|New York Times|
Natural lighting. Using the heat from computer servers. Concrete basement heat sink.
Our current house has an electric heat pump, not a device I would choose to install this far north. The alternative in this immediate area is propane furnaces, unless of course a person chooses something like outdoor wood furnaces, geo-thermal heat pumps, or wood pellet stoves.
An electric heat pump is not efficient, especially if you're the sort of family that normally sets the thermostat in the mid-seventies during the winter. Our first winter trained us to keep the heat pump central heating at sixty-nine degrees, and then where we must keep warm, to use quartz electric heaters.
One place I like the temperature in the upper seventies is the little room where I normally write and read. That means a space heater. And in doing that, I've learned that one particular element we get from the "save energy" experts is true. Running a ceiling fan in the winter will save energy.
I know that because I have a tiny digital thermometer resting on a bookcase. The other day the wind was blowing, it was cloudy and cold outside, and I felt chilled in my room. Then I noticed the ceiling fan wasn't turning. I wonder how much difference it does make, I thought.
I turned the fan on, and over a period of two hours the room (perhaps 12 feet by 10 feet) grew six degrees warmer.
Now we're leaving fans on twenty-four hours a day.
And changing out the rest of the bulbs to the CFI-type.
And adding $2,000 worth of insulation.