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Year-Round Energy Saving

With the arctic weather that is plaguing so many homes across the country, it’s an ideal time to talk about saving energy while staying warm and keeping stylish! But energy saving shouldn’t be seasonal. To save on costs of heating AND cooling your home, try some of these useful tips:

Watch your R-Value
R-value is a measure of a material's resistance to heat flow, or how well it holds back heat gain or loss. The higher the R-value, the better the material’s insulating properties. Each material in your home has a unique R-value: your walls, your foundation, your roof, your windows, and even your window treatments! Be conscious of your R-value when you make purchases like additional insulation, windows, window treatments, and other items for your home.

Raise (and Lower) the Shades
When it’s cold outside, keep your shades open during the day to allow sunlight in to warm up your rooms, and close them at night to trap in that solar heat. In the summer, doing the opposite can help: keeping shades closed during the day will keep out that same solar gain that you want in the winter, keeping your rooms cool and comfortable.

Keep it Clean
A clean environment is an energy-efficient one. Keeping your windows clean will maximize solar gain during heating season. Dirty filters in furnaces and air conditioners force the appliances to work harder. Changing or cleaning them could save you up to 5% on your utility bills. You might also try cleaning the condenser coils behind or underneath the refrigerator every six months.

No More Window “Pane”
Heat lost through windows can account for 10% to 25% of your heating bill – ouch! Install tight-fitting, insulating window shades. Double honeycomb cell construction is a popular and stylish option for today’s window treatments: the unique cellular design serves as a barrier to drafty windows during the winter while adding an elegant look to the window. Adding cellular shades to your windows can block as much as 62% of the heat transfer through a window pane.

Cellular shades are excellent ways to trap out the heat in the summer. However, sunscreens offer an additional alternative to combat the heat: with a reflective surface facing out, heat is deflected away from your home.

Update Your Windows, Too
Storm windows can reduce your heat loss through the windows by 25-50%, so install interior or exterior storm windows with weatherstripping at all moveable joints.  New windows not an option? A simple repair and weatherization of your current storm windows can also reduce energy costs.

Make Your Appliances Work For You
Your home’s appliances use a lot of energy. But they also provide opportunities to save a lot, too. Wait until you have a full load of laundry or dishes before you run your clothes or dishwasher. And washing clothes in cold water can save you up to $63 a year.

And did you know that most new electronics use electricity even when turned off? So unplug those devices and chargers when you’re not using them.

Check Your Floors, Ducts, and Sealings
Sealing is important! It is estimated that faulty, leaky ductwork may account for 25% of cooling costs in an average home, so have your ducts tested and get leaks repaired immediately, by a qualified contractor. Plug leaks or gaps in the spaces between doors and ceilings and floors with caulk or other materials.

Do the Math
On your thermostat, that is. In the winter, turning down the thermostat by just one degree can reduce home heating energy costs by up to 4%. In the summer, each degree you raise the thermostat on your cooling system can save you 2% on your energy bill. So pay attention to the temperature! Once you figure out what works for you and your energy bills, use a programmable thermostat to save even more.

 

This article was provided by Comfortex Window Fashions for American Blinds Wallpaper and More.

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