Save Energy, Save Real Cash!

By August 20, 2008Uncategorized

Here’s a sobering statistic; the average American household spends about $3,000 each year to heat, cool and power a home.  That means that, over the next decade, assuming energy prices remain fixed at current rates, you’ll spend thirty thousand dollars on electricity.  And that’s not even the sobering part!  According to some energy experts, as much as half (fifteen thousand of your hard-earned dollars!) of that power will be completely wasted.  

In most cases, coal will be dug out of the ground, trucked to a power plant and burned.  Hundreds of tons of carbon will be released into the fragile atmosphere.  The power generated will suffer losses as it’s transmitted across the lines to your house and, finally, it will power your air conditioner to make cold air.  That cold air will then escape into your attic through leaking ductwork, ultimately achieving nothing.  Nothing, that is, except for creating profit for the power company and the companies that will charge our children to undo the damage done creating that profit.

Leaky ductwork is a huge problem, even if your A/C has been recently replaced.  Most of the time the contractor doesn’t replace the ductwork with the rest of the unit, leaving you a brand-new, “super-efficient” air handler connected to decades old ducts. But the problems don’t end there.  The majority of our homes have drafty windows, inefficient lighting and appliances, are poorly sealed and suffer inadequate maintenance and simple carelessness.

What’s more, these figures don’t even take into account the costs associated with damage to the structure of your house from leaks and moisture.  Or the health costs associated with molds and pathogens from your attic or basement infiltrating your living space.

Perhaps most importantly, no figure in the world can address the discomfort of being in a cold, drafty room.  Or of not being able to use your "bonus room" in the summer because it’s like an oven.

Ask yourself this.  If someone offered you $15,000 to install some weatherstripping and turn down your thermostat would you accept it?  Of course you would, you’d be a fool not to!  Well, that offer stands before you right now.  Make a few changes today and save a ton of your own money this week, this year, this decade.  And, save a few of the countless tons of money that will be spent, by your children and mine, undoing the damage done creating power for us to thoughtlessly waste in such a cavalier fashion.

If you’re ready to make a change, start with an honest assessment of your home’s energy use.  A few degrees on your thermostat can make a huge difference.  Insulate your water heater.  Caulk around your window frames, inside and out.  Climb up into your attic, flashlight in hand and the A/C on full blast, and feel around the ducts for cold air.  Seal any leaks with mastic and tape (ask your local “home center”).  Most of all, make a commitment to implement small changes.  They add up.

They might just add up to 15 Grand!