Cost of Energy – What Do We Do?

Tips to Be More Energy Efficient

We are currently at a point in time when homeowners are trying to figure out how they can make their home more energy efficient without spending any additional money.  Oil is at an all time high and natural gas is starting to reach almost ridiculous levels.  Normal, everyday budget conscious homeowners are trying to figure out how they will continue to live in their homes, without going totally broke.  The cost of energy has reached a point of no return and everyday individuals, especially families, are trying to figure out how to simply exist.  

As a contractor as well as a homeowner I have the following suggestions. Unfortunately they do not reduce the cost of energy, but may assist in reducing your usage. 

  1. Try to convince all inhabitants of the home that energy is costly and that it is not practical to either crank up the heat or the air conditioning simply for the next 10 minutes. If you are going to be in your home for an extended period of time, make the thermostat adjustment to accommodate comfort, however, if you are merely cold or hot for a shortened period of time, dress accordingly and make it work.  Do not crank the thermostat up or down for small periods of time, this will simply waste energy.

  2. Use common sense when it comes to the environment within your home.  Close doors and windows if too cold, open doors and windows if too hot.  Use your intellect to modify the environment instead of the thermostat.  When energy is cheap it is easy to simply turn the thermostat up or down, when it is very costly, use your head and do something else.

  3. Use small appliances such as heaters and fans.  Small heaters within a room will make you comfortable without heating the entire home.  Small fans moving the air will make you cooler than simply turning on the air conditioner everytime you feel a little warm.

  4. Dress accordingly, use those flannel pants and shirts when cold and don’t be shy to use those mesh shorts or light T shirts when hot.  Wear sandals or go barefoot.  Who knows you may find an entirely new person within you!
  5. Drink accordingly, not necessarily alcohol but warm beverages when cold and cold beverages when warm.  A treat of ice cream is also a great suggestion!
  6. Use natural ventilation to cool your body during the warmer months instead of always turning the air conditioner on.
  7. If warm, sit outside under a shaded tree, or along a mountain brook or stream where the air is cooler. Seek out water venues that have natural cooling effects.
  8. Anticipate and plan your travel.  It is important when gas is at record highs, to minimize travel and attempt to perform several errands or appointments during one trip out of the home.
  9. Use shades, curtains, awnings to keep the sun from heating your residential space or keep the cold from entering the home
  10. Minimize drafts by properly insulating your home.

  11. Install plastic covering over windows to decrease the influx of cold into the home.

  12. Minimize the length of hot showers to reduce the fuel necessary to heat the water.

  13. Make an assessment of the basement and attic insulation.  The obvious goal is to maximize the amount of insulation within both spaces, balancing your home budget with the installation of the additional insulation.

  14. Consider solar energy.  Solar has advanced to include inverters that allow the use of the solar panels directly to power your home, or the installation of battery systems that can be coordinated with the power company in your area for their access to  your system, if the grid is calling for supplemental energy.  

Good luck, we are all in the  same situation and the high cost of energy will negatively affect the costs of living in your home as well as increase the costs of building supplies for any future projects. . 

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