Episode 13 - I have a love-heat relationship with heat

Welcome to 1000 Ways Green! The show where we are going to give busy people like you easy ways to help save the planet for our future generations, and try to save you money along the way.

I’m Patrick Shipway and I want to welcome you back! This week we’ll be talking about heat and in your dwelling and how to not spend so much more money in the process

Mint Green level: Your mint green challenge this week is to clean your air and heat return vents of dust, dirt and hair along with making sure there’s no furniture in the way of them. The more stuff there is in the way of the vent, the more effort the furnace needs to put in to reach the ideal temperature and therefore will create more greenhouse gasses and the more money you’ll spend. The easiest route here is just to take a damp cloth and wipe it along the grate. The next best option is to unscrew it and wash it clean. If you’re willing to do the best thing, you’ll unscrew the vent and then vacuum out the space in there each month when you change out your furnace filter.

Shamrock Green level: For your shamrock green level challenge this week let’s talk about your oven. I’m not going to get into the details about gas ovens vs. electric ovens in this episode but if you have a choice DON’T CHOOSE GAS. But regardless, when you’re cooking food in your oven don’t open the oven door when cooking, it can drop temp by 10oF in just a few seconds. Use your oven light instead, it uses way less energy to see your food. Also, (hot*) bonus tip: did you know you can put a frozen pizza in the oven right when you start pre-heating and it’ll cook just fine? The time is usually just different by a minute or two, but that varies based on the oven, so keep an eye on your pizza (with the light!) the first time or two!

Forest green level: For this week’s forest green challenge we are going to look at two changes around your water heater. First and easiest, turn down the temperature of your water heater. It is likely set to scalding right now and turning it to a 120oF (about 48oC) is plenty to get you hot water, plus if you have small children it lessens the chances they accidentally scald themselves. The second part that is a bit harder requires you to wrap the pipes coming out of your water heater in insulated tubing. My local utility sent me some for free when I asked so it is worth a call to them, but if they won’t I have linked to an example in the show notes that you can check out.

That is all for this week, until next time, Be Green and Be Seen.

Links from the show:

Water pipe insulation - make sure to choose the right size for your pipes