Tips to heat your home af­ford­ably this win­ter

The Progress-Index - At Home - - NEWS -

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. 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.

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 one­time 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.

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