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Home Energy Tips »

[24 Mar 2009 | 9 Comments | 219 views]

60%  savings on the electric bill, and 35% off gas/heating bill…read how it was done.
After a previous brutally cold winter, our first focus was the windows. They were in sorry shape, with the window pane itself damaged and the frame warping away. Many were so bad that the windows themselves couldn’t be opened. They simply would not slide up and down.
The screens were in bad shape too, as well the storm windows. We had previously covered up the problem by placing plastic over the window, but …

Home Energy Tips »

[27 Jan 2009 | No Comment | 761 views]

With harsh economic times upon us, smart homeowners and even renters are turning to their energy bills as a source of potential savings. Let’s look at 3 dirt simple tips (or steps) that are proven to save money on energy.

Turn down the thermostat in the winter. Chances are you’ve heard this tip before. Turning down your thermostat to 68 degrees F (or about 20 degrees C) in the cold winter months (or anytime that the furnace is on) will save you money on your energy bills. How much will it …

Do It Yourself Projects, Home Energy Tips »

[20 Jan 2009 | No Comment | 146 views]

There’s an argument to be made for cleaning your heat registers…actually, there’s several.
First, there’s the energy argument. In theory, especially in forced air systems, air flow is reduced as heat or air registers become clogged and otherwise dirty. Anything that reduces airflow has the potential for jacking up your energy bills because the furnace (or a/c for that matter) has to work harder to attain the desired room temperature.
And for non forced air heating systems (radiant heating for example), if the heating apparatus is dirty, the furnace (or heat source) …

Do It Yourself Projects, Home Energy Tips »

[16 Jan 2009 | 2 Comments | 648 views]

I was a little surprised by this one, and you might be too.
Try this: Go to a light switch on a wall opposite the outdoors. A hallway would be a good example. Take your hand, and feel if there is cold air blowing through.
Feel anything?
Now try removing the faceplate.
I couldn’t believe the amount of cold air blowing through even on a calm (but cold) day! On a windy days its very noticeable.
Fortunately the fix is simple and relatively inexpensive. Once again, at your local …

Do It Yourself Projects, Heating »

[16 Jan 2009 | 2 Comments | 2,599 views]

Cost: $8 and up
Estimated Effort: 10 minutes
Approximate Savings: 10% or more
If your furnace is located in an unheated area like an unfinished basement, you might already have guessed that a lot of heat can potentially be lost in the ducts themselves. Between the furnace itself and the vents, even with no holes in the ducts, some estimate that as much as 15 – 30% of the heat from your furnace can be lost when it travels through an unheated area like a basement.
That’s a lot of heat loss!
If …

Do It Yourself Projects, Heating »

[16 Jan 2009 | No Comment | 262 views]

Cost: $60 – $200
Estimated Effort: 30 minutes
Approximate Savings: 10% – 15% or more
Installing a “smart” thermostat is not hard at all, and typically takes less than 30 minutes to accomplish, even for novice users.
When buying your new thermostat, just remember – you get what you pay for. If you want more features, like the ability to program based on day, you will pay more. Likewise if you want an Energy Star model. My advice to get one that’s within your budget with features you need right now, but go …

Do It Yourself Projects »

[16 Jan 2009 | No Comment | 1,077 views]

The easy answer to a drafty or old window that no longer insulates well is to “cover it in plastic.” And that still is probably the best possible answer for most situations.
Most situations?
Yup. I said most situations for a reason. Here’s why. You need to know how the window is losing your home’s energy to effectively make the right repair choice.
For example, putting plastic over a window when its the outer frame that loses energy will do next to nothing except obscure your view of the outdoors.
Okay, so how can …

Home Energy Tips »

[14 Jan 2009 | No Comment | 23 views]

Here’s a sad fact: when many Americans move or change homes, they often expect a change in their energy bills. Most of the time, they expect that moving into a better home means their energy bills would decrease by an incredible margin. This is simply not the case.
In fact, many people’s high energy bills follow them from home to home, despite have energy star appliances and better insulation.
Why?
People don’t realize that their energy habits can account for as much as 50% of wasted energy. That means 50% of the “overage” …

Do It Yourself Projects »

[14 Jan 2009 | No Comment | 227 views]

An energy audit is the single best way for you to realistically save money every month on all your energy bills. Energy efficiency experts and contractors and energy companies have known this for a long time. That is why they offer them, often at a premium price or bundled with another service or installation.
But the truth is an energy audit isn’t all that difficult. In fact, you can do a basic, rudimentary energy audit yourself right now. It only takes an hour or so, tops, to do a simple top …

Do It Yourself Projects, Heating »

[9 Jan 2009 | No Comment | 4,765 views]

This one puzzles the heck out of me.
We’ve talked about how a lot of heat escapes through the windows. Heat vents blow heat into a room. Why then, would anyone place a heat vent directly under a window?
Argh!
A lot of heat will be wasted, and the room will always feel colder than it should.
Luckily, there is a very easy solution.
Go to your local home improvement store (like a Lowe’s or Home Depot) and get a clear heat deflector. They run $5 – $15. These have little magnets on …