weather proofing


To Not talk about how disastrous Trump’s Presidency will be for the environment and the energy industry I decided to return to my roots in the residential market. Todays article is a bit old but its message is timeless. We have been concentrating on single devices like furnaces, refrigerators, windows seen as a whole instead of a holistic approach to a house.

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/the-real-problem-with-energy-efficiency

We’re Doing Residential Energy Efficiency All Wrong

Utilities are now spending nearly $7 billion a year on energy-efficiency programs. It seems we have little to show for it aside from expensive consultants who will model any results you would like.

These programs tend to focus their marketing on the energy savings or money savings from the projects. Consumers don’t care. If they did, we would see geometric growth instead of a resounding “meh.”

Others focus on better financing products, slicker sales pitches, faster energy audits, higher rebates or any of a myriad of other things.

In the residential sector, none of these are the problem. The lack of sales is the problem.

Projects are not being sold and implemented in substantial numbers. We need to slow it down, build relationships with consumers and educate them, learn and think systemically about the problems they have, and arrive at solutions that fit homeowner budgets.

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Go there and read alot. It is a long article. More next week.

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I am fresh out of thoughts on this subject. It all boils down to a decision that ever American has to make. Am I going to take power from the grid or not? If I am when and how? My answer is I would prefer to not get my power from the grid and if I must then as little as possible.

http://www.novec.com/Power_Use_It_Wisely/SummerEnergyTips.cfm

Summer Energy Tips

Summer and the high temperatures it brings can cause increased electrical loads. Keep cool this summer and save energy costs by following these simple tips around the house.

Summer cooling tips

  • Turn off unnecessary lights. Much of the energy from a light bulb is heat.
  • Shut doors to unused rooms.
  • Make sure furniture or drapes do not block your registers for supply and return air.
  • Wear thin, loosely fitting clothes and you may not have to keep room temperatures as cool.
  • Keep the sun out of your house. Close blinds, shades or curtains during the hottest part of the day.
  • On mild days, open windows for natural ventilation and turn the air conditioning off.
  • Use portable or ceiling fans. Even mild air movement of 1-mph can make you feel 3-4° cooler.
  • Apply sun-control or other reflective films on south-facing windows.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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What more can I say. This is actually a pretty thoughtful list and like I said long. I will do the first 5 or so and then:

http://www.floridapsc.com/publications/electricgas/20summer.aspx

  1. Close shades, drapes and blinds during the day (all directions).
  2. Wear light weight clothing (short sleeves, shorts, cotton).
  3. Set the air conditioning thermostat at 78 degrees or higher. Raise it a few degrees higher when away in the day. A lower air conditioning temperature makes your costs much higher. Setting your air conditioner at 70 degrees instead of 78 can almost double your operating cost!
  4. Don’t choose a lower air conditioning temperature when you first turn it on. It won’t cool faster –- whenever it’s running it’s cooling as fast as it can. Set low, it cools longer, not faster.
  5. When weather is mild, use fans instead of the air conditioner. Your central air conditioner will use about 100 times more energy than a fan at medium speed.
  6. If you have ceiling fans, run the fans and the air conditioner at the same time but set the air conditioner a few degrees higher, to 80 or 81 degrees. With the breeze from a fan, you should feel as cool as you would at 78 degrees with no fans – but you’ll reduce your costs by about 15%-25%.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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But then again they could be 10% of the population and the tips are supplied by Dominion. I mean really a producer advising you how to not consume. Still.

http://www.dom.com/about/conservation/summer-tips.jsp

10 Tips to Save Energy and Keep Cool This Summer

  1. Raise your thermostat to 78º. This is the number one way to conserve energy.
  2. When you are away from home for more than eight hours, raise the thermostat setting and you can expect to see a 1% savings for each degree of setback. This will reduce the amount of energy used to cool your home while you’re away. You can learn more about your thermostat online by visiting the U.S. Department of Energy website.
  3. Keep shades closed when the air conditioner is on. Sunny windows account for 40 percent of unwanted heat and can make your air conditioner work two to three times harder.
  4. Check and clean filters. Cleaning and replacing air conditioning filters monthly allows the system to run more efficiently.
  5. Install ceiling fans. Don’t underestimate the importance of ceiling fans. Moving air over the body provides a cooling effect. The use of ceiling fans can mean savings of around 25% on cooling costs and can make the temperature seem 10 degrees cooler.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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So I guess it is time to share some summer energy saving tips. This site is not bad. I mean it is California where they have to take energy use seriously. I know there are winter tips, and spring tips and there are even tips on tips.

http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/tips/summer.html

SUMMERTIME ENERGY-SAVING TIPS

These tips are designed to help you choose effective ways to reduce your energy bills. Some measures may not be relevant depending on climate, the age of your home and appliances, and past improvements made to your home.

The savings numbers are based on your total summer electric bill. Equipment mentioned must be electric powered for estimates to be accurate.

Also check out our What To Do Before It Gets TOO HOT! page.

 

FAST AND FREE

The average home spends about $1,900 a year on energy costs. But you can lower your energy bills and help save the environment at the same time!

Be a speedy chef

 

  • Nothing is more energy efficient for cooking than your microwave. It uses two-thirds less energy than your stove.

Push a button to wash your dishes

 

  • Surprise! Your dishwasher uses less water than washing dishes by hand. Then let dishes air-dry to save even more!

Fill up the fridge

 

  • Having lots of food in your fridge keeps it from warming up too fast when the door is open. So your fridge doesn’t have to work as hard to stay cool.

 

Cutting back unnecessary energy use is an easy way to reduce energy consumption while saving money. Here are some additional suggestions you can do at home, at absolutely no cost to you.

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I just put up the beginning. Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Yes, you can get a backhoe and dig a trench around your house for relatively cheap but, it really is a waste of time. Parging the walls first pretty much means coating the walls to make sure moisture does not get behind the insulation that you are going to put up. I suggest using a modern basement epoxy of some sort and I recommend rigid insulation after you have done that. Rigid is easier to work with and you can make the whole project into an adhesive affair where you adhere the furring strips to the epoxied walls and then you adhere the foam board (or whatever) to the furring strips. Boom, you are done unless you need to paint them for someone else in the house that hates the color of the “naked” board. You know who I mean. Like the article says as far as the vapor barrier placement you have to call your local building code people cause I got no idea,

 

http://www.green-energy-efficient-homes.com/energy-efficient-basement.html

Exterior wall insulation inside the walls

Insulating outside your exterior walls is often too expensive or impractical in existing homes. You can insulate the inside of your basement walls but you may exacerbate the problems associated with moisture if you don’t do the job correctly.

Parging: If moisture is seeping into your walls, parge the masonry walls to seal any cracks and strengthen any weak or porous masonry. This will help prevent water from seeping in from outside.

Vapor barrier: Vapor barrier should be outside the insulation if you are in a hot climate and only cool your home; it should be on the inside if you are in a cold climate and are mainly heating your home. Consult your local city building permits department to find out what are the suggested or mandated insulation and vapor barrier configurations for energy efficient basements in your area.

Framing: If possible, leave a gap between your framing and the exterior walls, to prevent moisture from the masonry from causing wood rot in your framing. Use small spacers behind 2×3 studs, rather than 2×4 studs against the outside wall, and you’ll still have room to install the standard insulation for 2×4, 16-inch-stud construction.

Insulation: If there is any likelihood of moisture getting into your basement, use a rigid foam insulation rather than batt or other fiber-based insulation. Moisture seeping through exterior walls will dampen the insulation and reduce its R value significantly within a few years, so you’ll start with an energy efficient basement and in a few years be losing as much heat to outside as before the renovation. Moisture will not have much effect on the R value of foam insulation. Buy the highest R value insulation you can – you can get an R value of 6 per inch in some insulating foam sheets. If you want both insulation and waterproofing, you could consider having Icynene insulation applied to exterior walls after framing but before drywall is installed.

Other places you should insulate

A couple of other important things to consider about basement insulation:

  • In an older house, where a shower stall is already installed against an outside wall, check the insulation level behind the shower. A prior owner or contractor may have installed the shower without adequate insulation. If you are remodelling or can access the wall space behind it, inject foam insulation or otherwise upgrade the insulation. You’ll have more comfortable showers and you’ll cut down on overall heat loss.
  • Insulate the perimeter of your basement ceiling (an area called the ‘rim joists’), from the outside walls to about 16″ to 24″ from the outside walls, to prevent moisture from creeping in between the upstairs

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In this case, go there and read a bunch. More tomorrow.

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It is a pain in the behind to cut blow holes in walls to blow in insulation. It is also tricky to work around windows and other internal factors like headers and footers,but if you are not tearing out the interior walls and are environmentally concerned, I still think it is the best bet. Here is a great article about it.

http://www.aboutsavingheat.com/cellulose.html

Fill your Walls & Ceilings, Not our Landfills!
We use blown-in cellulose for most of our insulation jobs, (except for crawl spaces, where moisture and the lack of hollow walls won’t allow it.) Blown cellulose is less expensive, safer to you as well as the environment and more effective and energy efficient than its leading competitor – fiberglass.

Cellulose fills walls and ceilings and stops air infiltration better!
The fibers of cellulose insulation are much finer than fiberglass. When cellulose is blown or dense-packed into your walls and ceilings, it takes on almost liquid-like properties that let it flow into cavities and around obstructions to completely fill walls and seal every crack and seam. No fiberglass or rock wool material duplicates this action. Liquid-applied foam plastics do, but they cost much more than cellulose.

In new construction cellulose insulation can be installed in walls using a spray process or several different dense-pack dry techniques that are also effective at sealing homes against air infiltration.

Cellulose is a naturally recycled product…

Cellulose insulation is made from recycled wood fiber, primarily newspaper. One hundred pounds of cellulose insulation contains 80 to 85 pounds of recycled newsprint. The remainder is made up of Borax and Boric acid, both non-toxic fire retardants.

Today more and more communities are addressing the challenge of waste disposal through “curbside recycling” and similar conservation programs. These efforts work only if there is demand for recycled products.

The federal government is attempting to create demand through such measures as the Environmental Protection Agency’s comprehensive procurement guideline for products containing recovered materials. Cellulose unquestionably meets all requirements for insulation specified by the guideline.

When you choose cellulose insulation you help solve the waste disposal problem and help fight air pollution. This may help your community hold down taxes or refuse disposal charges. It certainly contributes to a cleaner environment.

Paper that is not recycled ends up in landfills, where it may contribute to environmental pollution, or at incinerators where energy is wasted reducing it to ashes, soot, and smoke.

…And a responsible use of resources
Even if waste paper did not create a disposal problem, most people believe we have an obligation to make maximum use of the resources we consume.

Cellulose insulation does not “save trees,” but it makes maximum use of the trees we have already harvested.

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I am no hmtl warrior and their fonts to not transfer well, so go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Tomorrow I will do real energy efficient doors. Today though this is an old timey way to help the door out and 19 other standard “cut your bills” list.

http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-homes/latest/winterize-home-tips-energy-461008

19 Easy Home Winterization Projects

Make your home feel warmer without turning up the heat this winter. With these winterization tips, you’ll save energy without spending much money (and you might even qualify for $500-$1,500 in tax credits).

By The Daily Green Staff
1. Dodge the Draft(s)

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts can waste 5% to 30% of your energy use. Start simple and adopt that old Great Depression fixture — the draft snake, which you can easily make yourself. Just place a rolled bath towel under a drafty door, or make a more attractive DIY draft snake with googly eyes, felt tongues and the like. You can use any scraps of fabric — even neckties — and fill with sand or kitty litter for heft.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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This says it all. Quite frankly all this stuff keeps you cool in the summer as well.

http://homerepair.about.com/od/exteriorhomerepair/ss/winterize.htm

Easy Home Winterizing Checklist

By , About.com Guide

In the fall is when you want to get ready for the winter cold. The worst thing in the world is trying to put your storm windows in when its 20 degrees outside. Or worse, not having your sprinkler system purged before the freezing weather comes.I’m going to give you a fairly easy checklist of things to do for the various systems of your home. From plumbing to roof, we’ll walk through each system and hit the major things to make sure you do before winter so you can enjoy the snow and not worry about your home.
OK, lets start with the basics of making sure you have heat when you need it. The time to check that is in the Fall, no later than the end of October. Give your system a test run through and make sure all systems are “GO“.

Heating System Checklist

  • Test Run:
    Turn the thermostat to heat mode and set it to 80 degrees just for testing. You should hear the furnace turn on and warm air should blow within a few minutes. If it’s running OK, turn the thermostat back to its normal setting. If it’s not running properly, you can try to diagnose it as outlined in Troubleshooting a Gas Furnace. Depending on what’s wrong, you can fix it yourself or you may need a qualified service technician.
  • Seasonal Maintenance:
    Either have the furnace checked by a service technician or do it yourself as outlined in Seasonal Furnace Maintenance.
  • Replace the Air Filter:
    Put in a new clean air filter. It’s easy, just follow the steps in Furnace Filter Replacement
  • Fuel:
    If you have a propane or oil furnace, make sure to have your fuel storage tank topped off and ready to go.
  • Heating Vents:
    Clear obstacles to heating vents so air can freely flow.
  • Check for Carbon Monoxide Leaks:
    This silent killer can easily be detected with either an inexpensive test badge or battery operated alarm. Whichever way you decide, just please decide to protect your family with one of these units.
    See Testing for Carbon Monoxide for more information.

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This is 2 pages out of 10. Please go there and read the rest. New topic next week.

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More tips today and tomorrow. Then we move on.

http://life.gaiam.com/article/top-5-places-top-25-ways-weatherize-your-home

Top 5 Places & Top 25 Ways to Weatherize Your Home

Excerpted from the Solar Living Sourcebook by John Schaeffer. See the book for a helpful cutaway illustration pointing out 42 places to weatherize that are discussed in this weatherization article.

Short of printing your own money, weatherization and insulation are the best bets for putting cash in your wallet — and they’re a lot safer in the long run than counterfeiting. Weatherization, the plugging and sealing of air leaks, can save you 25 to 40 percent on your heating and cooling bills.

The average unweatherized house in the United States leaks air at a rate equivalent to a four-foot-square hole in the wall. Weatherization is the first place for the average home owner to concentrate for the most benefit with the least effort and expense. You’ll save money and help the planet!

The following suggestions are adapted with permission from Homemade Money by Richard Heede and the Rocky Mountain Institute.

1. In the attic

  • Weatherstrip and insulate the attic access door.
  • Seal around the outside of the chimney with metal flashing and high-temperature sealant such as flue caulk or muffler cement.
  • Seal around plumbing vents, both in the attic floor and in the roof. Check roof flashings (where the plumbing vent pipes pass through the roof) for signs of water leakage while you’re peering at the underside of the roof.
  • Seal the top of interior walls in pre-1950s houses anywhere you can peer down into the wall cavity. Use strips of rigid insulation, and seal the edges with silicone caulk.
  • Stuff fiberglass insulation around electrical wire penetrations at the top of interior walls and where wires enter ceiling fixtures. (But not around recessed light fixtures unless the fixtures are rated IC [for insulation contact]). Fluorescent fixtures usually are safe to insulate around; they don’t produce a lot of waste heat. Incandescent fixtures should be upgraded to compact fluorescent bulbs).
  • Staple Radiant Barrier under the rafters or joists to reflect 97 percent of the radiant heat that strikes it
  • Seal all other holes between the heated space and the attic.

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Go there and read the other 4 sections. More tomorrow

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