5 Ways To Heat Your Home For Free

October 31, 2014

5 Ways To Heat Your Home For Free

Here is the second installment of our Winter Energy Saving research.  This article will help you to heat your home with zero cost to you the consumer. Check it out, try these things out and tell us what you think on our FB page.

5 Ways To Heat Your Home For Free

During the colder months heating bills sky rocket. With the severe weather which seems to have become the norm it is becoming harder to keep our home heated with the rising cost of energy.

 

These wonderful ideas will create free heat for any room in your home and are all self contained units which work independently of any other energy source, which means even if there is a power outage/shortage you’ll be prepared to keep your home warm in any emergency situation.

 

Take a look at these amazing ideas and give them a try for yourself!

How To Heat A Room With Flower Pots & Tea Lights – This simple way to heat any room utilizes the wasted heat from a candle and creates a small indoor space heater which only needs 8 tea lights and two terracotta pots for one day. It requires no electricity for it to work at any point either so once you have the required tools you can heat any room at the low cost of just $0.12 per day.

WARNING: Never leave this heating solution unattended.

 

Window Box Heater – This elegantly simple design is perfect for every level of DIYer and works perfectly in any home. By absorbing the suns rays and converting it into heat this basic device does not require any major construction or even a vent, instead it is attached to your window and will absorb the heat through the glass before dispersing it round the room. It relies on using black paint and pennies to make it more efficient at absorbing the suns rays.

 

DIY Solar Furnace – This self-powered device can change a rooms temperature between 10 to 29 degrees and uses only the suns heat to work. Once it is made this amazingly designed device will continue to work independently from any other power source. Meaning it will create completely free heat and with the addition of a small fan it makes sure it goes exactly where you want.

Solar Box Heater – Using a few surprising materials you will be able to harness the warmth of the sun and create this super easy heater which will heat any room. Perfect for a workshop or easily adapted for a home this simple DIY can be made by even the least experienced crafters and see the heat rise by a considerable amount and if you add a little more insulation you’ll be able to see the temperature rise even more.

 

Emergency Heater – These low cost heaters use only a few items and work perfectly in any emergency. They are ideal to have in a 72 hour emergency kit or just to have a few in your home to keep jack frost at bay. The tutorial explains everything you need to know about how these convenient and travel friendly heaters will produce large quantities of heat whether it’s used in your home or even your car.

via: 5 Ways To Heat Your Home For Free.

Savings Project: Insulate Your Water Heater Tank

October 30, 2014

SAVINGS PROJECT: INSULATE YOUR WATER HEATER TANK

Here is the first in the series of money saving winter DIY project we are looking at. A complete tutorial on how to accomplish this simple task yourself that will save you money.

Insulate your hot water tank to save energy and money. | Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.com/glennebo

 

Just like insulating your walls or roof, insulating your hot water tank is an easy and inexpensive way to improve energy efficiency and save you money each month. If your water tank is new, it is likely already insulated. If you have an older hot water tank, check to see if it has insulation with an R-value of at least 24. If not, consider insulating your water tank, which could reduce standby heat losses by 25%–45% and save you about 4%–9% in water heating costs—and should pay for itself in about a year. You can find pre-cut jackets or blankets available from around $20.

 

If you don’t know your water heater tank’s R-value, touch it. A tank that is warm to the touch needs additional insulation.

BEFORE YOU START

Check with your utility to see if they offer water heater insulating blankets at low prices or offer rebates. Some utilities even install these at a low or no cost.

Be sure that your water heater is not leaking. If your tank leaks, you need a new water heater.

For an electric water heater, you also might consider insulating underneath the tank as well. A ridged piece of insulation (or bottom board) will help prevent heat loss into the floor, and could save you another 4%–9% of water heating energy. It is best done when installing a new water heater.

SHOPPING LIST

A helper (you’ll need four hands for this one)

Tape measure

Marker

Scissors

Water heater insulating blanket kit

Gloves and a dust mask

Electrical or other tape (tape comes with most insulation blanket kits)

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS

1.) Turn off the water heater.

For electric heaters, turn off the breaker at the electric panel. For gas water heaters, turn the gas valve to the “Pilot” position.

2.) Measure the height of the water heater and cut the blanket to fit if necessary.

Leave the top of the water heater open—it is important not to block the vent on top of a gas unit.

3.) Wrap the blanket around the water heater and temporarily tape it in place.

For ease of installation, position the blanket so that the ends do not come together over the access panels in the side of the tank. Some tanks have only one access panel.

4.) Using a marker, mark the areas where controls are so that you can cut them out.

For electric water heater units, there will be two panels on the side of the tank. For gas, you’ll need to mark an arch-shaped hole around the gas valves and burner. Be sure to leave plenty of room around the valve and burner areas below. Make the opening at least 1 inch wider than the valve and burner area. Also, mark the area where the pressure relief valve and pipe are. This will be a pipe that sticks out of the side of the water heater.

5.) Install the blanket.

Be careful to line up the cut out areas and then tape it in permanently in place.

6.) Turn the water heater back on.

Don’t set the thermostat above 130ºF on electric water heater with an insulating jacket or blanket – the wiring may overheat.

via Savings Project: Insulate Your Water Heater Tank | Department of Energy.

DIY Winter Home Improvement Projects

October 28, 2014

DIY Winter Home Improvement Projects

For the next few articles we find, we will focus on what you can do to help get through the winter months coming up. These will be designed to help you not only improve your money saving skills, but your fun during the winter season.

DIY Winter Home Improvement Projects
Don’t let being stuck inside from the cold keep you from enjoying some DIY winter home improvement projects this season.
Here is how to ring in the new year and save a few bucks with some simple changes and upgrades.

1. Put Insulation On Your Water Heater

One way to save energy during the winter months and throughout the year is insulating your hot water heater. Adding a thick blanket or insulation around your water heater will ensure that the water stays hot even when it’s not in use. Insulation kits are available at most home improvement stores. You can also turn down the temperature a few degrees to save energy and money.

2. Put In A Programmable Thermostat

The first utility bills you receive after the weather has gotten colder is usually shocking. You can lessen the shock and still keep your home warm by installing a thermostat that you can set to change the temperature throughout the day. Keeping your home warm while everyone is out is a waste of energy and money. Installing the thermostat is a simple project that most homeowners can complete on their own. It involves hooking up a couple of low-voltage wires, and most programmable thermostats come with detailed instructions to help you through the process of setting it up. These thermostats are available at most hardware stores for as little as $25, so they pay for themselves very quickly.

3. Refinish Your Basement

The winter is a great time for tackling a large indoor project such as refinishing your basement. You are likely to find a contractor that can help you with the parts of the project you can’t complete on your own during the winter. You should be able to do the demolition work on your own and will probably also be able to paint and install flooring without the help of a contractor. You can also remodel your kitchen or bathroom during the winter as you can do most of the work by yourself and find a contractor that isn’t busy to call for help if you need it.

4. Paint The Walls

Painting the walls in your home is a great way to liven up the space during the dreary winter months. Paint is inexpensive and makes a big difference in any room in your home. Try to time your painting project during a time when there is no rain or snow in the forecast so that you’ll be able to ventilate the room without the fear of damage from the weather.

5. Organize Drawers And Closets

You’re probably already spending most of your time indoors during the winter months, making it an excellent time to get organized. Start by clearing everything out of the space you want to organize. Wipe everything down so that you’re starting with a clean slate. You may need to make a trip to the store for new hangers, bins or other organizing supplies. Try to avoid putting anything back into the space you have organized that doesn’t belong there. Your home will look much bigger when it is organized, even if you haven’t actually increased the square footage at all.
via DIY Winter Home Improvement Projects.

3 Reasons to Invest in Fiberglass Windows

October 24, 2014

3 Reasons to Invest in Fiberglass Windows

Here is an article for the coming cold season helping with energy costs and keeping your bills low for all seasons of the year. Check out this wonderful project from Mother Earth Living.

When it comes to choosing the perfect windows for your home, vinyl and wood windows are among the first considerations. In recent years, however, fiberglass windows have inserted their way into the conversation. For “green” home enthusiasts, installing fiberglass windows is not only a wise investment for your rising energy bills, but also a significant step toward a more sustainable lifestyle.

3 Reasons to Invest in Fiberglass Windows

1. Eco-Friendliness

Made with 60% glass, fiberglass is a lightweight window product well-known for its outstanding energy-efficiency and eco-friendliness. While other window products typically contain environmentally harmful fillers and additives, fiberglass windows are made from some of Mother Nature’s most abundant and easily accessible materials: silica sand. In addition to being 100% recyclable, fiberglass has very low embodied energy and consumes 39% less production energy than vinyl. Even in its most raw and undeveloped form, fiberglass windows offers the most green and sustainable choice for your home.

2. Durability

Fiberglass is a frame material known for its strength, durability, and performance. Besides offering great insulation and generous energy deduction, fiberglass windows are 8 times more durable than vinyl and 3.5 times stronger than wood/vinyl composites. When compared to vinyl, fiberglass windows are said to last 5 times longer.

Additionally, fiberglass windows are weatherproof. The superior thermal tolerance found in these windows also makes them impervious to window expanding, rotting, warping, cracking, or splitting. As a result, homeowners who chose fiberglass windows can sit back and enjoy their windows for at least 20 years before worrying about any replacement or repair.

3. Effortless Upkeep

The durability and extensive lifespan of fiberglass windows is complemented by its demand for minimal maintenance. Fiberglass windows have the best low maintenance rating on the market. In fact, a simple wipe down with your preferred glass cleaner is all you need to keep your fiberglass windows looking like new. Fiberglass windows do not peel, fade or discolor for a very long period of time. Even if signs of wear begin to take place, the smooth surface of fiberglass windows will make painting and repainting extremely simple. And when it is time to dismiss your fiberglass windows after decades of faithful service, you can be assured that your long-lasting fiberglass windows are free of toxin and can be economically transported out of your home.

From its manufacturing process to its final retirement, fiberglass windows are the green solution for homeowners who are interested in furthering their sustainable lifestyle. Fiberglass windows are eco-friendly, durable, and require virtually no maintenance upkeep on your part. The low production energy process and the recyclable content found in fiberglass windows make these windows an even more appealing window solution for the savvy and environmentally mindful homeowners. You can easily help decrease the world’s energy consumption with fiberglass windows by cutting back on the natural resource your home uses.

via 3 Reasons to Invest in Fiberglass Windows

5 Things to Consider When Choosing New Windows for Your Home

October 15, 2014

5 Things to Consider When Choosing New Windows for Your Home

If your considering putting in new windows, check out this article on what considerations you may want to make when choosing what kind to install. This is a very helpful article.

When choosing new windows for your home, the options out there can be a little bit overwhelming. In the first place, it can be hard to determine which window style will not only look best with the overall feel and design of your home, but will also function the best for you. Secondly, choosing the right window is essential to the energy-efficiency of your home, and there are a lot of small details that can make a big impact on your heating and cooling bills. To help make the choice a little bit easier, here are 5 things to consider when selecting new windows for your next renovation, and how you can use this opportunity to save money—and the environment—in a big way.
5 Things to Consider When Choosing New Windows for Your Home

1. Functionality and Use

Tired of the Hulk-like strength it takes to force open your old windows? Everybody’s been there. Luckily, a lot of improvements have been made over the years to make the ease of operation the norm, rather than the exception. For example, glider windows sweep open side-to-side, awning windows pivot on a central hinge, and casement windows open completely outward. But don’t think that these windows lack durability just because they’re easy to use. In addition to being made from the strongest materials, all of these styles feature secure locking systems and extra-tight seals to ensure there are no gaps that air can escape from. This thermal efficiency is what helps you save on those energy bills—which is always a big score!

2. Ease of Care

Most windows today are easier to clean than ever before, thanks to thoughtful construction and innovative materials that don’t stain, peel or crack. Awning and glider windows are particularly great options for the upper floors of your home, where it can be difficult to get at any spots or smudges on the outer panes. Both options have removable sashes which allow you to clean both sides without any trouble. Plus, the overall easy of care means gunk and debris has no chance to build up in the nooks and crannies, which can otherwise compromise the insulating properties of your windows. A small detail sure, but one that can make a big difference over time.

3. Size

Remodeling can be a great time to finally increase the size of your windows. Larger pane windows, or architectural bow or bay windows, allow more light into your home which can totally change the mood of your rooms and even make small spaces appear larger. However, because of their size, larger windows can let in more UV rays which can damage and discolor walls and fabrics within the room. Consider energy-efficient glasses like Low E II, LoĒ³-366 and Tempered, which are coated with metal oxides that can block these rays, provide overall greater insulation and prevent any sun damage from ruining your decor.

4. Material

Not all windows are made equal. Traditional materials like vinyl and aluminum aren’t very durable and can wear, warp and crack over time. For your upgrade, consider installing fiberglass windows, which are extremely resistant to seal failures and also never peel, rust, dent or discolor. Increased durability means you’ll never have to worry about your windows being compromised, and you won’t have to re-invest in new windows after a few years like you would with those made of lower-quality materials.

5. Climate

If you live in an area with drastic and unpredictable temperature fluctuations, the constant heating and cooling of the air can cause your window to expand and contract more than normal. In old or poor-quality windows this can cause cracks, so you’ll want to consider an efficient alternative that can withstand even the wildest temperature differences without any breakage which can, again, compromise the heat retention in your home.
Now that you know the ins and outs of how your new windows can help increase your energy-efficiency, you can make a more well-informed choice that works with your home, lifestyle, and surroundings. Your local home improvement experts can also give you more advice about which windows are right for you, so don’t be afraid to speak up and ask!
Paul Kazlov

via: 5 Things to Consider When Choosing New Windows for Your Home 

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