Your average house leaks energy like a steam boiler on an old locomotive. And while your home is unlikely to burst on a siding, there are a number of cost effective solutions available to improve efficiency and stop the leaks. The first place to start is with a home energy audit. Here are 5 great reasons to delay no longer:
1. Save Money!
A home energy audit identifies where and how your home is losing energy. Windows, doors, insulation, roofing, heating and cooling systems – they all need to be examined. Most fixes are surprisingly easy and inexpensive to implement. Big ticket items like your roof or furnace may even qualify for federal, state, and local tax credits, including rebates. There are a wide variety of programs designed to incentify home energy efficiency. And the beauty part is, that in time, they will all pay for themselves in energy cost savings.
2. Improve Your Home Comfort
What we have here is your basic uncomfortable living environment. Drafty doors and windows, rooms that are too cold in winter or too hot in summer are just some of the energy problems that contribute to the malaise. A Blower Door Test, along with Infrared Thermal Imaging, will find out why.
3. Uncover Potential Health Issues
Dust. A musty smell. Mold and mildew. In many cases, these problems are due to energy efficiency issues. A home energy audit will examine where and how these nasties are occurring, and propose cost-effective solutions.
4. Duct, Duct, Go!
Inefficient air circulation can be the reason behind fluctuating temperatures, differences in dust or humidity build-up, and skyrocketing heating and cooling costs. An energy audit will show you what ductwork, if any, needs to be repaired or replaced.
5. Increased Home Resale Value
Your home is your biggest and most valuable investment. Anything you can do to increase its value can only be good. As there is a 20 to 1 ratio between annual energy savings and the market value of a home, a $300.00 yearly decrease in energy costs will add $6000.00 to its resale value, as well as improve marketability.
Now is the time, because…
Wrongo, Blitzen breath. Winter never left. It just took a brief nap. And after the coolest summer on record, we may be in for a bit of a cold snap. In order to find out what more can be done to improve home energy efficiency, we interviewed Cary Leech of Green Energy Audits.
Gateway Realty: First, let me say what an honor and a privilege it is to have someone with your knowledge and experience appear with us today.
Cary: Why, thank you.
Gateway Realty: Let’s get right to it. You’ve read the post. Do you have any suggestions as to what more a homeowner can do?
Cary: Certainly. Insulated whole house fans use about 20% the amount of the energy that central AC units consume, and release no greenhouse gasses into our environment. They bring in cool evening air, cooling down the furniture and flushing out the attic of hot stale air. In the morning, close all your blinds and window coverings to keep the house cooler longer during the day.
Switching from incandescent light bulbs to LED bulbs have the fastest rate of return related to any energy saving measure you can do to your home. LED bulbs will last 50,000 hours vs 1200 hours for your average incandescent. That’s 42 incandescent bulbs to one LED bulb. Over its lifetime the LED will cost about $85 vs $352 for incandescent bulbs. That’s a great light bulb fund you’ll want to invest in.
A 20 year old refrigerator costs about $143 a year to operate, switching to an Energy Star rated model will cost about $45 a year.
Gateway Realty: What about replacing an electric oven with a gas oven?
Cary: There are safety concerns for gas ovens vs electric ovens. There are some advantages to using gas over electric, but the biggest advantage to electric is safety. Gas ovens can produce over 500 ppm (parts per million) CO (carbon monoxide) during start up, which can produce ambient levels that are unsafe to breathe (9 ppm or higher). Unless you have a powerful exhaust fan to extinguish to the outside you are absorbing carbon monoxide into your blood system while you are cooking. If you do not have an exhaust fan, open windows in the kitchen to dilute the CO levels and provide fresh air. Even stove tops can produce high levels of CO. We recommend cleaning the burners every few months, or replace the gas oven with a gas stove top and electric oven combination.
Gateway Realty: Those are all very excellent suggestions! Thank you for being with us.
Cary: Thank you for having me.