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10 Mistakes Not To Make When Heating Your Home

Even with a constant flow of information about energy efficiency, homeowners make major heating mistakes that end in higher electric bills and larger environmental footprints. Here are 10 of those errors, with the cause and effect of each decision. http://bit.ly/WaQTfH
1. Maintaining a constant temperature

Cause: A persistent myth suggests that you can save energy by leaving the house at a comfortable 68 degrees (a widely recommended winter setting), even when you are sleeping or away at work.
Effect: You could miss out on significant potential energy savings by not using a programmable thermostat and adjusting the temperature overnight and during the workday.
2. Closing off vents in unused rooms Cause: You don't want to waste energy heating rooms you aren't using. Effect: Again, this just wastes energy and makes your furnace run inefficiently because it changes the air pressure in the whole system. Experts recommend never shutting off more than 10 percent of vents. Sealing your ducts is a more efficient way to save energy.
Separate The Myth From Fact! Read More: http://bit.ly/WaQTfH

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  • Terri J
    Terri J Annapolis, MD
    on Nov 15, 2012

    I just read your post about energy efficiency and have a couple questions. First, I heat w/ natural gas just so you know. Question 1) I know that I have a gap where my front door closes - you can see a little daylight there. What do I buy to fix the problem? 2) cood drafts coming thru some windows - I did the plastic sheet and seal over some of them, as well as the back door, but don't want to do them all b/c on the "freaky nice days" we still get, I like to be able to open up the windows. I am currently using cardboard and tape for those few windows - is that helping or a waste of time? 3) Skylight are upstairs - when it is sunny, they help to naturally heat the second floor, but on cloudy days, don't. Would I be better off just closing them off w/ somthing like cardboard, styrofoam, etc? 4) sometimes I notice cool air coming thru closet & storage area - what do you suggest for that??? Thanks for any input you can give me, and I also already do adjust my thermostat for home/not home times, but only by a few degrees.

  • Z
    on Nov 15, 2012

    Thanks for these great tips. I can't wait to show #2 to my hubby. Whenever he gets cold he cranks up the heat. I keep telling him, and he's a very smart guy otherwise, that he's not going to make it warm up any faster. All he winds up doing is forgetting to turn it back down until we're all sweating. That in turn I'm guessing cost us more. We have an all electric home with two heat pumps and furnaces. We received a 38% discount from Oct 1 to Apr 1 each year for the heat pumps.

  • Carroll A
    Carroll A Coos Bay, OR
    on Nov 15, 2012

    Thanks for the tips! My questions is about the fireplace. I do know for a fact wind does blow down the chimney, I can hear it whistle. Is there a solution without removing the fireplace? Does keeping the flue closed when not in use help?

  • Carroll, there are foam caps that can be installed that plug the chimney flue to prevent heat loss up the chimney, a long red string hangs down so you know it is there in case you light the fire. The damper alone will not stop this air flow from dropping down the chimney, Another type of chimney cap can be considered. This seals the chimney at the top. http://www.ventingpipe.com/top-mount-dampers/c1914

  • Many people think that their windows are leaking air when it fact it is the cold glass cooling down the warm air in the house creating a drafty feeling. Insulated drapes quite often stop these drafts from occurring. Insulated glass windows will help but the cost vs. payback is poor. Most high efficiency windows take up to 75 years to pay for themselves in energy savings. Of course if your windows are in poor condition and loose in the sash, that payback is much faster. It is cheaper to simply install storm windows or plastic film material on the inside. Such as the 3M brand window covers. http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1287694&cagpspn=pla Terri cool drafts coming out of closets are caused by the fact there is no heat in them. The rest of the room is warmed up but the closet gets no heat because the door is left closed. In addition, it is very difficult to properly insulate a corner where two walls meet. New framing methods have made it easier, however, the fact is that there is a lot of heat loss in corners or where interior walls butt up to outside walls thus lowering the wall temps which also cause the closets to feel colder. As far as skylights, There are insulated blind kits that can be installed in the well of the skylight that can be closed when it gets dark out. The best thing you can do is have an energy audit performed by an independent BPI contractor who has no interest in selling you any special equipment other then home energy saving ideas. They can using a blower door, identify exactly where and how large an area of heat loss is. Then they can provide you with all sorts of ideas on how to make the home more energy efficient.

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