This article is the second part of the discussion on the topic of Greening Your Winter Heating. Read the first part of the article here. This article focusses on the following four areas:
1. Hot water
2. Insulate your home
3. Upgrade your furnace
4. Exchange your old-fashioned wood stove for a new, cleaner one
1. Hot water: Water heating is the third largest energy expense in an average home, typically accounting for about 13% of your utility bill. There are four ways to cut your water heating bills: use less hot water, turn down the thermostat on your water heater, insulate your water heater, or buy a new, more efficient water heater.
2. Insulate your home : While many new homes are already well insulated, older ones are probably due for a repackaging. Your home's insulation hot spots are:
• The attic, including the attic door, or hatch cover.
• Under floors, above unheated spaces, around walls in a heated basement or unventilated crawl space, and on the edges of slabs-on-grade.
• Exterior walls, when constructing a new house or remodeling or re-siding your old one.
Before you decide to go about doing it yourself, get a quote from a local contractor to see if that makes sense, or cents. The cost of the insulation material alone might be roughly the same as having someone do the entire job for you. If you're planning on some serious insulating, make sure to check out Don Vandervort's HomeTips.
3. Upgrade your furnace: Installing a new furnace can be a headache and will cost anywhere from $1,700 to $3,500, depending on the complexity of installation. But the savings down the road could be tremendous. The latest models are required to turn 78% of their fuel into heat, but many new furnaces far surpass that. Before you get a new furnace though, make sure your old one can't be improved by a few modifications or repairs.
4. Exchange your old-fashioned wood stove for a new, cleaner one:
An advanced combustion, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified stove produces fewer than 2-5 grams of particulate per hour compared to at least 25 grams of emissions from older stove models. That translates into as much as a 90% reduction in emissions! EPA certified woodstoves are also more efficient, and can generate the same amount of heat with up to one-third less wood
- Note that Canadian homeowners can now apply for a grant from the Government of Canada's ecoENERGY Renewable Heat Initiative to retrofit their homes with new, cleaner, more efficient products like gas water heaters; ENERGY STAR® qualified air conditioners, furnaces; R-20 insulation; and advanced wood burning appliances. If you are not in Canada inquire about similar programs in your area.
Kreg Weiss is a co-founder of My Yoga Online and certified Hatha Yoga Teacher. Several years ago, Kreg discovered yoga while teaching health and fitness. Yoga dramatically transformed Kreg's approach to teaching health and wellness as well as changed his personal life bringing new direction in finding physical, mental, and spiritual growth.