Lower 50%
of Winter Home Heating Costs

by Rosalind Dall

Purdue college analysts show us 1 great approach to lower 50% of winter home heating costs.

Researchers at Purdue University are working on a new research project that promises the opportunity to reduce heating bill by 50 % for folks who reside 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 make them more effective in extreme cold temperatures.

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

The usual vapor-compression cycle has four stages:

1. Refrigerant is compressed as a vapor

2. Condenses into a liquid

3. Expands to a mixture of liquid and vapor

4. Then evaporates

The project will investigate two cooling approaches during the compression process.

In one approach, relatively large amounts of oil are injected into the compressor to absorb heat generated throughout 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 supply cooling.

The newest heat pumps may be half as expensive to operate as heating technologies now utilized in cold regions where natural gas is unavailable and residents make use of electric heaters and liquid propane.

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

  • Be sure your thermostat is located in an area that's not too cold or hot.

  • Install an automatic timer to maintain the thermostat at 68 degrees in the daytime and 55 degrees at night.

  • Use storm or thermal windows in colder areas. The layer of air between the windows acts as insulation helping to maintain
    the heat inside the spot where you want it.

  • 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 an excellent insulator and tends to build up on radiators and baseboard heat vents.

    Most people do not know that common indoor air quality practices reduce home air heating costs too:

  • Rain and high humidity may bring moisture indoors, creating dampness, mold and mildew - big problems for healthy indoor air. Look at 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 home by fixing leaks and drips once they start. Standing water and high humidity encourage the growth of dust mites, mold and mildew - probably the most common triggers that can worsen asthma. Make use of a dehumidifier or ac unit when needed, and clean both regularly.

  • High levels of moisture in your home increase dampness and the growth of mold, which not only damage your property but threaten health. Install and run exhaust fans in bathrooms to get rid of unhealthy moisture and odors out of 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 writer - Rosalind Dall writes for the ductless portable air conditioner blog, her personal hobby blog centered on guidelines to help people consume less energy and purify indoor air.

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