(StatePoint) – Climate control accounts for almost half the energy use in a typical U.S. home and is also the largest energy expense for most people — but it doesn’t have to be. With a few simple solutions, you can be friendlier toward your wallet and the environment this winter.
Weather-Proof Your Home
Cracks, gaps and joints can cause drafts that will undermine your heating efforts and send your utility bill through the roof. Caulking, insulating and weatherstripping can help curtail the waste so you can enjoy a warmer, more comfortable winter.
Older homes may lack sufficient insulation. Based on where you live and how you currently heat your home, a contractor can help you determine whether your attic, floors and walls need more insulation.
Investigate Heating Alternatives
More than one million U.S. homes are currently heated with pellets, and it’s no wonder why — pellet stoves eliminate 75 percent of the carbon emissions associated with fossil fuel heating. That’s roughly three times the impact of driving a hybrid car and saves consumers $400 to $1,500 or more each year, according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association. Plus, some state and local municipalities even offer a tax credit for heating all or part of a home with biomass fuels.
Additionally, because pellets are made from renewable resources like residual forest waste and agricultural byproducts, they absorb nearly as much carbon growing as they give off when burned, making them carbon neutral, according to the Pellet Fuels Institute.
To maximize cost savings, look for a high efficiency, free-standing pellet stove, like the XXV from Harman Stoves. This stylish pellet stove delivers controlled heat thanks to its distinct cast iron details and advanced room-sensing technology, which automatically adjusts heat output to maintain a consistent room temperature.
You can also cut costs by replacing a drafty, masonry-built fireplace with an insert, like the Harman Accentra 52i which offers powerful and consistent heat with low maintenance and fuel-saving technology.
To learn more about energy efficient, cost-saving alternatives for home heating, visit www.HarmanStoves.com.
Dress for the Weather
Your extremities are where heat is lost from your body. While wearing gloves indoors is impractical, you should definitely cover up your feet. Invest in a good pair of slippers and some warm socks to keep your feet and the rest of you warm. By dressing warmer indoors, you will be able to keep the overall central heat temperature down, resulting in real cost-savings.
Heat loss through windows can account for a whopping 10 to 25 percent of your heating bill, according to the Department of Energy. If you have older, single pane windows, it may be time for an upgrade. Look for double-pane windows that are ENERGY STAR qualified. It’s a one-time expense with a true return on investment.
You don’t need to feel chilly or uncomfortable in order to lower your energy bills. Take steps to improve your home’s energy efficiency.