Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Insulating to Go Green
Cutting your home energy consumption makes a huge impact on the environment. Various home insulation projects are often a cost-effective way to improve energy efficiency and help you go green. Here are four tips to help you insulate your home:
1. Insulate water heater tank and hot water piping.
This is often an overlooked, easy improvement that will help reduce heat loss. Wrapping your water heater in an insulating jacket, which costs just $10 to $20, can reduce heat loss by 25 to 45 percent and save 1,100 pounds of CO2 per year for an electric water heater, or 220 pounds for a gas heater. For instructions on insulating your water heater tank, you may want to visit energysavers.gov.
2. Insulate HVAC ductwork.
Make sure your HVAC ductwork is properly insulated. This tip will help make sure that your HVAC is not working any harder than it needs to due to small holes or loose seals, resulting in lost energy and a big environmental impact over time.
3. Insulate your walls and ceilings.
A well-insulated home will not only make you more comfortable every season as it stays warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, it’ll also keep your home’s energy usage down. An added benefit is that insulation in your walls keeps noises from traveling into the neighboring rooms. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends home insulation R-values based on where you live. To see their recommendations and for detailed information on improving your insulation, you can visit energysavers.gov.
4. “Insulate” your crawl space.
It’s important to cover the exposed ground beneath your home with a vapor barrier to keep moisture from getting inside. By reducing the moisture in your home, vapor barriers can lift the load off your air conditioner.
Remember that conserving energy and reducing yearly home energy usage by just 25 percent, keeps three to four tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere each year so what better time than to start today?
What are some of your favorite tips for conserving energy in your home or office?