Home Energy Solutions Easy Ways to Help Yourself
Topics • Why save energy? • How is energy consumed in your home? • How to do an energy assessment in your home? • Ways to save energy • Tax breaks
Why Save Energy? • Save on costs • Reduce fuel needs • Be good steward of environment • Reduce carbon footprint (Governor’s challenge) www.maine.gov/dep/innovation • Other?
Direct Energy Use- Household How We Use Energy in Our Homes in the Northeast Heating accounts for the biggest chunk of a typical utility bill. Source: Building Energy Data Book, Table 2.3.10: 2001 Energy End-Use for an Average Household by region
How America Stays Warm Household Heating SystemsAlthough several different types of fuels are available to heat our homes, more than half of Americans use natural gas. http://www1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/tips/heating_cooling.html
How Maine Stays Warm A recent Maine Lung Association survey indicated the 48% or Maine households intend to use wood stoves or pellet stoves as the main source or supplemental source of heat this winter. Source: Historical Census of Housing – House Heating Fuel – 2000: www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/census/historic/fuels.html accessed 8/20/08
Basic Rule of Heat Transfer Heat always flows from a warmer area to a colder area HOT COLD
Four Types Heat Loss • Conduction - heat transfer through solids 6 inches of fiberglass = 8 feet brick • Convection - heat transfer through liquids & gases 1/8” door gap = 6” round hole • Radiation - heat transfer w/o solids, liquids or gases Example: Warming by sunlight • Ventilation - for health, moisture control, comfort 30-50% R.H. indoors is ideal
Home Heat Loss Averages • Infiltration/Air Leakage: 35% • Windows and Doors: 18%-20% • Floors and Below Grade Space: 15%-18% • Walls: 12%-14% • Ceilings: 10% Heat loss from a house
AirLeakage 1 Dropped ceiling 2 Recessed light 3 Attic entrance 4 Sill plates 5 Water and furnace flues 6 All ducts 7 Door frames 8 Chimney flashing 9 Window frames 10 Electrical outlets and switches 11 Plumbing and utility access
Personal Empowerment • Estimate how much energy your home uses • Look at different energy saving techniques • Evaluate the cost and payback options • Make changes that make sense for you • Use less • Increase efficiency
Do You Need a Certified Audit? • Certified auditor list http://www.mainehousing.org/ ENERGYAuditServices.aspx • Online self audit http://hes.lbl.gov/ • Audit - see sample forms
Step One Assess what you have • Fill out form • Measure or estimate the size of the house • Measure or estimate the size of the windows • Use one year’s worth of utility bills to estimate total energy use for the year
Do-It-Yourself Assessment Things to check: • Joints and Penetrations (infiltration) • Insulation (heat loss and gain) • Ventilation (crawl space and attics) • Ductwork • Doors and Windows • Heating & Cooling Systems • Appliances • Water Heating • Lighting
Energy Evaluation Resources • UMaine Extension Energy Evaluation Check List http://www.extension.umaine.edu/energy/checklist.htm
R-value: thermal resistance which indicates the resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness. The R-value depends on the type of material, its thickness, and its density. U-value or coefficient of heat transmission: Measurement of ability to pass heat through materials or combination of materials U = 1/R R = 1/U R-value and U-value are inverse of each other Insulation
Insulation Maine R-value Recommendations • Ceilings/attics: R-38 to R-49 • Walls: R-13 to R-21 • Floor over Crawl Space: R-25 to R-30 • Crawl Space Wall : R-19 • Slab edge : R-8 • Basement Wall : • R-11 (interior) R-10 (exterior)
Estimating R-Values • Measure the insulation in the attic • To check walls: • Turn off power to an outlet • Remove cover • Pull out small amount of insulation • Check several outlets
DIY Assessment Things to check: • Joints and Penetrations – caulk • Insulation – enough? • Ventilation – to let excess moisture out • Ductwork – wrap pipes with insulation • Doors and Windows – seal, pull curtains, indoor shutters • Heating & Cooling Systems – clean upgrade? • Appliances – upgrade • Water Heating – insulate tank • Lighting – fluorescent
Step Two • Calculate the heating costs Btu per Standard Heating Unit • Use the mBtu to calculate savings • mBtu = million Btu = 1,000,000 Btu
Definition: BTU A British Thermal Unit (BTU) is the amount of heat energy needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree F. This is the standard measurement used to state the amount of energy that a fuel has as well as the amount of output of any heat generating device.
Heat Cost Comparisons Formula for cost per million BTU (Cost per unit of fuel ($) x 1,000,000) divided by (Energy content per unit of fuel (BTU) and the product of this divided by the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency of your heating appliance
Calculating How Many MBtu Used in a Year Example #2 Oil: (# gallons oil X 138,500 Btu/gal) /1,000,000 = # MBtu /Y (500 gal X 138,500 MBtu/gal)/1,000,000 = 69 MBtu/Y Furnace efficiency of 90% = 62 MBtu / Y Cost of oil $3.50 / gallon = $1,750 / Y
Should I Use Electricity? Example: MBtu * 1,000,000 used for heat divided by # Kwh/ Btu = equivalent Kwh needed to provide heat 90% efficient furnace: 62 MBtu *1,000,000 / 3,413 = 18,261 Kwh Cost of electricity @ $0.16/ Kwh = $2,922/Y Compared to oil at $1,750 /Y
Save energy now Energy saving methods • Low initial cost/no cost • Moderate initial cost • Significant energy cost
Low cost ways to save energy • Personal attitude & behavior • Wear layered warm clothes indoors during winter • Take short showers instead of baths • Close windows & doors (train family)
No Cost… Low Cost • Reducing heating costs • Turn down thermostat • Unblock heating and return air vents • Place reflectors behind radiators • Leave south-facing window curtains open in winter and closed in summer to collect or prevent solar heat gain.
No Cost… Low Cost • More Keeping Warm Tips • Clean and inspect furnace annually • Use foil tape to repair heating ducts • Use ceiling fans to circulate warm air • Check hot air furnace filters every 1 to 3 months • Add humidity • Close off unused rooms
No Cost… Low Cost • Reduce Air Infiltration • Insulate attic access doors • Re-level blown – in attic insulation • Caulk and weather strip around foundation, pipes, windows, etc. • Install door sweeps or use draft dodgers • Insulation for light switches and outlets • Use foil tape to repair heating ducts • Don’t use fireplace and close it off • Insulate air conditioner if left in window
Checking for Drafts • Turn on a bathroom or kitchen exhaust fan • Attach a 6” piece of tissue paper to a pencil and hold next to a window or outlet. • Observe the paper moving slightly to show areas that need to be insulated.
Weatherize Against Infiltration • Caulk at any joint or penetration to the exterior -wiring, pipes & duct penetrations in the attic, under floor &through walls • Caulk where dissimilar materials meet • Weatherstrip doors, windows, & sills • Vapor barriers - 20GPD evaporates from crawl space into air of 1400 sq.ft. home • Install 4-6 mil plastic on “warm-in-winter” side
Caulking & Weather Stripping Caulking and Weatherstripping will payback in one year and make you more comfortable
Door Draft Stoppers Window Draft Snakes • Fill with • foam pipe insulation • Sand • Plastic bags
No Cost… Low Cost • Water Heating • Turn down temperature on hot water heater (110o to 120o F) • Drain a few gallons from the bottom of your hot water heating tank • If leaving for more than two days, turn off water heater • Install low flow showerheads and aerators in your faucets • Repair all leaking faucets • Insulate your water heater* and supply pipes *not recommended to insulate gas water heaters
Low Cost – No Cost • Lighting • Keep lights clean; shut off when not in use • Compact florescent bulbs • Timers • Other appliances • Use power strip for computer, television, VCR, recorders, satellite, etc. so you can turn them off completely when not in use.
Lighting • Watt – amount of energy used • Lumen – amount of light produced • CFLs – cost 4x more that incandescent, last 10x longer, use ¼ the energy http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=cfls.pr_cfls
Holiday Lighting…Light Emitting Diode (LED) *typical amount of lighting used on the exterior and interior for one holiday season. ** Assuming 240 hours of use (6 hours of use for 40 days) at an electric rate of $0.16.kWh)
Low Cost – No Cost • Refrigerator / Freezer • Remove frost from freezer • Replace worn gaskets • Keep full • Clean the coils Consider replacing appliances that are over 20 years old and/or in need of major repairs with energy star models