Heating costs are an anticipated headache going into winter months and a big part of any plan to go green is to reduce the amount of energy you use in your home. You can downsize your lifestyle by opting for smaller housing than you would ideally want, but for most people that is not a practical or immediate option. What you can do is optimize the way your current heating system works by making a few adjustments and you will be on your way to green living.
The first thing you will want to do is buy a programmable thermostat that you can set to only turn the heat on when you need it to be on. Program it to turn off after you go to work and turn on just before you come home. You will be saving hours of heat use and you shouldn’t be running a heater to warm up an empty house anyway.
Now thermostat is not the first thing that comes to mind when you have to have something in your house as most people would prefer a blaux portable ac given the peak summer time as of now but if its programmable at your own will, then it is well worth your money.
The next step is to lower your thermostat to 68 degrees or even lower if you can handle it. Put on an extra layer of clothes and cozy up under a blanket. At night you can lower it even further and put an extra cover on the bed. You might be chilly at first but you will get used to it and the nice thing about cold is you can always put more layers on. There’s only so much you can take off if it gets too hot!
Consider installing some weather stripping along your windows and make sure your doors seal properly when shut. This will prevent cold air from seeping in through a drafty window or door, hindering the heating process. If you have leaky windows you will want to stay away from them in the winter months as much as possible because it will only tempt you to turn up the heat.
If you or your family typically use only a few rooms of the house on a daily basis then the most efficient use of heat will be to warm only those rooms. Close the doors to the rooms that are not typically in use and close the vents inside them as well. This way, heat flowing through the ducts will bypass a closed vent and be directed towards a room with an open vent. To take it one step further, on milder days you can turn off the heat all together and use a space heater in the bedroom, living room, or wherever you spend the most time.
As with everything else in your house, you will want to maintain your heating system. Check the air filter every month and replace as needed. Once a year, before winter, check for problems with insulation and ductwork and make any repairs. While you are at it, pipes need to be checked for leaks every year as well. This kind of maintenance will ensure that your heating system is running as efficiently as possible and that no heat or gas is wasted.
When considering how to go green it is important to think of the maximum do-able impact first. A major organ of your house, such as your heating or air conditioning system, is the best place to start to go green. Share this information with your friends to promote green living in your neighborhood.