Home Energy Efficiency
$100.000-$200.000 in Energy Bills Over 50 Years
The average family expenditure in gas and electricity is more than $2.000 per year. And that means more than $100.000 over 50 years. In large homes expect an energy expenditure of $200.000 or more.
But you can cut these bills in half. Many new Energy Star homes in America, or the 6+ Australian homes, or the A-rated European homes can cut the average gas and electricity bills in half.
And if you build your home according to very strict energy standards you can reduce them yet more. You can cut your heating bills in 80% in cold climates, in homes built according to the standards of super-insulated homes.
Do You Know the Top Energy Wasters in Your Home?
Top energy wasters in our homes may be hidden or go unnoticed. Older refrigerators and freezers can cost you $200 per year in electricity (refrigerators run 356 days a year, day and night). Many home appliances have surprisingly high energy costs. Be aware. Check them. Pay also special attention to your…
- levels of attic, floor and wall insulation;
- your windows and doors;
- air leaks, including those in the attic, basement and ductwork;
- the efficiency and the age of your heating and cooling equipment;
- incandescent and halogen bulbs, and old fixtures;
- the hot water system;
The Boring Side of Energy Efficiency
It’s easier and a lot less costly to save energy than to produce it. That’s a simple and elementary fact that you should never forget. Energy efficiency is most of all energy savings through insulation, sealing, high energy efficient windows and high efficient appliances. Or through design (the shape and orientation of the house to the sun and wind) and landscaping (shade, breezes, wind protection…)
Solar energy and renewables are important. Solar water heating can provide energy savings of 80% in hot and moderate climates. Photovoltaic can solve many of our problems. Wind energy can also be important in many rural areas. Renewables are very important.
But in the short term, in most homes, the most important is design, landscaping, insulation, sealing and high efficient appliances, windows, electronics and water heaters. Or solar passive gains in cold and moderate climates. Or tree shade, and overhangs and awnings, in the summer…
Air Sealing Guide
Solar Hot Water Guide
Solar Photovoltaic Guide
Passive Solar Guide
Home Wind Energy Guide
Landscaping Energy Guide
Home Appliances and Electronics
Most of the heat produced in our homes is lost through poorly insulated and sealed walls, attics and floors. Or through energy-inefficient windows.
The function of our heating systems is not so much to heat our homes as to replace the heat that is continuously being lost through the home’s shell.
But it hasn’t to be so. Very high levels of sealing and insulation can prevent it.
Air conditioning costs vary dramatically from home to home. Some homes can consume $500 or more worth of electricity in hot months, while others in the same neighborhood may spend a couple of dollars. It depends on the design of the house, the type and size of the windows, or elements like shade, insulation or cooling strategies.
You can greatly reduce your cooling bills through proper window metallic films (or new windows), shading devices (overhangs, porches; awnings, blinds, shades, shutters) and tree-shade, or through a smart use of thermostats, or through reflective coating materials for your roof.
Millions and Millions of Inefficient Houses
Be aware, if you are going to build a new home. Our building codes establish minimum standards for energy efficiency, but they are not high enough. Building codes have failed – and are still failing – to provide guidance on building for energy efficiency.
Energy auditors often complain about homeowners: “We go back to the same buildings, and make the same recommendations that are never implemented” - a fact that shows how important is your motivation and commitment on such an important issue.
Save Money... Find the best ways to save energy and money with us…
New Windows, Skylights and (Garage) Doors
Do not buy single pane windows. They are extremely energy inneficient. New Energy Star and other qualified windows can save you thousands of dollars over their lifetime… See:
Energy Efficient windows
Garage Door Guide
New Water Heaters and Boilers
New water heaters and boilers are more energy-efficient, and can provide huge energy savings and also water savings. See here for the best information on them: Water Heaters Energy Efficiency Guide.
You can reduce your utility bills by producing green electricity - through solar photovoltaic, wind, small hydro... Or by using more energy efficient electric equipment...
See, for information on solar photovoltaic, a market that is begining to boom: Solar Photovoltaic
If you are interested in green electricity (to reduce our carbon footprint), take a look at: Green Power Basics
Walls & Flooring Materials
Which flooring material should you select? Solid wood, laminate, granite, marble, other stone, cork, bamboo, vinyl, linoleum, carpet, ceramic, porcelain? Which are the differences and the prices? And the wear-resistance or the water-resistance? See Home Flooring Guide
Walls are crucial for home comfort and energy efficiency. And that raises many questions: Which type of walls should you select for your new home? Which are the new options? Which are the best wall products and solutions for remodel projects? See this and much more: Energy Efficient Walls Guide
Outdoor & Yard & Gardening
Though more energy-efficient than previous models new gardening and yard equipment still are a major source of carbon emissions. Gas mowers alone are responsible for about 5% of the world's pollution. And that there are good alternatives to them: electric lawn mowers (namely hybrid electric-solar mowers) and – for small and well-kept lawns - manual reel mowers.