(BPT) - If you're interested in living a greener lifestyle, perhaps you're already trying to reduce your energy usage as much as possible. Maybe you ride your bike to work, unplug your electronics when they're not in use, use fans during warm weather and avoid wasting water.
Saving energy can get more difficult, however, when the seasons change and colder weather sets in. Heat is a primary source of energy usage. In fact, research from Tulikivi, the world's largest manufacturer of heat-retaining fireplaces, shows that 52 percent of a home's annual energy consumption is allocated to heat.
Now is the time to think about reducing your energy usage during the winter. Here are some ideas that will help you enjoy a warm, cozy home while saving both money and energy.
Heat more efficiently
A crackling fire makes for more than just a pleasurable experience; it can also be an energy-efficient heating source. Fireplaces from Tulikivi help heat your home long after the fire goes out. Tulikivi fireplaces are built from soapstone, which has better thermal conductivity compared to other materials because of its dense structure and mineral composition.
For homeowners, this means once you start a fire in your fireplace, the soapstone will store heat in its thermal mass, allowing a two-hour burn to radiate heat for up to 24 hours. This lets you enjoy the clean, comfortable, cost-saving warmth without using additional energy.
You can learn more about Tulikivi, the recycled materials used in its manufacturing process, the clean combustion of its masonry heaters and its commitment to sustainability at Tulikivi.us.
Close the drafts
One of the best ways to improve your energy efficiency is to reduce your energy waste. Window cracks and door drafts allow warm air to escape, which means you're leaking both energy and money.
Seal those areas by using caulk to shore up any drafty windows and put plastic wrap over the window surface to keep out the chill. For the door jambs, you can purchase a door stopper to plug the gap or you can use a towel at the base to block the opening. Try to close off the bottom of any exterior door, particularly the doors you seldom use.
Make sure your other heating options are running efficiently
When you're not using your fireplace, it's good to know your backup heating options are operating efficiently. Have your furnace inspected routinely and make sure you change the filter each month. You should also invest in a smart thermostat. This technology allows you to set the temperature of your home for different times of the day so you can lower it when you're sleeping or away. The calendar option means you can program your home's temperatures ensuring you never waste energy.
Although it's still nice outside, colder temperatures are on their way. That doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your green lifestyle when you cheeks turn red. By using the tips above, you'll still enjoy the same warmth and comfort without the additional environmental impact. To learn more about Tulikivi, visit Tulikivi.us or find them on Facebook and Twitter.