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So much for economic stability these days… The economic crisis is still going strong — no matter what politicians say in front of the camera — and we’re still struggling with hard times that force us to become self-sufficient and to keep our finances on track. But the good thing is you can save a lot of money, in a lot of ways and also set aside an emergency fund. My favorite way of saving money is combating energy prices that seem to keep on going up. Some of these are amazingly simple yet not many people do them. I’m thrilled whenever I find new alternative domestic heating solutions or all sorts of green energy inventions.
I think a lot of us don’t know there are dozen of energy saving tips out there and it’s a shame to pay higher and higher utility bills. Here’s how you can make your home a little warmer without turning up the heat.
#1. Fix all your air leaks
Drafty windows, gaps in plumbing and gas lines (and all air leaks you don’t even know you have in your house) can drastically affect your heating and cooling system. Just think about it: drafty windows can cause up to 20% heat loss.
Here are the most common air leaks, so you know exactly what to fix:
– Windows – glaze them or fix them with double-proofing, close the blinds at night to reduce heat loss, repair all the cracks – it’s one of the most popular energy-saving and cost-effective measures (one that all family members can apply).
– Doors – they tend to be the leakiest, especially old wooden doors; you can replace them with new energy efficient doors that have weatherstripping foam, rubber or plastic frames and are made of fiberglass or steel which seal very well the air, substantially reducing the amount of heat lost.
– Outlet boxes on outside walls – a lot of air can escape through the gaps of your switch boxes installed on your home’s outside walls – you can fix this by filling the hole where the wires enter the outlet box with silicone caulk and then install some foam insulator over the switch.
– Ventilation ducts and pipes – wrap your ventilation ducts in your attic and insulate your plumbing and gas lines (especially exposed copper plumbing pipes) and you will reduce heat loss by two-thirds; thin batts or fiberglass insulation secured with duct tape will do.
#2. Re-organize your furniture
Rearranging your chairs and sofas can really help you maximize energy conservation, as unusual as it may sound. Place your furniture away from drafty doors, windows and outside walls and be sure you don’t block any heating vents with furniture. Also, re-organize all your electric appliances which produce heat, such as LCD’s, computers, lamps and stereos – make sure they’re not placed on an exterior wall or near a window so you can make the best of that extra heat your appliances generate.
#3. DIY tealights and flowerpots heater
A super simple and affordable system like the one in the image below can heat your home for about four hours a day. Using just 4 candle lights and 2 ceramic flowerpots, worth less than 5 bucks!
It might sound unbelievable but it’s all scientifically explained: the heater uses the scientific principles of convection heat transfer – the heat of the candles warms the smaller pot, the heated particles are channelled through the bigger pot and this creates a convection current which then transfers heat out of the hole on top. Simple as that! After you create your heater make sure you place it (or the heaters, if you’ll make more than one) where they are needed more in your house to make the heating more efficient. Be cautious, though, this homemade heater must be at all times supervised so it doesn’t turn in a fatal fire.
#4. DIY solar furnace
With this system you can heat areas of your home for basically nothing. It’s a self-powered device which you can make from soda cans and other materials such as: recycled glass, foil tape and Styrofoam insulation.
You can find a lot of videos on this topic on YouTube, from which you will learn how to build your own solar furnace. This kind of homemade heater can turn up a room’s temperature from 10 to 29 degrees and will use only the sun to work. You’ll save energy and keep our environment a little greener.
I hope these tips will help you during these cold winter months and you’ll prevent energy bill hitting sky rocket. Is there anything more unusual you do to heat your home without turning the heat up?
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