When people think of alternative home heating, their imaginations tend to drift toward exotic new technologies and cutting edge innovations. Technological innovation is certainly an important part ofand energy independence, but new technologies often cost big money to purchase and install. Some of the most effective alternative home heating projects involve conservation and low cost insulation strategies, and many small projects can be completed in a weekend or even a spare hour or two.
The following alternative home heating projects are easy, fast, and inexpensive. All can be completed on weekends during warm weather months, and most involve simple conservation measures. Finish a few projects this summer during spare moments and lazy afternoons, and then when cold weather hits again, watch the alternative home heating savings pile up!
Install a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats are inexpensive and available at any home building supply store. Most come with easy instructions that even do-it-yourself novices can manage in less than one hour. By programming your home to be warm when you are awake and inside, and cool when you are asleep or at work, you save money.
Schedule an energy audit. Most public utilities will come out to customer’s homes and check off areas where energy (and money) is being lost. Some charge a small fee for this. You might think you sealed all the cracks around your windows and foundation, but you might be wrong.
Seal up leaks. Even a quarter inch gap around a doorframe can waste a lot of home heating dollars over the course of an entire winter. Weather string doors and windows, seal leaks with insulating foam, plug up any holes.
Insulate the space between the basement and the house. This large gap is a major source of heat loss and many people ignore it. Plugging this leak can be as simply as shoving strips of insulation batting into the space between the foundation ledge and the framing for the house.
Measure attic insulation and upgrade if necessary. When was the last time you checked your attic insulation? In the U.S. bringing insulation up to regional recommendations qualifies homeowners for an income tax credit.
Upgrade your alternative home heating system. Does your pellet stove need a thermostat or blower? Now is the time to install minor add-ons to your system. Make your own thermal shades or draperies. Thermal window dressings can save lots of cash and you don’t need special sewing skills to make them yourself. For instructions check out Mother Earth News.
Conservation may not be the most exciting alternative home heating strategy, but it can certainly be a money-saving one. Energy experts always point out that energy conservation should come first, with green technologies filling in the gaps. You don’t have to spend big money to save big money onyou just have to be willing to expend a little effort while the sun shines.