Quality Information for Energy Conservation

The latest word on the energy front

Air Sealing Where it Counts

We all know that saving money is important, and that a key way to do that is to spend less.  What we never want to hear is that we'll have to spend money to save money.  But how much you need to spend depends entierly on what your personal needs are - ie, what your house needs to become more energy efficient. 

The graph below shows which structural air-leaks drive up energy costs the most, allowing you to maximize efforts toward reinforcing your home's building envelope. You can do a lot with a little, and this chart in conjunction with an energy audit will help you spend wisely and maximize savings. 

Light Switches Can Be Big Sources of Leaks

Posted in: video

We think about the walls, and the roof - we think about all sorts of places that air can leak into our homes but did you think about the light switches?  Don't get left in the dark on this sneaky leak - here's an interesting video from our friends at Energy Vanguard that shows how much air can leak through simple things like light switches.

Give Santa a Soft Landing with a Chimney Balloon!

Nobody wants to hurt Santa Claus, but we can't help but wonder about all the damage that we must be doing to him by making him land on closed chimney flues, piles of wood, or whatever else lies at the bottom of a chimney when he comes tumbling down.

Which is why we recommend installing a chimney balloon, an energy-saving device that you install in your chimney to prevent warm air from escaping up into the outdoors. Certainly, Santa's weight would be enough to dislodge a chimney balloon from the chimney, and then he'd land right on top of it in the middle of the fire place, safe and sound.

Video: How to Prepare Your Home for Winter.

Posted in: video

We love this video because it speaks plain english for homeowners.

We think they did a great job. Check it out!

Is Your Insulation Working? Find Out with an Energy Audit.

Winter's coming. It's already heating season. So how do you save money on heating costs? You've got to own your heat. Simple as that. You've paid for all that warm air already, so it doesn't make much sense to waste it now.

A simple enough premise - it's the application that gets complicated. We (and most building science experts) strongly recommend air sealing and insulation as high priority measures to make your home use less energy, make you more comfortable, and make the planet happy.

Upgrade Your Refrigerator, Save Money Twice.

One of the biggest energy guzzlers in your home (besides, most likely, your thermal envelope, which lets expensive conditioned air escape through air leaks and poorly insulated walls) is the refrigerator. Upgrading it, believe it or not, can save you a bundle of money in the long run, as long as you don't simply put your old fridge down in the basement and plug it back in. Now, before you balk at the high upfront cost of replacing your fridge, let us explain why we (admittedly, energy-efficiency/penny-pinching geeks) think it's a good idea:

Energy Efficient Landscaping for Cooling Down.

On cold winter days, a ray of sun streaming into your house can be most welcome - a free source of heat. But what about in the summer, when those rays of sun and other, less-evident solar heat, seep into our already too-hot houses and become a costly nuisance? Well, what happens is that you lose money. But using landscaping (namely by planting trees) to shade your home can be a great way to lower energy costs.

5 Ways a Home Energy Audit Will Improve Your Life.

You may have heard about home energy audits before, but maybe you're not quite sure that you need one. After all, your home is relatively new. It's pretty comfortable most of the time, and your utility bills aren't that bad. Maybe you've switched out your incandescent light bulbs for CFLs, and upgraded to a low flow showerhead, so figure there's not much more you can do. 

Well, there's a lot more to home energy than lightbulbs and solar panels, and a home energy audit is the place to begin. Here are 5 ways that a home energy audit from a certified home energy auditor will likely improve your life -- right away.

Think You Need New Windows? Not So Fast.

It speaks to the marketing savvy of window manufacturers and installers that, when faced with drafty rooms or high energy bills, most homeowners typically think that the best solution would be new replacement windows. While energy efficient replacement windows will likely lead to improved comfort and lower utility bills, the truth is that there are many far more cost effective solutions to improve your home’s comfort and energy efficiency.