Save Money with Simple Steps for Homeowners
Each time the price of electricity increases or the price at the pump jumps, consumers show concern for energy efficiency. Santa Cruz home owners should take such signals to heart. As energy costs continue to rise, small steps taken in the home can result in substantial savings over the long haul. While the initial investment in energy efficient appliances may be higher, they will save the buyer far more than the difference in purchase price to non-energy efficient appliances over the lifetime of product use. In addition, the government frequently offers an incentive such as tax breaks for use of the more efficient models.
Energy experts suggest that people view the place where they live as an energy system that requires input and results in loss. The trick is to find ways to put as little energy into the system as possible while reducing energy loss to a minimum. Heat and cold move through walls, roof, windows, and doors. In summer, you do not want to be cooling the air outside. In winter, you do not want cold air coming in. Both represent energy loss.
Tackle Various Spots in Turn
There are 5 main areas where this sort of energy transfer takes place: walls, ceiling, floors, windows and doors, and infiltration or air leakage. The leakage is the biggest culprit representing 35% of the loss. Windows and doors are next accounting for 18 to 20% of losses. Floors and below grade space come next at 15 to 18%, followed by walls at 12 to 14%, then walls at 12 to 14%, and finally ceilings at 10%.
Air leakage can be reduced by using insulating materials around plumbing vents, electrical outlets, and switches. Recessed lighting, plumbing stacks that open in the basement and attic stairs can all act to draw energy out of the house.
In order to stop infiltration, you must also seal leakage from doors and windows. While walls do not comprise a large percentage of energy loss, it is relatively easy to install insulation inside them and therefore worthwhile to do so. That goes for floors and attics as well.
Audit Your Santa Cruz Home’s Energy Use
Utilities these days are in the business of promoting energy efficiency. Not only are their costs rising, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to get new power plants of any sort approved and built. Energy efficiency is thus seen as a means to avoid such costly expenditures. For this reason, they have taken to supplying their customers with suggestions on how they can reduce energy use in the home.
For Santa Cruz County, PGE offers several online energy auditing tools to pinpoint the places where energy is finding its way out of the house. PG&E also offer tips to Santa Cruz County residents on how to remedy such losses.