Green. It's no longer just the colour of St. Patrick's Day. Green has become the…
If you live outside of tropics, the better part of your yearly energy consumption is used on heating your home. When the mercury dips below zero, your energy bill often heads in the other direction. Whether you keep your home cozy and comfy warm with natural gas, oil or electricity, both the financial and environmental costs can add up quickly over the course of the winter. It doesn’t matter if you want to save energy because of your environmental conscience or simply because you want some added cash in your pocket, there are a few energy saving products you will want to bring into your home.
A New Furnace
If you live in an older home, or your furnace is over a decade old, you will want to consider taking advantage in the latest in energy efficient technology and replace your existing heating system. This is especially true for much older homes, which still rely upon either oil or electricity for their heat. The most cost-effective and popular way to do this is to convert to a natural gas, high-efficiency forced air furnace. If natural gas is not available in your area, you will still want to look into forced air options, as these systems distribute heat more evenly in your home than radiators or baseboard heaters. A more environmentally friendly option is geo-thermal heating, which uses the earth’s natural warmth to heat your home in winter, reversing the effect to cool your home in summer without air-conditioning. Geo-thermal costs quite a bit more to install, but your savings will be huge over the long term.
When you think about it, there really is no reason to be heating your home when you’re not around or during the night hours when you’re sleeping. Installing a programmable thermostat will give you greater control over your homes temperature, bringing it to room temperature when you’re home in the evenings, and then letting the temperature change a few degrees while you’re at work. Even programming your thermostat to 2 or 3 degrees off the normal 20 degrees will save you hundreds off your energy bill by the end of the year, and you really won’t feel much of a difference.
Although your attic may be insulated, the majority of the heat you put into your home seeps out through the ceiling and out your attic. Putting an extra layer of insulation in the attic is a great idea, and while you’re at it, you will want to consider covering your insulation with attic foil. Foil in the attic works much the same way it does in your oven, reflecting heat to keep it in during the cold winter months and out during the summer. You’ll see savings on your energy bill the first season after installing your attic foil.
If you’re not heating your house properly, you might as well warm yourself around a burning dollar bill, the cost will almost be the same. As the largest energy consumer in your home, finding ways to conserve heat makes sense both from an environmental as well as an economic point of view. Installing something as simple as a programmable thermostat or attic foil can make a big difference. On top of these smaller energy saving adjustments, when the time comes to replace your heating system, you might want to consider the long term benefits of more expensive and earth friendly alternatives.