Areas

Honeywell HCM350B Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier Black
  • Cool Mist Humidifier: Add cool moisture to dry air with this quiet humidifier. The 1 gallon tank runs up to 24 hours on low, making this humidifier great for bedrooms & medium sized rooms in your...
  • Filtered Cooling Moisture: Evaporative technology blows moisture off a wicking filter, helping it evaporative into the air quickly. It’s not possible to over-humidify with evaporative technology...
  • Honeywell Humidifiers: Humidity levels in your home between 40-60% can make the air feel warmer & improve your breathing comfort, sleeping, nasal congestion & dry skin. Dry air can cause static...
  • Humidifiers for Babies, Children, Adults: Humidifiers diffuse moisture into the air, and many find that a humidifier for the home, bedroom or nursery becomes an essential part of a good nights sleep...
Tank Capacity 4 liters
Recommended Room AreaMedium-sized rooms (350 to 450 square feet)
Working TimeUp to 24 hours
Noise Level25% quieter than other evaporative humidifiers

Here’s a unit for medium-sized rooms. The Honeywell Cool Mist Humidifier can run up to 24 hours on one gallon of water on the low setting. Compared to the previous humidifiers this is a bigger unit that can accommodate a larger space.

The Honeywell Humidifier has 3 different speed settings, so you can choose the ideal moisture output to keep your plants happy and alive. The speed also affects the sound level it produces. Furthermore, this unit is easy to fill and clean. More importantly, it is efficient and can kill up to 99.9% of water-bred bacteria, germs, spores, and mold. 

Take note, however, that this is an evaporative humidifier. Thus, it makes more noise compared to ultrasonic units. But the good news is that the Honeywell is 25% quieter than other evaporative models. 

4. TaoTronics Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier 6L – Best for Large Areas

Tank Capacity 6 liters
Recommended Room Area430 to 753 square feet
Working TimeUp to 60 hours
Noise Level36 dB

Now, if you are planning to use a humidifier for a large area, the TaoTronics Warm and Cool is a perfect choice. It can provide you with both cool mist or warm mist, making it fully capable of keeping your indoor environment comfortable in any weather or season. It is also great for large rooms thanks to its extra-large 6-liter water tank, which can last up to 60 hours of cool mist in a 753 square feet room. 

The TaoTronics 6L Humidifier is easy to use and convenient. It has a handy remote control, which you can use to adjust mist level, mist temperatures, and humidity levels. You can also use it to set the timer and put it in sleep mode or auto mode, all while sitting comfortably on your couch.   

This humidifier has also received a lot of positive reviews from plant owners. For one, there’s a customer who commented:

My lemon trees are in paradise with this humidifier. In the past during over winterization, they would heavily drop their leaves due to dry indoor environment. This year, they are so happy that they are exploding with blossoms indoors. My plants are happy, and so is my skin.

Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Humidifier for Plants

To determine which humidifier to buy, here are the factors you should first consider. 

1. Room Size

The first thing you have to consider when buying a humidifier is the size of the room you are growing your plants. Depending on its size, your humidifier should be able to cover every area and serve all your room’s needs. It should provide enough moisture for a large area and avoid producing too much in a small room. 

So if you are looking to use a humidifier for a small apartment with 300 square feet or less, you have to buy a small humidifier. For 350 to 450 square feet area, a medium-sized unit is more ideal. On the other hand, for any room above 550 square feet, you will need to look out for a large humidifier. 

2. Type of Humidifier

The best humidifier for plants is either ultrasonic or evaporative. An ultrasonic humidifier does not have any operating noise, and it uses very little energy. Its surfaces do neat heat up as well, making it safe when you have kids or pets around. The same goes for an evaporative humidifier. It is safe to use since it does not generate heat to create humidity. But no matter what you choose, make sure that it is a portable unit that you can quickly move around. 

3. Water Tank Size

Since you are looking for a plant humidifier, a unit with a higher dispense mist rate is more ideal. So look for a humidifier with a larger water tank size, so you don’t have to fill it too often.

4. Maintenance

Owning a humidifier means you have to face a few maintenance tasks. This can include cleaning the unit regularly and changing filters. Some may be noisier than you’d expect. 

However, if you prefer a unit that is easy to clean and is low in maintenance, an evaporative humidifier is your best choice. On the other hand, if you are looking for a humidifier with little to no operating noise and which you can use overnight, an ultrasonic is better. 

5. Location

While the best humidifier for plants is important in supplying humidity, it can cause more problems if you put it in the wrong place. For example, if it is too close to your plants or if it is facing them, it can lead to your plants wilting more. So choose the position of your humidifier carefully. 

If this post helped you figure out what you should do with your indoor plants during winter season, maybe you’d be interested to know what you could do with your lawn during winter and when is it too cold to mow your lawn.

When Is It Too Cold to Wash Your Car?

when is it too cold to wash your car

Washing your car should be an important part of your maintenance checklist. Not only will it make your vehicle look cleaner and better, but it will also protect the value of your car. More importantly, it helps maintain the appearance of your automobile. See, dirt, dead bugs, pollen, dust, tree sap, and other air pollutants can cause damage to your car’s finish and paint. For example, dirt can retain moisture, which then leads to your car parts rusting. 

However, when the temperature starts to drop, washing your car becomes a challenge. If you are planning to hand wash your car, you may end up feeling uncomfortable and even in pain. Not to mention that you are putting your vehicle at risk by trying to wash it during winter.

But what exactly are the dangers of washing your car in the colder months?

Moreover, when is it too cold to wash your car?

Dangers of Washing Your Car in Winter

Washing your car when the weather is too cold can result in several problems. See, the water outside your car may freeze before it even dries. This can lead to frozen windows, doors, and locks. Your vehicle’s weather stripping, hinges, and other parts can also get stuck. And once you try to use them while frozen, they can easily get damaged. So when the weather’s too cold, it is better to skip the car wash. 

When Is It Too Cold to Wash Your Car?

Water freezes at 0 degrees Celcius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit. So if you are planning to visit an automatic touchless or soft-touch carwash, it is better to wait for the temperature to rise to at least 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Since most people can’t do much in frigid weather, the same goes if you are planning to wash your car on your own. Overall, if the temperature is below freezing and if it is likely to stay that way for a while, then it is too cold to wash your car. 

Also, you should avoid using waxes or polishes if the temperature is below or near freezing. While they can help protect your vehicle from road salt, they can cause several problems if not applied properly. So make sure to get your car waxed before the cold weather arrives. If it is too late for that, do not worry. You can still get the job done by applying the wax indoors or when it is relatively warm – at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit. 

5 Tips in Maintaining Your Car During Cold Weather

A carwash during cold weather is just as important as having it in the warmer months. This is especially true since the winter season can bring in a lot of grime, slush, and grit – which can accumulate and damage your car over time. So when the temperature permits, you should still consider cleaning your vehicle. To do that, here are some tips to remember:

1. Towel dry your car after washing

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When the temperature rises above freezing, and you do get the chance to wash your car or visit a carwash, make sure to dry your car with a towel right after washing. This will prevent any water outside your car from freezing. If you are unable to towel dry, you can drive continuously for about 30 minutes to remove any excess water before it can freeze. 

2. Warm your car before and after washing

In cooler temperatures, you still have to warm your car to prevent it from freezing. To do this, you have to run your car for about half an hour to a full hour before washing. You then have to run it again for another 30 minutes. 

3. Wash your car in the middle of the day

The middle of the day tends to be warmer and sunnier. Thus, making it the perfect time to wash your car. However, sometimes, the temperature can still be extremely cold even during this time. If this is the case, best to skip the carwash for now and wait for tomorrow.

4. Try using cloth instead of water

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  • Perfect for washing, waxing, buffing, polishing and drying your car. Also the towel can be used to home cleaning, dishwashers, microwaves, showers, bathtubs, vanities and floors.

If you have to clean your car during the cold weather, we suggest using a clean cloth. Instead of washing your car with water, you can use a cloth to wipe and clean any contaminants from your car’s exterior. 

5. Don’t force them open

If you do wash your car and you end up having frozen locks and windows, never try to open them. The same goes for your doors. So don’t pry them open. Doing so can result in bigger and pricier problems in the future, which your car insurance may or may not cover. Thus, the best thing you can do is to wait it out and allow your frozen windows or doors to dry on their own.