Winter Energy Saving Advice
Winter is here - and for some, with a vengeance already, but it’s not too late to take simple steps to ensure you don’t go bankrupt from heating bills.
Homeowners and tenants can save on heating and electric bills by making a handful of quick fixes around the house. Now at Enigin we help commerce. industry and governments to save energy but we would also like to pass on these few domestic tips, the basic are what our Enigin Distributors advise decision makers but they apply in your home:
Small improvements to windows and doors can make a huge difference when trying to keep the heat in and the cold air out of your home.
Air leaks are the most common cause of heat loss in the home. Leaks should be sealed beginning in the upper and lowermost areas such as the attic and basement.
According to the United States Department of Energy, a “chimney effect” is triggered when leaks in the basement are made worse by leaks in the top parts of the home, like the attic. As hot air generated by the heating system or furnace rises up and out of the house, escaping through leaks at the top, cold air is then drawn in through leaks at the bottom to replace the displaced air. The process works similar to a current.
To help combat this cover windows with plastic. Plastic window-covering kits, containing shrink film insulate, are available fairly cheaply at most local hardware and department stores. The kits include double-sided tape, plastic sheets and easy-to-follow instructions.
Many governments issue do-it-yourself guides to air sealing and insulation - with most stating that small gaps and holes, depending on where they are, can be sealed with a variety of materials, including silicone or latex caulk for holes a quarter inch or less and expanding foam insulation for gaps of a quarter inch to 3 inches
You are also advised to use aluminum flashing and high-temperature silicone caulk around the furnace, water heater and chimney.
The professionals advise to plug the big holes first. Many of these will be found in the attic. Rigid foam, fiberglass or reflective foil insulation can be used to seal the large gaps and self-adhesive weather stripping will work well to insulate the attic door.
There are a host of free, energy-saving measures that require little effort.
Turn off lights and appliances when you’re not home and switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs can also save a bundle.
Using appliances such as dishwashers and clothes dryers during off-peak hours between 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 a.m. can save money depending on your Utility plan.
Programmable thermostats are yet another way to help economise on heat use, by setting the thermostat to automatically lower temperatures at night, while you’re at work and when you’re away.
Computer monitors can use twice as much energy as the computer itself and users should make sure to shut them down when not in use.