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How to Keep Your Home Warm While Saving Energy

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With the temperatures dropping outside, it’s important to keep your home warm and cozy. But if you keep the heat cranked up to the max, there’s a good chance your energy bill is going to increase drastically. Fortunately, you don’t have to freeze to save energy this winter. We’ve compiled a list of a few simple ways to keep warm and reduce your energy use all winter long.

First, if you have yet to invest in a programmable thermostat, now is the time to do so. Having a programmable thermostat will allow you to set the temperature to go lower when you’re not home or sleeping. While this may seem like it doesn’t do much, lowering the heat even just a few degrees can make a big difference. But it’s important to use it wisely and ensure you’re not trying to cool down or heat up your home with a huge difference in temperature. This actually uses more energy. So be mindful when you’re programming the temperature settings.

Next, it’s important to take a look at your windows. Drafty windows are one of the biggest causes of energy waste in homes. And if your windows are more than 15 years old, you could be at risk of dealing with drafty windows. So check your windows for any air leaks — if you find any, invest in new windows or at the very least, seal the drafts. Along with your windows themselves, it can be beneficial to utilize your curtains. On sunny days, open the curtains up and let the light in to help heat your home. And when the sun goes away, shut the curtains for added insulation between the room and the cold windows.

If you experience unusually high heating bills, you may want to consider taking a look at your home’s insulation. Having proper insulation is extremely important for keeping heated air inside your home. Because heat rises, about 40% of heat loss occurs through the attic. So it couldn’t hurt to hire someone to take a look at your home’s insulation and replace it as necessary. Insulation can wear down over time and can even be ruined by pests. In this case, it’s better to be safe than sorry and have it replaced if needed.

And lastly, it’s important to keep your heating systems maintained. Fortunately, scheduling annual inspections can be an easy way to make sure everything is in good working condition. But if you notice anything wrong with your furnace, heat pump, or another heater, it’s important to get it taken care of as soon as possible. When heating systems have to work harder to run, they use more energy. Additionally, you should check your other systems too for damage or leaks. This includes systems like your hot water heater. Without household leaks wasting about 900 billion gallons of water each year, it’s essential to make sure your systems are running as efficiently as possible.

Saving energy in your home doesn’t have to be hard. Keep these few simple tips in mind and you’ll be toasty warm with a low energy bill all winter.

Energy Savings and the Environment: The Secrets of Solid Home Insulation

san-francisco-210230_1280Hello, Friends! This post was sponsored by and wasn’t written by me. Thank you for supporting the companies that help to run Sweet Greens!

Better insulation keeps your home more comfortable, and it is good for the environment and your heating and cooling costs. Improving the insulation of your home can pay for itself in energy savings in a very short period of time. This means you are reducing your home’s carbon footprint by reducing the amount of resources needed to heat and cool your home. Even a small reduction can have a significant impact on the environment. Less energy means less nuclear waste, methylmercury released through coal combustion, and other toxic volatile compounds released into the environment. Precious animal habitats are also disrupted less frequently if new sources of energy are not required to be utilized. Here are some tips for improving the energy efficiency of your home.

Older homes
If you live in a house made before the 1950s, it is likely that you have no insulation besides an air space. If your walls are six inches thick then you probably have at least four inches of air space. This was a traditional building method before the advent of fiberglass insulation and foams. In some cases you may be able to use expanded foam insulation to fill in this space via small holes in your walls that can be concealed with paint or patching. If you are replacing the wall coverings then you can use an eco-friendly insulation.

Roof and attic space
Heat rises. The insulation value of your roof or attic is crucial to the energy efficiency of your home. It is simply amazing how much heat a home can lose. One option for insulating an attic space that is unfinished or not used for storage is to use insulation made from shredded cellulose or recycled paper. This is blown into your attic space for even application. It offers superior insulation value at an economical cost. For those with a cathedral ceiling, foam insulation or fiberglass is the best option. There are many eco-friendly options available now – just ask.

Some insulation solutions can add a lot of class and sophistication. Consider window shutters, for example. They are available in a wide variety of styles to suit the architecture and charm of your home. Custom shutters are also available if you want a truly unique style. This is an especially good choice for older and traditional styles of home.

Basement or crawlspaces
What is under your home is a much overlooked area. It is possible that you are losing a lot of heat through your floor. While modern building codes usually require insulation in floors, older homes may have none. Newer homes may have some but it might be minimal. Spraying expanding foam insulation can make your floor a lot warmer to the touch and cut down on your overall heating and cooling costs.

As you can see, there are many ways to increase the energy efficiency of your home. The methods you choose will vary depending on the age and condition of the house. Getting a professional to do an energy audit and helping you to make the best choices when it comes to insulating your home in an eco-friendly way can be a big help if you are still having trouble deciding what is best for your home.