Thursday, January 20, 2011
#6 Lowering the heating bill
So here are a few tips I've found floating around cyberspace to help the wallet, and the environment.
1. First windows. Take advantage of southern facing windows, open them up and let the sun warm your space. At night, make sure your curtains are closed. If you have older windows, consider replacing them with double, or triple pain windows. If that's not in your budget, add an extra layer to your window by covering them with clear plastic. Drastic measures? Cover them with cardboard! You can fit the cardboard so you can put them in at night and take them out in the morning. Who needs expensive light filtering blinds if you have cardboard and measuring tape on hand. :)
2. Next fans. Ceiling fans turned in the reverse position can help circulate warm air back downward. You want the air to blow up to the ceiling, not down on you. Vent fans in the kitchen and bathrooms will only blow your warm air out, so don't leave them running. Shut them off as soon as their job is done if you must use them. Also, keep your fireplace damper closed. Having it open just allows the heat to rise out of your house. Keep the heat in!
3. Keep your heating vents clear. Make sure they're not covered by area rugs or furniture. Close them in rooms that are not used often and shut those doors. Vacuum out intake vents, and change filters regularly so your heating system doesn't have to work so hard.
4. Turn the heat down! "The rule of thumb is that you can save about 3% on your heating bill for every degree that you set back your thermostat" full time, says Bill Prindle, deputy director for the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Put on a sweater, and get out warmer blankets. Buy a programmable thermostat so you can set the house to be cooler when your not there and at night.
5. Use a candle or incense stick to find any leaks in door frames, electrical outlets, recessed lights, and windows. Hold the candle and see if it flickers. Just don't light your curtains on fire...hmm? Caulk up any leaks or by those long door doggie thingies to keep the cold air out.
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