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Purdue college experts present us one great route to reduce 50% of winter home heating costs.
Researchers at Purdue University are working on a new research project that promises the opportunity to reduce heating bill in half for those who live in very cold climates. The analysis, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, builds on previous work that began about 5 years ago at Purdue's Ray W. Herrick Laboratories.
Heat pumps provide heating in winter and cooling in summer but aren't efficient in extreme cold climates. The research involves changes to the way heat pumps operate to ensure they are more cost-effective in extreme cold temperatures.
The new technology works by modifying the standard vapor-compression cycle behind standard air conditioning and refrigeration.
The common vapor-compression cycle has four stages:
1° Refrigerant is compressed as a vapor
2° Condenses into a liquid
3° Expands to a combination of liquid and vapor
4° Then evaporates
The project will investigate two cooling approaches throughout the compression process.
In one approach, relatively large amounts of oil are injected into the compressor to absorb heat generated throughout 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 might be half as expensive to perform as heating technologies now utilised in cold regions where gas is unavailable and residents count on electric heaters and liquid propane.
In the meanwhile here some ways to improve you home air quality and save energy:
- Be sure your thermostat is located in a spot that's not too cold or hot.
- Install an automatic timer to maintain the thermostat at 68 degrees in the daytime 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 are interested.
- If you haven't already, insulate your attic and all outside walls.
- Insulate floors over unheated spaces like your basement, any crawl spaces plus your garage.
- Close off the attic, garage, basement, spare bedrooms and storage areas. Heat only 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 an excellent insulator and tends to build up on radiators and baseboard heat vents.
A lot of people do not know that common indoor air quality practices reduce home air heating costs too:
- Rain and high humidity can bring moisture indoors, creating dampness, mold spores -- big problems for healthy indoor air. Check your roof, foundation and basement or crawlspace annually to catch leaks or moisture problems and route water away from your home's foundation.
- Keep asthma triggers away from your home by fixing leaks and drips as soon as they start. Standing water and moist encourage the growth of dust mites, mold and mildew -- probably the most common triggers that can worsen asthma. Make use of a dehumidifier or air conditioner if needed, and clean both regularly.
- High amounts of moisture in your home increase dampness and the growth of mold, which not only damage your property but threaten health. Install and run exhaust fans in bathrooms to get rid of unhealthy moisture and odors from 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 writer - Rosalind Dall writes for the <a href="http://www.ductlessairconditioners.org/">ductless split air conditioner</a> blog, her personal hobby blog centered on guidelines to help people consume less energy and purify indoor air.