Posts Tagged ‘energy tips’

Yes, you heard right, an audit! This is not your average audit; we offer a more professional solution then just switching to compact fluorescent lamps. We want to help you save money on your utility bills and maximize your comfort in your home! That is why our certified professionals run a series of tests for our advanced home energy audit. So what kind of tests do we run?

    Insulation R-rating for walls, attic, and foundation
    Heating and cooling equipment
    Whole house air leakage (blower door test)
    Ductwork leakage
    Electrical and lighting analysis
    Water heater and water usage
    Carbon monoxide
    Flue draft

How does this benefit you?

    Eliminate energy wastefulness
    Enhance your home’s comfort
    Reduce toxic indoor air pollutants
    Upgrade your home’s safety
    Exceed new government environmental and energy-consumption standards
    Decrease dependence on energy sources from outside the United States
    Maximize the resale value of your home

Casteel’s experienced professionals work with you through the whole process, we even conduct an interview to better understand what an ideal energy-efficient home means to you. We also provide a no obligation quote outlining the best course of action for making your ideal energy efficient home a reality.

By now you’ve cranked up your heat in your home. We want to make sure you’re utilizing your system as efficiently as possible.

We found this very imformative post online that shares good information regarding efficient use of your winter resources.

If you live in a temperate or cold region of the United States, chances are you’ve fired up your home or apartment’s heating system recently. The seasons change, the nights get a little colder. You flip the switch on your thermostat from “A/C” or “Off” to “Heat.”

What’s the net effect of everyone making that switch?

Most American households-more than 60 million-heat with natural gas. Another 32 million heat with electricity, 7.8 million with fuel oil, and 5 million with propane. Consuming those fossil fuels equates to roughly 7 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and about one-third of all residential greenhouse gas emissions.

Then there’s the cost. The average household in the United States spends about $889 per year on space heating. In particularly cold regions like the Northeast, annual home heating bills can reach $1,100 or more for natural gas or $1,800 for propane.

Saving emissions, and money, can be accomplished in two ways. One is “passive” improvements-measures you take to preserve the heat in your home. The other is to invest in a more efficient system for generating the heat in the first place.

Losing heat
Heat naturally flows from warmer spaces to cooler ones until the temperatures are equal.

Inside a home, warm air rises and leaks out the attic and roof while drawing cold air in through the basement.

Your home’s shell (the walls, windows, doors, foundation, roof, attic, etc.) determines its rate of heat loss. Leaky shells can be responsible for 25-40 percent of the load on your heating system.

You can prevent this heat loss by improving insulation, sealing leaks, and replacing or reglazing your windows to minimize heat transfer. For more information, check out RMI’s Home Energy Brief No. 1: Building Envelope.

Making your heating system more efficient
In addition to these measures, there are a number of steps you can take to improve the efficiency of your heating system.

  • If you don’t have one already, consider installing a programmable thermostat. These cost around $30-100 and allow you to preset a heating and cooling schedule that maintains a comfortable temperature when you’re home, but lightens the load when you’re not. Energy Star rates many such thermostats.
  • If you have a furnace, seal your system’s ducts with mastic and insulate hot-air ducts that pass through unheated spaces with fiberglass. Leaky ducts can decrease a furnace’s efficiency by 20-30 percent.
  • Most new boilers and furnaces come equipped with an electronic ignition for your pilot light. If your furnace or boiler doesn’t have one (and you can turn your pilot light on and off safely), consider turning your pilot light off during the summer months when your heater’s off.

You can find more tips about maintaining your home heating system at Energy Star’s heating and cooling efficiency webpage.

Replacing your heating system

Want to do more? If your furnace is older than 10-15 years or your boiler is older than 20 years, then a new heating system will be at least 30 percent more efficient and will pay for itself in 5-10 years.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has detailed information to help you determine whether to replace your furnace or boiler, find a good contractor, size your heating system, and calculate your return on investment.

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