Energy Savers: Tips On Saving Money And Energy At Home - Phoenix, Arizona

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Contents347121921Save Moneyand Energy TodayGet started with things you cando now, and use the whole-houseapproach to ensure that yourinvestments are wisely made tosave you money and energy.Your Home’s Energy UseFind out how your home uses energy,and where it’s losing the most energyso you can develop a plan to save inthe short and long term.232733LightingChoose today’s energy-efficientlighting for some of the easiestand cheapest ways to reduceyour electric bill.AppliancesUse efficient appliances throughout your home, and get greaterperformance with lower energy bills.Home Officeand ElectronicsSeal air leaks and insulate your homeproperly so your energy dollars don’tseep through the cracks.Find out how much energy yourelectronics use, reduce their output when you’re not using them,and choose efficient electronicsto save money.Heating and CoolingRenewable EnergyAir Leaks and InsulationUse efficient systems to heat andcool your home, and save moneyand increase comfort by properlymaintaining and upgradingequipment.Water HeatingUse the right water heater foryour home, insulate it and lowerits temperature, and use less waterto avoid paying too much.WindowsEnjoy light and views whilesaving money by installing energyefficient windows, and use strategiesto keep your current windowsfrom losing energy.35373940Use renewable energy at homesuch as solar and wind to saveenergy dollars while reducingenvironmental impact.TransportationChoose efficient transportationoptions and drive more efficientlyto save at the gas pump.ReferencesUse our reference list to learnmore about energy efficiencyand renewable energy.EndnotesSee endnotes for individualcitations.1

EnergySaversTips for Rentersand Property OwnersIf you rent, or if you own arental unit, you can use many ofthe tips throughout this guideto save money and energy!RentersRight in your own home, you havethe power to save money and energy.Saving energy reduces our nation’soverall demand for resources neededto make energy, and increasingyour energy efficiency is like addinganother clean energy source to ourelectric power grid.This guide shows you how easy it isto cut your energy use at home andalso on the road. The easy, practicalsolutions for saving energy includetips you can use today—from theroof and landscaping to appliancesand lights. They are good for yourwallet and for the environment—andactions that you take help reduce ournational needs to produce or importmore energy, thereby improving ourenergy security.2You can reduce your utility billsby following the tips in the Lighting,Heating and Cooling (if you controlthe thermostat), Appliances, HomeOffice and Home Electronics,Windows, and Transportationsections. Encourage your landlordto follow these tips as well. They’llsave energy and money, improvingyour comfort and lowering yourutility bills even more.Property OwnersNearly all of the information inthis guide applies to rental units.The chapter on Your Home’s EnergyUse focuses on air leaks, insulation,heating and cooling, roofing, landscaping, water heating, windows,appliances, and renewable energy.Find even more information aboutsaving money and energy at homeby visiting learn more about U.S. Departmentof Energy (DOE) programs in energyefficiency and renewable energy,visit the Office of Energy Efficiencyand Renewable Energy website

Save Money and Energy TodayAn energy-efficient home will keepyour family comfortable whilesaving you money. Whether you takesimple steps or make larger investmentsto make your home more efficient, you’llsee lower energy bills. Over time, thosesavings will typically pay for the costof improvements and put money backin your pocket. Your home may also bemore attractive to buyers when you sell.The 113 million residences in Americatoday collectively use an estimated 22%of the country’s energy. Unfortunately,a lot of energy is wasted through leakywindows or ducts, old appliances, orinefficient heating and cooling systems.When we waste energy in our homes, weare throwing away money that could beused for other things. The typical spends at least 2,000 a year onhome utility bills. You can lower thisamount by up to 25% through followingthe Long Term Savings Tips in this guide.The key to these savings is to take awhole-house approach—by viewingyour home as an energy system withinterdependent parts. For example, yourheating system is not just a furnace—it’sa heat-delivery system that starts at thefurnace and delivers heat throughout yourhome using a network of ducts. Even atop-of-the-line, energy-efficient furnacewill waste a lot of fuel if the ducts, walls,attic, windows, and doors are leaky orpoorly insulated. Taking a whole-houseapproach to saving energy ensures thatdollars you invest to save energy arespent wisely.Tips to Save Energy TodayEasy low-cost and no-costways to save energy. Install a programmable thermostatto lower utility bills and manage yourheating and cooling systems efficiently. Air dry dishes instead of using yourdishwasher’s drying cycle. Turn things off when you are not in theroom such as lights, TVs, entertainmentsystems, and your computer and monitor. Plug home electronics, such as TVs andDVD players, into power strips; turn thepower strips off when the equipmentis not in use—TVs and DVDs in standbymode still use several watts of power. Lower the thermostat on your waterheater to 120 F. Take short showers instead of baths anduse low-flow showerheads for additionalenergy savings. Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes. Air dry clothes. Check to see that windows and doorsare closed when heating or coolingyour home. Drive sensibly; aggressive driving suchas speeding, and rapid acceleration andbraking, wastes fuel. Look for the ENERGY STAR label on lightbulbs, home appliances, electronics, andother products. ENERGY STAR productsmeet strict efficiency guidelines set by theU.S. Environmental Protection Agency andthe U.S. Department of Energy. Visit for moreenergy-saving ideas.3

Your Home’s Energy UseAhome energy assessment(sometimes referred to as anenergy audit) will show what parts ofyour house use the most energy andsuggest the best ways to cut energycosts. You can conduct a simple homeenergy assessment by doing it yourself(DIY) or, for a more detailed assessment,contact your local utility or an energyauditor. Also, you can learn more abouthome energy audits and find free toolsand calculators on,the Residential Services Network, or the Building PerformanceInstitute at Energy Assessment Tips Check the insulation in your attic,exterior and basement walls,ceilings, floors, and crawl spaces.LightingOtherCookingRefrigerationWet Cleaning4 How We Use Energyin Our HomesSpace CoolingComputers andElectronics To determine the insulation R-valuesin different parts of your home,visit the Air Leaks and Insulationsection of for air leaks around yourwalls, ceilings, windows, doors,light and plumbing fixtures,switches, and electrical outlets.Check for open fireplace dampers.Make sure your appliances andheating and cooling systems areproperly maintained. Check yourowner’s manuals for the recommended maintenance.Study your family’s lighting needsand look for ways to use controls—like sensors, dimmers, or timers—to reduce lighting use.Heating accounts forthe biggest portion ofyour utility bills. %2010 Buildings Energy DataBook, Table 2.1.1 ResidentialPrimary Energy Consumption,by Year and Fuel Type.

CoolHotPhoto from Infraspection Institute, Inc.Heat Loss from a HouseA picture is worth in this case, lost heating dollars. This thermal image—taken by aprofessional energy auditor—shows warm air escaping through windows and cracks.The red shows where the most warm air is escaping.Your Whole-House PlanAfter you know where your home islosing energy, make a plan by askingyourself a few questions: How much money do you spendon energy? Where are your greatest energylosses? How long will it take for an investment in energy efficiency to payfor itself in energy cost savings? Do the energy-saving measuresprovide additional benefits that areimportant to you—for example,increased comfort from installingdouble-paned, efficient windows? How long do you plan to ownyour current home? Can you do the job yourself ordo you need a contractor? What is your budget? How much time do you havefor maintenance and repairs?Planning smart purchases and homeimprovements will maximize your energyefficiency and save you the most money.A more advanced alternative toperforming a DIY energy assessmentis to get advice from your state energyoffice, utility, or an independent energyauditor (see References for professionalorganizations). A professional energyauditor uses special test equipment tofind air leaks, areas lacking insulation,and malfunctioning equipment. Theauditor analyzes how well your home’senergy systems work together, andcompares the analysis to your utilitybills. After gathering information aboutyour home, the auditor will recommendcost-effective energy improvements thatenhance comfort and safety. Some willalso estimate how soon your investmentin efficiency upgrades will pay off.5

Smart Meters anda Smarter Power GridMillions of smart meters have beeninstalled across the country. Smart metersprovide two-way communication betweenyou and your utility, helping your utilityknow about blackouts, for example. Thishelps utilities to maintain more reliableelectrical service.Smart meters can be used with homeenergy management systems such asWeb-based tools that your utility providesor devices that can be installed in yourhome. Smart meters can display yourhome energy use, help you find ways tosave energy and money, and even allowyou to remotely adjust your thermostat orturn appliances off.Time-Based Electricity RatesTo help reduce their peak power demandsand save money, many utilities areintroducing programs that encouragetheir customers to use electricity duringoff-peak hours. The programs pass onthe savings to you, the customer, throughrebates or reduced electricity rates.6Smart meters and home energy management systems allow customers toprogram how and when their home usesenergy. Such programs might charge youthe actual cost of power at any one time,ranging from high prices during timesof peak demand to low prices duringoff-peak hours. If you are able to shiftyour power use to off-peak times—suchas running your dishwasher late in theevening—these programs can save youmoney while helping your utility.Time-based rates are very attractive toowners of plug-in hybrids and electricvehicles since typically these vehicles arerecharged at night. See the Transportationsection for more information.

Air Leaks and InsulationImproving your home’s insulationand sealing air leaks are the fastestand most cost-effective ways to reduceenergy waste and make the most of yourenergy dollars. Be sure to seal air leaksbefore you insulate, because insulatingmaterials won’t block leaks.Sealing Air LeaksAir leaks can waste a lot of your energydollars. One of the quickest energy- andmoney-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 litincense stick or a smoke pen nextto your windows, doors, electricalboxes, plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets, ceiling fixtures, attic hatches, and other places where airmay leak. If the smoke stream travels horizontally, you have locatedan air leak that may need caulking,sealing, or weatherstripping.Caulk and weatherstrip doors andwindows that leak air.Caulk and seal air leaks whereplumbing, ducting, or electricalwiring comes through walls, floors,ceilings, and soffits over cabinets.Install foam gaskets behind outletand switch plates on walls.Inspect dirty spots in your insulationfor air leaks and mold. Seal leakswith low-expansion spray foammade for this purpose and installhouse flashing if needed.Look for dirty spots on your ceilingpaint and carpet, which may indicateair leaks at interior wall/ceiling jointsand wall/floor joists, and caulk them.Sources of Air Leaksin Your HomeAreas that leak air intoand out of your homecost you a lot of money.The areas listed in theillustration are the mostcommon sources of airleaks.7

Cover single-pane windows withstorm windows or replace them withmore efficient double-pane lowemissivity windows. See the Windowssection for more information. Use foam sealant on larger gapsaround windows, baseboards, andother places where air may leak out. Cover your kitchen exhaust fan tostop air leaks when not in use. Check your dryer vent to be sureit is not blocked. This will saveenergy and may prevent a fire. Replace door bottoms and thresholdswith ones that have pliable sealinggaskets. Keep the fireplace flue dampertightly closed when not in use. Seal air leaks around fireplacechimneys, furnaces, and gas-firedwater heater vents with fire-resistantmaterials such as sheet metal orsheetrock and furnace cement caulk.Fireplace flues are made from metal, andover time repeated heating and cooling cancause the metal to warp or break, creating achannel for air loss. To seal your flue whennot in use, consider an inflatable chimneyballoon. Inflatable chimney balloons fitbeneath your fireplace flue when not inuse, are made from durable plastic, and canbe removed easily and reused hundreds oftimes. If you forget to remove the balloonbefore making a fire, the balloon willautomatically deflate within seconds ofcoming into contact with heat.InsulationInsulation is made from a variety ofmaterials, and it usually comes in fourtypes: rolls and batts, loose-fill, rigidfoam, and foam-in-place.Rolls and batts—or blankets—areflexible products made from mineral fibers,such as fiberglass and rock wool. They8are available in widths suited to standardspacing of wall studs and attic or floorjoists: 2 in. x 4 in. walls can hold R-13or R-15 batts; 2 in. x 6 in. walls can useR-19 or R-21 products.Loose-fill insulation is usually madeof fiberglass, rock wool, or cellulose inthe form of loose fibers or fiber pellets.It should be blown into spaces usingspecial pneumatic equipment. The blownin material conforms readily to odd-sizedbuilding cavities and attics with wires,ducts, and pipes, making it well suited forplaces where it is difficult to effectivelyinstall other types of insulation.Rigid foam insulation is typically moreexpensive than rolls and batts or loosefill insulation, but it is very effectivein exterior wall sheathing, interiorsheathing for basement walls, and specialapplications such as attic hatches. Foaminsulation R-values range from R-4 toR-6.5 per inch of thickness, which is upto 2 times greater than most otherinsulating materials of the same thickness.Foam-in-place insulation can be blowninto walls, on attic surfaces, or under floorsto insulate and reduce air leakage. Youcan use the small pressurized cans of foamin-place insulation to reduce air leakagein holes and cracks such as window anddoor frames, and electrical and plumbingpenetrations.There are two types of foam-in-placeinsulation: closed-cell and open-cell. Bothare typically made with polyurethane.With closed-cell foam, the high-densitycells are closed and filled with a gas thathelps the foam expand to fill the spacesaround it. Closed-cell foam is the mosteffective, with an insulation value ofaround R-6.2 per inch of thickness.

U.S. Department of Energy Recommended*Total R-Values for New Wood-Framed HousesAll of Alaska is in Zone 7 except forthe following boroughs in Zone 8:BethelDellinghamFairbanks N. StarNomeNorth SlopeNorthwest ArcticSoutheast FairbanksWade HamptonYukon-KoyukukHow Much Insulation Does My Home Need?For insulation recommendations tailored to yourhome, visit the DOE Zip Code Insulation Calculatorat roofs/Zip/ZipHome.html.Zone 1 includes:Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Ricoand the Virgin lCeilingCavity1 R30 to R49R22 to R38R13 to R15NoneR132 R30 to R60R22 to R38R13 to R15NoneR13R30 to R60R22 to R38R13 to R15NoneR19 - R25R30 to R60R22 to R38R13 to R15NoneR25R30 to R60R22 to R38R13 to R15R2.5 to R5R25R38 to R60R30 to R38R13 to R15R2.5 to R6R25 - R30R38 to R60R30 to R38R13 to R15R5 to R6R25 - R30R38 to R60R30 to R38R13 to R15R2.5 to R6R25 - R30 R38 to R60R30 to R60R13 to R21R5 to R6R25 - R30 3 4 5 InsulationSheathingFloor6 R49 to R60R30 to R60R13 to R21R5 to R6R25 - R307 R49 to R60R30 to R60R13 to R21R5 to R6R25 - R308 R49 to R60R30 to R60R13 to R21R5 to R6R25 - R30* These recommendations are cost-effective levels of insulation based on the best available information on local fueland materials costs and weather conditions. Consequently, the levels may differ from current local building codes.9

Where to InsulateAdding insulation in the areasshown here may be the best wayto improve your home’s energyefficiency. Insulate either the atticfloor or under the roof. Checkwith a contractor about crawlspace or basement Open-cell foam cells are not as denseand are filled with air, which gives theinsulation a spongy texture. Open-cellfoam insulation value is around R-3.7per inch of thickness.The type of insulation you should choosedepends on how you will use it and onyour budget. While closed-cell foam hasa greater R-value and provides strongerresistance against moisture and airleakage, the material is also much denserand is more expensive to install. Opencell foam is lighter and less expensive butshould not be used below ground levelwhere it could absorb water. Consult aprofessional insulation installer to decidewhat 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, suchas spray foam, on exterior wallsand in cathedral ceilings to get moreinsulation with less thickness. Install attic air barriers such as windbaffles along the entire attic eave to10help ensure proper airflow from thesoffit to the attic. Ventilation helpswith moisture control and reducingsummer cooling bills, but don’t ventilate your attic if you have insulation onthe underside of the roof. Ask a qualified contractor for recommendations. Be careful how close you placeinsulation next to a recessed lightfixture—unless it is insulationcontact (IC) rated—to avoid a firehazard. See the Lighting section formore information about recessedlights. Follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions, and wear the properprotective gear when installinginsulation. Long-Term Savings TipsOne of the most cost-effective waysto make your home more comfortableyear-round is to add insulation to yourattic, including the attic trap or accessdoor, which is relatively easy. To findout if you have enough attic insulation,measure the thickness of the insulation.

Tips forFinding a Contractor Look for licensed, insured, andcertified contractors.Get three bids with details in writing.Ask about previous experience.Check references.Ask neighbors and friends forrecommendations.Focus on local companies.If it is less than R-30 (11 inches of fiberglass or rock wool or 8 inches of cellulose),you could probably benefit by adding more.If your attic has enough insulation andproper air sealing, and your home stillfeels drafty and cold in the winter or toowarm in the summer, chances are youneed to add insulation to the exteriorwalls. This is more expensive andusually requires a contractor, but it maybe worth the cost—especially if you livein a very cold climate. If you replace theexterior siding on your home, consideradding insulation at the same time.You may also need to add insulationto your crawl space or basement. Checkwith a professional contractor forrecommendations.New Construction andAdditionsIn most climates, you will save moneyand energy when you build a new homeor addition if you install a combinationof cavity insulation and insulativesheathing. Reduce exterior wall leaks bytaping the joints of exterior sheathingand caulking and sealing exterior walls.Cavity insulation can be installed atlevels up to R-15 in a 2 in. x 4 in. walland up to R-21 in a 2 in. x 6 in. wall.These help to reduce the energy thatwould otherwise be lost through thewood frame. The table on page 9 showsthe recommended combinations. Formore customized recommendations, seethe ZIP Code Insulation Calculator roofs/Zip/ZipHome.html.Consider products that provide bothinsulation and structural support, suchas structural insulated panels (SIPs), andmasonry products like insulating concrete forms. Visit formore information on structural insulation.You should consider attic or roof radiantbarriers (in hot climates), reflectiveinsulation, and foundation insulation fornew home construction. Check with yourcontractor for more information aboutthese options.Should I InsulateMy Home?Insulate your home when: You have an older home andhaven’t added insulation. Homesbuilt before 1950 use about 60%more energy per square foot thanthose built in 2000 or later.You are uncomfortably cold inthe winter or hot in the summer—adding insulation creates a moreuniform temperature and increasescomfort.You build a new home or additionor install new siding or roofing.You pay high energy bills.You are bothered by noise fromoutside—insulation muffles sound.11

Heating and Coolingeating and cooling your homeuses more energy and costsmore money than any other systemin your home—typically making upabout 54% of your utility bill.No matter what kind of heating andcooling system you have in yourhouse, you can save money andincrease your comfort by properlymaintaining and upgrading yourequipment. But remember, an energyefficient furnace alone will not have asgreat an impact on your energy billsas using the whole-house approach.By combining proper equipmentmaintenance and upgrades withrecommended insulation, air sealing,and thermostat settings, you cancut your energy use for heating andcooling—and reduce environmentalemissions—from 20%-50%. Eliminate trapped air from hot-waterradiators once or twice a season; ifunsure about how to perform thistask, contact a professional. Place heat-resistant radiatorreflectors between exterior walls andthe radiators. Turn off kitchen, bath, and otherexhaust fans within 20 minutes afteryou are done cooking or bathing;when replacing exhaust fans,consider installing high-efficiency,low-noise models. During winter, keep the draperiesand shades on your south-facingwindows open during the day toallow the sunlight to enter yourhome and closed at night to reducethe chill you may feel from coldwindows.Heating and Cooling Tips Set your programmablethermostat as low as isNatural Gascomfortable in the winter57%and as high as is comfortableFuel Oilin the summer, as well as11%when you’re sleeping oraway from home.3%Other Clean or replace filters4%Liquidon furnaces and air condiElectricityPetroleumtioners once a month or as25%Gasrecommended. Clean warm-air registers,baseboard heaters, andHousehold Heating Systemsradiators as needed; makeAlthough several different types of fuels are availablesure they’re not blockedto heat our homes, more than half of us use natural furniture, carpeting,Source: Buildings Energy Data Book 2010, 2.1.1 Residential Primaryor drapes.Energy Consumption, by Year and Fuel Type (Quadrillion Btu andPercent of Total)12

During summer, keep the windowcoverings closed during the dayto block the sun’s heat. Long-Term Savings TipsSelect energy-efficient products when youbuy new heating and cooling equipment.Your contractor should be able to giveyou energy fact sheets for different types,models, and designs to help you compareenergy usage.For furnaces, look for high Annual FuelUtilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings.The national minimum is 78% AFUE, butthere are ENERGY STAR models onthe market that exceed 90% AFUE. Forair conditioners, look for a high SeasonalEnergy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). Thecurrent minimum is 13 SEER for centralair conditioners. ENERGY STAR modelsare 14.5 SEER or more.Air DuctsYour air ducts are one of the most importantsystems in your home, and if the ducts arepoorly sealed or insulated they are likelycontributing to higher energy bills.Your home’s duct system is a branchingnetwork of tubes in the walls, floors, andceilings; it carries the air from your home’sfurnace and central air conditioner to eachroom. Ducts are made of sheet metal,fiberglass, or other materials.Ducts that leak heated air into unheatedspaces can add hundreds of dollars ayear to your heating and cooling bills.Insulating ducts that are in unconditionedspaces is usually very cost effective. If youare installing a new duct system, makesure it comes with insulation.Sealing your ducts to prevent leaksis even more important if the ducts arelocated in an unconditioned area such asan attic or vented crawl space. If thesupply ducts are leaking, heated or cooledair can be forced out of unsealed jointsand lost. In addition, unconditioned aircan be drawn into return ducts throughunsealed joints.Although minor duct repairs are easyto make, qualified professionals shouldseal and insulate ducts in unconditionedspaces to ensure the use of appropriatesealing materials.Minor Duct Repair Tips Check your ducts for air leaks.First, look for sections that shouldbe joined but have separated andthen look for obvious holes. If you use tape to seal your ducts,avoid cloth-backed, rubber adhesiveduct tape—it tends to fail quickly.Instead, use mastic, butyl tape, foiltape, or other heat-approved tapes.Look for tape with the UnderwritersLaboratories (UL) logo. Remember that insulating ducts inthe basement will make the basement colder. If both the ducts andthe basement walls are not insulated,consider insulating both. Waterpipes and drains in unconditionedspaces could freeze and burst if theheat ducts are fully insulated because there would be no heat sourceto prevent the space from freezingin cold weather. However, using anelectric heating tape wrap on thepipes can prevent this. Check witha professional contractor. Hire a professional to install bothsupply and return registers in thebasement rooms after convertingyour basement to a living area. Be sure a well-sealed vapor barrierexists on the outside of the insulation on cooling ducts to preventmoisture condensation.13

Air Ducts: Out of Sight, Out of MindThe unsealed ducts in your attic and crawlspaces lose air, and uninsulated ducts loseheat—wasting energy and money. If you have a fuel-burning furnace,stove, or other appliance or anattached garage, install a carbonmonoxide (CO) monitor to alertyou to harmful CO levels. Be sure to get professional helpwhen doing ductwork. A qualifiedprofessional should always performchanges and repairs to a duct system.Install a CarbonMonoxide DetectorCarbon monoxide (CO) detectors arerequired in new buildings in manystates. They are highly recommendedin homes with fuel-burning appliancessuch as natural gas furnaces, stoves,ovens, water heaters, and spaceheaters. An alarm signals if CO reachespotentially dangerous levels.14Heat PumpsHeat pumps are the most efficient formof electric heating in moderate climates,providing up to three times more heatthan the energy they use. A heat pumpcan reduce your electricity use for heatingby 30%-40% compared to electricresistance heating such as furnaces andbaseboard heaters.A heat pump does double duty as a centralair conditioner by collecting the heat insideyour house and pumping it outside.There are three types of heat pumps:air-to-air, water source, and geothermal.They collect heat from the air, water,or ground outside your home andconcentrate it for use inside.Geothermal (or ground source) heat pumpshave some major advantages. They canreduce energy use by 30%-60%, controlhumidity, are sturdy and reliable, and fit ina wide variety of homes.

Heat Pump Tips Do not set back the heat pump’sthermostat manually if it causes theelectric-resistance heating to comeon. This type of heating, which isoften used as a backup to the heatpump, is more expensive. Install or have a professional installa programmable thermostat withmultistage functions suitable fora heat pump. Clean or change filters once amonth or as needed, and maintainthe system according to manufacturer’s instructions. Long-Term Savings TipIf you heat your home with electricityand live in a moderate climate, consideran energy-efficient heat pump system toreduce your energy consumption.Passive Solar Heatingand CoolingUsing passive solar design to heatand cool your home can be bothenvironmentally friendly and costeffective. In many cases, your heatingcosts can be reduced to less than halfthe cost of heating a typical home.Passive solar design can also help loweryour cooling costs. Passive solar coolingtechniques include carefully designedoverhangs and using reflective coatingson windows, exterior walls, and roofs.Newer techniques include placing large,insulated windows on south-facing wallsand putting thermal mass, such as aconcrete slab floor or a heat-absorbingwall, close to the windows.A passive solar house requires carefuldesign and siting, which vary by localclimate conditions. If you are consideringpassive solar design for a new home ora major remodel, consult an architectfamiliar with passive solar techniques.Passive Solar Tips Keep all south-facing glass clean. Make sure that objects do not blocksunlight on concrete slab floors orheat-absorbing walls.Natural Gas and Oil HeatingIf you plan to buy a new heating system,ask your local utility or

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

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