Preparing your house to save energy this winter will also bring benefits for many years to come. Winter is fast approaching so now is the time to complete some projects that will save energy and money.
From sealing drafts to adding extra insulation, these 5 energy saving ideas can be done in a short period of time.
1) Insulating Effects
The insulation in your attic will settle over time which causes it to lose some of the effectiveness it had when first installed. Check the depth of the insulation in your attic. To obtain an R38 value you will need to blow in insulation 12 inches thick across the attic. Make sure the current insulation is not wet or moldy. If the insulation is bad it needs to be removed and replaced.
Fiberglass and cellulose are the two main types of insulation blown into a house. Wool and treated recycled blue jeans that have been ground up make great green insulation that has comparable R value to the popular types.
2) Detect Any Leaks
Heat loss occurs through loose fitting doors and windows, electrical outlets, and bathroom and kitchen vents. A foam weather stripping with a glue strip is an easy way to seal around doors and windows. Electrical outlets in exterior walls can be sealed with foam spray. The power should be shut off, covers removed, and a thin bead sprayed to seal around the edges.
Bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans should be shut off and closed when not in use. This is a big source of heat loss that can be easily controlled.
3) Using Drapes
Decorating your windows with insulated drapes can stop heat from escaping during the night and cloudy days. They should be opened up during sunny days to take advantage of the free solar heat. The savings might not be so noticeable as the sunshine which will brighten the mood of everyone in the house.
A sunroom attached to the south side of the house can also add solar energy that will warm the entire house. It is also a great room for growing plants that need lots of sunshine.
4) Make a Change
Change the way you spend your leisure time. Turn off the TV, turn on some music, and dance. This allows you to turn the thermostat to a lower setting as your activity keeps you warm. Dress warmer if you feel cold. A programmable thermostat can also be a great energy saver.
Keep the thermostat down and use the heat of others. Go visit friends, the library, or go window shopping at the mall.
5) Investigate Your Furnace System
The burners need checked for dirt or other obstructions that keep them from burning efficiently. The filter needs changed every 30 days to keep the furnace breathing well and avoid costly repairs. The ductwork should be checked for leaks and sealed or replaced if any are found. If you lose 30% of the heat going through your air ducts, you are paying for heat you do not use.
If your furnace is over eight years old, updating to a new one could pay for itself in just a few years. These furnaces are designed to heat your home more efficiently as well as control the humidity in the house. This makes it more comfortable as well as helping to control the growth of mold.
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