Profile picture for DaveMiura

Saving energy & lowering your bills.

Here are a few things i've done to save energy in my home that may be helpful to you.

Seal your doors - I added weather stripping to my exterior doors. I added a simple rubber bead attached to the exterior part of the door jamb with some small nails. It took about an afternoon to install two doors. I also installed a door sweep strip at the inside bottom of the door. Make sure the seals make contact to the door when shut. Most hardware stores in cool climates carry these items.

I've also replaced all light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. I noticed that some do not recommend installation in enclosed fixtures.

I've seen many homes in cool climates with inadequate attic insulation. It's worth going up and taking a look. Here is a table of recommended levels I found: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_sealing.hm_improvement_insulation_table

I've installed a programmable thermostat to turn down the heat while I'm at work and at night.

Most of these things work well and don't cost to much and will save you in your bills.
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July 11 2007 - US
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Profile picture for robin398
Here are three things that affect your energy bills: (1) the weather, (2) the price of energy, and (3) the energy efficiency of your home. There is nothing you can do about the first two, but you can improve the energy efficiency of your home by having a professional energy audit. This could help reduce your energy use by an average of 25 percent, lower your energy bills up to $500 per year, and increase the comfort and value of your home.


What is a Professional Home Energy Audit?
An energy audit starts with an on-site inspection by a trained energy inspector (energy auditor) who will collect information relating to the energy features of your home. The inspection will take between one and two hours, depending on the size and condition of the home, and take into consideration:

Heating and central air conditioning systems: type, fuel used, age, size, efficiency.
Distribution system: duct leaks; length of uninsulated ducts or pipes; clock thermostat.
Air seal-up: air leakage of envelope; fireplaces.
Windows and skylights: size, number, orientation, frame condition, glazing, shades.
Insulation (ceilings, walls, floor): type and amount present, measure area that needs additional insulation.
Water heater and appliances: type, age, size, condition, fuel.
After the inspection, the data are analyzed to estimate how much money will be saved by each improvement, and what the improvements will cost. These estimates, based on the actual observations in the home, will take account of regional variations in weather, labor costs, and fuel prices.

How to Choose an Audit
Energy audits should result in an easy-to-understand report that includes a detailed analysis of each feature that could be improved, the estimated savings, costs, payback, and an explanation of how the upgrade reduces energy use. Additional features that enhance some audit reports include: help in finding contractors and financing, information about additional ways that homeowners can save energy with little or
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July 12 2007
Profile picture for mcfriendlyosx
All good suggestions.

I have cut over 15% off my electric/gas utility bills this past year by performing many of the above suggestions.

Remember that there is a federal income tax credit for insulation and new windows up to $500. (see your tax consultant).
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August 09 2007
Some good advice that a lot of us can use - especially with winter nearing!
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September 28 2007
One other very easy thing we've done to save energy is to buy energy-efficient blinds for all our windows. From the research I've done, the best ones are the light-blocking cellular blinds, sometimes called honeycomb blinds. All the trapped air in the blinds acts as a good insulator. And, apparently, the light-blocking blinds are best because they're made with mylar, a plastic/metallic material that reflects heat well. Whenever we don't need light from the windows (like at night, when we're out of the house, and in rooms we rarely use), we keep the blinds shut. Even though we have double-pane windows that help insulate the house, that extra layer of insulation helps keep our heating and cooling costs a lot lower.
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September 30 2007
Very useful and better explanation. These suggestion helpful for getting lower electricity bill. I also agree with Andy. Solar energy is very efficient and affordable resource of home and office electricity. It will be most preferable future power source. The solar installation services available for home and commercial properties also.
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July 07 2010
Great ideas i"ll be sure to try some.

your friend in Charlottesville Virginia
Find a home in Charlottesville
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July 14 2010
Does anyone have resources for Professional Home Energy Auditors?





I was looking into this subject as I wanted to conduct this activity when we purchase a home so improvements can be made before we move into the home.



Best,

The Cains.
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December 19 2010
Profile picture for Dave Closterman
When searching for an energy auditor there are a couple of important things to look for.
1. Credentials:  is the auditor trained in the building science?  BPI (Building Performance Institute) and RESNET are the 2 premier training programs.
2. What test will they perform:  Blower Door, and combustion appliance testing are a must.  Thermal Imaging (Infrared scanning) is also useful.
3. Written Report of Findings and best ways to improve.
4. Costs.  If it is free stay away! You will be getting a sales presentation!  In SE Pa costs for proffesional audits are $400 to $1000.

Check out www.bpi.org; www.resnet.us; www.efficiencyfirst.org to locate a proffesional auditor in your area.
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December 24 2010
Profile picture for Greigo
Good tips - we are always looking to stretch our dollars.  One other thing we have been doing is changing all of our light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs (except in our kitchen where they don't fit).  I'm not sure how much of a difference it makes, but hopefully we will see a difference in our bills in the upcoming months.
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January 16 2012

Installing a radiant barrier in the attic can reduce your heating and cooling cost. A radiant foil barrier installed under the rafters will reflect a large percentage of the heat that is absorbed by the roof in the summer and contain the heat that escapes the living space into the attic during the winter. It can be installed on the attic floor also. However, it will need to be a perforated foil barrier to allow the rise and evaporation of moisture, especially in humid climates. This may be an effective way of lowering your energy bill. However, there are claims that suggest that placing the barrier under your rafters can reduce the life of your roofing. Radiant barriers are available at Lowes and Home Depot. They look like a giant roll of tin foil.

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January 16 2012
Thanks for the tips.
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January 16 2012
 
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