To make your home more energy efficient:
- Stop the air infiltration by sealing the holes and cracks (except for the amount needed to get air to burn gas in the furnace and hot water heater).
- Insulate the ceilings, walls, and maybe the foundation or basement.
- Orientation: have south facing windows with eaves that shade them in the summer. And with the main roof beam going east-west, you can have photovoltaic panels and hot air or water on the roof, plus a trombe wall or greenhouse on the south side.
- Have fresh air from a heat exchanger, heat recovery ventilator, or a moisture and heat recovery ventilator.
Here are some more interesting things to try:
- Use local heat such as a hot water bottle, hot tea, hot chocolate, coffee, an electric blanket, a space heater, a sweater, hat, or walk, bike, and exercise to stay warm.
- Put clear plastic over the windows. 3M has plastic that you tape over a window.
- In hot times, you can drink a lot of fluids, wear clothes that provide shade, increase air flow at night through the house via opening windows, fans, exhaust fans, etc.
- Plant deciduous tress and install shades, eaves, or awnings for shade.
Mother Earth News has more ideas on how to heat and cool your home: insulation, energy efficiency, thermal shades, swamp coolers, etc.
An energy audit can show what is most effective in reducing energy use. Local governments and utilities often subsidize them.
What do you find effective for conserving energy? Pete Seeger got warm twice, by splitting his own wood. If you have any other tips for making homes more energy efficient, please share them in the comments below!
Posted on June 5, 2014