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With cooler temperatures come rising energy costs both from heating and lighting the house during the shorter winter days. Staying warm always takes energy. Heating systems Kimmo Timonen Jersey , hot water heaters, and stoves suck up kilowatt hours and oil or gas faster as it gets colder, leading both to a hit on the family wallet and an increase in production at power plants and a depletion of fossil fuels. Everyone wants to stay warm, but a green minded person wants to do so while keeping the impact on the environment to a minimum. Fortunately, there are both active and passive steps to green ways of keeping a home warm during the winter months. To begin, green heating does not require the addition of elaborate, expensive technologies like wind and solar heating or energy systems. While these technologies can provide substantial benefits in reducing heating and energy costs, they are a major investment, frequently costing more than twenty thousand dollars to install. They are worth considering, but there are other ways to keep a home warm without dipping quite so deeply into the bank account. Optimize Your Current System A much easier first step toward green heating is not the addition of a new system Jaromir Jagr Jersey , but making the current system more efficient. Many homes, particularly older homes, are not insulated very effectively and require more energy to keep heated than a properly insulated house. Windows and doors are the first culprit any homeowner or tenant should consider for evaluation, as heat frequently escapes from the gaps around these fixtures. A simple test to see which portals are the worst offenders is to burn incense and leave it near each window for five minutes, checking which windows draw the most smoke out from the room. These are draft areas, and can be secured against heat leakage rather easily. The first method is to add caulking layers to the gaps between windows, doors, and frames. Caulk will reduce the airflow through the edges, retaining a significant amount of heat for very little effort. For the family on a strict budget, this is one of the cheapest and easiest solutions. Caulk can of course be messy and takes a bit of practice to use properly. If you are considering this solution Jakub Voracek Jersey , it s best to consult someone who knows construction, or the friendly personnel at the local home improvement store. Another step is to add storm windows to the exterior of single pane windows, and close them off during the winter. This puts an added layer of air between the interior and exterior of the house, which will limit heat and airflow outside the house. Even though this doesn t even begin to approach the time and money required to install an alternative power and heating system like solar, it can improve the energy efficiency of single pane windows by as much as fifty percent. A variation on this method is to install new, gas filled double paned windows. This is even more energy efficient than just adding caulk or storm windows, but is more expensive, so it isn t a step to take without some initial research. These are fairly passive methods for improving a home s energy efficiency. They require a one time installation or caulking effort, and function for years without further input. However, they do not of course provide energy in and of themselves Ivan Provorov Jersey , they simply improve the way a home retains what heat it has. Don a Green Sweater Actual heat production is a bit trickier, and always requires a degree of investment. Most homes have natural gas or electric heating systems, both of which raise concerns about energy consumption for home users. One technique is to consider just what degree of heating is needed. In a home with fairly mild winters, does a central heating system need to be on? If, for example, a homeowner only uses his living room on a particular day, why should he waste energy to heat up the other rooms when he could just put on a small space heater in the room he s in? Another option many green families are considering is a wood pellet burning stove. Generally made of recycled or waste wood product, wood pellets tend to burn clean, which means they generate a significant amount of heat with comparatively little smoke. As they produce fewer carbon emissions than coal fired power plants or traditional fireplaces, they are a viable option for families looking for the old wood stove or fireplace feel of heating up a room while maintaining a low impact on the environment. The trick to staying warm and green is putting a bit of thought into the process. Not every method need require massive financial sacrifice. For families interested in saving some of their hard earned money Eric Lindros Jersey , a new set of storm windows and a nice comfortable sweater are genuine, valid steps on the path to a greener life. Author's Resource Box
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