From Superhero plants to EPA Certified stoves, there are some quick and easy ways to make the planet, your home AND your wallet greener, just in time to celebrate Earth Day!
Matchless Stove & Chimney’s Green Heat Tips
GREEN YOUR HOME
Bring a Superhero Home
Add some “superhero” plants to your home. Easy-care greens like mums, peace lilies and English ivy help to remove indoor air pollutants (like formaldehyde and benzene) naturally!
Save Water AND Time
Running a full dishwasher uses half the water and energy (or less!) of washing the same dishes by hand. For another water saver, don’t rinse dishes before loading. BONUS: You just got out of some unsavory chores and saved yourself time too!
Shop for the WaterSense Logo
When you see this logo on toilets and faucets (and eventually showerheads), that means the item meets EPA water-saving criteria, and is an eco-conscious investment.
Lower your Heater’s Temp
To potentially lower your bill about $40 a year, lower your Heater’s temperature by two degrees. In warm months, set the AC at 78 degrees (at 73 degrees, you’ll pay 40 percent more).
Clean the Air, Inside and Out
All of the newest wood stoves are certified to strict EPA standards that cut emissions, both inside and outside, by more than 70% compared to uncertified stoves.
Natural gas and propane-fueled stoves and fireplaces are also some of the cleanest burning fuel options available.
Purchase the Most Efficient Product
Most fireplace and stove products are efficiency-rated and assigned a score between zero and 100. Look for the highest efficiency rating – A higher score means the product can burn less fuel but still heat efficiently and effectively.
Heat in the Zone
People regularly use less than 40% of their home, and using a fireplace, stove or insert to warm the rooms used most (zone heating) allows families to heat more efficiently by turning down their central thermostat, which also saves money – potentially 20-40% of their fuel bill!
Explore Renewable Fuels
Many of today’s stoves, fireplaces and inserts are engineered to burn biomass. These fuels are derived from renewable and sustainable sources such as wood, pellets, corn and other alternatives.
Burn Wood Wisely
Although today’s fireplaces and stoves are cleaner than their older counterparts, using a newer product is only half the battle.
Burn Wood responsibly: Don’t burn trash or plastics. Use only the recommended fuel for the product you have.
Maintain your Properly Installed product: To ensure a product’s efficiency, homeowners need to have their product properly installed and maintained.
GREEN YOUR WALLET Do the Math and Compare Costs
As the cost of heating oil and natural gas rise, using an energy-efficient wood or pellet stove could help you save money. You be the judge: Compare the costs of burning different fuels!
Keep Heat Inside Your Home
No matter the product, it is important to keep heat within your home.
Make sure that seals around windows and doors are tight, and that your house is properly insulated.
You can improve the seal of interior doors(like the one to the garage) by attaching a sweep. These flexible plastic strips are sold at hardware stores, easily screwed to door bottoms, and keep cold air out.
Apply both interior and exterior caulkingto fill gaps around window frames. If cold air is coming in around the sashes, install appropriate weather stripping.
And consider installing a Programmable thermostat – It can save you an estimated $150 annually if preset to cool your home’s air, or turn up the heat before you get home from work!
Plant Trees Outside Your Home
Plant trees strategically around the outside of your house. Trees on the south and west sides, and shading the air-conditioning unit if possible, can save up to about $250 a year on cooling and heating.
Win it Back!
If you can get your family to turn off their video games after they’re done playing (both the TV and the console), you’ll win back about $100 per year… Which you can use to buy that tree!
Get Online & Save Time too!
Pay Bills online, or set up automatic check paying from your bank account. No bills in the mail, no envelopes, and no postage (And no late fees if you’re on an automatic plan)!
While you’re at it, get off the Junk-mail lists. Just register with the Direct Marketing Association’s DMA Choice mail preference service at dmachoice.org, and after three months, you’ll see a significant reduction in mail!
Give Your Clothes the Cold Shoulder
For every laundry load washed in cold water instead of hot, you can save up to 25 cents. If you cold-wash three loads a week, you’ll save up to $40 a year. Pocket even more change by air drying your clean laundry. And to save money AND water, switch from a top-loading washer to a front-loading washer. In tests, front loaders use less than half the water traditionally used by a top loader for a full load.
Swap Out Regular Lightbulbs – Or Lower the Lights
When you swap one regular lightbulb for a Compact Fluorescent Bulbs, the potential savings is $14 per year, since CFLs are more energy efficient!
CFLs that are Energy Star qualified use about 75 percent less electricity and last up to 10 times longer than traditional incandescents.
Today’s CFLs now come in a covered style, so they don’t look that strange in most fixtures.
In cases where you use regular bulbs because a CFL isn’t compatible with your dimmer switch (unless the package says so), just set your dimmer at 75 percent output. By lowering the lights, it can save an estimated 20 percent in energy — and can quadruple the life of the bulb. The lower the lights, the less electricity used!
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For more information on Matchless Stove & Chimney’s energy-efficient home heating solutions, contact Tim Hvizdak at 518.463.2085 or send emails to TimH@matchless.info.