Getting A FREE Energy Audit!

Make someone's day...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponDigg this

What exactly is an energy audit you ask? Here’s a great video from the U.S. Department of Energy to explain just that:

Did you know most New Yorkers can receive a home energy assessment for free or at a reduced cost? This is something you need to jump on if you’re in New York and truly energy concious!

To qualify: (you will need to meet these four requirements)
1. You must own a 1-to-4 unit residential building.
2. Your total household income must meet the guidelines detailed on the application.
3. You must not have previously received a free or reduced-cost comprehensive home energy assessment on the same building.
4. You must provide a 12-24 month summary of the energy usage for your building. There is also an Energy Usage History Waiver form in case you don’t have a full year summary.

View the complete PDF document/application here.

This is something I discovered recently and was tickled to death about the possibilities. After you apply, and if approved, you will receive a reservation number, information, terms and conditions and notice that you have 90 days to have your comprehensive home assessment completed. Now I should warn you in advance that the application states the following:

First-come, first-served basis while funding lasts.

The next step is finding an approved energy audit professional. The NYSERDA website has a page that allows you to enter a zip code or county for approved contractors. In my area, there is a contractor on the list that I’ve used before. They were nothing short of excellent and worth a mention in this post: Highland Contractors. Their website gave me all of the info I needed.

I went ahead and scheduled an energy assessment, or an audit really, of my home. It really was an eye-opener. As much as I “thought” I had things pretty tight, I soon realized I wasn’t even close. Phil – the auditor – pointed out everything in detail and gave me all of the options to have the leaks repaired. Being a do-it-yourselfer, I opted to do just about everything myself.

I’m actually looking forward to this winter for a change just to see my energy bills. Comment and let me know if you had this done too and what your experience was!

Read More

Top 4 Places Heat Is Sucked Away In Your Home

Make someone's day...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponDigg this

We pretty much all know about attic insulation, energy efficient windows and doors and having newer efficient heating and air conditioning upgrades. But what about these four other places in your home that suck away heat like there’s no tomorrow?

The Attic Door

attic-door-leakSure, your attic may be insulated up to R-60 but what good is it really when the attic door – usually made of 1/4 inch thick paneling – is not insulated behind it? It acts like a chimney. Heat rises and heat in the air will always be lost to a cold surface. The better the surface conductor, the faster the heat loss will be.

Go to your home center, or better yet, your local hardware store and ask about attic door insulation. Before you do though do a Google Images search  and see all the different ideas used for just this purpose. You maybe able to craft your own solution with very little cost.

 

Electrical Outlets

electrical outlet energy loss

These inconspicuous little devils on your external walls are very sneaky! As this photos show, insulation in the wall is all around EXCEPT for the outlet housing. This is a pretty simple DIY fix for many and it only involves a screwdriver in most cases but note you are also exposed to live AC electricity once a cover is removed so be careful! When in doubt, get a professional.

Again, an image search on Google Images shows all kinds of insulating ideas or just stop into your hardware store or home center.

 

Fireplaces

Losing heat through the fireplace chimneyI love my fireplace in the winter on one of those cold, raw wintery days.  Mine has been converted to natural gas but I enjoy it just the same. One problem though…I still need to crack open the flue a little just to be safe so MAJOR heat loss goes straight up the chimney. But hey! The birds like it.

If you’re thinking “well it’s a luxury” then I’d have to agree. You know you’re spending money just to have an open fire. The problem I have is remembering to close the chimney flue after the fire is out.

The chimney acts like a siphon drawing hot air from your home; pushing it straight up and out of the chimney constantly. In fact, when you start a fire on a very, very cold day, you likely had to “prime” or heat up the chimney first just to get the flow started up and out. I used to use my wife’s blow drier. If not primed, you end up with a room full of smoke with a wood fire and worse – carbon monoxide gas.

The other problem with a fireplace is that it’s very rarely insulated around it, especially if your home is older than say 10 to 15 years old. This makes the attic door and electrical outlets trivial in comparison when it comes to heat loss!

I thought this article was a very cool solution to a simple problem. Just remember…make sure that fireplace is cold before doing this!

Basements

Many think the basement isn’t a factor when it comes to energy loss. In reality, it’s a huge consideration.

The walls alone are butt up against the soil outside acting like a heat sink (remember, hot goes to cold) an sucking the heat right out of the air. Once the basement air is depleted of much of its heat, where do you think the heat is going to come from next? You guessed it…the rest of the house of course. Does your basement ceiling have insulation in it? If not, that’s the first place heat is sucked from. How about your hot water heater and hot water delivery pipes? You can gradually cut down on utility bills with a simple hot water heater blanket and foam insulation on those pipes.

When it comes to basement walls, though, call in an expert. Every basement condition differs. Dependencies such as moisture control and water drainage come into play here. You could just slap up some insulation but end up with a huge mold problem instead.

Here’s a great guide to help you with all-things insulation:  energy.gov

 

 

 

 

Read More

Greening Your Business And Home

Make someone's day...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponDigg this

Green Your Business And HomeLet’s start with the truth. Not everyone is concerned about our planet’s natural resources. In fact you may even agree most people think “it’s a good idea,” but few act.

Hi, I’m Dan. I just want to be referred to as Dan. Why? Well there are actually people out there who wish to bury the objectives of people like me by spamming and undermining me on the Internet. Who really knows why but I speak from experience. A name goes a long way online much like a carbon footprint.

“Greening Your Business And Home” is my personal blog. I simply wish to help others and pass along energy saving and resourceful minded ideas I find to those who may be interested. I’d love to hear your ideas as well so please be sure to comment.

Read More