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December 18, 2017  |  Login

Tighten up your home and use less heat

Reduce your carbon footprint, save energy, and lower heating bills in four easy steps

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It’s easy to reduce the amount of energy you use to heat your home, and you’ll save money too. Home heating accounts for about 34% of the average home’s energy consumption. And get this: energy-related carbon dioxide emissions represent a whopping 80% of the total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

There are a bunch of things we can do that can make a difference to a home’s heating costs. If you’re renovating, invest in a high efficiency heating system and install double-pane, thermal glazed windows for minimal heat loss. Simpler modifications can make a big difference, too. And their effects can be felt as immediately as you implement them.

  1. Lower your thermostat to 68 degrees or the temperature you are comfortable in with your slippers and favorite sweater. Set the temperature back to 60 degrees when you’re asleep to save around 10% in energy costs. And when you’re away overnight, dial it back to 50. Installing a programmable thermostat will make temperature regulation automatic.
  2. Close the curtains. If your windows are not energy efficient, you can increase their insulating value (R-value) by keeping the curtains closed on the north side of the house every day and keeping all curtains closed on cloudy days. On sunny days, open curtains on southern windows to take advantage of solar gain.
  3. Seal air leaks. A simple inspection that involves looking and feeling for light and drafts around plumbing and electrical penetrations, doors and windows can identify leaks that are sucking heat right out of your home. Solutions are inexpensive and easy to install and include caulk, foam and weather-stripping.
  4. Close off unused rooms. Heating less square footage will save energy. If you have rooms that are not being used, close the vents in those rooms and seal the rooms off.

Combined, these measures can start saving energy overnight and start shrinking your carbon footprint. Now that's hot!

 

Take Action / Next Steps
  • Draft stoppers (a.k.a. draft guards or door snakes) work well for stopping drafts between sealed-off rooms and living areas. Purchase draft stoppers from Improvements.com .

 

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SOURCES :

1. US Department of Energy. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Energy Savers Consumer Guide. [undated] “Your Home’s Energy Use.” Available from: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/tips/home_energy.html [6 December 2007]

2. US Department of Energy. Energy Information Administration. Document for Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States, 2005. Available from: http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/1605/ggrpt/documentation/pdf/0638(2005).pdf [6 December 2007]

3. US Department of Energy. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. [Undated] A Consumer’s Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “Thermostats and Control Systems.” Available from: http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic=12720 [6 December 2007]

4. US Department of Energy. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Building Technologies Programs. [Undated] “Heating and Cooling Your Home.” Available from: http://www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/info/homes/coolinghome.html [6 December 2007]

5. US Department of Energy. Energy Information Administration. [November 2007] Electric Power Monthly. Available from: http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/epm_sum.html [7 December 2007]

6. EnergyGuide.com’s EnergySmart Library [undated] “Heating and Cooling Equipment.” Available from: http://www.energyguide.com/library/EnergyLibraryHome.asp?bid=nstar&prd=10 [7 December 2007]

7. The National Energy Assistance Directors' Association. Press Release. [25 September 2007] “Record Winter Prices Predicted for Home Heating Oil, Propane and Electricity.” http://www.neada.org/comm/press/index.htm [7 December 2007]

8. US Department of Energy. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. [Undated] A Consumer’s Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “Thermostats and Control Systems.” Available from: http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic=12720 [6 December 2007]

9. EnergyGuide.com’s EnergySmart Library. [Undated] “Weatherization.” Available from: http://www.energyguide.com/library/EnergyLibraryHome.asp?bid=nstar&prd=10 [7 December 2007]

 
 
 
 
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