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BrookeChaplan posted a blog entry in Brooke Chaplan's Green BlogNo matter your stance on global warming, everyone can agree that living “green” is a good idea. After all, it’s always good to take care of the environment and save a lot of money in the process. If you’ve gone down the green living path, you may think you’re living just about as efficiently as you can. However, if you haven’t considered your heating system, all those other green living practices could end up negated. Here are a few ways to ensure your heating system is matching the green goals of the rest of your lifestyle. Filter Woes Even if you have a newer heating system, a dirty filter will quickly make it largely inefficient. Dirty filters make it much harder for the system to ingest air, causing the blower motor to work harder, resulting in increased electricity usage and extra wear and tear. It’s a good idea to check your filters at least once a month to see if they need to be changed, though if you live in a dusty climate or frequently have your windows open, you may want to check your filter more frequently. Working Hard Before the cooler weather really sets in, it’s important to have a professional HVAC company take a look at your heating system to ensure it’s in peak operating condition. Dust and dirt can accumulate on various components throughout your system, causing it to operate less efficiently. In addition, individual components within the system may wear out or stop working altogether, requiring replacement to ensure your system works well. Empty Spaces If you have a central heating system, it’s important to ensure that your system is only heating the parts of your home that are actually occupied. Otherwise, you’ll be paying extra money and using extra energy to heat air that will never be enjoyed. You can direct the heat by closing the registers in unused rooms, and then keeping the doors closed to those rooms so the cooler air within them doesn’t cool down the rest of your home. End of the Road At some point, even the highest-quality heating systems will need to be replaced. As your system heads toward the end of its life, it will continue to become less efficient, no matter what steps you take. It’s important to have your new system installed by qualified HVAC professionals to ensure that it’s installed properly to ensure it can heat your home efficiently for many years to come. Then, once you have it installed, it’s important to follow the tips above to keep it working at its best. Keep the Cold Out The best way to keep your heating system from working too hard is to prevent the heat it produces from escaping your home. This is only possible through proper insulation techniques, from wall and attic insulation to proper caulking around doors and windows. When you combine proper insulation with an efficient heating system, you end up with a powerful combination that will keep you warm and comfortable while allowing you to maintain your green lifestyle.
BrookeChaplan posted a blog entry in Brooke Chaplan's Green BlogIf you’re not careful, you can end up wasting a lot of money each day on heating your home. On average, most households in the United States spend roughly $2,200 per year on utility bills. You could reduce your costs by ensuring that you avoid certain wasteful practices that are probably causing your heating bill to skyrocket. Setting Your Thermostat Wrong Many people set their thermostat for a bit higher than they really need to. Decreasing the temperature in your home by a couple degrees won’t be that noticeable and it will save you a tremendous amount of money. You should also be sure to program your thermostat so you’re not heating your home excessively when there’s nobody home. Many newer models even go a step further by learning your preferred temperature and defaulting into an energy saving mode during certain times. Changing Air Filters Infrequently It’s important to remember to change the air filters in your HVAC system regularly. When your heater runs, the air filter’s job is to pick up particles that flow through it. As time goes on, these particles will begin to build up and clog the air filter. When this happens, the unit has to use a lot more energy to heat your home. A clean air filter ensures that your HVAC system is functioning properly and running efficiently. It’s best to clean air filters regularly and replace them every three months. If you feel like you might forget, be sure to set a reminder to help yourself remember to call a heating repair service. Poorly Preparing Your Home for Colder Weather Having a great heating system is one thing, but ensuring the heat stays in your home is another. Before the cold weather hits, you should check for drafts and other problems within your home that might cause heat to escape. For instance, insulating your ceiling can ensure that no heat escapes. This alone will pay for itself in no time, especially if your roof is poorly insulated to begin with. You should also check your windows and doors to ensure all cracks are sealed and no air is leaking through. Heat will escape through these cracks and cause you to use more heat. Additionally, you should ensure that your chimney is sealed appropriately if you aren’t going to be using it. This is another area that heat often escapes from. Heating your home can be an expensive endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be so costly. Doing these three things during the winter months can lower your heating costs tremendously. If you’re doing these things and your heating system still doesn’t seem to be heating your home efficiently, be sure to contact a heating repair service. They will help you determine whether or not your heater needs to be fixed or replaced completely.
A lot of people are shipping Jack Frost and Elsa these days despite coming from different movies--Rise of the Guardians and Frozen, respectively--because of their similar abilities. The cool pair seems like they would make a match in frozen heaven and if we were whimsical, we would blame all this freezing weather to this icy couple. Whimsy aside, it’s important that we set our focus on how to keep warm in frigid temperatures and do it in a way that won’t be harmful to our environment. Pile on the Layers (clothing not fat) Putting on a jacket is always a good idea when it’s chilly outside. But the layering takes on a completely different level when you’re faced with below zero temperatures even when you’re just inside your home. It’s so tempting to just turn up the thermostat so you can immediately feel the toasty warmth slowly permeate the house. Cranking up the heat is an inviting idea but you won’t think so when your next energy bill arrives. The next best option you have a simple one--pile on as many layers of clothing as you can. I talked with my friend Amari from New York and she put on six layers of clothing and she was still cold. The number of layers depends on what works for you and this way, you can conserve energy by keeping your hand off the thermostat. Shut the Cold Out “Baby it’s cold outside,” croons the lyrics of a romantic winter song by Frank Loesser. And while this is an apt description for the freezing conditions outside, if you don’t take care in keeping the cold out, pretty soon you’ll be changing the lyrics to “Baby, it’s cold inside”. The cold has a way of sneaking up on you, whether it’s under the door or through barely there gaps that are almost unnoticeable. The point is, there should be no gaps. You have to fill in the gaps so that you can shut the cold out. A simple yet eco-friendly way of doing this is to make use of the things you already have to create draft dodgers of blockers. If you have very worn and ripped towels that you weren’t able to throw out yet, you can use them to fill in the space between the floor and the door. Make sure not only the doors but also vents are closed especially in rooms that are seldom used. If you shut out the cold, you will keep heat from escaping as well, which means that you won’t need to crank up the heat anymore. Use Alternative Energy We need energy to help generate heat in our homes to keep us warm. We also need it to help us fix hot meals that seem heavensent on particularly cold days. Energy is needed but to do it the green way, using alternative energy is better. While mother nature’s freezing breath casts a cold spell in whatever town or city you’re in, at least you have the energy you need to help generate the heat in the face of icy temperatures. There are alternative energy providers like Ambit Energy that can help you keep up with your green goals and at the same time keep you warm. If you haven’t tried alternative energy yet, you can browse through testimonials like this Ambit Energy review to give you an idea of why alternative energy is better for you and the environment.