Energy Conservation

If you are a first time homeowner, building a new home or just wanting to make changes to an older, existing home, Doug Rye has written some energy saving tips for you to consider. There is no better time to do this than at the beginning of a construction project.

  • If you are clearing a lot for a new home or considering landscaping options, don't forget about the shade advantage trees add as well as the evaporative cooling their lush canopies can offer.
  • Window coatings are energy saving especially for west-facing view windows. For most residential applications, low emissive (low-e) coatings are sufficient. They can cut heat gain by up to 25 percent without changing the window's appearance
  • When building a new home, try to keep glass area at 10% to 12% of the floor area of the house (example: 2,000 sq. ft. X 10% = 200 sq. ft. of glass).
  • Did you know that the average water heater wears out approximately every 10 years? When installing a water heater, you should consider one that is guaranteed for life to never leak or ruts, and can save you approximately $100 a year on your electric bill.
  • In the summer your attic can reach 140 degrees F, so get the ductwork out of there! This may not be practical in an older home, but if you're building a new home, insist that the ductwork is placed in conditioned space, a basement or in the crawl space.
  • New or existing homes need insulation. Doug recommends cellulose. It forms an airtight barrier and is more soundproof, roach proof and fire resistant than conventional insulation
  • Most people, even new homeowners, have the least efficient heating and air conditioning equipment allowed under federal law. At a minimum, buy heat pumps and air conditioners with a 12 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating or above.
  • If you are doing the job or if you've hired a contractor, Doug offers this advice. Educate yourself! Energy efficiency won't just benefit you and your family, but our precious environment as well.