In most states now, fall is definitely here and winter wonâ€™t be long. As heating represents the largest energy expense for most homes in the US (about 56% according to the DOE), it makes sense to focus on our energy use (or waste, rather) and find ways to make it less costly as well as more environmentally responsible.
1.Â Â Â Stop drafts
It is estimated that we can save up to 30% of our energy use if we take proper air-sealing and insulation measures (www.energy.gov). Find out which doors and windows leak air (by simply standing in front of them at night), and depending on the location and size of the leak, either use:
-Â Â Â Caulk
-Â Â Â Weather strips
-Â Â Â Good old draft snakes
Draft snakes have been neglected for several decades, but we at JLG think itâ€™s high time they crawled back into our homes: they are a very economical and green solution to drafty windows and doors. You can simply use an old rolled up towel, or get creative and re-use old tights, long socks or even neckties. Add a couple of buttons for the eyes and a narrow, forked piece of material for the tongue and your snake will truly be one.Â Fun and educational craft idea for kids, too!
2.Â Â Â Work with nature
Open blinds and drapes on sun-facing windows during the day to let the sun rays naturally warm up your house, but donâ€™t forget to close them at night to keep the chill out.
3.Â Â Â Bring the heat down
According to the DOE, you can cut your heating bill by up to 10 % by simply resetting your programmable thermostat from 72 degrees down to 65 degrees for eight hours a day (at night or when no one is home). You can also relocate existing heat: since heat rises, rotating a ceiling fan clockwise will bring warm air down for less.
One extra tip...As silly as it sounds, instead of heading towards the heaterâ€™s on- button, you can get warmer by simply wearing wool sweaters, socks and slippers!
For more information on heating up your home effectively, visit DOE.