Would you be interested if you could invest money with a guaranteed return of 10, 20, or even 30 percent?
Energy savings can do just that. Whole house humidifiers, an energy saving thermostat and good insulation are just a few of the things that can help lower your cooling and heating consumption.
That may seem too good to believe, but it’s true. Energy costs are rising at alarming rates making energy savings more important that ever. Utility companies project an increase this heating season of 20 to 30 percent on natural gas. Likewise, electric rates are also on the way up. There are a number of ways to defend yourself against the rising cost of staying warm and comfortable. Heat is measured in btu’s (British Thermal Units). One approach to saving money is to minimize the winter btu loss and summer btu gain of your home. The other way to save money is to generate the needed cooling and heating for your home more economically. The wise consumer will do both!
Evaluate your home’s insulation. The first place to start is in your attic. Many homes built before 1975 have little or no attic insulation. Some newer homes may also need to have the insulation upgraded. In the Louisville area, at design conditions (10 degrees outside and 70 degrees inside) ceilings with no insulation loose approximately 36 btu’s per square foot of ceiling surface. Adding six inches of insulation (R-19) will reduce the heat loss to 3.2 btu’s per square foot. Many homes today are built with a ceiling thermal resistance value of R-30, which only looses 2 btu’s per square foot. Installing attic insulation with a value of R-30 in an existing 2000 square foot ranch home with no insulation will reduce the heat loss on the ceiling by a tremendous 68,000 btu’s per hour on a 10 degree day. Attic insulation is relatively inexpensive, and the savings in operating costs will usually return your investment in a very short time. Adding wall insulation can also reduce operating costs. However, it is more expensive to install and usually takes longer to recover your investment. Be sure to inspect weather stripping around exterior doors and windows. If you can see light around the door or window, it’s costing you money. If you have old single pane windows they will loose approximately 60 btu’s per square foot at design conditions. Double pane windows loose about half as much.
If you substantially reduce the heat loss and gain of your home, you may also be able to reduce the needed capacity of cooling and heating equipment without sacrificing any comfort.
Having a professional quality energy saving thermostat installed can save you big dollars if there are times when your home is unoccupied for more than a few hours on a regular basis, or if you set your heating temperature to a lower setting while you sleep. Today’s professional quality thermostats are easily programmable to custom fit your lifestyle. Depending on the length and degree of temperature setback, you could save as much as 33% on your heating and cooling costs without sacrificing any comfort.
New high efficiency equipment can save you significant heating/cooling dollars and dramatically increase your comfort level. Technology has come a long way in recent years and home comfort systems are no exception. There have been dramatic advances in home comfort technology. You may be loosing as much as 40% of your heat up the chimney on older furnaces. Today’s furnaces minimize flue losses and extract as much as 93% of the heat from the fuel. Likewise, today’s air conditioning systems are much more efficient, provide greater comfort, and are significantly less expensive to operate.
Humidifiers – “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity!”
Have you ever heard that said on the most uncomfortable summer days? Higher humidity levels do in fact make the temperature feel warmer. A whole house humidifier will allow you be comfortable at lower winter thermostat temperatures, therefore saving you money! A humidifier can also provide a more healthful environment. If someone in your home suffers from asthma, allergies, sinus problems, or even dry skin, dry winter air may aggravate their condition. Dry air absorbs moisture from your home and furnishings, causing materials to shrink and crack.
A high quality, professionally installed whole house humidifier is a wise investment!