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Reduce Home Energy Costs - Worcester, MA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Are you trying to figure out how to save money on home energy costs? Before the winter begins in Worcester, make energy efficient changes to your home. There are many things that you can do.

Consider your windows, doors, insulation, heating and cooling equipment and appliances. All of these things can make a big difference to your home energy costs, and boost your home value at the same time.

Install low-flow showerheads and faucets: Modern faucets use 40% less water. Replacing faucets with models that have a flow rate of less than 2.5 gallons per minute can cut your water usage for showers in half.

Switch to fluorescent light bulbs or light-emitting diodes: They cost a little more, but you can save $50 over the life of just one bulb.  Energy efficient bulbs use about 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last at least six times longer. They also produce about 75% less heat, so it's safer to operate and can cut energy costs associated with home cooling.

Buy ENERGY STAR appliances: The average homeowner annually spends about $2,000 on energy bills, according to ENERGY STAR. Change to appliances that have earned the ENERGY STAR rating, and you can save hundreds of dollars a year in energy costs.

Seal and insulate: Sealing and adding insulation to the shell of your home - its outer walls, ceiling, windows, doors, and floors - is often the most cost effective way to improve energy efficiency and comfort. Adding insulation to your home keeps the warm, heated air in your home and keeps the cold air out of your home. The extra four inches of insulation in the walls, along with the airtight windows, eliminates drafts in the house.

Consider getting rid of the old appliances. Refrigerators built before 1993 can use two to three times more energy than newer models.

For more information on adding insulation to your home to reduce energy costs, contact Custom Insulation.

Excerpts – Leader Telegram

Insulation in Older Homes - Worcerster, Boston

Joseph Coupal - Monday, March 11, 2013

In the older homes around Worcester and Boston, many people wonder where to spend home rehabilitation money. Insulation is a great place to spend money if you want to save money.

The best place for insulation is in the attic floor, not in the walls. Also, if there's a drop stair or a door to the attic, make sure it's insulated and sealed too.

Once that's done, the attic should be properly ventilated. Insulation lets the attic stay near the outside temperature  in the wintertime. The ventilation and insulation let the attic space stay near the outside temperature of the summertime too.

If a historic house needs attic insulation, have a contractor put 1 to 2 inches of expanded foam sheeting down over the old floor, then put half-inch plywood flooring on it and use long screws to join the sandwich to the old attic floor.  The attic itself is then separated from the building envelope.

Around the sills, between floor joists, is another place where it's essential to insulate.  Batt insulation placed there with the shiny metal facing the inside of the basement also act as firebreaks, preventing a fire in the basement of an older balloon-framed house from spreading due to the chimney effect of the tall empty spaces between the studs.

For more information on adding insulation to older or historic homes, contact Custom Insulation.


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