Fall Energy Efficiency Tips & Durability Checklist

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Welcome autumn. And welcome to our next installment of our series on Greening Your Home. Now is the time to begin taking inventory of things that need to be addressed around the home before winter sets in. Our durability checklist will help you make some steps to ensure that your home is ready for extra energy use this winter.

Durability Checklist For Fall Energy Savings:

  • Go up into your attic and move the insulation around and check to see if you can see light below. If the answer is ‘yes’ you will need to get those holes plugged up with caulk or something air tight.
  • Check the settings on your water heater to make sure that your water temperature is not too hot. Hot water is an incredible user of energy.
  • Add insulation to your hot water pipes. If your pipes are exposed in your basement ceiling wrap them with pipe insulation.
  • Weather-stripping your doors and windows will prevent cold air from entering your home or heat from escaping it, which will reduce your power bills.
  • Animal nests or creosote buildup in your fireplace can be hazardous. Have an annual inspection before building your first fire of the season.

If you are thinking about upgrading your mechanical system in the next 5 to 10 years, now is the time to make your building envelope tighter. Make sure your new system is the right size. Don’t drop a new super-efficient mechanical system on your home but forget to insulate. Bigger is not always better when it comes to systems. It’s all about balance with your systems.

If you are starting to plan for your Dream Home, you can prepare for energy savings right from the start.

Preparing For Future Efficiency in New Home Construction:

  • If you are in the position to think about designing and building your dream home make sure that you can include programmable thermostats and other home apps, but build in the capacity for new technology. With the proliferation of wireless apps and other efficiencies coming to market, you can’t anticipate the changes in the next few years let alone the next 20.
  • Keep in mind that wireless technologies will not always replace wire devices. Make sure you create chases in the walls to go from floor to floor or room to room– like a PVC pipe in the wall with an outlet in front so you can find it. That will enable you to add wires without running into a beams that you didn’t expect to be there. The smart home of the future will require both.

And always keep in mind, if you are starting with a super new design make sure you insulate to passive house levels.  You will not get a second chance to do so unless you tear down walls to the studs. The tighter your building envelope, the less energy you need to run efficiently.

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Lucas Hamilton is Manager, Building Science Applications for CertainTeed Corporation

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