Remaining cool and maintaining indoor air quality in summer’s heat is important for anyone, but particular important for elders. The following post is a guest post by Rosalind Dall.
Purdue University scientists show us 1 great approach to lower 50% of winter heating expenses. Researchers at Purdue University are working on a new research project that promises the possibility to cut heating bill in half for people who reside in very cold climates. The study, 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 study involves changes to the way heat pumps operate to make them more effective in extreme cold temperatures. The modern technology works by modifying the traditional vapor-compression cycle behind standard air-con and refrigeration.
The typical vapor-compression cycle has four stages:
- Refrigerant is compressed as a vapor
- Condenses into a liquid
- Expands to a combination of liquid and vapor
- Then evaporates
The project will investigate two cooling approaches during the compression process. In one approach, relatively considerable amounts of oil are injected into the compressor to absorb heat generated through the compression stage. In the second approach, a mixture of liquid and vapor refrigerant from the expansion stage is injected at various points during compression to provide cooling.
The brand new heat pumps can 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 tips to improve you home air quality and save energy:
- Be sure your thermostat is located in a spot that isn’t too cold or hot.
- Install an automatic timer to keep the thermostat at 68 degrees during the day 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 keep the heat inside the places 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 a wonderful insulator and tends to build up on radiators and baseboard heat vents.
Most people don’t know that common indoor air quality practices reduce home air heating costs too:
- Rain and high humidity can bring moisture indoors, creating dampness, mold and mildew — big problems for healthy indoor air. Look at your roof, foundation and basement or crawlspace one per year to catch leaks or moisture problems and route water away from your home’s foundation.
- Keep asthma triggers away from your house by fixing leaks and drips when they start. Standing water and high humidity encourage the development of dust mites, mold and mildew — some of the most common triggers that can worsen asthma. Make use of a dehumidifier or ac unit if needed, and clean both regularly.
- High levels of moisture in your house increase dampness and the growth of mold, which not only damage your home but threaten health. Install and run exhaust fans in bathrooms to remove 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 Author – Rosalind Dall writes for the ductless air conditioners blog, her personal hobby blog dedicated to suggestions to help people consume less energy and purify indoor air.