Last week I attended an Energy Efficiency Seminar hosted by Landmark West!, The Community Preservation Corporation and Steven Winter Associates, Inc.
I covered the many ways to make a building more efficient. First we looked at where the energy goes, from heating, to hot water, to appliances, to holes in roof. We learned the percentages for each and got an in depth understanding of how to prioritize our energy improvement plan.
For example, if windows waste 10% of the energy and cost $10,000 to replace but a hole in the attic wastes 10% of the energy and costs $25 to fix then obviously go for the hole.
The basic message of the seminar was that you should go for the low hanging fruit. They will fix the vast majority of the energy issues and cost the least amount of money.
Basically, the low hanging fruit are the holes. Most energy is wasted via holes in the house envelope. And most of these issues can be fixed for almost no money.
The mantra is: “Find Hole, Fill Hole.”
Places to look the are most important are where the house pressure is highest: at the base of the house and at the top of the house.
The base of the house has a lot of inward pressure where cold air is being sucked into the house. The top of the house has a lot of outward pressure where valuable hot air is being pushed out of the house.
Find the holes any way you can. For the little killer holes a lighter or smoking candle can show you the draft. Fill with caulk, spray foam and putty.
If you do this it will amaze you how much energy will be saved. And money.
A house has to be really in terrible shape for you to need to put insulation in the walls, replace the appliances, and get new windows. These would be the next steps but the “Find Hole, Fill Hole,” is definitely the most important first step.