We’re big fans Energy auditors use a lot of interesting equipment to inspect your home, from something as common as a ladder to something as complicated as a manometer. In this blog series, we’ll cover a new tool each month and break down how we use it and what it can tell us about your home’s energy efficiency. For our first post, we’re learning about the biggest piece of equipment we bring into your home
Owning a home is a journey beyond the initial purchase; unexpected expenses can pop up like daisies in the spring. Investing in energy efficiency can reduce those costs, but not without their own price tag up front. So what’s a homeowner to do? This dilemma has not gone unnoticed, and with energy demands always on the rise, the US government decided enough was enough. August 2022 saw the introduction of the Inflation Reduction Act, an
23 Energy Tips for 2023 In the blink of an eye, 2022 has come and gone. With the new year upon us, it’s time to start thinking about New Year’s Resolutions for 2023. Have you been thinking about approaching energy efficiency and sustainability from a new angle? Add one or two of these resolutions to your own list this year! Make One Change: Sustainability and energy efficiency is a lifestyle, and with each new habit,
Keeping Your Chim-Chiminey Clear A couple weeks ago we shared how chimney dampers affect your home’s energy efficiency. However, your chimney’s cleanliness, fireplace type, and the wood you burn can all have a huge impact on your home’s energy efficiency as well as your safety. In this blog we’ll discuss the following questions: How often should chimneys be cleaned, and why? How can I keep my chimney clean? How do chimneys affect energy efficiency? I
‘Tis the season to be jolly- and if you need ideas on how to keep your home merry and bright, here are some new energy-saving tips! Need more tips? Check out Part One! Basics Layers: A tried and true method, the more layers you have, the warmer you are. Try to combine inner layers made of wool, cotton, silk, or synthetic blends with outer layers made of down or polyester. Always prioritize your head, feet,
There’s no better way to ward off the winter chill than by getting cozy around the fireplace. However, that same haven of warmth could also be part of the problem. The culprit? Your chimney’s damper. What is a chimney damper? Chimney dampers are doors above the fireplace that help control airflow. They are designed to allow fire smoke and carbon monoxide to escape when open and keep outside air from getting in when closed, thereby
How gutters affect your home’s energy efficiency With the arrival of autumn comes the pleasures of all things fall: cooler weather, changing leaves, and pumpkin spice lattes. However, leaves are not solely an issue for those with yards- every home should keep an eye on their gutters- not just what’s inside them, but the gutters themselves. Besides seasonal cleanouts when the leaves start falling, gutters are an oft forgotten part of one’s home.
Below you will find strategies to help you save energy and keep utility cost down during the summer when the weather is getting warmer and you are trying to keep a cool home. There are a range of tips from free to inexpensive that most homeowners can take to keep energy affordable during the summer season. Windows That Can Keep Out Heat A large percentage of a home’s heating energy can be lost through windows.
Many homes in the DMV area, especially in DC, are historic in age which leads into the topic of seeking ways to make one’s home more energy efficient. Today, with energy resources being depleted and and growing concerns of greenhouse gases on climate change, owners of older can look towards sustainable/green building practices that modern homes are shifting towards. Taking up some of these actions has the main benefit of also lowering utility bills and
Gardening has become an increasingly popular pastime in recent years. Here are some considerations to take in to be more energy efficient while gardening. These are the main points of focus where one can implement new energy efficiency garden practices. Water Utilization One of the most important aspects in gardening aside from the plants themselves is the water used to promote their growth. Some water conservation tips to adopt can include choosing to water the
With climate change concerns increasingly on our minds, sustainability has been an important part of modern political agendas. Climate action on a federal policy scale is a great way to make a significant impact, but how much can actually be achieved within 4 years? Let’s take a close look on how we’re doing so far! When president Biden came into office over a year ago, his plan as it related to the energy sector was
More time working from home means more energy use. Here are some easy energy saving habits to adopt when you are home. 1. Dedicated Workspace Staying in one place is helpful, both in your work concentration and energy use. Avoid using power in rooms where you are not present, such as lights in living/dining rooms. For the devices like your laptop, printer, or TV, it’s useful to unplug those when not in use because they
Did you know that spring cleaning can make your home more energy efficient? Below are a handful of different things you can incorporate into your spring cleaning routine: Cleaning Larger Appliances. It would be great to start with cleaning appliances such as a refrigerator, clothes dryer, and oven. These appliances are larger and used more often, so they could benefit from a little cleaning. When the vent at the back of the refrigerator and the
Homeowners, springtime is here, and that means it’s the perfect season to think about how to develop gardens and yards into being more energy efficient! Solar-Powered Path Lights Harness the power of the sun with solar-powered garden lights! As the sunsets begin to come later in the evening it’s the best time to make use of solar power technology, and what better addition to your yard and garden than these self-sustaining lights. Solar-powered garden lights can
How Long Can I Expect Appliances to Last? Do you still have that 1996 bulky refrigerator with the mysterious loud hum? What about the furnace that everybody is afraid to go near? And not to mention the space heater that has been passed down through the family. Appliances and building materials can endure wear and tear for years, even decades. They stay working through the day and night to keep our living space healthy and
Ice Damming We are in the peak of the winter season, between weekly DC snowstorms and snow busts. Temperatures fluctuating above and below freezing are ideal conditions for snow melt and refreeze. Add in heat loss through the roof and we will eventually see icicles building up to form ice dams. Ice dams form along the edge of the roof and prevent excess snow melt from draining to the gutters and away from the home.
The Future of Air Conditioning Heat waves and temperature extremities linked to climate change are driving up demand for cooling in our communities every summer. There are close to two billion air conditioning systems operating worldwide, and according to the International Energy Agency that figure is expected to triple to six billion by 2050. Air conditioning is the fastest growing category of energy use in buildings. This puts a lot of strain on the energy grid. During
Energy Efficiency in 2022 Happy New Year! Our team at Energy Efficiency Experts is excited to help transition your home to an energy efficient space this year, using our expertise and approach to the house as one system with many interworking parts. We had countless energy efficient homes success stories in 2021 and would like for your house to be the next one in 2022. Here are some first step resolutions to making the transition:
The attic can mean different things to different people. Maybe you store boxes of holiday decorations or tubs of items you have yet to unpack. Maybe it has no insulation and you use it as an extra room. Maybe it is the place you’ve never stuck your head into and never will! Regardless of your attic status at home, it is the most significant part of the home in terms of controlling the loss of
How Much Sealing is Too Much? With all of the talk about having insulation installed, holes and gaps air sealed, and windows and doors weather stripped, there is also such a thing as having the house too tight. As much as we need to retain heated or cooled air from our HVAC system so that it doesn’t equate to money flying out of the door, we also need fresh air from the outside to cycle
Tips for Adjusting Your Home to Higher Energy Bills Temperatures are dropping and energy prices are rising. Specifically, the price for fuel to run your furnace, power the oven, heat your water, and fill your car’s gas tank. This is true for not only natural gas and electricity, but oil and propane too at an even greater spike. The US Energy Information Administration released their winter outlook expecting US households to spend a considerable amount
Geothermal Energy…the pros, the cons, is it right for you? A Case Study Geothermal Energy System with a Vertical Loop Configuration When it comes to renewable energy options for homeowners, we tend to think of either solar or wind. Maybe throw in some biomass as an energy source to help power the home. And maybe if you’re in an ideal location, some of the power you use stems from a hydroelectric plant. There is one
The Pros and Cons of Making the Switch For those with an electric water heater in their basement, this article is for you. The next upgrade in water heater technology is here. It is the energy star certified heat pump water heater, an efficient hybrid model designed to perform with great savings, greater rebates, and the greatest fuel efficiency. The difference between a hybrid heat pump water heater from an electric water heater lies is
Controlling Phantom Power As the Halloween season approaches, there is a spooky and costly monster that has been lurking on your electricity bill day in and day out, for the most part unknowingly. This monster eats a whopping 10-23% of annual household electricity usage according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. For the average household spending $115 on electricity a month, that can be $138-$317 of your yearly energy expenditures. This monster is called phantom
To determine how much and what type of insulation your attic needs, our experts bring many factors into consideration. There is a certain middle ground to reach; too much attic insulation yields moisture trapping and mold issues, as well as a lack of airflow in the attic. Too little attic insulation results in uneven temperatures throughout the house, and soaring energy bills. This will be especially true this coming winter, as natural gas prices have
After another summer of heat waves, humidity, and sweat, we are due for a cool down in the DMV region. Before you start to crank that heat up and make fall plans, plan to prepare your home to withstand changing conditions with home energy efficiency in mind. Here are a few DIY steps you can take: Inspect furnace– The furnace needs to be routinely inspected and kept clean, especially before frequent use in the fall
The pandemic has been a disrupted markets and industries throughout the global economy causing job loss, food shortages, and even increases in homelessness. The pandemic has also completely changed where and how we work. This has shifted where employees are using energy to work. Researchers from Columbia university have found that residential power consumption in New York has increased 4-7%. Californias utilities commission has also reported a 20% increase in residential energy use. So what
If replacing your fridge isn’t something you’re in the market for right now, don’t worry! There are a few tips and tricks you can do in order to make your fridge more energy efficient. Check the Temperature – Your fridge should be between 35 and 38 degrees, with your freezer anywhere from 5 to 0. According to Edison International, keeping your fridge 10 degrees cooler than it needs to be can increase your electric usage
One of the main goals we have as a society nationally as well as globally, is finding a source of clean and renewable energy. In order to achieve these goals, there must be access to sufficient resources and materials. New technologies such as wind turbines, solar panels, and electric car batteries must be efficient as well as recyclable, otherwise they will impose the same issues as fossil fuels. In order to make these new green
In recent news, the Biden administration has unveiled a new infrastructure plan in the United States. He will be dedicating billions of dollars to help fund the energy industry. This will create a more competitive market while also cutting down pricing on electricity bills. This will help lower income communities in obtaining cleaner and renewable energy that was previously not available. It is important to use renewable energy and to be energy efficient because not
With less than a month until the official start of spring, the DMV continues to experience mild snow and icy conditions. Meanwhile, large areas of Texas are still experiencing power outages and harsh weather conditions, with thousands of households not having power for nearly 5 days. Although Maryland, DC, and Virginia homeowners are likely to experience winter conditions more often, it’s still important to learn ways to cope with power outages in winter if they
During Trump’s Presidency, the Department of Energy didn’t meet the deadline to review several energy efficiency standards that were due. Biden’s team has already signed to review those policies regarding efficiency in lighting, air conditioning, and appliances, along with re-establishing climate standards. Columbia University’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law created a database to keep track of the climate change regulations and deregulations following the administration changes. Explained by Climate Law Fellow, Hillary Aidun, “the
The 2020 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard At the end of December 2020, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, or ACEEE, released the State Energy Efficiency Scorecard. This scorecard analyzes overall energy efficiency efforts, such as policies, programs, electric vehicle use, appliance standards, and energy-saving targets for all 50 states as well as Washington D.C. ACEEE’s website also provides a closer look at data for each state. Source: ACEEE.org How have the rankings changed? In
What we test for during your audit What we look for during your audit During the data collection part of your home energy audit, the lead auditor will inspect your attic insulation, rim band joist, crawl spaces, duct system, etc, and will begin assessing recommendations for improvement. The audit support will gather information on your HVAC system and water heater, appliances, lights, exterior doors and windows, typical energy usage in the home and ends with
Winter is nearly here! Besides bundling up in a bulky sweater and laying next to a space heater, here is a list of other measures you can take to stay warm this winter all while saving you heat and energy costs. Lower the thermostat When you leave your home overnight or even if you’re just going to bed, lowering the thermostat for as little as 8 hours a day can save you up to 10%
What is TOU? History of TOU Programs Summary of Findings Customers were randomly recruited with the opportunity to participate and presented with their potential energy bill savings. Those who agreed began using the TOU rates at the beginning of April 2019 and have the option to remain on the rates until April 2022. As of fall 2020, Brattle completed their first annual study of the program looking at data from June 2019 through May 2020.
LEDs or Incandescents? With the holiday season approaching, it’s a good time to take inventory of your Christmas lights. Are your decorative lights LEDs or incandescent? How much can I save if I switch to LEDs? I already have LED lights, what else can I do? What should I do with my old lights? Before you ditch your incandescent or broken lights in the trash, consider recycling them! Lowes and Mom’s Organic Market offer programs
Biden’s Plan to Reach Energy Efficiency As the election draws to a close and January approaches, President-elect Joe Biden has outlined his plan for the energy sector by setting ambitious goals to reach carbon net-zero emissions by 2050. Biden’s plan places an urgency on updating America’s dated infrastructure, improving energy efficiency in buildings and homes, and expanding electric vehicles, solar and wind technologies. While there are several nationwide plans, let’s look closer at what Biden’s
The Montgomery County Green Bank’s Clean Energy Advantage (CEA) Program has low cost financing options through Participating Lenders offering specially tailored loans EXCLUSIVELY for Montgomery County homeowners. What Work does the CEA Program cover? Air Leakage Reduction, Insulation, Duct Sealing High Efficiency Electric Heating, Cooling or Hot Water High Efficiency Gas Heating or Hot Water Any compliance-based health and safety measures that are required for utility rebate or incentive eligibility Solar PV How to get
Solar panels are a great way to offset your energy costs, reduce the environmental impact of your home and provide a host of other benefits, such as supporting local businesses and contributing to energy independence. If you are looking to install solar panels on your home, look at these benefits as to why solar panels should be the common energy source for households. Start saving from day one: Annual energy costs can be in the
Anthropogenic climate change is a global critical issue that has affected and will affect your livelihood and safety. The constant consumption and production of fossil fuel has drastically impacted local, regional, and global climate patterns. The emission of greenhouse gas from tech, power plants, fossil fuel companies, the transportation industries and etc. has forced humankind to address our current lifestyle and improve our way of life in which we can coexist with our environment without
Ms. Rickert’s house has a semi-flat roof. The third floor of the house was an expansion into the attic space. The ceiling on the third floor was vaulted with very limited clearance between the drywall and the roof deck which implies that there is no manual air sealing that can be done. The vaulted ceiling had no insulation which impacted the level of comfortability in the living space, as well as Ms. Rickert’s energy bill.
We at Energy Efficiency Experts have partnered with Sustainable You, a DC-based community-driven platform, that empowers conscientious residents like you to build a more sustainable lifestyle and be rewarded for it through personalized Eco-Evaluations and resources hosted on their free app! An example of their work is how they help homeowners leverage the best consumer incentives for solar in the country here in DC. You can lower or eliminate your Pepco bill, generate thousands of
Summer is here, hotter than ever, and we have been receiving numerous calls from customers saying, “why is my upstairs hotter than the rest of the house?” “Why is it hot upstairs at night when I am trying to go to sleep?” And, “why can’t I get even heating and cooling in my house?” These questions are major concerns that need to be addressed immediately and depending on the home, there could be a variety of reasons as to why. Based off of our experience, there are four key issues as to why the upstairs is hotter than the rest of the house.