Proven Systems For Existing Homes

  • Installing and using setback thermostats that allow you automatically increase and decrease the temperature setting during various times of the day and week. The cost is about $100. The return on the investment is under one year.
  • Installing and Using Zone Heat that allows you to have the warmth you want in the area that you are using at any one time. This allows you to heat the entire house to a safe level (say 55F) and the "zone" your are using at any one time to a higher and more comfortable level.

Some examples of zone heating systems are:

  • Electric wall heaters with individual thermostats.
  • Gas fireplaces and stoves.
  • Hyronic (hot water) heating systems with multiple zones and multiple thermostats.
  • Portable Heaters - but be very careful with these, the unsafe use of portable heaters is an all to frequent cause of injury and fires.

Zone heat it a great way to get the desired heat to the areas you use the most.

  • Adding insulation to accessible and poorly insulated attics.
  • Using compact florescent light bulbs that fit into existing light fixtures and use less electricity. The cost is $5+ per bulb and they now come in many shapes and sizes. The bulb lasts much longer than regular light bulbs and the payback is in: energy savings, total light bulb purchase prices and less frequent need to replace the bulbs. Such bulbs are particularly helpful where the lights are left on for a long time and/or the bulbs are difficult to replace.

    Getting used to florescent bulbs

    When I first put one of these bulbs into my walk in closet I thought that my eyesight had deteriorated again but after a few seconds I had plenty of light (which is not to say that I did any better in matching socks etc.) - George

  • Scheduling regular heating/cooling system service insures for the safe and efficient operation of the system. This is particularly important with: heat pumps, gas and oil furnaces. It is also very important to clean and service forced air system ducts.
  • When replacing appliances compare the energy usage of the new appliances and investigate utility rebate programs for energy efficient models.
  • Keeping the fireplace damper closed whenever the fireplace is not in use and close the damper again 12 hours after the fire is out.
  • Turning down the temperature setting of you water heater to bellow 130F and turning the temperature setting on your gas water heater to the lowest setting during an absence of 3+ days.
  • Using passive solar techniques to help with summer cooling.
  • Wearing sweaters and warm socks!

Article: 
Heating Your Home