Bigger Energy Projects You Can Do
Some of you will be able to do these things yourselves.
Many others may choose to have them done professionally.
Doors & Windows:
- Install storm windows.
- Install storm doors.
- If you have double hung windows, consider installing jamb liners.
- Consider installing vinyl, double insulated basement windows to replace the original basement "hopper" windows. The originals are typically metal framed single pane windows, and are of poor quality in terms of energy efficiency. The vinyl replacements can be purchased quite reasonably.
- Add insulation to the attic space first. Install as much as you can afford, up to 2 feet. Air sealing in combination with insulation is the best investment you can make in terms of monetary return.
- If the attic is a walk up space used for storage or other uses, use fiberglass insulation. Use plastic airways at each rafter bay to provide for ventilation. The insulation in combination with the ventilation will help prevent ice dams and the accompanying "leaks" that occur as a result.
- If it is a closed attic only space, consider blown in cellulose. It is much dustier, but it will insulate more effectively, filling all spaces. Use plastic airways at each rafter bay to provide for ventilation. The insulation in combination with the ventilation will help prevent ice dams and the accompanying "leaks" that occur as a result.
- Insulate the rim joist area. This is the area between the floor joists at the top of the foundation walls. Do not just install fiberglass here. Install fieberglass, then carefully cut rigid insulation to fit tightly between the floor joists.
- If your basement is not heated, insulate the floor joists between the basement and the first floor of your home.
- If you have a crawl space under your home, lay down 6mil black polyethylene over the ground. Tape the joints and seal it to the perimeter at the top of the foundation.
- If you have a crawl space under your home, consider closing the vents and insulating at the perimeter of the foundation with 2" foil faced rigid insulation instead of using fiberglass between the floor joists.
- Seal all joints in all ductwork with duct mastic (that comes in a caulk tube), then insulate all ductwork, especially if it is in an unheated space. Do not use "duct tape" to seal the joints. It is not made for ductwork, and will not stick for long.
- If your outside walls are not insulated, have it done. Usually, blown in cellulose works best for this. It is a very dusty job to do yourself, but it is well worth having it done.
- Install a programmable thermostat. Follow the instructions included with your unit. This is actually quite easy to do for most heating systems. Remove the old thermostat. There are usually just 2 screws that hold it on the wall, and 2 small screws that hold the 2 wires on the terminals. Install the new thermostat on the wall. Install the 2 wires where the directions tell you to, and you are done!
- Experiment with the settings to find what works for you and your schedule. Set the temperature to a comfortable temperature just before you get up in the morning. Set it to go down several degrees before you leave during the day when you are gone. Set it to go up again before you arrive home. And finally, set it to go down again before you go to bed. Play with it until you get it set just right. Everyone will set it differently, according to their circumstances, but all will save money with it!
- Replace toilets with low flow units that use 50 - 80% less water. Units that use 1.28 to 1.6 gallons per flush work very well these days, and are many are commonly available.
Copyright 2012 Ronald Sauve All Rights Reserved
This page was last modified on April 06, 2012
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