There are 88 million homes in the U.S. and Canada alone that burn twice as much fuel for heating and electricity for cooling than they need to. This is because they are insufficiently insulated and poorly air sealed. They also have energy-wasting building assemblies, such as ducts in the attic, cathedral ceilings, cantilevered floors, rooms over garages, vented crawls spaces, leaky can lights, knee wall assemblies and much more.
As air leaks in and out of a home uncontrolled, your heating and air conditioning systems have to work more, and often you experience uncomfortable temperatures throughout the house, with rooms that are too hot in the summer, or too cold and drafty in the winter.
All these problems can be fixed but most homeowners don’t get them fixed for one simple reason: they are afraid it will cost too much.
In the above video, Larry Janesky – building scientist, entrepreneur and author of four books on building science and performance subjects – demonstrates how stopping energy waste to make your home more comfortable not only makes sense, but it is actually one of the best investments you can make for your home, life and the planet.
A typical project to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient may cost an average of $7,500. The work may include air sealing, insulation, sealing and insulating air ducts, fixing dirt crawl spaces, or any number of other problems in a home.
When you make a home more comfortable by controlling heat flow out of the house in the winter, and into the house in the summer, you are reducing the cost of home ownership by reducing electric and fuel bills.
The repair costs and the savings will vary based on each home’s size, features, and on the job work that was done, but by cutting heating and cooling expenses by 35%, the average 2,200 sq. ft. home can save up to $1,300 per year. Savings are even more significant in northern states and in bigger homes.
That means that after 6 years, the average homeowner would have saved the full amount he paid to get the home fixed, while enjoying a more comfortable home, and will continue to save $1,300 every year after the initial investment is paid off.
On the other hand, if the problems aren’t fixed, homeowners will continue to pay $1,300 more for fuel and electricity, year after year, until they have the problems fixed all while living in an uncomfortable home.
If your home is fixed, over the course of the 6 years it takes for you to get the money back, you will also save 400,000 cubic feet of natural gas and prevent 26 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.
To save that much fuel and keep that much carbon dioxide from being released into the environment by, for example, installing solar panels — you will need to spend an average of $26,000, or nearly four times as much.
If we fix 50 homes in your neighborhood, over 25 years, each homeowner will save $40,000 and collectively they would burn 100 million less cubic feet of natural gas; or 25,000 gallons of oil per year — that’s 625,000 gallons in 25 years.
Over 25 years 7,200 tons of carbon dioxide will be kept from being released into the atmosphere. If every home in the U.S. and Canada was fixed, we would save 121 billion dollars in fuel costs.
Everyone would like to save money while having a more comfortable home, and if given the chance, help save natural resources and help the environment. Home energy efficiency improvements are a one-time deal that will help you accomplish all that.
This is why energy efficiency and home comfort truly are “Ideas Worth Sharing.”