Written by Jayant Row in Environment
Viewed by 106 readers since 04-11-2009
To heat an average home requires the use of quite a few of the earth’s resources, whether in the form of oil directly or indirectly through the power stations that give us electricity. So what can one do to reduce this huge carbon footprint that every home puts on the Planet Earth? We can if we want, reduce our heating demands and in turn also our heating bills if we take a few steps to see that the heat is used more efficiently and is not wasted. I bet the idea of saving money has got your interest.
Buy an adjustable and programmable thermostat so that you can set the heaters to work at different temperatures throughout the day. No use heating the home to high temperatures when you are not at home or are fast asleep under the covers. So if your heater adjusts itself accordingly your heating bills could go down. Also set the thermostats to lower temperatures and wear light woolens if you do feel the chill. This can reduce the heating bills by as much as ten percent.
Change your central heating system to a system where you use space heaters that work on oil or gas and can be switched on or off only when you are in a room or have left it. The overall cost for heating your home will be much lower. And you are also not dependent on the constant maintenance that central heating systems require, plus you have a lot of flexibility within the home as these heaters can be easily shifted from room to room.
Ensure that all the doors and windows in your house have good seals when they are closed. Leaking of air through poorly sealed doors and windows can make your fuel bills go sky high. Heat is lost through the glazing of a window, so see if you can double glaze it. A cheaper alternative would be to draw the drapes and also hang up additional material on the drapes in the form of old bed sheets. This will improve the insulation.
You can of course go in for solar heating if you can afford it. Nowadays small kits costing a few thousand dollars are available for installation on your roof. You can even manufacture your own by using old beverage cans and some Plexiglas. Paint the cans black and enclose rows of them in a Plexiglas box. Install this on the roof and connect it to the room you want to heat with ducts. Install a fan at the lower end which forces air into the Plexiglas box. The air that returns through your room through a high level grille would be heated enough to warm your room.
Use that fire place if you can. A warm fireplace creates a different atmosphere in the room and can heat it. Use pellets or such bio degradable materials which have been recycled to light the fire. Ensure that you close the chimney dampers before you leave the room as otherwise you could lose the heat within the house.
There are many more ways you can reduce your dependence on oil and power to heat your home. Even the simple use of fans to circulate the air could reduce your oil bill, as heat tends to rise and goes up to a higher area in the room which is of no use to you. So if you circulate that air by the use of fans it would be more useful to you. Above all, heat wisely. Do not look for tropical temperatures. Use your woolens and reduce the thermostats.