Updated: Aug 20
The United States consumes more energy than anyone else on the planet--about 20% of the total global demand. Our buildings and our homes--the homes in which we live--devour 40% of all U.S. energy and 75% of all U.S. electricity. And about 30% of that energy is wasted by our homes. Simply put, our homes waste energy.
Most homeowners throw away the equivalent of a 42" flat-screen TV every year in wasted energy. They’re throwing away a brand new mountain bike or a really nice gas grill, or a weekend getaway vacation--because their home is wasting energy. And wasting energy is like throwing away money.
It takes a lot of energy to heat, cool and operate a home. Most homebuyers have no idea how much it will cost them to operate their home once they move in. Homeowners do not fully understand how much energy and, therefore, money is being wasted by their home. And if they did understand, they wouldn't know what to do about it.
Throwing Money Away
The typical American home wastes energy. We know that out of the 130 million homes in the U.S., 80 million were built between 1980 and 2000, which means that they pre-date modern energy standards and are associated with higher energy use and operating costs per square foot. We also know that the average American household spends about $2,500 on energy every year. But what most homeowners don’t know is that about 30% of that energy--and 30% of that money--is wasted.
Low To No Cost Tips To Help Stop Throwing Your Money Away On Energy Bills
#1 HOME ENERGY INSPECTION
Many homeowners could save hundreds of dollars every year without really changing their lifestyle. InterNACHI’s Home Energy Report™ provides simple, basic, prescriptive measures that millions of homeowners can take to reduce their energy bills, while making their homes more comfortable, and use that money for something they really want.
The Home Energy Report™ was developed by InterNACHI to be:
A reporting tool for Home Energy Inspectors™
And an affordable inspection service for current and prospective homeowners.
A Home Energy Inspector™ can complete a Home Energy Report™ in an extra 10 minutes, if done as part of a standard home inspection, and in less than one hour, if done as a stand-alone inspection service. It is not a comprehensive energy audit and no diagnostic tools are needed. The Home Energy Inspector™ is not an energy auditor. Home Energy Inspectors™ are trained and certified by InterNACHI.
To generate a Home Energy Report™, the Home Energy Inspector™ conducts a brief walk-through of the home and collects about 40 data points related to energy, essentially the same data gathered during a general home inspection. The Home Energy Inspector™ then uses a reporting tool that interfaces with the Home Energy Saver™ of the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the engine that powers the Home Energy Report™.
The Home Energy Saver™ engine helps empower the Home Energy Inspector™ to:
Produce a report in a matter of seconds
Collect and save home-description information from customers
Compute a home’s energy use, cost, and carbon footprint on-line in a matter of seconds based on state-of-the-art models and data for any location in the United States
Perform operational or asset ratings
Estimate the relative importance of specific end uses (heating, cooling, water heating, major appliances, small appliances, and lighting)
Generate a list of energy-saving upgrade recommendations;create a payback-ranked list of energy-efficiency improvements
Generate a wide range of summary and drill-down reports
Save Over $500 A Year
Homeowners appreciate straightforward, simple information that is clearly presented and easy to understand. They also want a report with customized recommendations that is easy to read. Consumers care about the bottom line. However, many are misinformed about which home energy improvements will pay off more quickly and save the most energy. Many don't realize that home energy improvements can also improve the comfort of their homes, as well as their families' health and safety, not to mention their home's potential resale value.
The Home Energy Report™ recommends energy-saving upgrades that are appropriate to the home and make sense for the home's climate and local energy prices. The money invested in these upgrades commonly earns "interest" in the form of energy savings of over $500 every year, which is an impressive overall annual rate of return on investment.
20 Home Energy Maintenance Tips To Help Lower Energy Costs
Here are several do-it-yourself tips to save energy right now, including easy low-cost to no-cost ways to save energy.
Install a programmable thermostat to lower utility bills and manage your heating and cooling systems efficiently.
Replace lamps in your older indoor and outdoor incandescent lighting fixtures with energy-saving incandescent, CFL, and LED light bulbs. Upgrading 15 of the inefficient incandescent light bulbs in your home could save you about $50 per year.
Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120-degrees Fahrenheit). You'll not only save energy, you'll avoid scalding your hands.
Start using energy-saving settings on refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, and clothes dryers.
Turn things off when you are not in the room such as lights, TVs, entertainment systems, and your computer and monitor.
If you have one of those "silent-guzzlers", a waterbed, make your bed today. The covers will insulate it, and save up to one-third of the energy it uses.
Take short showers instead of baths and use low-flow showerheads for additional energy savings.
Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
Air dry clothes.
Check to see that windows and doors are closed when heating or cooling your home.
Keeping the air filter on your HVAC system clean can lower your system’s energy consumption by 5%–15%.
You can significantly reduce hot water use by simply repairing leaks in fixtures—faucets and showerheads—or pipes. A leak of one drip per second can cost $1 per month.
Install heat traps on your water heater tank (valves or loops of pipe that allow water to flow into the water heater tank but prevent unwanted hot-water flow out of the tank) to save around $15-$30 on your water heating bills.
You can significantly reduce swimming pool heating costs by using a pool cover.
You can use weatherstripping in your home to seal air leaks around movable joints, such as windows or doors.
Look for the ENERGY STAR® label on light bulbs, home appliances, electronics, and other products. ENERGY STAR products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Unless your water heater’s storage tank already has a high R-value of insulation (at least R-24), adding insulation to it can reduce standby heat losses by 25%–45%. This will save you around 4%–9% in water heating costs.
Insulate your attic the general movement of warm air and heat in a building is "up" and "out" as warm air rises through a home. If a home is not insulated or not well insulated, the attic floor is the place to start with improving the home's heat retention.
Insulate your walls, the second direction of heat loss, once we've fixed drafts and insulated an attic, are the building walls.
WE DO ENERGY INSPECTIONS!
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