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How to Cut Home Heating and Cooling Costs

All Factfile Articles

by Rosalind Dall,


Purdue university researchers demonstrate one great way to reduce 50% of winter home heating bills.

Researchers at Purdue University will work on a new research project that promises the possibility to reduce heating bill by 50 percent for folks who live in very cold climates. The research, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, builds on previous work that began about five-years ago at Purdue's Ray W. Herrick Laboratories.

Heat pumps provide heating in winter and cooling in summer but are not efficient in extreme cold climates. The analysis involves changes to the way heat pumps operate to ensure they are more efficient in extreme cold temperatures.

The modern technology works by modifying the conventional vapor-compression cycle behind standard air con and refrigeration.

The normal vapor-compression cycle has four stages: 1 Refrigerant is compressed as a vapor 2 Condenses into a liquid 3 Expands to a combination of liquid and vapor 4 Then evaporates,

The project will investigate two cooling approaches during the compression process. In one approach, relatively considerable amounts of oil are injected into the compressor to absorb heat generated through the compression stage. In the second approach, a combination of liquid and vapor refrigerant from the expansion stage is injected at various points during compression to provide cooling.

The brand new heat pumps can be half as expensive to work as heating technologies now utilised in cold regions where gas is unavailable and residents depend on electric heaters and liquid propane.

In the meanwhile here some ways to improve you home air quality and save energy:

  • Be certain your thermostat is located in a spot that isn't too cold or hot.
  • Install an automatic timer to maintain the thermostat at 68 degrees in daytime and 55 degrees during the night.
  • Use storm or thermal windows in colder areas. The layer of air between the windows acts as insulation helping to keep the heat inside the spot where you are interested.
  • If you haven't already, insulate your attic and all outside walls.
  • Insulate floors over unheated spaces such as your basement, any crawl spaces plus your garage.
  • Close off the attic, garage, basement, spare bedrooms and storage areas. Heat just those rooms that you use.
  • Seal gaps around any pipes, wires, vents or other openings that could transfer your heat to areas that aren't heated.
  • Dust is a wonderful insulator and tends to build up on radiators and baseboard heat vents.

A lot of people don't know that common indoor air quality practices lower home air heating costs, too:

  • Rain and high humidity may bring moisture indoors, creating dampness, mold and mildew -- big problems for healthy indoor air. Check your roof, foundation and basement or crawlspace once a year to catch leaks or moisture problems and route water away from your home's foundation.
  • Help keep asthma triggers away from your property by fixing leaks and drips when they start. Standing water and high humidity encourage the growth of dust mites, mold and mildew -- some of the most common triggers that can worsen asthma. Use a dehumidifier or ac unit if needed, and clean both regularly.
  • High amounts of moisture at home increase dampness and the growth of mold, which not only damage your house but threaten health. Install and run exhaust fans in bathrooms to remove unhealthy moisture and odors from your home.
  • Ventilate your kitchen stove directly outside or open a kitchen window when you cook. Keeping exhaust -- including cooking odors and particles -- outside of your home prevents dangerous fumes and particles from harming you or your family.

About the Author - Rosalind Dall writes for the ductless air conditioners blog, her personal hobby blog dedicated to guidelines to help people consume less energy and purify indoor air.


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