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Energy Efficiency

Kevin Eigel, the owner of Ecohouse Solar is a professional energy auditor and is conducting a blower door test.

It always makes sense to make your home as energy efficient as possible, both to reduce energy costs and to be more comfortable. The financial payback for energy efficiency measures is usually only a few years.

It is a good idea to have an energy audit done to understand where there may be opportunities to improve the performance of your home, if you have not already done so. In Columbus and Central Ohio, Columbia Gas offers their customers thorough and low cost energy audits ($50) then helps to pay for the recommended improvements. If you have an all-electric home with AEP, they offer a similar home energy auditing program. These audits will test the air-tightness of the house, insulation levels and efficiency of the heating/cooling system.

Here is what you can do to save energy and make your home more comfortable, in order of importance:

  1. Air- Sealing. Make the home more airtight by sealing gaps between inside and outside. Check plumbing vent pipes, light fixtures, attic hatches, whole house fans, etc. Windows and doors are usually not the problem.
  2. Insulation. Add wall insulation if you don’t have any, and make sure your attic(s) have at least 8-10 inches of insulation.
  3. Upgrade Heating and Cooling systems. If you have an older furnace and air conditioner, consider installing a new high-efficiency unit.
  4. Efficient Lighting and Appliances. Change your light bulbs to more efficient ones. Buy “Energy Star” rated appliances.
  5. Lifestyle. There are many easy ways to save energy at home, such as turning down the thermostat a little in the winter and turning it up a little in the summer. Turning off lights when not needed. Turning down the temperature on the water heater. Completely turning off “vampire” electric loads, like the TV and DVD player when not in use.

After eating your efficiency vegetables, have the solar dessert.