Making Your Home Energy Efficient

By Robert Robillard on Energy Saving

Sustainable and Green Initiatives

Many people believe in the importance of sustainability and green initiatives but will never get a chance to build a new home incorporating their beliefs. in this situation the best you can hope for is to focus on making your home energy efficient.

Many live in older homes that are inefficient when it comes to energy efficiency.

The Older House Problem

The typical house built before 1970 typically includes 2×4 wall construction with minimal wall insulation and if lucky has R-19 insulation under in the ceilings. Most of these homes may have changed out their single pane glass windows but many have not.

The problem is that many of these homes are currently using two to three times more energy than today’s more energy efficient homes. 
Making your home energy efficient can be done all at once or piece mail – either way many of these items car easy DIY projects.

Making Your Older Home More Energy Efficient

  1. Perform an Energy Audit
  2. The first step to making an existing dwelling energy efficient is to conduct an energy audit.Many communities and utility companies offer this service free of cost.
  3. Have a professional perform a blower-door test to help determine where the worst leaks are
  4. Replace all the windows with low-E, argon-filled units.
  5. Add insulation in the attic .
  6. Thoroughly seal all penetrations under the floors. Especially under the bathtub – this is usually the biggest opening in the house.
  7. Fill holes around masonry fireplaces, vent pipes and other obvious openings.
  8. Insulate all hot-water pipes and add more insulation under the floors, up to R-38, if there is room.
  9. Foam or caulk all penetrations in the ceilings and attic, around recessed can lights, light boxes, and other protrusions, and use spray-foam insulation on the underside of the roof deck.
  10. Remodeling projects using a ground-source heat pumps, which when combined with a solar hot water heater, could reduce utility bills by 87%.
  11. Use Energy Star-rated appliances.Appliances account for 15% to 20% of a home’s total energy consumption.



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About the author

Robert Robillard

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor / Writer / Video Talent

Robert Robillard is a remodeler, general contractor, and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts. He also writes the "Ask the Carpenter" advice column in the Boston Globe, and serves as the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and founding editor of A Concord Carpenter . Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, , where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob <a href=""

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