Additional Home Heating Bill Savings and Conservation Tips – 4

Editor’s Note: To view the 500+ different energy and water conservation tips for the home we have collected, simply access our free home Energy Saving and Water Saving Guide, 2nd Edition

Today, we complete our review of the many energy savings tips we have received for households to reduce the consumption of natural gas, home heating oil, electricity and other energy sources consumed in the generation of heat for homes in the winter.

These suggestions are not cheap; in fact, they are the most expensive of the more than 100 money saving tips we have in our Un-Official Guide when it comes to reducing your home heating bills. So, before you tackle these, be sure you have first undertaken the suggestions to reduce your home heating bill within our list which cost nothing or almost nothing to do.

Number 346, Install Wood Fireplace. Wood is a renewable energy source. Don’t agree? Plant a tree. icon wink Additional Home Heating Bill Savings and Conservation Tips   4 Is wood consumed in a fireplace cheaper than natural gas, home heating oil or electricity as an energy source to heat your home? I have always found it to be. Then again, you would need to check the relative prices in your own area.

Number 347, Add Wall Insulation. During the winter, if you simply place the palm of your hand on an outside wall (with you being inside the house) and if it feels really cold, then you might not have sufficient insulation to keep the heated air inside your home. The various energy efficiency grant programs offered by the different levels of government, including in Canada the ecoENERGY Residential Retrofit program, include grants to assist home owners to increase the amount of insulation in their home’s exterior walls. Check with the specific programs applicable to you on any participation conditions, such as having an energy audit performed prior to, and after, increasing the wall insulation.

Number 348, ENERGY STAR Windows, and Number 349, ENERGY STAR Doors. What is a window or door, but simply a big hole in the wall? ENERGY STAR windows and doors, like the replacement windows we had installed in our own home, provide greater savings by keeping more heat inside in the winter. They are more costly than non-ENERGY STAR rated windows and doors, but in the long term they will save you money and reduce your consumption of non-renewable energy resources to keep your home warm in the winter as well as cool in the summer.

family room energy star windows Additional Home Heating Bill Savings and Conservation Tips   4

Number 350, High Efficiency Furnace. Yes, they are more expensive than non-high efficiency furnaces. However, they are designed to generate more heat from consuming the same amount of, in our home’s case, natural gas. This allows high efficiency furnaces to run less often and thus reduce your home’s heating bills. As well, if you see government grants and rebates for new furnaces, typically they are only for high efficiency or ultra high efficiency furnaces to help offset their greater cost.

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Number 351, Solar Radiant Floor Heating. This type of home heating not only sees the use of radiant floor (vs force air) heating, which has its own advantages, but of using the sun’s UV rays to help provide some of that heat to the home. Radiant floor heating does not dry the air as much in the home, does not cause you to worry about leaks in your home’s duct work, and allows you to keep the thermostat lower since the heat is not all residing in the ceiling (as hot air rises to the top, right?). Solar radiant floor heating uses solar panels on the home’s roof to heat liquid which is then transferred to the home’s radiant floor heating system to heat the home during sunny days. This will reduce the amount of heat that needs to be generated through the consumption of non-renewable resources as this will be needed only at night and on cloudy days.

Number 352, Position New Home’s Common Areas South. If you have the ability to design your new home, and are in the northern climate where home heating costs in the winter are higher than home cooling costs in the summer, consider planning for the common areas (kitchen, family room) used in your home during the day to be facing south. That way they will receive the direct sun light through their south facing windows and be warmed by the sun. This allows you to reduce the temperature setting on the thermostat and save you money through reduced winter heating bills.

Number 353, Install Skylight for Sun’s Heat in Winter. Personally, I am not a fan of skylights for a variety of reasons. However, if you have one professionally and properly installed, it can add not only light into dark areas of your home but through the sun’s UV rays add heat just as a south facing window would. If you do install one, be sure to also include some type of retractable blind which can be used to prevent overheating inside during the summer when you don’t want the added heat.

Number 354, Heat Pump. Heat pumps takes the heat from the outside air and puts it into your home. In the summer they can do the reverse to help cool your home. It is not for every area, but check with the suppliers of heat pumps in your area. If you live in an area with extremes in temperatures outdoors, then a heat pump may not provide savings for you.

And, that completes our look at the additional home heating bill savings tips from our Un-Official Guide.

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