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This St. Paddy’s Day, Heat Your Home the “Green” Way!
With Saint Patrick’s Day just around the corner, green is on everybody’s mind. After all, no one wants to be caught without any green on them and get pinched! But there’s another way to “go green” that doesn’t involve wearing any shamrock-printed socks or a goofy leprechaun hat (as fun as that may be).
No, this kind of green simply means adopting more eco-friendly practices! And for homeowners, there’s no better place to start than with the home’s central heating system. With a few simple tricks and strategies, homeowners can heat their homes more effectively, reduce their carbon footprint, and lower their energy bills – just in time for St. Paddy’s Day!

3 Easy Ways To Make Your Heater More Green for Saint Patrick's Day
Turn On Ceiling Fans
Turning on the home’s ceiling fans when it’s cold out may seem counterintuitive, but this can be an incredibly effective way to boost heating efficiency. Here’s how it works.

When warm air from the furnace gets pumped into the home, it naturally rises to the ceiling and gets stuck there. Ceiling fans, when used correctly, can help bring this warm air back down into the room below. Modern ceiling fans generally have a toggle switch that controls how the blades spin. Due to the angle of the blades, spinning them counterclockwise (as viewed from below) results in air being pushed down, which creates a cooling breeze. On the other hand, spinning them clockwise sends the air outward along with the ceiling and down the walls.

This process, called heat destratification, allows warm air to be recycled and enjoyed by those at ground level. This can be particularly useful in homes with high ceilings. The recirculation of warm air means that the thermostat can be turned down a few degrees, impacting energy consumption. However, it’s important to use a low fan speed setting to avoid creating a draft.

Keep the Air Filters Clean
Most people think of their AC air filters as managing indoor air quality, but they can profoundly impact energy efficiency. Air filters are designed to capture airborne particulates while allowing enough air to get through. The more these particulates (dust, dirt, hair, etc.) collect on the filter media, the fewer spaces there are to allow air to pass through.

The unit will struggle to pull in and redistribute air when this happens. The heating elements or burners will run longer to meet the thermostat’s temperature demands. The unit will consume more energy in fuel and/or electricity. If this keeps up, components will start to wear out or break down prematurely, and homeowners will find themselves calling for heater repair!

Changing the air filters every three months (or more frequently, depending on any allergy concerns or dust and pet dander levels in the home) can help keep the home’s heating system running smoothly and efficiently. And to further optimize energy savings and prevent problems, homeowners can also hire a professional to perform yearly furnace maintenance.

3 Easy Ways To Make Your Heater More Green for Saint Patrick's Day
Consider Installing a Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats are quickly becoming one of the most popular tools for homeowners looking to “go green” – and for a good reason. Some brands promise savings on heating and cooling costs of around 10-12%, while others claim as much as 20%. Either way, that’s nothing to scoff at. But how can they do this? There are several ways, depending on the model of the thermostat.

Some smart thermostats can “learn” the home’s heating and cooling patterns and create or suggest an ideal schedule based on the data. Others track usage data and suggest temperatures or other tweaks to help improve efficiency. Some also track the unit’s performance to alert homeowners of potential problems. A few smart thermostats come with occupancy sensors and can turn off or lower the heat when they detect that no one is home. Nearly all Wi-Fi-connected smart thermostats allow homeowners to control the home’s temperature and create or manage the weekly heating schedule from an app on their smartphone or other devices. So whether it’s a basic model or a fancier one with a wide range of features, a smart thermostat can be a powerful tool for saving money and helping the environment – especially when combined with the other energy-saving hacks listed above!

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