See if We Have Top-Rated
Home Heating Professionals in Your Area
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that home heating and cooling is directly responsible for over 50 percent of the home energy costs in an average American home, making going green with home heating a smart decision for any homeowner. Here's a list of 8 things you can do to go green, and save big, when it comes home heating.
Buy a New Furnace, Boiler, or Stove Replacing an older furnace, boiler, or stove, with a high efficiency model is the single easiest way to green your home in the home heating department. Case in point: according the EERE, by upgrading a 60 percent AFUE rated furnace with a high efficiency model with an AFUE rating of 90 percent or better, you'll cut your home heating costs by over 30 percent, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.5 tons annually.
- Inspect Your Ductwork Even a high efficiency heating system will have to run overtime if your ductwork doesn't make the grade. Inspecting your ductwork, sealing up any leaks, and insulating when necessary, will improve your heating system's energy efficiency even more.
- Raise those Shades The sun can be a valuable source of natural, free home heating for you and yours. Be sure to open the shades every morning, especially on east, west, and south facing windows.
- Install Radiant Floor Heating Radiant floor heating is healthier, more comfortable, and provides more consistent heat than baseboard heaters or forced air. Add to that the fact that radiant floor heating can cut your home heating costs by up to 30 percent, according to Joseph D'Agnese of This Old House Magazine, and it's easy to see why radiant heat continues to be a favorite in green remodeling circles.
- Install New Windows Simply upgrading from single pane windows to double pane windows can result in annual energy savings of as much as 30 percent. Add a low e coating, gas fill, and insulated window frames to that double paned set up and savings that push 50 percent aren't out of the question.
- Dig Deep with Geothermal A geothermal heating system uses water pumped through underground pipes to naturally heat your home. These systems cost quite a bit up front to install, but with life spans of 25 to 50 years, and annual energy savings of as much as 44 percent (according to the U.S. Department of Energy), it's easy to see why geothermal heat pump systems are as green as they come.
- Upgrade Your Insulation Going green with your home heating system doesn't do you much good if there's no insulation to keep that heat inside. Poor attic insulation, inadequate wall insulation, and settling insulation are all reasons to consider an upgrade.
- Seal it Up! Poor insulation isn't the only culprit when it comes to heat escaping from your home. Even small leaks around doors, windows, and skylights can render your current heating system ineffective come winter. Install weatherstripping where necessary so that your doors and windows seal tight, and seal other areas of leakage with a silicone caulk or other sealant.
- Turn Down the Thermostat According the U.S. Department of Energy, every degree lower you set your thermostat adds up to a 3 percent energy reduction over a 24 hour period. And if you turn your thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees over an 8 hour time span (while you're asleep, for example), you'll cut energy usage during that time by an additional 5 percent to 15 percent!
- Install a Programmable Thermostat If you've got a tendency to forget to turn down the thermostat, you might want to consider a programmable model. These units save you money by automatically turning the heat down at night when you're asleep, and during the day when you're away. And since you can program them to turn the heat up at a certain time as well, you won't have to come home to a cold house ever again.
Whether you're looking to save the environment, or just save some hard earned money, there are a host of ways to go green when it comes to your home heating system.
Matt Goering, formerly a carpenter and house painter, is a freelance writer for the home improvement industry who has published over 600 articles.