Thursday, January 27, 2011

If it is Thursday it's Going Green - Reduce Heating Costs

Remember the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy states, "In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations." Children learn by observation and watching what we do. Conservation should become a natural way of life for them.

We are in the depths of winter and experiencing extreme cold temperatures. Have you done an inventory of your house to check for drafts and areas of energy loss? Try the following suggestions, you may be surprised at the results. Get the children involved , have them check the house with you.

HEATING: Your furnace will work most efficiently if you keep it clean. Change disposable filters monthly; or use a reusable filter, which should be checked monthly and washed in the sink or outside if it’s clogging up. An oil furnace should be cleaned and serviced by a licensed technician annually; a gas furnace every two years. The inspection will guarantee your furnace is running as efficiently as possible and will also reveal any dangerous leaks, including carbon monoxide. Set up an appointment today.

REDUCE HEATING COSTS: If your furnace is more than 10 to 15 years old, or your boiler is more than 20 years old, replace it with a model approved by the federal government’s Energy Star program. It will pay for itself in energy savings in 5-10 years.
Set a programmable thermostat. It will automatically adjust the heat to match your daily patterns. You won’t waste energy while your home is empty, and you won’t have to remember to turn the thermostat up or down. Even better - turn it down a few degrees in the winter anyway.

SEAL YOUR HOUSE: - Close the fireplace damper; install a timer (available at hardware stores) on the bathroom exhaust fan; seal ductwork.

- Vacuum radiators and baseboard heaters because dust cuts down on their efficiency.
- Close off all heating vents and doors to unused rooms.
- Keep your curtains closed at night to cut down heating costs. Close all closet doors.
- Place foam draft blockers under all external wall electric outlets, to prevent cold air coming into the home.
- Applying caulk or weather stripping to gaps around doors and windows can reduce energy loss, save costs on heating, and make your house more comfortable.

To my friends who live in warmer climates some of these suggestions apply, especially controlling your thermostat to avoid your air conditioner working overtime.

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