Energy savers

Energy savers

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Energy savers Document Transcript

    EnergySavers energysavers.gov Tips on Saving Money & Energy at Home 3Save Money and Energy Today Get started with things you can do now, and use the whole-house approach to ensure that your investments are wisely made to save you money and energy. 4Your Home’s Energy Use Find out how your home uses energy, and where it’s losing the most energy so you can develop a plan to save in the short and long term. 7Air Leaks and Insulation Seal air leaks and insulate your home properly so your energy dollars don’t seep through the cracks. 12Heating and Cooling Use efficient systems to heat and cool your home, and save money and increase comfort by properly maintaining and upgrading equipment. 19Water Heating Use the right water heater for your home, insulate it and lower its temperature, and use less water to avoid paying too much. 21Windows Enjoy light and views while saving money by installing energy- efficient windows, and use strategies to keep your current windows from losing energy. 23Lighting Choose today’s energy-efficient lighting for some of the easiest and cheapest ways to reduce your electric bill. 27Appliances Use efficient appliances through- out your home, and get greater performance with lower energy bills. 33Home Office and Electronics Find out how much energy your electronics use, reduce their out- put when you’re not using them, and choose efficient electronics to save money. 35Renewable Energy Use renewable energy at home such as solar and wind to save energy dollars while reducing environmental impact. 37Transportation Choose efficient transportation options and drive more efficiently to save at the gas pump. 39References Use our reference list to learn more about energy efficiency and renewable energy. 40Endnotes See endnotes for individual citations. Contents 1 Right in your own home, you have the power to save money and energy. Saving energy reduces our nation’s overall demand for resources needed to make energy, and increasing your energy efficiency is like adding another clean energy source to our electric power grid. This guide shows you how easy it is to cut your energy use at home and also on the road. The easy, practical solutions for saving energy include tips you can use today—from the roof and landscaping to appliances and lights. They are good for your wallet and for the environment—and actions that you take help reduce our national needs to produce or import more energy, thereby improving our energy security. Tips for Renters and Property Owners If you rent, or if you own a rental unit, you can use many of the tips throughout this guide to save money and energy! Renters You can reduce your utility bills by following the tips in the Lighting, Heating and Cooling (if you control the thermostat), Appliances, Home Office and Home Electronics, Windows, and Transportation sections. Encourage your landlord to follow these tips as well. They’ll save energy and money, improving your comfort and lowering your utility bills even more. Property Owners Nearly all of the information in this guide applies to rental units. The chapter on Your Home’s Energy Use focuses on air leaks, insulation, heating and cooling, roofing, land- scaping, water heating, windows, appliances, and renewable energy. Find even more information about saving money and energy at home by visiting energysavers.gov. To learn more about U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) programs in energy efficiency and renewable energy, visit the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website at eere.energy.gov. EnergySavers 2 An energy-efficient home will keep your family comfortable while saving you money. Whether you take simple steps or make larger investments to make your home more efficient, you’ll see lower energy bills. Over time, those savings will typically pay for the cost of improvements and put money back in your pocket. Your home may also be more attractive to buyers when you sell. The 113 million residences in America today collectively use an estimated 22% of the country’s energy. Unfortunately, a lot of energy is wasted through leaky windows or ducts, old appliances, or inefficient heating and cooling systems. When we waste energy in our homes, we are throwing away money that could be used for other things. The typical U.S. family spends at least $2,000 a year on home utility bills. You can lower this amount by up to 25% through following the Long Term Savings Tips in this guide. The key to these savings is to take a whole-house approach—by viewing your home as an energy system with interdependent parts. For example, your heating system is not just a furnace—it’s a heat-delivery 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 leaky or poorly insulated. Taking a whole-house approach to saving energy ensures that dollars you invest to save energy are spent wisely. Save Money and Energy Today Tips to Save Energy Today 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. ■■ 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. ■■ Drive sensibly; aggressive driving such as speeding, and rapid acceleration and braking, wastes fuel. ■■ 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. ■■ Visit energysavers.gov for more energy-saving ideas. 3 4 A home energy assessment (sometimes referred to as an energy audit) will show what parts of your house use the most energy and suggest the best ways to cut energy costs. You can conduct a simple home energy assessment by doing it yourself (DIY) or, for a more detailed assessment, contact your local utility or an energy auditor. Also, you can learn more about home energy audits and find free tools and calculators on energysavers.gov, the Residential Services Network at resnet.us, or the Building Performance Institute at bpi.org. DIY Energy Assessment Tips • Check the insulation in your attic, exterior and basement walls, ceilings, floors, and crawl spaces. Your Home’s Energy UseTo determine the insulation R-values in different parts of your home, visit the Air Leaks and Insulation section of energysavers.gov. • Check for air leaks around your walls, ceilings, windows, doors, light and plumbing fixtures, switches, and electrical outlets. • Check for open fireplace dampers. • Make sure your appliances and heating and cooling systems are properly maintained. Check your owner’s manuals for the recom- mended maintenance. • Study your family’s lighting needs and look for ways to use controls— like sensors, dimmers, or timers— to reduce lighting use. Computers andElectronicsSpaceHeating45% Water Heating18% Space Cooling RefrigerationCookingOtherLightingWet Cleaning6% 3% 4% 4% 9% 6% 5% How We Use Energy in Our Homes Heating accounts for the biggest portion of your utility bills. Source: 2010 Buildings Energy Data Book, Table 2.1.1 Residential Primary Energy Consumption, by Year and Fuel Type. 5 Your Whole-House Plan After you know where your home is losing energy, make a plan by asking yourself a few questions: • How much money do you spend on energy? • Where are your greatest energy losses? • How long will it take for an invest- ment in energy efficiency to pay for itself in energy cost savings? • Do the energy-saving measures provide additional benefits that are important to you—for example, increased comfort from installing double-paned, efficient windows? • How long do you plan to own your current home? • Can you do the job yourself or do you need a contractor? • What is your budget? • How much time do you have for maintenance and repairs? Cool Hot Heat Loss from a House A picture is worth…in this case, lost heating dollars. This thermal image—taken by a professional energy auditor—shows warm air escaping through windows and cracks. The red shows where the most warm air is escaping. Photo from Infraspection Institute, Inc. Planning smart purchases and home improvements will maximize your energy efficiency and save you the most money. A more advanced alternative to performing a DIY energy assessment is to get advice from your state energy office, utility, or an independent energy auditor (see References for professional organizations). A professional energy auditor uses special test equipment to find air leaks, areas lacking insulation, and malfunctioning equipment. The auditor analyzes how well your home’s energy systems work together, and compares the analysis to your utility bills. After gathering information about your home, the auditor will recommend cost-effective energy improvements that enhance comfort and safety. Some will also estimate how soon your investment in efficiency upgrades will pay off. 6 Smart meters and home energy manage- ment systems allow customers to program how and when their home uses energy. Such programs might charge you the actual cost of power at any one time, ranging from high prices during times of peak demand to low prices during off-peak hours. If you are able to shift your power use to off-peak times—such as running your dishwasher late in the evening—these programs can save you money while helping your utility. Time-based rates are very attractive to owners of plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles since typically these vehicles are recharged at night. See the Transportation section for more information. Smart Meters and a Smarter Power Grid Millions of smart meters have been installed across the country. Smart meters provide two-way communication between you and your utility, helping your utility know about blackouts, for example. This helps utilities to maintain more reliable electrical service. Smart meters can be used with home energy management systems such as Web-based tools that your utility provides or devices that can be installed in your home. Smart meters can display your home energy use, help you find ways to save energy and money, and even allow you to remotely adjust your thermostat or turn appliances off. Time-Based Electricity Rates To help reduce their peak power demands and save money, many utilities are introducing programs that encourage their customers to use electricity during off-peak hours. The programs pass on the savings to you, the customer, through rebates or reduced electricity rates. 7 Air Leaks and Insulation Improving your home’s insulation and sealing air leaks are the fastest and most cost-effective ways to reduce energy waste and make the most of your energy dollars. Be sure to seal air leaks before you insulate, because insulating materials won’t block leaks. Sealing Air Leaks Air leaks can waste a lot of your energy dollars. One of the quickest energy- and money-saving tasks you can do is caulk, seal, and weather strip all seams, cracks, and openings to the outside. Tips for Sealing Air Leaks • 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 fixtures, electrical outlets, ceiling fixtures, attic hatches, and other places where air may leak. 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 comes through walls, floors, ceilings, and soffits over cabinets. • Install foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls. • Inspect dirty spots in your insulation for air leaks and mold. Seal leaks with low-expansion spray foam made for this purpose and install house flashing if needed. • Look for dirty spots on your ceiling paint and carpet, which may indicate air leaks at interior wall/ceiling joints and wall/floor joists, and caulk them. Sources of Air Leaks in Your Home Areas that leak air into and out of your home cost you a lot of money. The areas listed in the illustration are the most common sources of air leaks. 8 • Cover single-pane windows with storm windows or replace them with more efficient double-pane low- emissivity windows. See the Windows section for more information. • Use foam sealant on larger gaps around windows, baseboards, and other places where air may leak out. • Cover your kitchen exhaust fan to stop air leaks when not in use. • Check your dryer vent to be sure it is not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a fire. • Replace door bottoms and thresholds with ones that have pliable sealing gaskets. • Keep the fireplace flue damper tightly closed when not in use. • Seal air leaks around fireplace chimneys, furnaces, and gas-fired water heater vents with fire-resistant materials such as sheet metal or sheetrock and furnace cement caulk. 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 air loss. To seal your flue when not in use, consider an inflatable chimney balloon. Inflatable chimney balloons fit beneath your fireplace flue when not in use, are made from durable plastic, and can be removed easily and reused hundreds of times. If you forget to remove the balloon before making a fire, the balloon will automatically deflate within seconds of coming into contact with heat. Insulation Insulation is made from a variety of materials, and it usually comes in four types: rolls and batts, loose-fill, rigid foam, and foam-in-place. Rolls and batts—or blankets—are flexible products made from mineral fibers, such as fiberglass and rock wool. They are available in widths suited to standard spacing of wall studs and attic or floor joists: 2 in. x 4 in. walls can hold R-13 or R-15 batts; 2 in. x 6 in. 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 odd-sized building cavities and attics with wires, ducts, and pipes, making it well suited for places where it is difficult to effectively install other types of insulation. Rigid foam insulation is typically more expensive than rolls and batts or loose- fill insulation, but it is very effective in exterior wall sheathing, interior sheathing for basement walls, and special applications such as attic hatches. Foam insulation R-values range from R-4 to R-6.5 per inch of thickness, which is up to 2 times greater than most other insulating materials of the same thickness. Foam-in-place insulation can be blown into walls, on attic surfaces, or under floors to insulate and reduce air leakage. You can use the small pressurized cans of foam- in-place insulation to reduce air leakage in holes and cracks such as window and door frames, and electrical and plumbing penetrations. There are two types of foam-in-place insulation: closed-cell and open-cell. Both are typically made with polyurethane. With closed-cell foam, the high-density cells are closed and filled with a gas that helps the foam expand to fill the spaces around it. Closed-cell foam is the most effective, with an insulation value of around R-6.2 per inch of thickness. Zone 1 includes: Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands All of Alaska is in Zone 7 except for the following boroughs in Zone 8: Bethel Northwest Arctic Dellingham Southeast Fairbanks Fairbanks N. Star Wade Hampton Nome Yukon-Koyukuk North Slope U.S. Department of Energy Recommended* Total R-Values for New Wood-Framed Houses * These recommendations are cost-effective levels of insulation based on the best available information on local fuel and materials costs and weather conditions. Consequently, the levels may differ from current local building codes. How Much Insulation Does My Home Need? For insulation recommendations tailored to your home, visit the DOE Zip Code Insulation Calculator at ornl.gov/

    Energy savers

roofs/Zip/ZipHome.html. Zone Gas Heat Pump Fuel Oil Electric Attic Cathedral Ceiling Cavity Insulation Sheathing Floor 1 • • • • R30 to R49 R22 to R38 R13 to R15 None R13 2 • • • R30 to R60 R22 to R38 R13 to R15 None R13 • R30 to R60 R22 to R38 R13 to R15 None R19 — R25 3 • • • R30 to R60 R22 to R38 R13 to R15 None R25 • R30 to R60 R22 to R38 R13 to R15 R2.5 to R5 R25 4 • • • R38 to R60 R30 to R38 R13 to R15 R2.5 to R6 R25 — R30 • R38 to R60 R30 to R38 R13 to R15 R5 to R6 R25 — R30 5 • • • R38 to R60 R30 to R38 R13 to R15 R2.5 to R6 R25 — R30 • R38 to R60 R30 to R60 R13 to R21 R5 to R6 R25 — R30 6 • • • • R49 to R60 R30 to R60 R13 to R21 R5 to R6 R25 — R30 7 • • • • R49 to R60 R30 to R60 R13 to R21 R5 to R6 R25 — R30 8 • • • • R49 to R60 R30 to R60 R13 to R21 R5 to R6 R25 — R30 9 10 Open-cell foam cells are not as dense and are filled with air, which gives the insulation a spongy texture. Open-cell foam insulation value is around R-3.7 per inch of thickness. The type of insulation you should choose depends on how you will use it and on your budget. While closed-cell foam has a greater R-value and provides stronger resistance against moisture and air leakage, the material is also much denser and is more expensive to install. Open- cell foam is lighter and less expensive but should not be used below ground level where it could absorb water. Consult a professional insulation installer to decide what type of insulation is best for you. Insulation Tips • Consider factors such as your climate, home design, and budget when selecting insulation for your home. • Use higher R-value insulation, such as spray foam, on exterior walls and in cathedral ceilings to get more insulation with less thickness. • Install attic air barriers such as wind baffles along the entire attic eave to help ensure proper airflow from the soffit to the attic. Ventilation helps with moisture control and reducing summer cooling bills, but don’t ventilate your attic if you have insulation on the underside of the roof. Ask a qualified contractor for recommendations. • Be careful how close you place insulation next to a recessed light fixture—unless it is insulation contact (IC) rated—to avoid a fire hazard. See the Lighting section for more information about recessed lights. • Follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions, and wear the proper protective gear when installing insulation. $ 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, including the attic trap or access door, which is relatively easy. To find out if you have enough attic insulation, measure the thickness of the insulation. Where to Insulate Adding insulation in the areas shown here 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 crawl space or basement insulation. 1 Attic 2 Walls 3 Floors 4 Basement 5 Crawlspace Should I Insulate My Home? Insulate your home when: ■■ You have an older home and haven’t added insulation. Homes built before 1950 use about 60% more energy per square foot than those built in 2000 or later. ■■ 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. 11 These help to reduce the energy that would otherwise be lost through the wood frame. The table on page 9 shows the recommended combinations. For more customized recommendations, see the ZIP Code Insulation Calculator at ornl.gov/


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