Saving Home Energy for Real Estate Professionals

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1 Saving Home Energy for Real Estate Professionals Introduction This course will teach you how easy it is to reduce your energy use at home, including tips you can use today. There are easy, practical solutions for saving energy throughout your home from the roof, walls, and insulation that enclose it, to the appliances and lights inside. Please take a few moments to read the valuable tips to start saving energy and money today. Right in your own home, you have the power to reduce energy demand, and when you reduce demand, you cut the amount of natural resources, such as coal and gas, that are needed to make energy. That means you can create less greenhouse gas emissions, which keeps air cleaner for all of us and saves on your utility bills! Plus, reducing energy use increases our energy security. Page 1 of 98

2 Objective Upon successful completion of this course, the real estate professional will: understand the value of home energy inspections for current and prospective homeowners; and be able to provide informative options to help homeowners cut their energy use, reduce their carbon footprint, and increase their homes comfort, health, and safety. Page 2 of 98

3 Chapter 2 A Home s Energy Use Your home uses energy every day, all day long. To understand where energy is being used in your home, refer back to your Home Energy Report provided to you by your Certified Professional Inspector. It uses energy to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It uses energy to provide you with light when you need it. It uses energy to provide you with hot water. And it uses energy to run all of your appliances and home electronics. This online book will teach you how to use the energy in your home more efficiently. You can also learn how to use renewable energy to provide your home with electricity, heating, cooling, and water heating. For example, an average household dedicates 6% of its energy budget to lighting. Using newer green lighting technologies can reduce the lighting energy use in your home by 50% to 75%. Page 3 of 98

4 By following just a few of the simple tips found in this e-book, you can make your home more comfortable and easier to heat and cool while you save money. We encourage you to keep reading and make the recommended home energy improvements that will help you save money by saving energy. Page 4 of 98

5 Chapter 3 What is a Home Energy Report? It takes a lot of energy to heat, cool, and operate a home. Most home buyers have no idea how much it will cost them to operate their home once they move in. Current homeowners do not fully understand how much energy and, therefore, money is being wasted by their home. And if they did understand, neither home buyers nor homeowners would know what to do about it. Your Home Energy Report provided to you by your Certified Professional Inspector will give you a quick understanding of: how much your home will cost to operate; where energy (and, therefore, your money) is being wasted; and what you can do to save energy and increase comfort. Page 5 of 98

6 By Hiring a Home Energy Inspector Homeowners often find that energy improvements can dramatically improve the comfort and condition of their homes, so it makes sense to act as soon as possible to enhance your quality of life. By hiring a Home Energy Inspector, you can quickly learn how to save energy and money while also seeing how your home ranks compared to others in your area. To Perform a Home Energy Inspection To perform a Home Energy Inspection, the inspector conducts a brief walk-through of the home and collects 40 data points related to home energy. The inspector then enters the data into a web-based energy calculator developed by InterNACHI, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, to: estimate the home s yearly energy usage; pinpoint potential energy inefficiencies; calculate a score based on these estimates; and develop recommendations for energy improvements. Page 6 of 98

7 Recommendations The Home Energy Report lists recommendations for energy upgrades that are specific to the house, as well as an estimate of how much the improvements can reduce its utility bills. The report is based on the data collected, the national average costs for installation of specific energy improvements, and the state s average for residential utility costs. Some of the recommendations for energy upgrades are simple for a homeowner to do. Others require more investment and the work of qualified professionals but promise large financial savings over time. Verify Energy Upgrades You can ask a Certified Home Energy Inspector to include a post-upgrade inspection as part of the improvement package to verify that your home s energy efficiency is greater after you ve made the recommended energy upgrades. Not only is this proof that your home is performing better, but the Report can serve as official documentation that the improvements you ve made have enhanced your home s performance, which adds to your home s appeal when you re ready to sell. Page 7 of 98

8 Chapter 4 Start Saving Energy and Money Today Did You Know? If every American home replaced just one light bulb with a light bulb that s earned the ENERGY STAR label, we would save enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year, save about $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year, equivalent to those from about 800,000 cars. Download the Lighting-Tip-Card, which provides the money savings from new lighting choices as well as information on lumens and the lighting facts label. Here are some easy low-cost and no-cost ways to save energy: Install a programmable thermostat to keep your house comfortably warm in the winter and comfortably cool in the summer. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) with the ENERGY STAR label. Air-dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher s drying cycle. Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use. Page 8 of 98

9 Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use (TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power). Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120 F. Take short showers instead of baths. Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes. Look for the ENERGY STAR label on home appliances and products. ENERGY STAR products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. Visit for more energy-saving ideas. Did You Also Know? Did you know that the typical U.S. family spends about $2,200 a year on home utility bills? Unfortunately, a large portion of that energy is wasted. And each year, electricity generated by fossil fuels for a single home puts more carbon dioxide into the air than two average cars. The good news is that there is a lot you can do to save energy and money at home. The key to achieving these savings in your home is a whole-house energy efficiency plan. To take a whole-house approach, view your home as an energy system with interdependent parts. For example, your heating system is not just a furnace it s a heatdelivery system that starts at the furnace and delivers heat throughout your home using a network of ducts. Even a top-of-the-line, energy-efficient furnace will waste a lot of fuel if the ducts, walls, attic, windows and doors are not properly sealed and insulated. Taking Page 9 of 98

10 a whole-house approach to saving energy ensures that the dollars you invest to save energy are spent wisely. Energy-efficient improvements not only make your home more comfortable, they can yield long-term financial rewards. Reduced utility bills more than make up for the higher initial cost of the purchase of energy-efficient appliances and improvements over their lifetimes. In addition, your home could bring in a higher price when you sell. Page 10 of 98

11 Chapter 5 How We Use Energy in Our Homes Heating accounts for the biggest chunk of a typical utility bill. Source: 2010 Buildings Energy Data Book, Table Residential Primary Energy Consumption, by Year and Fuel Type. Page 11 of 98

12 Chapter 6 Heat Loss from a House A picture is worth in this case, lost heating dollars. This thermal photo shows heat entering a bathroom shower ceiling during those expensive summer cooling months. The white, yellow and red colors show hot spots. Heat-gain areas like this make it more expensive to cool the house in the summer. Page 12 of 98

13 Tips: Insulation and Sealing Air Leaks Checking your home s insulation is one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to use a whole-house approach to reduce energy waste and make the most of your energy dollars. A good insulating system includes a combination of products and construction techniques that protect a home from outside hot and cold temperatures, protect it against air leaks, and control moisture. You can increase the comfort of your home while reducing your heating and cooling needs by investing in proper insulation and sealing air leaks. Page 13 of 98

14 Chapter 7 Should I Insulate My Home? Insulate your home when: You have an older home and haven t added insulation. Only 20% of homes built before 1980 are well-insulated. You are uncomfortably cold in the winter or hot in the summer. Adding insulation creates a more uniform temperature and increases comfort. You build a new home or addition, or install new siding or roofing. You pay high energy bills. You are bothered by noise from outside. Insulation muffles sound. R-Value of Insulation Check the insulation in your attic, ceilings, exterior and basement walls, floors and crawlspace to see if it meets the levels recommended for your area. Insulation is measured in R-values the higher the R-value, the better your walls and roof will resist the transfer of heat. The DOE recommends ranges of R-values based on local heating and cooling costs and climate conditions in different areas of the country. The map and chart below show the DOE recommendations for your area. State and local code minimum insulation requirements may be less than the DOE recommendations, which are based on cost effectiveness. Page 14 of 98

15 Click to enlarge. Four Types of Insulation Although insulation can be made from a variety of materials, it usually comes in four types, and each type has different characteristics. Rolls and batts or blankets are flexible products made from mineral fibers, such as fiberglass and rock wool. They re available in widths suited to standard spacings of wall studs and attic and floor joists: 2 4 walls can hold R-13 or R-15 batts; 2 6 walls can use R-19 or R-21 products. Loose-fill insulation is usually made of fiberglass, rock wool, or cellulose in the form of loose fibers or fiber pellets. It should be blown into spaces using special pneumatic equipment. The blown-in material conforms readily to building cavities and attics. Therefore, loose-fill insulation is well-suited to places where it s difficult to install other types of insulation. Rigid foam or foamboard insulation is typically more expensive than fiber insulation, but it s very effective in buildings with space limitations and where higher R-values are needed. Foam insulation R-values range from R-4 to R-6.5 per inch of thickness, which is up to two times greater than most other insulating materials of the same thickness. Foam-in-place insulation can be blown into walls. It reduces air leakage if it s blown into cracks, such as around window and door frames. Where to Insulate Page 15 of 98

16 Click to enlarge. 1. In unfinished attic spaces, insulate between and over floor joists to seal off living spaces below. 2. In finished attic rooms with or without dormers: 2A. insulate between studs of kneewalls; 2B. insulate between studs and rafters of exterior walls and the roof; 2C. insulate ceilings with cold space above; and 2D. extend insulation into joist spaces to reduce air flow. 3. Insulate at exterior walls, such as: 3A. walls between living spaces and unheated garages, shed roofs, and storage areas; 3B. foundation walls above ground; and 3C. foundation walls in heated basements. 4. Insulate above cold spaces, vented crawlspaces, and unheated garages. Also: 4A. insulate any portion of the floor in a room that cantilevers beyond an exterior wall; 4B. insulate slab floors built directly on the ground; 4C. insulate foundation walls of unvented crawlspaces; and Page 16 of 98

17 4D. extend insulation into joist spaces to reduce air flow. Adding insulation in the areas shown above may be the best way to improve your home s energy efficiency. Insulate either the attic floor or under the roof. Check with a contractor about crawlspace or basement insulation. Insulation Tips Consider factors such as your climate, building design and budget when selecting insulation R-values for your home. Use higher-density insulation, such as rigid foamboard, on exterior walls, in cathedral ceilings, and on exterior walls. Ventilation helps with moisture control and for reducing summer cooling bills. Attic vents can be installed along the entire ceiling cavity, from the soffit to the attic, to help ensure proper air flow to make a home more comfortable and energy-efficient. Do not ventilate your attic if you have insulation on the underside of the roof. Check with a qualified contractor. Recessed light fixtures can be a major source of heat loss, but you need to be careful of how close you place insulation next to a fixture unless it s marked IC, which means it s designed for direct insulation contact. Check your local building codes for recommendations. Long-Term Savings Tips One of the most cost-effective ways to make your home more comfortable year-round is to add insulation to your attic. Adding insulation to the attic is relatively easy. To find out if you have enough before adding more, measure the thickness of the insulation that s currently installed. If it s less than R-30 (11 inches of fiberglass or rock wool, or 8 inches of cellulose), you could probably benefit by adding more. Most U.S. homes should have between R-30 and R-60 insulation in the attic. Don t forget the attic trap or access door. If your attic has enough insulation and your home still feels drafty and cold in the winter or too warm in the summer, chances are you need to add insulation to the exterior walls, as well. This is a more expensive measure that usually requires a contractor, but it may be worth the cost if you live in a very hot or cold climate. If you replace the exterior siding on your home, you should consider adding insulation at the same time. You may also need to add insulation to your crawlspace or basement. Check with a professional contractor. Follow the product instructions as specified on the product packaging for guidelines on proper installation, and be sure to wear the proper protective gear when installing insulation. Page 17 of 98

18 Insulation for New Construction For new homes in most climates, you will save money and energy if you install a combination of cavity insulation and insulative sheathing. Cavity insulation can be installed at levels up to R-15 in a 2 4-inch wall, and up to R-21 in a 2 6-inch wall. The insulative sheathing, used in addition to this cavity insulation, helps to reduce the energy that would otherwise be lost through the wood frame. For example, in Zone 5, you could use either a 2 4 wall with R-13 or a 2 6 wall with R-21. For either of those two walls, you should also use an inch of insulative sheathing that has an R-value of R-5 or R-6. Today, new products are on the market that provide both insulation and structural support and should be considered for new home construction and additions. Structural insulated panels, known as SIPs, and masonry products, such as insulating concrete forms, or ICFs, are two of these newer products. Some home builders even use an old technique borrowed from the pioneers: building walls using straw bales. Radiant barriers (in hot climates), reflective insulation, and foundation insulation should all be considered for new home construction. Check with your contractor for more information about these options. Page 18 of 98

19 Chapter 8 Air Leaks and Energy Loss Sealing Air Leaks Warm air leaking into your home during the summer and out of your home during the winter can waste a lot of your energy dollars. One of the quickest dollar-saving tasks you can perform is caulk, seal and weatherstrip all seams, cracks and openings to the outside. You can save on your heating and cooling bills by reducing these air leaks in your home. How Does Air Escape? Click to enlarge. Sources of Air Leaks in Your Home Page 19 of 98

20 Areas that leak air into and out of your home cost you lots of money. Check the areas listed below: dropped ceilings; recessed light fixtures; attic entrance; sill plates; water and furnace flues; all ducts; door frames; chimney flashing; window frames; electrical outlets and switche plates; and plumbing and utility accesses; Tips for Finding and Sealing Air Leaks Air infiltrates into and out of your home through every hole and crack. About one-third of this air infiltrates through openings in your ceilings, walls and floors. Here are some measures you can take yourself. First, test your home for air-tightness. On a windy day, carefully hold a lit incense stick or a smoke pen next to your windows, doors, electrical boxes, plumbing Page 20 of 98

21 fixtures, electrical outlets, ceiling fixtures, attic hatches, and other locations where there is a possible air path to the outside. If the smoke stream travels horizontally, you have located an air leak that may need caulking, sealing or weatherstripping. Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows that leak air. Caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting or electrical wiring penetrates through walls, floors, ceilings, and soffits located over cabinets. Install foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls. Look for dirty spots in your insulation, which often indicate holes where air leaks into and out of your house. You can seal the holes with low-expansion spray foam made for this purpose. Look for dirty spots on your ceiling paint and carpet, which may indicate air leaks at interior wall-ceiling joints and wall-floor joints. These joints can be caulked. Install storm windows over single-pane windows, or replace them with more efficient windows, such as double-pane. When the fireplace is not in use, keep the flue damper tightly closed. A chimney is designed specifically for smoke to escape, so until you close it, warm air escapes 24 hours a day! For new construction, reduce exterior wall leaks by installing housewrap, taping the joints of exterior sheathing, and caulking and sealing all the exterior walls. Use foam sealant for larger gaps around windows, baseboards, and other places where warm air may be leaking out. Kitchen exhaust fan covers can keep air from leaking in when the exhaust fan is not in use. The covers typically attach via magnets for ease of replacement. Replacing existing door bottoms and thresholds with ones that have pliable sealing gaskets is a great way to prevent conditioned air from leaking out underneath exterior doors. Fireplace flues are made from metal and, over time, repeated heating and cooling can cause the metal to warp or break, creating a channel for hot or cold air loss. Inflatable chimney balloons are designed to fit beneath your fireplace flue during periods of non-use. They re made from several layers of durable plastic and can be removed easily and reused hundreds of times. Should you forget to remove the balloon before making a fire, the balloon will automatically deflate within seconds of coming into contact with heat. Page 21 of 98

22 Quiz #1 An average household dedicates of its energy budget to lighting. 6% 39% 20% The typical U.S. family spends about $ a year on home utility bills. 3,900 2, Heating accounts for the chunk of a typical utility bill. smallest biggest T/F: Checking your home s insulation is one of the fastest and most costeffective ways to use a whole-house approach to reduce energy waste and make the most of your energy dollars. True False About % of homes built before 1980 are well-insulated T/F: Recessed light fixtures can be a major source of heat loss. True False You can save on your heating and cooling bills by reducing air leaks in your home. True False Page 22 of 98

23 Chapter 9 Heating and Cooling Systems Although several different types of fuels are available to heat our homes, almost half of us use natural gas. Click to enlarge. Heating and cooling your home uses more energy and drains more energy dollars than any other system in your home. Typically, 43% of your utility bill goes for heating and cooling. What s more, heating and cooling systems in the United States together emit 150 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year, adding to global climate change. They also generate about 12% of the nation s sulfur dioxide and 4% of the nitrogen oxides, the chief ingredients in acid rain. No matter what kind of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system you have in your house, you can save money and increase your comfort by properly maintaining and upgrading your equipment. But remember, an energy-efficient furnace alone will not have as great an impact on your energy bills as using the whole-house approach. By combining proper equipment maintenance and upgrades with appropriate insulation, air Page 23 of 98

24 sealing, and thermostat settings, you can cut your energy use for heating and cooling and reduce environmental emissions by up to 50%. Heating and Cooling Tips Set your thermostat as low as is comfortable in the winter and as high as is comfortable in the summer. Clean or replace filters on the furnace once a month or as needed. Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators as needed, and make sure they re not blocked by furniture, carpeting or drapes. Bleed trapped air from hot-water radiators once or twice a season; if in doubt about how to perform this task, call a professional. Place heat-resistant radiator reflectors between exterior walls and the radiators. Turn off kitchen, bath and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes after you re done cooking or bathing. When replacing exhaust fans, consider installing high-efficiency, low-noise models. During the heating season, keep the draperies and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to enter your home. Close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows. During the cooling season, keep the window coverings closed during the day to prevent solar gain. Long-Term Savings Tips When you buy new heating and cooling equipment, select energy-efficient products. Your contractor should be able to give you energy fact sheets for different types, models and designs to help you compare energy usage. For furnaces, look for high Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings. The national minimum is 78% AFUE, but there are ENERGY STAR models on the market that exceed 90% AFUE. For air conditioners, look for a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The current minimum is 13 SEER for central air conditioners. ENERGY STAR models are 14 SEER or more. Page 24 of 98

25 Chapter 10 Ducts One of the most important systems in your home, though it s hidden beneath your feet and over your head, may be wasting a lot of your energy dollars. Your home s duct system, a branching network of tubes in the walls, floors and ceilings, carries the air from your home s furnace and central air conditioner to each room. Ducts are made of sheet metal, fiberglass or other materials. Click to enlarge. Unfortunately, many duct systems are poorly insulated or not insulated properly. Ducts that leak heated air into unheated spaces can add hundreds of dollars a year to your heating and cooling bills. Insulating the ducts that are in unconditioned spaces is usually very cost-effective. If you re having a new duct system installed, consider one that comes with insulation already applied. Page 25 of 98

26 Sealing your ducts to prevent leaks is even more important if the ducts are located in an unconditioned area, such as an attic or vented crawlspace. If the supply ducts are leaking, heated or cooled air can be lost by being forced out of unsealed joints. In addition, unconditioned air can be drawn into return ducts through unsealed joints. In the summer, hot attic air can be drawn in, increasing the workload on the air conditioner. In the winter, your furnace will have to work longer to keep your house comfortable. Either way, your energy losses cost you money. Although minor duct repairs are easy to make, ducts in unconditioned spaces should be sealed and insulated by qualified professionals using appropriate sealing materials. Duct Tips The following are a few simple tips to help with minor duct repairs: Page 26 of 98

27 Check your ducts for air leaks. First, look for sections that should be joined but have separated, and then look for obvious holes. If you use tape to seal your ducts, avoid cloth-backed, rubber adhesive duct tape, which tends to fail quickly. Researchers recommend other products to seal ducts: mastic, butyl tape, foil tape, and other heat-approved tapes. Look for tape with the Underwriters Laboratories logo. Remember that insulating ducts in the basement will make the basement colder. If both the ducts and the basement walls are uninsulated, consider insulating both. Water pipes and drains in unconditioned spaces could freeze and burst if the heat ducts are fully insulated because there would be no heat source to prevent the space from freezing in cold weather. However, using an electric heating tape wrap on the pipes can prevent this. Check with a professional contractor. Ducts: Out of Sight, Out of Mind The unsealed ducts in your attic and crawlspace lose air, and uninsulated ducts lose heat, wasting energy and money. If your basement has been converted to a living area, hire a professional to install both supply and return registers in the basement rooms. Page 27 of 98

28 Be sure a well-sealed vapor barrier exists on the outside of the insulation on cooling ducts to prevent moisture buildup. When doing ductwork, be sure to get professional help. Changes and repairs to a duct system should always be performed by a qualified technician. Ducts that don t work properly can create serious, life-threatening carbon monoxide (CO) problems in the home. If you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove or other appliance, or an attached garage, install a CO monitor to alert you to harmful CO levels. Long-Term Savings Tip If your ducts aren t insulated and travel through unheated spaces, such as the attic or crawlspace, you can lose up to 60% of your heated air before it reaches the register. Get a qualified professional to help you insulate and repair ducts. Page 28 of 98

29 Chapter 11 Heat Pumps Click to enlarge. Heat pumps are the most efficient form of electric heating in moderate climates, providing three times more heating than the equivalent amount of energy they consume in electricity. There are three types of heat pumps: air-to-air, water-source, and groundsource. They collect heat from the air, water or ground outside your home and concentrate it for use inside. Heat pumps perform double duty as a central air conditioner. They can also cool your home by collecting the heat inside your house and effectively pumping it outside. A heat pump can trim the amount of electricity you use for heating by up to 40%. Page 29 of 98

30 Heat Pump Tips Do not set back the heat pump s thermostat manually if it causes the electric resistance heating to come on. This type of heating, which is often used as a backup to the heat pump, is more expensive. Clean or change filters once a month or as needed, and maintain the system according to manufacturer s instructions. Long-Term Savings Tip If you use electricity to heat your home and live in a moderate climate, consider installing an energy-efficient heat-pump system. Page 30 of 98

31 Chapter 12 Solar Heating and Cooling Using passive solar design techniques to heat and cool your home can be both environmentally friendly and cost-effective. Passive solar heating techniques include placing larger insulated windows on south-facing walls, and locating thermal mass, such as a concrete slab floor or a heat-absorbing wall, close to the windows. In many cases, your heating costs could be more than 50% lower than the cost of heating the same house that does not incorporate a passive solar design. Passive solar design can also help reduce your cooling costs. Passive solar cooling techniques include carefully designed overhangs, windows with reflective coatings, and reflective coatings on exterior walls and the roof. A passive solar house requires careful design and site orientation, which depend on the local climate. So, if you re considering passive solar design for new construction or a major remodeling, you should consult an architect familiar with passive solar techniques. Solar Tips Keep all south-facing glass clean. Make sure that no objects are blocking the sunlight shining on concrete slab floors or heat-absorbing walls. Page 31 of 98

32 Chapter 13 Natural Gas and Oil Heating Systems If you plan to buy a new heating system, ask your local utility or state energy office for information about the latest technologies available to consumers. They can advise you about more efficient systems on the market today. For example, many newer models incorporate designs for burners and heat exchangers that result in higher efficiencies during operation and reduce heat loss when the equipment is off. Page 32 of 98

33 Consider a sealed combustion furnace; they are both safer and more efficient. Long-Term Savings Tip Install a new energy-efficient furnace to save money over the long term. Look for the ENERGY STAR and EnergyGuide labels. Carbon-Monoxide Detector Page 33 of 98

34 Carbon-monoxide (CO) detectors are recommended (and may even be required by local codes) in homes with fuel-burning appliances, such as natural gas furnaces, stoves, ovens and water heaters, and fuel-burning space heaters. An alarm signals homeowners if CO levels reach potentially dangerous levels. Page 34 of 98

35 Chapter 14 Air Conditioners Sizing is important for both room and central air-conditioning systems, which need to be sized by professionals. Buying a bigger room air-conditioning unit won t necessarily make you feel more comfortable during the hot summer months. In fact, a room air conditioner that s too big for the area it is supposed to cool will perform less efficiently and less effectively than a smaller, properly sized unit. Click to enlarge. If you have a central air system in your home, set the fan to shut off at the same time as the cooling unit (compressor). In other words, don t use the system s central fan to provide circulation, but instead use circulating fans in individual rooms. Cooling Tips Whole-house fans help cool your home by pulling cool air through the house and exhausting warm air through the attic. Page 35 of 98

36 Set your thermostat as high as comfortable in the summer. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be. Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense. Consider using an interior fan in conjunction with your window air conditioner to spread the cooled air more effectively through your home without greatly increasing your power use. Avoid placing lamps or TV sets near your air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary. Long-Term Savings Tips If your air conditioner is old, consider purchasing a new, energy-efficient model. You could save up to 50% on your utility bills for cooling. Look for the ENERGY STAR and EnergyGuide labels. Consider installing a whole-house fan or evaporative cooler, if it s appropriate for your climate. Page 36 of 98

37 Chapter 15 Programmable Thermostats You can save as much as 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills by simply turning your thermostat back 10% to 15% for eight hours. You can do this automatically by installing an automatic setback or programmable thermostat. Using a programmable thermostat, you can adjust the times you turn on the heating or air conditioning according to a pre-set schedule. As a result, the equipment doesn t operate as much when you re asleep or when the house (or a part of it) isn t occupied. Programmable thermostats can store and repeat multiple daily settings (six or more temperature settings a day) that you can manually override without affecting the rest of the daily or weekly program. Using a programmable thermostat, you can automatically turn down your heat at night or when you re not at home. In the summer, you can save money by automatically turning your air conditioning up at night or when you re at work. Page 37 of 98

38 Chapter 16 Landscaping Landscaping is a natural and beautiful way to keep your home cool in summer and reduce your energy bills. A well-placed tree, shrub or vine can deliver effective shade, act as a windbreak, and reduce your energy bills. Carefully positioned trees can save up to 25% of the energy a typical household uses. Research shows that summer daytime air temperatures can be 3 to 6 cooler in tree-shaded neighborhoods than in treeless areas. A lattice or trellis with climbing vines, or a planter box with trailing vines, can shade the home s perimeter while admitting cooling breezes to the shaded area. Natural Partners: Buildings and Trees Page 38 of 98

39 Deciduous trees planted on the south and west sides of your home will help keep it cool in the summer and allow sun to shine in the windows in the winter. Careful landscaping can preserve rooftop solar exposure for solar panels and provide shading to help control solar heat gain through windows. Large deciduous shade trees on the southwest corner of the home provide welcome relief from summer afternoon sun while allowing desirable winter sun to warm the house. Page 39 of 98

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42 Quiz #2 Typically, % of your utility bill goes for heating and cooling T/F: Heating and cooling your home uses more energy and drains more energy dollars than any other system in your home. False True By combining proper equipment maintenance and upgrades with appropriate insulation, air sealing, and thermostat settings, you can cut your energy use for heating and cooling and reduce environmental emissions by up to % Most duct systems are insulated properly. poorly well Ducts that leak heated air into unheated spaces can add of dollars a year to your heating and cooling bills. thousands tens hundreds T/F: If you use tape to seal your ducts, avoid cloth-backed, rubber adhesive duct tape, which tends to fail quickly. False True Page 42 of 98

43 You can save about % a year on your heating and cooling bills by simply using an automatic setback or programmable thermostat Carefully positioned trees can save up to % of the energy a typical household uses Page 43 of 98

44 Chapter 17 Keep Your Energy Bills Out of Hot Water Water heating is the third largest energy expense in your home. It typically accounts for about 15% of your utility bill. There are four ways to cut your water heating bills: use less hot water, turn down the thermostat on your water heater, insulate your water heater, and buy a new, more energy-efficient model. Look for the ENERGY STAR label. Page 44 of 98

45 Water Heating Tips Install aerating, low-flow faucets and showerheads. Repair leaky faucets promptly; a leaky faucet wastes gallons of water in a short period of time. Lower the thermostat on your water heater. Water heaters sometimes come from the factory pre-set at a high temperature, but setting it at 120 F provides comfortably hot water for most uses. Insulate your electric hot-water storage tank, but be careful not to cover the thermostat. Follow the manufacturer s recommendations. Insulate your natural gas or oil hot-water storage tank, but be careful not to cover the water heater s top, bottom, thermostat, or burner compartment. Follow the manufacturer s recommendations; when in doubt, get professional help. Insulate the first 6 feet of the hot and cold water pipes connected to the water heater. If you re in the market for a new dishwasher or clothes washer, consider buying an efficient, water-saving ENERGY STAR model to reduce hot water use. Page 45 of 98

46 Install heat traps on the hot and cold pipes at the water heater to prevent heat loss. Some new water heaters have built-in heat traps. Drain a quart of water from your water tank every three months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater. The type of water tank you have determines the steps to take, so follow the manufacturer s recommendations. Although most water heaters last 10 to 15 years, it s best to start shopping now for a new one if yours is more than seven years old. Doing some research before your heater fails will enable you to select the best one that meets your needs. Long-Term Savings Tips Buy a new energy-efficient water heater. While it may cost more initially than a standard water heater, the energy savings will continue during the lifetime of the appliance. Look for the ENERGY STAR and EnergyGuide labels. Look for the ENERGY STAR label on efficient water heaters in the following categories: high-efficiency gas non-condensing, gas condensing, electric heat pump, gas tankless, and solar. Consider installing a drain water waste heat-recovery system. A recent DOE study showed energy savings of up to 30% for water heating using such a system. Consider a natural gas on-demand or tankless water heater. Research has found that savings can as high as 30% compared to a standard natural gas storage tank water heater. Page 46 of 98

47 A heat pump water heater can be very cost-effective in some areas and climates. Solar Water Heaters If you heat water with electricity, have high electric rates, and have an unshaded, southfacing location (such as a roof) on your property, consider installing an ENERGY STARqualified solar water heater. Solar units are environmentally friendly and can be installed on your roof to blend in with the architecture of your house. More than 1.5 million homes and businesses in the United States have invested in solar water heating systems, and surveys indicate that more than 94% of these customers consider the systems a good investment. Solar water heating systems are also good for the environment. Solar water heaters avoid the greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity production. During a 20-year period, one solar water heater can avoid more than 50 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. When shopping for a solar water heater, look for the ENERGY STAR label and for systems certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation, or the Florida Solar Energy Center. Page 47 of 98

48 Chapter 18 Windows Windows can be one of your home s most attractive features. Windows provide views, daylighting, ventilation, and solar heating in the winter. Unfortunately, they can also account for up to 25% of your heating bill. During the summer, your air conditioner must work harder to cool hot air from sunny windows. Energy-efficient windows may have two or more panes of glass, warm-edge spacers between the window panes, improved framing materials, and low-e coatings, which are microscopically thin coatings that help keep heat inside during the winter and outside during the summer. If your home has single-pane windows, as many U.S. homes do, consider replacing them with new double-pane windows with high-performance low-e (low-emissivity) or spectrally selective glass. In colder climates, choose windows that are gas-filled with low-e coatings on the glass to reduce heat loss. In warmer climates, choose windows with spectrally selective coatings to reduce heat gain. Page 48 of 98

49 If you re building a new home, the higher cost of energy-efficient windows can actually be offset by allowing you to buy smaller, less expensive heating and cooling equipment. Install ENERGY STAR windows and use curtains and shade to give your air conditioner and energy bill a break. If you live in the Sun Belt, look into low-e windows, which can cut the cooling load by up to 15%. If you decide not to replace your windows, the simpler, less costly measures listed here can improve their performance. Cold-Climate Window Tips Cold-climate windows keep heat in. Double-pane windows with low-e coating on the glass reflect heat back into the room during the winter months. During the cold winter months, you can use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame, or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames. Remember, the plastic must be sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce air infiltration. Install tight-fitting, insulating window shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing. Close your curtains and shades at night. Open your curtains during the day. If you have windows located on the south side of your house, keep them clean so that they can let in the maximum amount of winter sun. Install exterior or interior storm windows. Storm windows can reduce heat loss through the windows by 25% to 50%. Storm windows should have weatherstripping at all movable joints, be made of strong, durable materials, and have interlocking or overlapping joints. Low-e storm windows save even more energy. Repair and weatherize your current storm windows, if necessary. Warm-Climate Window Tips Warm-climate windows keep heat out. In the summertime, the sun shining through your windows heats up the room. Windows with low-e coatings on the glass reflect some of the sunlight, keeping your rooms cooler. Here are some things you can do to keep comfortable. Install white window shades, drapes or blinds to reflect heat away from the windows. Close curtains on south- and west-facing windows during the day. Install awnings on south- and west-facing windows. Apply sun-control or other reflective films on south-facing windows to reduce solar gain. Page 49 of 98

50 Long-Term Savings Tip Installing high-performance windows will improve your home s energy performance. While it may take years for new windows to pay off in dollar-fordollar energy savings, the benefits of added comfort and improved aesthetics and functionality make the investment worth it much sooner. Many window technologies are available that should be considered. Shopping Tips for Windows Look for the ENERGY STAR label. Check with your local utility company to see if any rebates or other financial incentives are available for window replacement. High-performance windows have at least two panes of glass and a low-e coating, so make sure the windows you choose have these features, and not just a claim or label that says high-performance. The U-factor for windows is similar to the R-rating for insulation. The U-factor measures the rate of heat transfer and tells you how well the window insulates. The lower the U-factor, the better the insulation. In colder climates, focus on finding windows with a low U-factor. Low solar heat-gain coefficients (SHGCs) reduce heat gain. In warm climates, look for a low SHGC. In temperate climates with both heating and cooling seasons, select windows with both low U-factors and low SHGCs to maximize energy savings. Look for whole-unit U-factors and SHGCs, rather than center-of-glass (or COG) U-factors and SHGCs. Whole-unit numbers more accurately reflect the energy performance of the entire product. Have your windows installed by trained professionals. Be sure they re installed according to the manufacturer s instructions; otherwise, your warranty may be voided. Page 50 of 98

51 Chapter 19 Lighting LEDs and CFLs Two Bright Ideas! Making improvements to your lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. An average household dedicates 11% of its energy budget to lighting. Using new lighting technologies can reduce lighting energy use in your home by 50% to 75%. ENERGY STAR-qualified lighting provides bright, warm light and uses about 75% less energy than standard lighting, produces 75% less heat, and lasts up to 10 times longer. Advances in lighting controls offer further energy savings by reducing the amount of time that lights are turned on but not being used. Indoor Lighting Use linear fluorescent tubes and energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) in fixtures throughout your home to provide high-quality and high-efficiency lighting. Fluorescent lamps are much more efficient than incandescent (standard) bulbs and last up to 12 times longer. Today s CFLs offer brightness and color rendition that is comparable to incandescent bulbs. Although linear fluorescent and CFLs cost a bit more than incandescent bulbs initially, they are cheaper over their lifetime because they use so little electricity. CFL lighting fixtures are now available that are compatible with dimmers and operate like incandescent fixtures. Indoor Lighting Tips CFLs contain a very small amount of mercury sealed within their glass tubing. Many retailers offer free recycling services for the safe disposal of CFLs. ENERGY STAR-qualified CFLs are available in sizes and shapes to fit in almost any fixture. Visit to find the right light bulbs for your fixtures. Be sure to buy ENERGY STAR-qualified CFLs because: they will save you about $30 or more in electricity costs over each bulb s lifetime; since they produce about 75% less heat, they are safer to operate and can cut home cooling costs; and they provide the greatest savings in fixtures that are on for a long time each day. The best fixtures that use ENERGY STAR-qualified CFLs are usually found in the family room and living room, kitchen, dining room, bedrooms, and outdoors. Page 51 of 98

52 Consider purchasing ENERGY STAR-qualified fixtures. They are available in many styles, including table, desk and floor lamps. There are also hard-wired options for front porches, dining rooms, bathroom vanity fixtures, and more. Also: ENERGY STAR-qualified fixtures distribute light more efficiently and evenly than standard fixtures, and they provide convenient features, such as dimming on some indoor models. Timer and photo-cell controls save electricity by turning lights off when not in use. Dimmers save electricity when used to lower light levels. Be sure to select products that are compatible with CFL bulbs because not all products work with them. More Tips When remodeling, look for recessed downlights and can lighting that are IC-rated or safe for contact with insulation. Take advantage of daylight by using light-colored, loose-weave curtains on your windows to allow daylight to penetrate into the room while preserving privacy. Also, decorate with lighter colors that reflect daylight. If you have torchiere fixtures with halogen lamps, consider replacing them with compact fluorescent torchieres. Compact fluorescent torchieres use 60% to 80% less energy and do not get as hot as halogen torchieres. Outdoor Lighting Many homeowners use outdoor lighting for decoration and security. When shopping for outdoor lights, you ll find a variety of products, from low-voltage pathway lighting to motion-detector floodlights. Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, are excellent choices for outdoor environments because of their durability and performance in cold weather. Look for ENERGY STAR LED products, such as pathway lights, step lights, and porch lights for outdoor use. Outdoor Lighting Tips Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, offer better light quality than incandescent bulbs, last 25 times longer, and use even less energy than CFLs. Look for ENERGY STAR-qualified LED products at home improvement centers and lighting showrooms. Some of their benefits include the following: Because outdoor lights are usually left on for long periods, using CFLs in these fixtures will save a lot of energy. Most bare spiral CFLs can be used in enclosed fixtures that protect them from the weather. Page 52 of 98

53 CFLs are also available as floodlights. These models have been tested to withstand the rain and snow so they can be used in exposed fixtures. Most of the, however, cannot be used with motion detectors. Look for ENERGY STAR-qualified fixtures that are designed for outdoor use and come with features such as automatic daylight shut-off and motion sensors. Page 53 of 98

54 Chapter 20 Appliances: What s the Real Cost? Every appliance has two costs: the purchase price and the operating cost. Consider both when buying a new appliance. Appliances account for about 17% of your household s energy consumption, with refrigerators, clothes washers and clothes dryers at the top of the list. When you re shopping for appliances, think of those two costs or price tags. The first one covers the purchase price. The second is the cost of operating the appliance during its lifetime. You ll be paying on that second price tag every month with your utility bill for the next 10 to 20 years, depending on the appliance. Refrigerators last an average of 14 years; clothes washers about 11 years; dishwashers about 10 years; and room air conditioners last almost 10 years. Page 54 of 98

55 When you shop for a new appliance, look for the ENERGY STAR label. ENERGY STAR products usually exceed minimum federal standards by a substantial amount. To help you figure out whether an appliance is energy-efficient, the federal government requires most appliances to display the bright yellow and black EnergyGuide label. Although these labels will not tell you which appliance is the most efficient, they will tell you the annual energy consumption and operating cost for each appliance so you can compare them yourself. What s a Kilowatt? When you use electricity to cook a pot of rice for one hour, you use 1,000 watt-hours of electricity! One thousand watt-hours equal 1 kilowatt-hour, written as 1 kwh. Your utility bill usually shows what you are charged for the kilowatt-hours you use. The average residential rate is 9.4 cents per kwh. A typical U.S. household consumes about 11,000 kwh per year, costing an average of $1,034 annually. Page 55 of 98

56 How Much Electricity Do Appliances Use? Click to enlarge. The chart shows how much energy a typical appliance uses per year and its corresponding cost based on national averages. For example, a refrigerator uses almost five times the electricity that the average television uses. Page 56 of 98

57 Chapter 21 Dishwashers Click to enlarge. How to Read the EnergyGuide Label The EnergyGuide label gives you two important pieces of information you can use to compare different brands and models when shopping for a new dishwasher: its estimated yearly operating cost, based on the national average cost of electricity; and its estimated energy consumption on a scale showing a range for similar models. Most of the energy used by a dishwasher is for water heating. The EnergyGuide label estimates how much power is needed per year to run the appliance and to heat the water, based on the yearly cost of natural gas and electric water heating. Page 57 of 98

58 Dishwasher Tips Check the manual that came with your dishwasher for the manufacturer s recommendations on water temperature. Many have internal heating elements that allow you to set the water heater in your home to a lower temperature. The ideal temp is 120 F. Scrape off large pieces of food and bones, rather than pre-rinsing your dishes before placing them in the dishwasher. Soaking or prewashing is generally only recommended in cases of burned-on or dried-on food. Be sure your dishwasher is full, but not overloaded, when you run it. Avoid using the rinse hold feature on your machine for just a few soiled dishes. It uses 3 to 7 gallons of hot water each time you use it. Let your dishes air dry. If you don t have an automatic air-dry switch, turn off the control knob after the final rinse and prop the door open slightly to allow the dishes to dry faster. Long-Term Savings Tip When shopping for a new dishwasher, look for the ENERGY STAR label to find a dishwasher that uses less water and 41% less energy than that required by federal standards. Page 58 of 98

59 Chapter 22 Refrigerators and Freezers ENERGY STAR Refrigerators Are Cool! The EnergyGuide label on new refrigerators tells you how much electricity in kilowatthours (kwh) a particular model uses in one year. The smaller the number, the less energy the refrigerator uses and the less it will cost you to operate. In addition to the EnergyGuide label, don t forget to look for the ENERGY STAR label. A new refrigerator with an ENERGY STAR label uses at least 20% less energy than required by current federal standards and 40% less energy than the conventional models sold in Refrigerator & Freezer Energy Tips Look for a refrigerator with automatic moisture control. Models with this feature have been engineered to prevent moisture accumulation on the cabinet exterior without the addition of a heater. This is not the same thing as an anti-sweat heater. Models with an anti-sweat heater will consume 5% to 10% more energy than models without this feature. Don t keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Recommended temperatures are 37 F to 40 F for the fresh food compartment of the refrigerator and 5 F for the freezer section. If you have a separate freezer for long-term storage, it should be kept at 0 F. Page 59 of 98

60 To check refrigerator temperature, place an appliance thermometer in a glass of water in the center of the refrigerator. Read it after 24 hours. To check the freezer temperature, place a thermometer between some frozen packages. Read it after 24 hours. Regularly defrost manual-defrost refrigerators and freezers. Frost buildup decreases the energy efficiency of the unit. Don t allow frost to build up more than a quarter of an inch thick. Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Test them by closing the door over a piece of paper or a dollar bill so it is half in and half out of the refrigerator. If you can pull the paper or bill out easily, the latch may need adjustment, the seal may need replacing, or you might consider buying a new unit. Cover liquids and wrap foods stored in the refrigerator. Uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder. Long-Term Savings Tip Look for the ENERGY STAR label when buying a new refrigerator. Select a new refrigerator that is the right size for your household. Top-freezer models are more energy efficient than side-by-side models. Ancillary features, such as icemakers and water dispensers, may be convenient, but they ll increase your energy use. Page 60 of 98

61 Chapter 23 Other Energy-Saving Kitchen Tips Be sure to place the faucet lever on the kitchen sink in the cold position when using small amounts of water. Placing the lever in the hot position uses energy to heat the water even though it may never reach the faucet. If you need to purchase a natural gas oven or range, look for one with an automatic electronic ignition system. An electronic ignition saves natural gas because the pilot light is not burning continuously. In natural gas appliances, look for a blue flame. A yellow flame indicates that the gas is burning inefficiently and an adjustment may be needed. Consult the manufacturer or your local utility service person. Keep range-top burners and reflectors clean. They reflect the heat more efficiently, and you ll save energy. Use a kettle or a covered pan to boil water. It s faster and it uses less energy. Match the size of the pan to the heating element. Use small electric pans or toaster ovens for small meals rather than your large stove or oven. A toaster oven uses a third to half as much energy as a full-sized oven. Use a pressure cooker and microwave oven whenever it s convenient to do so. They save energy by significantly reducing cooking time. Page 61 of 98

62 Chapter 24 Laundry Appliances Save Energy and More with ENERGY STAR ENERGY STAR clothes washers use 50% less energy than standard washing machines. About 90% of the energy used for washing clothes in a conventional top-load washer is for heating the water. There are two ways to reduce the amount of energy used for washing clothes: use less water and use cooler water. Unless you re dealing with oily stains, the warm or cold water setting on your machine will generally do a good job of getting your clothes clean. Switching the temperature setting from hot to warm can cut a load s energy use in half. Laundry Tips Whenever possible, wash your clothes in cold water using cold-water detergent. Wash and dry full loads. If you re washing a small load, use the appropriate water-level setting. Dry towels and heavier cottons in a separate load from lighter-weight clothes. Don t over-dry your clothes. If your machine has a moisture sensor, use it. Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation. Use the cool-down cycle to allow the clothes to finish drying with the residual heat in the dryer. Periodically inspect your dryer vent to ensure that it s not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a fire. Manufacturers recommend using rigid venting material, not plastic vents that may collapse and cause blockages. Also, do not Page 62 of 98

63 install a screen at the exterior vent if you re concerned about nesting birds and other pests. A screen will hold debris in and may cause a fire. The exterior vent should have a damper that easily opens and closes by the force of the expelled air, so make sure it s not stuck open, which will permit the entry of unwanted pests and birds. Consider air-drying clothing and other laundered items on a clothes line or drying rack. Air-drying is recommended by clothing manufacturers for many fabrics. Long-Term Savings Tips Look for the ENERGY STAR and EnergyGuide labels. ENERGY STAR clothes washers use 50% less energy than standard washers. Most full-sized ENERGY STAR washers use 15 gallons of water per load, compared to the 32.5 gallons used by a new standard machine. ENERGY STAR models also spin the clothes better, resulting in less drying time. When shopping for a new clothes dryer, look for one with a moisture sensor that automatically shuts off the machine when your clothes are dry. Not only will this save energy, it will save the wear and tear on your clothes caused by over-drying. ENERGY STAR does not label clothes dryers because most of them use similar amounts of energy, which means there is little difference in energy use among different models. Page 63 of 98

64 Quiz #3 T/F: Installing aerating, low-flow faucets and showerheads can help lower water heating costs. True False Setting the hot water tank temperature to degrees saves energy The first feet of the hot and cold water pipes connected to the water heater should be insulated Making improvements to your lighting is one of the ways to cut your energy bills. most expensive fastest most complex slowest T/F: When you shop for a new appliance, look for the ENERGY STAR label. False True Most of the energy used by a dishwasher is for. getting dishes dry spinning water heating spraying water T/F: Placing the kitchen sink s faucet lever in the hot position uses energy to heat the water even though it may never reach the faucet. True False Page 64 of 98

65 About % of the energy used for washing clothes in a conventional topload washer is for heating the water Page 65 of 98

66 Chapter 25 Major Appliance Shopping Guide Shopping for Energy-Efficient Appliances When it comes to shopping for and comparing energy-efficient appliances and home electronics, look for the ENERGY STAR and EnergyGuide labels. ENERGY STAR Label ENERGY STAR labels appear on appliances and home electronics that meet strict criteria for energy efficiency as established by the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The ENERGY STAR labeling program includes most home electronics and appliances, except for stove ranges and ovens. EnergyGuide Label Page 66 of 98

67 The Federal Trade Commission requires EnergyGuide labels on most home appliances (except stove ranges and ovens), but not on home electronics, such as computers, televisions and home audio equipment. EnergyGuide labels provide an estimate of the product s energy consumption or energy efficiency. They also show the highest and lowest energy consumption or efficiency estimates of similar appliance models. The following easy-to-read guide may help you understand how appliances are rated for efficiency, what the ratings mean, and what to look for when shopping for new appliances. Appliance: Natural Gas and Oil Heating Systems Rating: Look for the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) EnergyGuide label with an AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating for natural gas- and oil-fired furnaces and boilers. The AFUE measures the seasonal or annual efficiency. ENERGY STAR furnaces have a 90 AFUE or higher. Special Considerations: Bigger is not always better! Too large a system costs more and operates inefficiently. Have a professional assess your needs and recommend the type and size of system you should purchase. Appliance: Air-Source Heat Pumps Rating: Look for the EnergyGuide label that lists the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) and HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) for heat pumps. The SEER measures Page 67 of 98

68 the energy efficiency during the cooling season and HSPF measures the efficiency during the heating season. The ENERGY STAR minimum efficiency level is 13 SEER or higher. Special Considerations: If you live in a cool climate, look for a heat pump with a high HSPF. ENERGY STAR heat pumps are about 20% more efficient than standard models. Contact a professional for advice on purchasing a heat pump. Appliance: Central Air Conditioners Rating: Look for the EnergyGuide label with a SEER for central air conditioners. The ENERGY STAR minimum efficiency level is 13 SEER. Special Considerations: Air conditioners that bear the ENERGY STAR label may be 25% more efficient than standard models. Contact a professional for advice on sizing a central air system for your home. Appliance: Room Air Conditioners Rating: Look for the EnergyGuide label with an EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) for room air conditioners. The higher the EER, the more efficient the unit is. ENERGY STAR units are among the most energy-efficient products. What size to buy? Area in square feet BTU/hour 100 to 150 = 5, to 250 = 6, to 350 = 7, to 450 = 9, to 450 = 10, to 550 = 12, to 700 = 14, to 1,000 = 18,000 Special Considerations: Two major factors should guide your purchase: correct size and energy efficiency. If the room is very sunny, increase capacity by 10%. If the unit is for a kitchen, increase the capacity by 4,000 BTUs per hour. Page 68 of 98

69 Appliance: Programmable Thermostats Rating: For minimum ENERGY STAR efficiency, thermostats should have at least two programs, four temperature settings each, a hold feature that allows users to temporarily override settings, and the ability to maintain room temperature within 2 of desired temperature. Special Considerations: Look for a the ENERGY STAR label and a thermostat that allows you to easily use two separate programs: one that can be programmed to reach the desired temperature at a specific time, and a hold feature that temporarily overrides the setting without deleting the pre-set programs. Appliance: Water Heaters Rating: Look for the EnergyGuide label that tells how much energy the water heater uses in one year. Also, look for the FHR (first-hour rating) of the water heater, which measures the maximum hot water the heater will deliver in the first hour of use. Special Considerations: If you typically need a lot of hot water at once, the FHR will be important to you. Sizing is important call your local utility for advice. Appliance: Windows Rating: Look for the NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council) label that provides U-values and SHGC (solar heat-gain coefficient) values. The lower the U-value, the better the insulation. Special Considerations: Look at the Climate Region Map on the ENERGY STAR label to be sure that the window, door or skylight you ve selected is appropriate for where you live. Appliance: Refrigerators and Freezers Rating: Look for the EnergyGuide label that tells how much electricity, in kwh, the refrigerator Page 69 of 98

70 will use in one year. The smaller the number, the less energy it uses. ENERGY STAR refrigerators use at least 15% less energy than required by federal standards. Special Considerations: Look for energy-efficient refrigerators and freezers. Refrigerators with freezers on top are more efficient than those with freezers on the side. Also look for heavy door hinges that create a good door seal. Appliance: Dishwashers Rating: Look for the EnergyGuide label that tells how much electricity, in kwh, the dishwasher will use in one year. The smaller the number, the less energy it uses. ENERGY STAR dishwashers use at least 25% less energy than required by federal standards. Special Considerations: Look for features that will reduce water use, such as booster heaters and smart controls. Ask how many gallons of water the dishwasher uses during different cycles. Dishwashers that use the least amount of water will cost the least to operate. Appliance: Clothes Washers Rating: Look for the EnergyGuide label that tells how much electricity, in kwh, the clothes washer will use in one year. The smaller the number, the less energy is uses. ENERGY STAR clothes washers use less than 50% of the energy used by standard washers. Special Considerations: Look for the following design features that help clothes washers cut water usage: water level controls, suds-saver features, spin-cycle adjustments, and large capacity. For double the efficiency, buy an ENERGY STAR unit. Page 70 of 98

71 Chapter 26 Home Office Equipment and Home Electronics Nearly 4.2 million people in the U.S. worked from home in 2000, up from 3.4 million in Working from home saves energy and time by cutting out the commute, but it may increase your home energy bills a lot unless you use energy-saving office equipment. ENERGY STAR labeled office equipment is widely available: it provides users with dramatic savings, as much as 90% savings for some products. Overall, ENERGY STAR labeled office products use about half the electricity of standard equipment. Along with saving energy directly, this equipment can reduce air-conditioning loads, noise from fans and transformers, and electromagnetic field emissions from monitors. Home Office Tips Shop for ENERGY STAR products for your home office, including: computers; monitors; copiers; fax machines; Page 71 of 98

72 printers; scanners; and multifunction devices (fax, scanner, copier). Keep Your Home Office Efficient with ENERGY STAR Home offices are increasingly popular. Be sure to use ENERGY STAR office equipment to save electricity. Here are some tips. Selecting energy-efficient office equipment personal computers (PCs), monitors, copiers, printers and fax machines and turning them off when they re not in use can result in enormous energy savings. An ENERGY STAR-labeled computer uses 70% less electricity than computers without this designation. If left inactive, ENERGY STAR-labeled desktop computers enter a sleep mode and use 4 watts or less. Spending a large portion of time in low-power mode not only saves energy, but it helps equipment run cooler, which means it can last longer. To maximize energy savings when using a laptop, plug the AC adapter into a power strip that can be turned off (or will turn off automatically). If the AC adaptor is plugged into a wall receptacle or outlet, the transformer in it will draw power continuously, even if the laptop is not plugged into the adapter. Common misconceptions sometimes account for the failure to turn off equipment. Many people believe that equipment lasts longer if it s never turned off. This incorrect perception carries over from the days of older mainframe computers. ENERGY STAR-labeled computers and monitors save energy only when the power-management features are activated, so make sure these features are activated on your computer. There is a common misconception that screen savers reduce the energy used by monitors; they do not. Setting your computer to automatically go into sleep mode after a pre-set time of non-use (or manually turning monitors off) is always the better energy-saving strategy. Long-Term Savings Tip Consider buying a laptop for your next computer upgrade; they use much less energy than desktop computers. Tips for Home Electronics Shop for ENERGY STAR home electronics, including: cordless phones; televisions; VCR, DVD, DVR and other types of media players, including combination units; home audio equipment; and Page 72 of 98

73 set-top boxes. Other Tips for Using Home Electronics Power strips help save wasted energy. Look for energy-saving ENERGY STAR-labeled home electronics. Many appliances continue to draw a small amount of power when they are switched off. These phantom loads occur in most appliances that use electricity, such as DVD players, televisions, stereos, computers, and small kitchen appliances. These phantom loads can be avoided by unplugging the appliance or using a power strip and using the switch on the power strip to cut power to the appliance. Unplug battery chargers when the batteries are fully charged or when the chargers are not in use. Studies have shown that using rechargeable batteries for products such as cordless phones and PDAs is more cost-effective than using standard batteries. If you must use non-rechargeable batteries, check with your trash removal company about options for their safe disposal. Page 73 of 98

74 Chapter 27 Solar-Powered Outdoor Lighting Installing solar lighting around your home and garden is quick and easy to install, with an added bonus no wires or electricity costs! You have many options for using renewable energy at home from solar-powered outdoor lights to buying renewable energy from your local utility provider, or even producing solar electricity at home with photovoltaic (PV) cells. Renewable Energy Tips A new home provides the best opportunity for designing and orienting the home to take advantage of the sun s rays. A well-oriented home admits low-angle winter sun to reduce heating bills and rejects overhead summer sun to reduce cooling bills. Many U.S. consumers buy electricity made from renewable energy sources, including the sun, wind, water, plants, and the earth s internal heat. This power is sometimes called green power. Buying green power from your local utility is Page 74 of 98

75 one of the easiest ways to use renewable energy without having to invest in equipment or take on extra maintenance tasks. Another use of solar power is for heating water. If you have a swimming pool or hot tub, you can use solar power to cut pool heating costs. Most solar pool heating systems are cost-competitive with conventional systems. And solar pool systems have very low operating costs. It s actually the most cost-effective use of solar energy. Long-Term Savings Tip If you ve made your home as energy-efficient as possible and you still have very high electricity bills but a good solar resource, you might want to consider generating your own electricity using PV cells. New products are available that integrate PV cells with the existing roof, making them much less visible than older systems. If the following conditions apply, you might want to do more research to see if investing in PV technology is right for you: Your site has adequate solar resources. A grid connection is not available in your area or can be made only through an expensive power line extension. You are willing to pay more up front to reduce the environmental impact of your electricity use. Your power provider will connect your system to the electricity grid and buy any excess power you produce. Your state, city or utility company offers rebates, tax credits or other incentives. Visit the DSIRE Web site at to find out about any financial incentives offered in your area. Page 75 of 98

76 Chapter 28 Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Assessments You can conduct a basic, do-it-yourself home energy assessment to get a general idea about how efficient your home is. With a diligent walk-through, you can spot many problems in any type of house. When assessing your home, keep a checklist of areas you have inspected and problems you ve found. This list will help you prioritize your energy efficiency upgrades. Locating Air Leaks First, make a list of obvious air leaks (drafts). The potential energy savings from reducing drafts in a home may range from 5% to 30% per year, and the home is generally much more comfortable afterward. Check for indoor air leaks, such as gaps along the baseboard and the edge of the flooring, and at junctures of the walls and ceiling. Check to see if air can flow through these places: o o o o o o o o electrical outlets; switch plates; window frames; baseboards; weatherstripping around doors; fireplace dampers; attic hatches; and wall- or window-mounted air conditioners. Also, look for gaps around pipes and wires, electrical outlets, foundation seals, and mail slots. Check to see if the caulking and weatherstripping are in good condition and applied properly, with no gaps or cracks. Inspect windows and doors for air leaks. See if you can rattle them, since movement means possible air leaks. If you can see daylight around a door or window frame, then the door or window leaks. You can usually seal these leaks by caulking or weatherstripping them. Check the storm windows to see if they fit and are not broken. You may also wish to consider replacing your old windows and doors with newer, high-performance ones. If new factory-made doors or windows are too costly, you can install low-cost plastic sheeting over the windows during cold weather. If you are having difficulty locating leaks, you may want to conduct a basic building pressurization test by following these steps: Page 76 of 98

77 1. First, close all exterior doors and windows and any fireplace flues. 2. Turn off all combustion appliances, such as a gas-burning furnace and water heater. 3. Then, turn on all exhaust fans (generally located in the kitchen and bathrooms), or use a large window fan to suck the air out of the rooms. This test increases infiltration through cracks and leaks, making them easier to detect. You can use incense sticks or your damp hand to locate these leaks. If you use incense sticks, moving air will cause the smoke to waver, and if you use your damp hand, any drafts will feel cool to your hand. On the outside of your house, inspect all areas where two different building materials meet, including: o o o all exterior corners; where siding and chimneys meet; and areas where the foundation and the bottom of exterior brick or siding meet. You should plug and caulk holes and penetrations for faucets, pipes, electrical outlets and wiring. Look for cracks and holes in the mortar, foundation and siding, and seal them with the appropriate material. Check the exterior caulking around doors and windows, and see whether exterior storm doors and primary doors seal tightly. When sealing any home, you must always be aware of the danger of indoor air pollution and combustion-appliance backdrafts. Backdrafting happens when the various combustion appliances and exhaust fans in the home compete for air. An exhaust fan may pull the combustion gases back into the living space. This can obviously create a very dangerous and unhealthy situation in the home. In homes where fuel is burned for heating (including natural gas, fuel oil, propane and wood), be certain the appliance has an adequate air supply. Generally, 1 square inch of vent opening is required for each 1,000 BTUs of the appliance s input heat. When in doubt, contact your local utility company, energy professional, or ventilation contractor. Insulation Heat loss through the ceiling and walls in your home could be very large if the insulation levels are less than the recommended minimum. When your house was built, the builder likely installed the amount of insulation recommended at that time. Given today s energy prices (and future prices that will probably be higher), the level of insulation might be inadequate, especially if you have an older home. If the attic hatch is located above a conditioned space, check to see if it is at least as heavily insulated as the attic, is weatherstripped, and closes tightly. In the attic, determine Page 77 of 98

78 whether openings for items such as pipes, ductwork, and chimneys are sealed. Seal any gaps with an expanding foam caulk or some other permanent sealant. While you re inspecting the attic, check to see if there is a vapor barrier under the attic insulation. The vapor barrier might be tar paper, Kraft paper attached to fiberglass batts, or a plastic sheet. If there doesn t appear to be a vapor barrier, you might consider painting the interior ceilings with vapor-barrier paint. This reduces the amount of water vapor that can pass through the ceiling. Large amounts of moisture can reduce the effectiveness of insulation and promote structural damage. Make sure that the attic vents are not blocked by insulation. You also should seal any electrical boxes in the ceiling with flexible caulk (from the living room side or attic side) and cover the entire attic floor with at least the current recommended amount of insulation. Checking a wall s insulation level is more difficult. Select an exterior wall and turn off the circuit breaker or unscrew the fuse for any outlets in the wall. Be sure to test the outlets to make certain that they are not energized or hot. Check the outlet by plugging in a functioning lamp or portable radio. Once you re sure your outlets are not getting any electricity, remove the cover plate from one of the outlets and gently probe into the wall with a thin, long stick or screwdriver. If you encounter a slight resistance, you have some insulation there. You could also make a small hole in a closet, behind a couch, or in some other unobtrusive place to see what, if anything, the wall cavity is filled with. Ideally, the wall cavity should be totally filled with some form of insulation material. Unfortunately, this method cannot tell you if the entire wall is insulated, or if the insulation has settled. Only a thermographic inspection with an infrared camera can do this. If your basement is unheated, determine whether there is insulation under the living area s flooring. In most areas of the country, an R-value of 25 is the recommended minimum level of insulation. The insulation at the top of the foundation wall and first floor perimeter should have an R-value of 19 or greater. If the basement is heated, the foundation walls should be insulated to at least R-19. Your water heater, hot water pipes, and furnace ducts should all be insulated. Heating and Cooling Equipment Inspect heating and cooling equipment annually, or as recommended by the manufacturer. If you have a forced-air furnace, check your filters and replace them as needed. Generally, you should change them about once every month or two, especially during periods of high usage. Have a professional check and clean your equipment once a year. If the unit is more than 15 years old, you should consider replacing your system with one of the newer, energy-efficient units. A new unit would greatly reduce your energy consumption, especially if the existing equipment is in poor condition. Check your Page 78 of 98

79 ductwork for dirt streaks, especially near seams. These indicate air leaks, and they should be sealed with a duct mastic. Insulate any ducts and pipes that travel through unheated spaces. An insulation R-value of 6 is the recommended minimum. Lighting Energy for lighting accounts for about 10% of your electric bill. Examine the wattage size of the light bulbs in your house. You may have 100-watt (or larger) bulbs where 60 or 75 watts would do. You should also consider compact fluorescent lamps for areas where lights are on for hours at a time. Your electric utility may offer rebates or other incentives for purchasing energy-efficient lamps. Page 79 of 98

80 3:31 minutes Below is the text from the video (above). The video opens with "Energy 101: Home Energy Checkup." A computer-generated image shows money flying out of the windows of a house. In any season, a leaky home costs money. How do you stop it? It starts with a comprehensive home energy checkup. The video switches to a shot of an inspector walking through a house and doing various tasks: reading an infrared gage, putting on a mask, checking the insulation, checking wiring in the attic, checking lighting fixtures. That's a series of tests and inspections to find out where your house could be more efficient. The end goal is to save energy, save money, and make your house more comfortable. Installing energy efficient lighting and appliances will help. So will creating a sealed barrier around your house, kinda like putting a blanket around the outside, minimizing the leaks. The video returns to the animation, this time showing a giant blanket wrapping the house and blocking the flow of money that's flying out of the windows. Upgrading your home to save energy can put anywhere from 5 to 30% of your energy bill back in your pocket. To get a thorough home energy check-up you'll need some help from a professional Look for a home energy technician -- called an "auditor" -- in your area. Page 80 of 98

81 In this cold weather evaluation, the auditor starts on the outside, looking for problems around walls, joints and under the eaves. If there's not a tight fit, you're losing energy and money. Next, the technician might head up to your attic to check for leaks on the top of your home barrier. That trap door could be a culprit -- letting cold air pass into the house. A big part of the check-up is determining how well the insulation insulates. Insulation should be correctly installed in between all areas of the house frame. That means it needs to be evenly applied and not just jammed into spaces. And, of course, if the insulation has fallen down, it's not working. Your energy auditor will inspect the holes where electrical lines pass through. If they're not sealed, they're leaking. Then it's down to the basement. Your furnace and water heater could be wasting energy. The auditor will check to see how energy efficient the furnace is. Furnaces generally lose efficiency as they get older and it could cost you more to keep yours running than to replace it with a new one. Maybe all you need is a new filter. Some people haven't changed their filter for months -- even years. That gunk clogging the filter means your furnace has to work harder to heat your home. If the water heater is several years old, it may not be efficient. And if it isn't insulated, it's also losing energy. Now, it's on to the ductwork. The technician will inspect connections to make sure they make a tight fit. They have to be sealed to keep the warm air going where it's supposed to go. If the screwdriver can go in the hole, it means one thing for sure: Money is going out! Now for the blower door test. The energy auditor will close all the windows and doors and anything else that lets outside air in. This special fan will depressurize the home. The idea is to suck air out of the house, allowing outside air to rush into the home through all those openings you didn't know about. The video shows the auditor covering the door with a large plastic tarp, which blocks the door around a giant fan. He turns it on and then begins reading an infrared gage that shows temperature differences in the home. With the windows and doors closed and the fan running, leaks are easy to spot with an infrared camera. In winter the auditor will scan the interior of the home looking for cold air rushing in. Here, the darker the color, the worse it is. These black spots mean one big air leak. It's an eye opening experience. For this house, the recessed lighting fixtures are big problems. The auditor will also take a look at the kinds of light bulbs in those fixtures. If they're incandescents, they're using a lot of energy. Warm compact fluorescents are an energy saving alternative. So, the home energy assessment reveals the ways that energy escapes your home, costing you money. The good news is, you'll have a comprehensive home energy report showing which efficiency upgrades are right for you and where to stop those pesky leaks. Page 81 of 98

82 Chapter 29 Professional Home Energy Audits Professional energy audits generally go into great detail. The energy auditor should do a room-by-room examination of the residence, as well as a thorough examination of past utility bills. Many professional energy assessments will include a blower door test and a thermographic scan using an infrared camera. Preparing for an Energy Assessment Before the energy auditor visits your house, make a list of any existing problems you re aware of, such as condensation, and uncomfortable or drafty rooms. Have copies or a summary of the home s yearly energy bills. (Your utility company can provide these to you.) Auditors use this information to establish what to look for during the audit. What the Auditor Does Page 82 of 98

83 The auditor first examines the outside of the home to determine the size of the house and its features, including the wall area, the number and size of windows, etc. The auditor then will analyze the residents behavior, including: o o o o How many people live in the home? Is every room in use? Is anyone home during the daytime? What is the average thermostat setting for summer and for winter? Your answers may help uncover some simple ways to reduce your household s energy consumption. Walk through your home with the auditor as s/he works and ask questions. The auditor may use equipment to detect sources of energy loss, such as a blower door, an infrared camera, a furnace efficiency meters, and surface thermometers. Selecting an Energy Auditor There are several places where you can locate professional energy assessment or auditing services. Your state or local government energy or weatherization office may help you identify a local company or organization that performs audits. They may also have information on how to do your own assessment. Your electric or gas utility may conduct residential energy assessments or recommend local auditors. Also, check your telephone directory under headings beginning with the word Energy for companies that perform residential energy assessments. To find an Home Energy Inspector, visit Before contracting with an energy auditing company, you should take the following steps: Get several references, and contact them all. Ask if they were satisfied with the work. Call the Better Business Bureau and ask about any complaints against the company. Make sure the energy auditor uses a calibrated blower door. Make sure they do thermographic inspections, or contact another company to conduct one. Page 83 of 98

84 28:10 minutes Page 84 of 98

85 27:18 minutes Page 85 of 98

86 Low-Cost and No-Cost Ways to Save Energy Here are several do-it-yourself tips to save energy right now, including easy low-cost and 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 things off when you are not in the room such as lights, TVs, entertainment systems, and your computer and monitor. Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power. Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120 F. 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. You can purchase some quality, low-flow fixtures (showerheads and sink faucet aerators) for around $10 to $20 a piece and achieve water savings of 25% 60%. 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. 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. You can significantly reduce swimming pool heating costs by using a pool cover. Adding a storm door can be a good investment if your existing door is old but still in good condition. You can use weatherstripping in your home to seal air leaks around movable joints, such as windows or doors. A well-designed landscape not only can add beauty to your home but it also can reduce your heating and cooling costs. On average, landscaping for energy efficiency provides enough energy savings to return an initial investment in less than 8 years. 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. Page 86 of 98

87 0:33 seconds Page 87 of 98

88 0:33 seconds Page 88 of 98

89 1:10 minutes Home Energy Inspectors There are over 9,000 Certified Home Energy Inspectors in the United States. To find your local Home Energy Inspector, visit and ask for an InterNACHI Home Energy Inspection. YOUR OPERATING COSTS Play the 1-minute video below: It takes a lot of energy to heat, cool, and operate a home. Most home buyers purchase a home without first understanding what it will cost to operate it once they move in. HOME ENERGY REPORT The Home Energy Report will give a home buyer a quick understanding of: Page 89 of 98

90 how much a home will cost to operate once they move in; where energy (and, therefore, money) is being wasted in the home; and what can be done to save energy and increase comfort. The average homeowner can save over $500 every year on utility bills by following the prioritized recommendations within the Home Energy Report. CERTIFIED INSPECTION To produce a Home Energy Report, your inspector will collect over 40 data points related to home energy, then use an advanced energy calculator developed by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors to: estimate the home s yearly energy usage; pinpoint potential energy inefficiencies; develop recommendations for energy improvements; and determine your potential energy savings. HOME ENERGY BOOK The Home Energy Book is included with your Home Energy Report. This companion e-book describes additional ways to save energy, increase comfort, and protect the environment. It also includes do-it-yourself tips to save energy right now, including easy low-cost and no-cost ways to save energy. MAKING HOME ENERGY IMPROVEMENTS The benefits from making energy improvements include saving on your utility bills, increasing the comfort of your home, and reducing your use of natural resources. In the example report shown above, this home will cost the homeowner $1,451 per year to operate. If the family makes the recommended energy improvements after they move in, they could expect to save $571 every year. These estimates and recommendations are based on the energy calculations and cost databases administered by the U.S. Department of Energy and its Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Find a Home Energy Inspector Near You. Page 90 of 98

91 Boulder EnergySmart In June of 2012, a new partnership between InterNACHI and Boulder County's EnergySmart ( will result in InterNACHI-Certified Home Inspectors driving demand for home energy improvements. Nearly 300 InterNACHI-Certified Professional Inspectors in Colorado will be providing added benefits to Boulder County homebuyers at the point of sale by providing Home Energy Reports and linking their inspection results to EnergySmart Advisors. Note: Home Energy Reports are not Home Energy Scores. For more information visit Take a look at a sample Home Energy Report that includes EnergySmart Advisors at Overview: 1. The Home Energy Report will be used instead of EnergySmart's $120 "Home Energy Assessment" 2. The report will automatically be sent a Boulder County EnergySmart Advisor 3. The EnergySmart Advisor will provide the inspector's client with: o free energy-saving lightbulbs; o free water-saving showerheads; o free water faucet aerators; o free in-home visit and consultation by an EnergySmart Advisor; o an explanation of the home's energy use; o help with determining the most cost-effective home improvements; o help with obtaining and evaluating bids from qualified contractors; and o help in finding and applying for rebates and financial incentives. EnergySmart reports are only available in Boulder County. EnergySmart is a collaborative partnership throughout Boulder County, funded by the Department of Energy's BetterBuildings Program, combined with contributions from the City of Boulder s Climate Action Plan tax and the City of Longmont. Typically, EnergySmart requires that a $120 "Home Energy Assessment" be performed on a home to qualify. InterNACHI's home energy report is accepted as an alternative, which means that the inspectors' clients have access to the program at no extra cost. EnergySmart reports include additional information about Boulder County's EnergySmart program, and are sent to Boulder County so that your client can receive the benefits of this program. Your client has no obligation to receive these free services, and can opt-out when an advisor contacts them. Page 91 of 98

92 EnergySmart has agreed to pay InterNACHI members a small fee to perform Home Energy Reports in Boulder County. Funding is limited and ends soon. Contact Ben Gromicko for more information. Homebuyers are increasingly concerned about energy issues, asking questions such as, How much will this home cost to operate? and How can I save money by saving energy? Home inspectors nationwide sit down with about 5 million new homeowners every year and spend several hours talking about those homes. The typical new homeowner starts planning home improvement projects at the point of sale and will spend around $8,000 in the first year on their new home. That s $40 billion of work that can be influenced by the home inspectors. More than any other consumer, a recent homebuyer spends the most money on major home improvements projects, but often with little regard to energy. EnergySmart can assist them with prioritizing and implementing these projects, as well as providing rebates and financing to make upgrades more affordable. Leveraging home inspectors to target homebuyers with consumer education can better drive demand for these services. In this new partnership, InterNACHI-Certified Professional Inspectors and EnergySmart Advisors will work together to reach residents and businesses in all Boulder County communities to motivate them to take the next step in saving energy, which will help protect the environment and spur the economy. Page 92 of 98

93 Chapter 30 References The following resources were used to develop this site: o American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy o Census Bureau Press Release, Information on Home Workers October 20, CB o DOE Building America o DOE Building Technologies Program o DOE Building Technologies Program, 2007 Buildings Energy Databook o DOE Consumer Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy o o o o o o o DOE/EPA Fuel Economy Guide DOE Energy Information Administration Residential Energy Consumption Survey ENERGY SAVERS ENERGY STAR Home Energy Magazine Rocky Mountain Institute Home Energy Briefs Wilson, Alex; Thorne, Jennifer; Morrill, John. Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings, 8th Edition Washington, D.C.: ACEEE Page 93 of 98

94 Chapter 31 About The Home Energy ebook This is the companion book to the Home Energy Report provided to you by your InterNACHI-certified inspector. To access your Home Energy Report, please contact your inspector. Please refer back to your Home Energy Report to understand: how much your home will cost to operate; where energy (and, therefore, your money) is being wasted; and what you can do to save energy and increase comfort. In addition to the energy-saving recommendations in your Home Energy Report, this companion book describes additional ways to save energy, increase comfort, and protect the environment. It also includes do-it-yourself tips to save energy right now, including easy low-cost and no-cost ways to save energy. This information was adapted from data and content in the public domain provided by the United States government, including the U.S Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. InterNACHI, nor any of their employees or Page 94 of 98

95 contractors, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe on privatelyowned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation or favoring by InterNACHI. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of InterNACHI. Page 95 of 98

96 Chapter 32 Low-Cost and No-Cost Ways to Save Energy Here are several do-it-yourself tips to save energy right now, including easy low-cost and 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 things off when you are not in the room such as lights, TVs, entertainment systems, and your computer and monitor. Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power. Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120 F. 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. Page 96 of 98

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