Energy efficiency

The US Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
-Efficient products can be: quieter, longer lasting, produce less heat, and cheaper in the long run
-Societal benefits may include: reduced pollution & greenhouse gases; less power plants; less fossil fuels

Focus on weatherization, lighting, and appliances

-Wasted NRG through windows and doors=Alaskan pipeline
- Single home, yearly electricity used (fossil fuel based) = two cars of CO2
-10%-50% lower electricity bills by a few steps
A) Approach home with a whole-house energy efficiency plan. View home as an energy system with interdependent parts. Furnace w/ leaky ducts w/ leaky windows, doors, and attic and clogged chimney

1) Perform an audit (utility, yourself, or contractor)
a. Insulation doors, walls, attic, crawl spaces
b. Cracks/holes in doors, windows, lights, outlets,
c. Open fireplace dampers
2) Appliances and HVAC maintained
3) Study lighting patterns
a. Replace with fluorescent
b. Use natural lighting
c. Turn lights off

B) Formulate plan and find ways to attack the problem
a. Prioritize
b. Contractor needed?
c. Budget

1) Insulation (30% savings) and Weatherization (10% savings)
i. VT zone 1
ii. Diff types of insulation R factor
iii. Caulk, seal, weather-strip, rubber gaskets behind outlets (incense trick)
iv. Storm windows, double glass windows (coated, gas filled)
v. Window curtains
2) Heating and cooling (44%of electricity bill)
i. Buy energy efficient (energy star) get energy fact sheets
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE), Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio(SEER).
i. Maintenance of HVAC appliances
ii. Clean filters, registers, and don’t block vents
iii. Bleed radiators of trapped air (1 or 2 yearly)
iv. Turn bathroom fans off (put on timer)
v. Programmable thermostats (can save 10% of energy)
vi. Use Shades and solar lights for passive solar cooling and heating (50% savings)
vii. Insulate ducts (duct tape)
viii. If you use electricity to heat your home consider heat pumps
ix. Fireplaces: good and bad

3) Water heaters
i. Lower thermostat
ii. Insulate
iii. Repair leaky pipes
iv. Lower water shower heads
v. Drain a quart of water every few months to remove sediment
vi. Tankless or indirect boiler
vii. Solar water heaters

4) Lighting
i. Use CFL’s
ii. CFL torchieres
iii. PV powered outdoor lights

5) Appliances (two prices: upfront and long term energy)
i. Dishwashers
ii. frost control
iii. temp control
iv. moisture control
v. good door seal
vi. Refrigerators
vii. Clothes dryers
6) Laundry
i. Wash in cold
ii. Don’t overfill or underfill (use appropriate settings)
iii. Don’t over dry
iv. Inspect dryer vent
v. Change lint
7) Misc:
• Faucet lever on cold position for
small amounts of water
• Gas oven or range, look for automatic,
electric ignition system (no pilot light)
• Gas appliances, look for blue flames;
not yellow flames
• Keep range-top burners and reflectors
• Use a covered kettle or pan to boil
• Match the size of the pan to the heating
• If you cook with electricity, turn the
stovetop burners off several minutes
before the allotted cooking time.
• Use small electric pans or toaster
ovens for small meals rather than your
large stove or oven.
• Use pressure cookers and microwave
ovens whenever it is convenient to
do so. They can save energy by
significantly reducing cooking time.