Energy Saving Tips: One Simple Trick That Will Save you $15,000 A Year
There is a lot of buzz around home energy saving tips. We are going to tell you the most efficient method.
After enduring one of the harshest winters on record just last year, America’s homeowners are now wrapping-up one of the hottest summers from border-to-border and coast-to-coast.
Consequently, many are seriously rethinking the advantages of investing in energy-saving home improvements as they deal with skyrocketing monthly utility bills for more intense heating and cooling. This is especially true in regions that experience dramatic temperature extremes.
By comparison, energy-saving improvements — once thought to offer only a long and drawn-out payback period — now look far more attractive. And with another daunting visit from Old Man Winter just around the corner, many homeowners are ready to take preventative measures to sidestep budget-busting utility bills once-and-for-all.
If this sounds familiar and you’re ready to save some dough, you’ll love what we have to share. Let’s say you had $15,000 to spend on energy-saving home improvements (from savings, a home equity loan, stocks, Grandma, whatever). What would save you the most energy and thus, in turn, earn back your investment at the fastest rate?
If you are like most, option one would be a package that included adding more insulation, sealing drafty air leaks, more energy-efficient lighting, with a few new Energy Star® rated major appliances thrown in for good measure.
Option two might be a cutting-edge, two kilowatt rooftop solar array to generate your own electricity.
For option three, you might consider replacing all of your old energy-challenged aging windows with new super energy-efficient hi-tech models.
So what is your best bet? According to a brand new study from Ann V. Edminster, the green building expert and author of the new book “Energy Free: Homes For a Small Planet,” you may be in for a surprise. As part of the research for her book, Edminster evaluated $15,000 worth of these same three energy-saving options incorporated into a typical 1,900-square-foot suburban home in six different climate zones.
The results of this study clearly indicate that today, replacement widows with a high R-value are not only competitive with other retrofit alternatives, but in various situations, they were the clear number one choice performance-wise. R-value? So, “What exactly is R-value?” you ask and “Why should I care?”
R-value rates the insulating properties of various materials by measuring thermal resistance. The higher the R-value, the better the insulating properties for retaining heat on cold winter days and keeping cool indoors with less A/C during hot summer scorchers.
In Edminster’s single-pane (R-1) window replacement scenario, an upgrade to R-5 windows produced a dramatic 38.4 percent energy-saving improvement – more than three times the value of the traditional first choice “insulation, air leak, better lighting, new appliance” combo (which yielded only a 12.4 percent overall reduction in energy use). The second choice “rooftop solar system” provided the least energy benefits, with only a 12.1 percent reduction in energy.
For homes with existing dual-pane (R-2) windows, the study showed a smaller range of savings when upgrading to R-5 windows, but still, R-5 windows were competitive with the other energy efficient option previously noted. And when evaluating the same three energy-saving options for new home construction, high R-value windows once again provided the greatest influence on whole-building energy-efficiency.
Today, replacement windows that are R-5 and above are a game-changing, number one consideration in the realm of energy efficiency retrofit options. They are documented big-time energy savers, with faster than ever payback and increased day-to-day comfort. And let’s not overlook the sheer beauty of new windows. New insulation won’t impress your company near as much and you’ll have to take ‘em up on the roof to see your spiffy new solar panels.
Now that we’ve got you thinking “maybe new windows,” why stop at R-5’s?
For optimum performance, take other things into consideration as well, such as which way your windows face, and the size and number-of-windows-to-wall ratio as there are many new technologies, configurations and hi-tech combinations available for specific requirements.
Today, high R-value, high-performance replacement windows are rated a “best choice” for cost-effective home energy savings – and the higher the R-value, the better.
This new study provides 15,000 good reasons to check ‘em out.
For more home improvement tips and information visit our web site at www.onthehouse.com.
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