Energy Conservation

The benefits of energy efficiency include lower utility bills, reduced air pollution and reduced dependence on fossil fuels. For existing homes, efficiency improvements fall into three categories: do it yourself, professional home performance improvements, and deep energy reductions.

DIY: Achieve up to 30% utility savings through simple, low cost measures

  • Control the thermostat
  • Weatherize doors and windows
  • Use blinds and shades to control heat gain
  • Control phantom loads
  • Set hot water heater thermostat to 120F
  • Wash clothes in cold water
  • Replace furnace filter regularly
  • Install CFLs (but be aware of clean-up and disposal methods)
  • Air seal gaps and cracks, and ducts in unconditioned spaces
  • Insulate and air-seal rim joists
  • Insulate hot water tank (but be careful with gas water heaters and follow instructions)
  • Install low-flow showerheads

Professional Home Performance Improvements: achieve 30-70% utility savings by hiring a professional

  • Energy Audits
  • Professional air sealing
  • Attic insulation
  • Wall insulation
  • Replacing the hot water heater
  • Replacing the furnace

Deep energy reductions: achieve 70-100% utility savings

  • When replacing appliances, windows, and heating and cooling systems, go Energy Star or beyond
  • When re-siding, re-roofing, or waterproofing the foundation, add insulation
  • Rehab an existing house rather than building a new one. Existing homes can be converted to net zero energy homes for less than the cost of building a new net zero energy home.
  • Add a controlled mechanical ventilation for optimal durability and health. Once mechanical ventilation is installed, homes should be sealed up as tight as possible. 

Videos

Home Energy Audit Can Save Homeowners $200/Year

Putting Houses on the Path to Lower Energy Consumption

DIY Weatherization: How to Seal Gaps and Cracks

DIY Weatherization: How to Weatherize Doors

Loans and Grants for Energy Conservation

Resources:

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