You bought the home and now you’re living in it. Here’s 15 things your home would have liked to tell you about energy efficiency at home before you moved in. If only homes could talk, they would share some energy efficiency details that you might really like to know.
In the future, I know homes will contain technology that will allow them to become increasingly smart and automated. Someday, your home will be able to tell you when the water heater has been automatically adjusted for temperature and when there are air leaks in the attic that need to be sealed.
Your home will automatically close the drapes on the sunny side of the home in the summer and your home will automatically turn off the TV and the lights when everyone leaves the family room.
Until then, let’s just pretend your home can talk and let’s also pretend that you, as an energy conscious inhabitant, are willing to listen.
15 Things about Energy Efficiency at Home, Your Home Would Like to Tell You
1. The ceiling insulation is turning black everywhere the air pushes through it from air leaks in the ceiling. Remember, air seal and then insulate.
2. Recessed lights look good, but they’re a real energy problem when their not air sealed.
3. The gas fireplace looks comforting, but there is a pilot light burning 24 hours a day.
4. There is a 2 inch round air hole in the floor behind the water heater in the bedroom closet. Seems the plumber drilled more holes than he needed. By the way, this is how the mice are getting in so they can leave little presents here and there.
5. The dishwasher has been leaking for years, look under the floor, the floor is rotten and the insulation is falling down. Pretty soon the kitchen floor will begin to swell and then get mushy.
6. The electrician drilled holes in the top plate of the walls to run the outlet and lighting wires. The holes were not air sealed and they are now allowing air leakage right through the outlets and switches directly into the attic.
7. The reason the floor register in the master bedroom has very little air coming through it is because the heating duct has become disconnected. The duct is now heating the crawl space instead of the bedroom.
8. The previous owner fixed the exterior siding by painting over the moisture damage. The thermal barrier has been compromised.
9. The electric water heater is producing water that is too hot. There are two thermostats on the water heater, one for each heating element - the top thermostat is set for 145 degrees and the lower element is set for 125 degrees.
10. The furnace actually has two filters. The furnace filter you found has been changed within the last year - the one you don’t know about has not been changed since the house was new.
11. The air conditioner was serviced and given a clean bill of health, but the HVAC technician decided the inside heat exchanger was too hard to get to, so it has never been cleaned.
12. The contractor that remodeled the bathroom and added 52 square feet forgot to add insulation in the ceiling - or he thought you wouldn’t notice.
13. The new jetted tub required an even larger hole in the floor to make room for the drain. The hole is still there. That’s why when you stand next to the tub your feet get cold.
14. The 3rd bedroom keeps growing mold along the exterior wall where the ceiling and wall meet. That’s because the insulation in the ceiling has blown back away from the exterior wall leaving a cold spot all along the wall. Yes, this is where the west wind hits the home the hardest.
15. The refrigerator in the garage has been there since the first owners. Just keeps getting sold with the home. Was one of the first refrigerators manufactured with an ice maker - still works. Problem is that hand-me-down refrigerator is costing you $550 per year for the convenience of having a few ice cubes in the garage.
Perhaps your home knows better than anyone how it can save energy, so even if your home can’t talk to you, if you’ll just pay close attention, maybe your home is using sign language about energy efficiency at home.
Thank you for stopping by Detect Energy, hope to see you soon, but I won't leave the light on for you...
Visit detectenergy.com to register for my free eNewsletter - the Energy Spy Insider.