• Green Tip: Prepare your Home for Fall

    Posted by   |  October 7, 2016
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    Winter is coming, and so are heating and energy bills. Check out our tips to save energy and money.

    First, some background: homes lose heat in two main ways: conductive heat loss and ventilation. Conductive heat loss happens when heat moves from interior air, through building materials, and into the atmosphere outside, while ventilative losses happen when the heated air itself leaks through gaps and cracks around the home. If you program your furnace to keep your home a specific temperature, conductive and ventilative heat loss might keep your furnace working harder than it needs to.

    1. Minimize heat loss by improving windows and doors. You can save energy and money long-term by investing in thick windows and doors that minimize the heat leaking through them (you may even get a tax credit). Thick windows and doors keep heat trapped in your home so your furnace doesn’t have to constantly re-heat the air it already heated.
    2. Sealing doors and windows is the best measure you can take to minimize ventilative heat loss. To keep the heat air in, consider thermal curtains, a draft guard on doors, or window insulation. All of these strategies help minimize the spaces where hot air can diffuse outside.
    3. Installing better insulation also saves long-term. If you’re interested in improving your home’s insulation, you’ll have to find out what you’ve already got installed. Inspect the insulation in your attic or basement, then consult energy.gov’s insulation page to see what your options are.
    4. Don’t forget to adjust your thermostat. Turn your thermostat down when you’re heading out of the house. This saves hundreds of hours of wasted heat over a single winter.
    5. Practice smart fireplace use. If you want to use a fireplace, reduce heat loss out of the room by opening damper in the bottom of the firebox, and closing them when you aren’t using the fireplace. Having a chimneysweep clean out your chimney once a year not only improves the fireplace’s efficiency, but also cuts down on ash buildup. A gas fireplace is a great option too, as they tend to be more efficient and convenient than wood-burning fireplaces.

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