domenica 3 giugno 2007

How to reduce heating costs..

  • Operate your furnace efficiently:
    • Install a programmable thermostat and set it so your home will not be heated as much when you are away or asleep.
    • Check your furnace's air filter monthly - replace/clean as required. (more often if there is a lot of dust or pet dander in your home's air).
    • Get furnace serviced annually, check for slow gas line leaks- especially at the meter and pipe junctions
    • Do not obstruct or close heating or air-return vents by placing furniture or other items in front or on top of them.
  • Insulate and weatherize your home effectively:
    • Ask your local utility to inspect your home to ensure that you have adequate insulation installed. Some may provide incentives for this checkup.
    • Seal off rooms that are not in regular use and close heating vents.
    • Carefully hold a smoking combustible material (such as an incense stick) near the frames of exterior doors and windows. If the smoke moves toward or away from the window, an air leak is likely. A thin shred of paper or string may also be used if a combustible smoking material is not available, though it may not work as well.
    • Replace old, leaky windows (especially single-pane glass) with newer double or triple pane, gas filled, low E windows.
    • Install heavy curtains over windows. Use them at night, let the sun in during the day.
    • If you have basement windows that are never opened, consider replacing them with glass block, which is more insulating than a window. Keep at least two basement windows in place, however, so you can vent the basement if needed.
  • "Reuse" heat:
    • Leave hot water in the bathtub or in cooking pots instead of draining it immediately. This allows the water's stored heat to dissipate into your home rather than being lost down the drain. You can also leave a hot oven slightly open after it's use to heat the home.
    • If you have an electric dryer, you may vent it inside occasionally. The vented air will be very moist, so track humidity levels; if the humidity is high for extended periods you may encourage mold and mildew growth. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU VENT GAS DRYERS INDOORS due to carbon monoxide present in the exhaust.
  • Use thick blankets so you can keep your home's air temperature lower at night. Wearing a cap on your head at night can enable much lower temperatures.
  • Turn down the temperature on your water heater to 120°F and drain the silt occasionally with a water hose. Be sure to check and replace the anode rods periodically as well.
  • Replace your water heater with a gas tankless water heater, which heats water on demand rather than storing heated water. Solar hot water heating also has tax credits available.
  • Wear several layers of clothing.
  • If you live alone and/or in a large home, it may be more efficient to keep your overall house temperature low (55 to 65°F) and use an electric space heater to heat the areas you use most often. For example, if you work from home, keep a heater near your desk. You could even carefully use a hair-dryer to preheat your bed in seconds. You can utilize the concepts of personal heat.
  • Purchase a radiant-type glowing heater to heat only yourself in the bathroom in the morning to eliminate morning whole-house heating time.
  • Protect your home from cold winds using windbreaks or other energy-efficient landscaping methods.
  • Choosing a smaller home and eschewing unnecessarily high ceilings reduces the amount of space your heating system will have to heat.
  • Choose an apartment or condominium rather than a free-standing house. These dwellings share walls and therefore have fewer exterior walls.

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