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Light Switches Can Be Big Sources of Leaks

Posted in: video

Here's an interesting video from my friends at Energy Vanguard that illustrates how much air can leak through simple things like light switches.

Water Heaters: Everything You Need to Know.

Posted in: infographic

This handy infographic from the Department of Energy explains a lot of what you need to know about home water heaters -- including solar water heaters, tankless water heaters, heat pump water heaters and more.

Read more from the Department of Energy.

Getting Rid of Hidden Heat Sources in the Home.

Hidden heat sources in the home contribute to uncomfortably hot living spaces, as well as unnecessarily high energy bills, throughout the summer. Simple fixes like switching to energy efficient lighting and insulating water pipes can make a world of difference.

For example, the uninsulated water pipes in the photo below may look innocent enough, but if you look at the infrared image of the water pipes you can see that they're dumping heat into the home, contributing to high energy bills and an uncomfortable house!

5 Ways a Home Energy Audit Will Improve Your Life.

You may have heard about home energy audits before, but maybe you're not quite sure that you need one. After all, your home is relatively new. It's pretty comfortable most of the time, and your utility bills aren't that bad. Maybe you've switched out your incandescent light bulbs for CFLs, and upgraded to a low flow showerhead, so figure there's not much more you can do. 

Well, there's a lot more to home energy than lightbulbs and solar panels, and a home energy audit is the place to begin. Here are 5 ways that a home energy audit or assessment from a certified home energy auditor will likely improve your life -- right away.

Think You Need New Windows? Not So Fast.

It speaks to the marketing savvy of window manufacturers and installers that, when faced with drafty rooms or high energy bills, most homeowners typically think that the best solution would be new replacement windows. While energy efficient replacement windows will likely lead to improved comfort and lower utility bills, the truth is that there are many far more cost effective solutions to improve your home’s comfort and energy efficiency.

Upgrade Your Refrigerator, Save Money Twice.

One of the biggest energy guzzlers in your home (besides, most likely, your thermal envelope, which lets expensive conditioned air escape through air leaks and poorly insulated walls) is the refrigerator. Upgrading it, believe it or not, can save you a bundle of money in the long run, as long as you don't simply put your old fridge down in the basement or garage and plug it back in. Now, before you balk at the high upfront cost of replacing your fridge, let us explain why we (admittedly, energy-efficiency/penny-pinching geeks) think it's a good idea:

Is Your Insulation Working? Find Out with an Energy Audit.

Winter's coming. It's already heating season. So how do you save money on heating costs? You've got to own your heat. Simple as that. You've paid for all that warm air already, so it doesn't make much sense to waste it now.

A simple enough premise - it's the application that gets complicated. We (and most building science experts) strongly recommend air sealing and insulation as high priority measures to make your home use less energy, make you more comfortable, and make the planet happy.