Sunday, January 24, 2010

Winter Tips for Your Green Home

When Mr. Winter comes blowing at your doors and window of your green home it is almost second nature to bundle up, be thankful you're inside rather than out, and crank up that heat! Well actually at this point I hope it is not second nature for all of you ethical consumers out there. You already know just how much power it takes to keep that thermostat throbbing and in response you have piled on some warmer clothes, added blankets to your bed, and dialed it down a few notches. Home temperature control is the leading cause for inflated utility bills, and while you will save money by cutting back you will more importantly be reducing your carbon footprint and making Mother Nature proud.

Well that is all well and good and hopefully you are just as cozily sipping cocoa in your thermals while the thermostat is a few degrees lower, but you could be wasted extra expenditures if your home is not adequately sealed or insulated. Airway leaks, crevices, or attics that aren't insulated can make for a chillier environment and then cause you to offset that hot air loss with a higher thermostat setting. So by taking some time to seal up those cracks, entry ways, and other common points of leaks you would be running a much more efficient green home. As for getting the kids to pick up their toys and dirty laundry, sadly that is still something no amount of sealant will fix.

The most common points of hot air loss are around
doors and windows. You want to purchase a high end type of weather stripping and they have kinds that have adhesive backs and then you can apply this both on the top and sides of the doorway, and if you purchase one that is in the shape of a V it will adjust and still work should your door warp over time. Also, if your door opens directly to the outside you will want to consider creating an airlock and enclose your porches. This will reduce the amount of air that will rush out each time the door to your green home is opened. Make sure your windows are sealed as well and shut all the way after being opened.

Another common place that there could be air-leaks in your house is around the chimney and where it meets that wall. You can ensure that it is properly sealed by caulking around the area after removing the trim. Find a caulk that is heat resistant since it will obviously be met with some higher temperatures. Finally make sure that the insulation around your green home is both high quality and still in good condition, and if you have an attic and it isn't insulated you should make it. Especially in the cold winters we are prone to
higher energy consumption habits, and some of which we are just not able to be avoided. But as ethical consumers there are measures we can take to cut back where we can and many of these things aren't difficult at all but just take a little planning and time.

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