Free for the taking: Part two energy saving tips (6-10)

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It is not often that you can really get something for nothing, but with just a little effort around your home you can reduce your heating and energy costs (read: save money) easily and without spending a penny.  Here is the continuation of our 20 energy saving tips 6-10.

6)    Heat your house for Free.  No this isn’t a promo from the utility company, but you really can heat your house for free on sunny days by opening the drapes and letting the sun pour through on the sunny side of the house.  Just make sure to close them at dusk to help insulate and keep all the heat inside.  Blinds and shades provide another layer of insulation to help keep the heat in too.  Use ‘em if you got ‘em.

7) .  Shut your trap. We all like the warmth and ambiance of a crackling fire on a cold night, but traditional fireplaces are huge energy losers, especially when you are already heating your house by conventional methods. That warm air in your house has just literally gone up the chimney causing your furnace to work extra hard to keep a constant temperature in your home. Unless configured with an energy saving blower, or other device it is really best not to use the fireplace at all.  And when it is not being used make sure the damper is closed. Even closed, many dampers have small leaks.  Just sit by the fireplace on a cold day and you can feel the air rush up the chimney.  If you don’t use your fireplace at all, block off the chimney with a rigid piece of insulation that fits snugly into the area.

8) Cooking up some heat.  While no one recommends you heating your house with the oven (not only can it be unsafe, but it is also very expensive) you can leave the oven door open after cooking to let that residual heat warm your kitchen. It may even give off enough heat for you to adjust your thermostat.

9) Improve your circulation.  If you have ceiling fans in any of your rooms, be sure to flip the little switch on the motor to have the fan blowing air “up”.  Blowing the air toward the ceiling in the winter helps circulate the warm air to the rest of the room.  Keep the fan on low to continuously circulate the air in the winter.  Conversely, in the summer, you want the air to blow down and in effect create a wind-chill effect, but don’t keep the fan on if you are not in the room.

10) Close unneeded vents. Do you have rooms in your house that you don’t use, or use very little?  Make sure that you close the air vents in those rooms so that you are not heating them. That will allow more warm air to flow to the rooms that need them and not make your furnace have to work as hard.

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