Magnetic Refrigerators
Magnetic Refrigerators
Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Electric have teamed up to create a revolutionary new type of refrigerator that uses magnets to create cold, also known as the magnetocaloric effect (lowering or raising the temperature of the material by changing the magnetic field).
Ultra-Efficient Heat Pumps
Ultra-Efficient Heat Pumps
The Building Technologies Office is ushering in the next generation of heat pump systems, which warm and cool your home by moving heat from one space to another. A fuel-fired, multi-function residential heat pump that can reduce primary energy consumption by 30 percent.
Clothes Dryers
Clothes Dryers
The same concept behind heat pump technologies that keep your home comfortable can also be used for another important application: drying your clothes. Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Electric are developing a new type of clothes dryer that uses a heat pump cycle to generate hot air needed for drying.
Smarter, More Connected Homes
Smarter, More Connected Homes
We live in an increasingly connected world -- the same is true for our homes. New electronic devices and appliances can now be linked to the Internet to provide real-time data that makes it easier to understand and lower energy use.
Next-Gen Insulation
Next-Gen Insulation
Insulation is one of the most important ways to reduce your home heating and cooling costs. The Industrial Science & Technology Network is developing new foam insulation made with environmentally friendly and advanced composite materials that ensure heat doesn’t escape from the attic, walls and other areas of the home during cold winter months.
Advanced Window Controls
Advanced Window Controls
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Pella Windows are working on new highly insulated windows that use sensors and microprocessors to automatically adjust shading based on the amount of available sunlight and the time of day to ensure proper lighting and comfort, saving consumers energy and money.
Reflective Roofing Materials
Reflective Roofing Materials
Cool roofs coated with materials containing specialized pigments reflect sunlight and absorb less heat than standard roofs. Expect these types of roof systems to get even “cooler” due to new fluorescent pigments developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and PPG Industries that can reflect nearly four times the amount of sunlight of standard pigments.

Energy-Saving Solutions

From heating and cooling to electronics and appliances, it takes a lot of energy to power our daily lives. Our homes use 37 percent more energy today than they did in 1980. But without energy efficiency -- through technology innovation and federal energy conservation standards -- this number would be a lot higher. In fact, even though our total energy use has grown, our energy use per household is down about 10 percent, despite that our homes are larger and contain more devices.

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How to Weatherize Your Home For Winter

Many people stay indoors during the winter months in order to escape the cold, snowy, and icy weather. But if your home isn’t properly weatherized, you may find it difficult to stay warm until spring.   Weatherizing is the process of...

The post How to Weatherize Your Home For Winter appeared first on HomeSelfe.


Many people stay indoors during the winter months in order to escape the cold, snowy, and icy weather. But if your home isn’t properly weatherized, you may find it difficult to stay warm until spring.   Weatherizing is the process of...

The post How to Weatherize Your Home For Winter appeared first on HomeSelfe.

Many people stay indoors during the winter months in order to escape the cold, snowy, and icy weather. But if your home isn’t properly weatherized, you may find it difficult to stay warm until spring.  

Weatherizing is the process of making a home more resistant to cold weather. Not only will weatherizing make your home more comfortable, but it will also save energy and lower your monthly utility bills. Here’s how to weatherize your home for winter this year:

Seal Air Leaks Around Doors and Windows

In the winter, warm air can escape through the tiny cracks and holes around your doors and windows. The more air that escapes, the more energy your heater will need to consume to keep you warm. 

Even worse, cold air from the outside can sneak into your home through these holes and cracks. In fact, this could be why you feel cold drafts of air in different rooms in your home.

To seal these air leaks, start by replacing worn down door sweeps. You should also apply weather stripping around doors and operable windows. 

If a window is inoperable, use caulk instead of weatherstripping. Apply a fresh layer of caulk around the entire perimeter of inoperable windows to ensure you seal all the holes and cracks.

You should also install window film over any windows that seem to be allowing cold air inside your home. A window film is a clear, inexpensive plastic that is sold at most home improvement stores. You can apply the film to your window in a matter of minutes using a hairdryer. Once it’s in place, it can increase the efficiency of your windows by up to 90%. 

How to Weatherize Your Home For Winter

Insulate the Attic

Adding insulation to your attic is one of the most effective ways to weatherize your home. Investing in attic insulation will prevent warm air from the rest of your home from escaping through the roof. In other words, insulating your attic will trap warm air inside your home so your heater won’t need to consume as much energy to keep you comfortable.

Before you purchase any materials, check the thickness of the existing insulation in your attic. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), most attics need between 10 to 14 inches of insulation to properly withstand cold temperatures. If your attic is not adequately insulated, it’s best to add loose fill or batt insulation.

Put the finishing touches on this project by installing an insulated cover over the attic hatchway or stairway.

Replace Air Filters

Dirty air filters restrict air flow, which means your heater will need to work even harder to pump warm air throughout your home during the winter. To increase your heater’s efficiency, replace air filters as needed throughout the winter.

The frequency at which your air filters should be changed will depend on various factors, including the size of your home and air quality in your area. But in general, it’s best to check your air filters every 90 days. If the filter is dirty, replace it as soon as possible.

How to Weatherize Your Home For Winter

Insulate Hot Water Pipes

Insulating your hot water pipes is important for several reasons. First, the insulation will protect the pipes from damage caused by freezing temperatures. 

Adding insulation to hot water pipes also reduces heat loss, which will lower your monthly utility bills. 

Insulation also keeps the water warmer, so you won’t have to wait as long for the water to heat up before a shower or bath. Since the insulation keeps the water warmer, you can lower the temperature on your water heater to save even more energy and money.

You won’t need to hire a professional to insulate your pipes. Simply measure your hot water pipes and purchase pipe sleeves from a local home improvement store. Then, place the pipe sleeves on your hot water pipes. Secure the insulated pipe sleeves in place with duct tape or cable ties. 

Seal the Fireplace

The damper acts as a lid by sealing off the chimney when the fireplace isn’t being used. Leaving the damper open when the fireplace isn’t being used is just like leaving a window in your home open. 

To keep cold weather out of your home, make sure the damper is closed whenever the fireplace is not in use. Check to ensure the damper closes properly. If it’s not tightly closed, hire a professional to fix this issue.

The cold weather may already be here, but it’s never too late to start weatherizing your home. Follow these tips to stay warm and comfortable, lower your utility bills, and reduce your home’s energy consumption all winter long.

The post How to Weatherize Your Home For Winter appeared first on HomeSelfe.


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