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Rooms

There are some very simple and often inexpensive ways to make all the rooms in your home more energy efficient. We list these below:

Cover Windows and Seal Doors.

Heat lost through windows and doors represents a significant chunk of most heating bills. Some sources estimate that loss through windows alone could account for up to 35 percent of heating bills. If you are tired of watching your hard earned money slip through the cracks, there are things that you can do:

  • Caulk around the doorway to keep out drafts. Check around windows and doors with a candle or a light piece of thread on a windy day to determine where drafts are. This will reveal problem areas in need of immediate attention. Remove and replace damaged caulk and weather-stripping. Self-stick foam and rolled rubber weather-stripping are easy to install, and can contribute greatly to your home′s efficiency.
  • An inexpensive method of weatherizing windows involves attaching thin, clear plastic film to the window trim inside of the house using two-sided tape. The film is then stretched taut using heat from a blow dryer to remove wrinkles and creases.
  • Decorate your windows with efficiency in mind closed shutters, window shades, blinds, curtains and lined draperies. All contribute to energy savings by helping to insulate windows.

Developing Habits for Practical Energy Conservation.

You can reduce your energy expenditures simply by developing energy saving habits:

  • Showers usually require less hot water than baths. Additional savings can be realized by installing simple water-saving shower heads. This will reduce water consumption, which is good for everyone. The primary benefit is lower heating bills brought about by using less energy to heat less water.
  • Use heat-generating appliances such as washers, dryers or ovens during the cooler hours of the morning or evening. This reduces the load on your air conditioner in the summer, and actually helps heat the house in the winter.
  • Electric cooktops are energy drains. Use the appropriate burner for your pan size. Also, flat bottom pots make better contact and conduct heat from the elements more efficiently than pots with warped or rounded bottoms.
  • Wash only full loads of clothes when possible and clean your dryer′s lint filter after every load.
  • In the summer, keep drapes and curtains closed on the sunny side of the house. In the winter, open those drapes and curtains on sunny days to take advantage of the sun′s heating power. Close all drapes, blinds or shades at night in winter to make use of their insulating properties.
  • Use an exhaust fan to pull excess heat and humidity out of the kitchen and bathroom in the summer. Be aware, however, that exhaust fans can rapidly pull the heat from your house in the winter.
  • Perhaps the most often quoted hint for saving energy in the home is to set thermostats at 68°F(20°C) in the winter and 78°F(25°C) in the summer if you have air conditioning..

Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans can save energy in both the summer and winter. In the summer, fan blades should revolve in a counterclockwise direction. Since moving air feels cooler, using ceiling fans in the summer allows you to raise the thermostat temperature, reducing the workload of your air conditioner. Air conditioners use considerably more energy than ceiling fans. In winter months, set your ceiling fan at its slowest speed and reverse it in order to gently push warm air down from the ceiling without generating a breeze.

Energy Saving Gadgets

Programmable thermostats regulate house temperature. Programmable thermostats help reduce energy costs by lowering energy use during those times when you do not need it. In the winter, for example, your house does not need to be quite as warm when you are away at work, nor does it need to be as warm when you are asleep in bed.

A programmable thermostat can tell your home′s heating system to gear up for your arrival after work, or to knock off a bit until an hour or so before you get up in the morning. Programmable units range from simple timer-like devices to elaborate multifunction units which can provide special instructions to your climate control system based on the day of the week. Once programmed, these thermostats work behind the scenes.

Fireplace Dampers and Doors.

Believe it or not, a burning fireplace can actually rob your house of heat by drawing it up the chimney! Still, not many people who enjoy their fireplace would be willing to trade it in for smaller heating bills.

Fortunately, there is a middle road which allows people to have their fireplace and heat it too:

  • If you do not use your fireplace, you may want to seal off and insulate the chimney.
  • Be sure, however, to provide some ventilation for the flue.
  • If you fail to provide ventilation, condensation will form in the chimney.
  • If you seal off your chimney, you also have to remember to remove the insulation if you ever decide to use the fireplace.
  • Check to make sure that your damper is in good working order.
  • Add glass doors to reduce heat loss as the fire dies down.
  • Consider installing a combination tube and glass door insert.
  • The glass door seals the face of the fireplace, and the tube and blower mechanism makes more efficient use of the heat generated by the fire.
  • If you use your fireplace a lot, consider adding a well-designed fireplace heater insert. These units come with blowers and thermostats. They are designed to significantly increase the heating efficiency of the fireplace while maintaining the classic fireplace atmosphere.