Home energy saving tips

Jason DavisRemodels

I wanted to offer some easy low cost energy tips for your family .  Most of these are easy & practical .

1. Seal the outside envelope of your home .  Doors , windows, fireplaces , vents , fans, & mechanical penetrations can be easy avenues for outside air to make its way in .  The U. S. Department of Energy stresses the importance controlling air movement . Use caulking and expandable foam help to reduce air leakage .

2. Limit incandescent lighting .  Can lights are the most inefficient type of light fixture you can buy . The standard bulb uses a heated tungsten filament to produce light . This causes 75 % of the light to be lost as heat.  A compact fluorescent lamp uses 75 % less energy while lasting 10 times longer . Some can lights can’t have any insulation in contact with the light , thus creating an avenue for warm air at the ceiling to escape into the attic .  Furthermore,  there’s different types of trim rings that fit around the light housing & finished ceiling . Be sure to pick a ring that covers more of the housing so less air can escape .

3 . Choose high efficient HVAC equipment when it’s time to replace existing .  For example, there’s a $ 2200.00 price difference for a 90 %  high efficiency furnace & heat pump compared to 80 % unit  .  Most  utility companies offer a rebate  for the better equipment .  According to City Utilities of Springfield,  90 % efficient equipment saves you $ 481.00 per year when compared to equipment that’s 15 years old .  The standard life expectancy of a heating & cooling equipment is 25- 30 years.  My HVAC contractor says it will cost you $ .10 extra for  every dollar you spend  if you choose a 80 % over a 90 % system .

4. Check your attic insulation .   You need at least 14″ tall of insulation in your attic .  14″ equals an R-30 rating .  Adding insulation is easy , most companies will rent you a blower to install the insulation yourself .

5.  Install a programmable thermostat .  This feature will reduce the energy used to heat & cool your home while you aren’t at home .  Make sure to shut off the power supply before changing if you do this yourself .

6. Cover your existing foundation vents with foam insulation during the winter .  Doing this keeps cold air out of the crawl space .  Extruded polystyrene insulation offers an R-5  per each inch of thickness .

I hope this helps you stay comfy & keeps $ in your pockets !