The graph below shows which structural air-leaks drive up energy costs the most, allowing you to maximize efforts toward reinforcing your home's building envelope.
There's a lot to be learned from this image, but the biggest message is this: low-cost, DIY improvements are also low-impact. Go crazy with the window caulk, but don't be surprised if your energy bills don't drop dramatically.
Maine held steady as the nation’s 16th most energy-efficient state, according to ACEEE’s 2014 State Energy Scorecard.
Once a top-ten performer in the annual assessment of the state policies and programs that improve energy efficiency in homes, businesses, industry, and transportation, Maine dropped to 25th in 2012 when it slashed funding for efficiency programs. The state bounced back last year, when the June 2013 passage of the Omnibus Energy Bill returned full funding to Efficiency Maine.
Each October, the Federal Energy Management Program promotes smart energy choices and highlights supporting our economy, protecting our environment, and increasing energy independence. Residential energy efficiency plays a critical role in those endeavors, and Evergreen Home Performance is proud to help homeowners create energy-efficient, healthy, and sustainable homes.
When it comes to insulation, there are plenty of choices. Where to start? What to use? Who to hire? The answers vary from house to house – and from homeowner to homeowner – but if you work with someone you trust, you’ll be in good shape.
Take basement insulation. At Evergreen, we recommend installing closed-cell spray foam on foundation walls to seal air leaks and insulate against heat loss. Plenty of contractors can spray foam, but we engineer and manage the whole project to deliver superior, safe results. We distinguish ourselves by:
Energy efficiency isn’t just for the winter! Here are six tips to keep you cool – and save energy – on hot summer days:
Remember that fans cool people, not rooms. There’s no doubt about it: air moving across your skin keeps you cool, whether the breeze comes from Mother Nature or an electric fan. But fans ONLY make a difference when you’re there to feel them, so turn them off when you’re not in the room.
Use your windows to gain cool air and keep out the heat. Even on the hottest days, the temperature drops when the sun does. Open your windows at night to let in cool air, but shut windows – and shades – during the day to prevent solar gain.
If you've ever sat next to a drafty, single-pane window, you've probably thought about investing in shiny new replacement windows.
There are plenty of good reasons to make that investment. If your windows are broken, covered with lead paint, won't open, or are just plain ugly, replacing them may be the right move. But don't replace your windows in hopes of saving energy - or money. When it comes to energy savings, replacement windows have a long payback period (up to 250 years!) that typically exceeds their relatively short service lifetime (15-30 years).
Custom-fabricated window inserts are an insanely cost-effective alternative.
Last week, when the temperature here in Rockland, Maine never topped 8°, we ran out of propane at the office.
Yes. We’re painfully aware of the irony: Energy efficiency company employees huddled around individual electric heaters, willing the thermostat to creep up to somewhere near comfortable.
It’s so ridiculous that we were tempted to keep it quiet, but here’s the thing: running out of fuel isn’t just frustrating – it’s dangerous. That’s why Evergreen urges every one of you to advocate for your own heat this winter. Here are some tips:
You know about the polar vortex, right? The reason we all think 20 degrees is flip-flop weather?
Here it is, as captured by captured by NOAA's GOES-East satellite Monday morning. If you look closely, you can spot southern Florida, but the rest of the country is covered with frigid temperatures and dangerous wind chills.
Adding insult to injury (and making Maine's subzero temperatures even more dangerous), heating fuel costs have spiked. Oil costs 12-cents more per gallon than it did at this time last year, and propane prices are up 52-cents-per-gallon since the beginning of the heating season. Yikes!
Midcoast Maine got 18" of snow this week, on top of the foot-plus that fell over the weekend.
It's fluffy and beautiful and very, very likely to end up as ice dams on our old Maine houses. Those icicles are awfully pretty, but they're also awfully dangerous - to you and your home. Even if they don't crash to the ground, pull off your gutters, or cause melting water to back up and leak into your home, ice dams mean one thing: warm air is leaking into your attic and out through the roof.
That's right: you're paying good money (and burning good oil, propane, or wood) to make those ice dams.
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