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Sunday, August 02, 2009

Energy Efficient Buildings: With Just a Little Planning You Can Avoid Excessive Utility Bills


A brief run down on installing insulation in your home.

Improving building energy efficiency isn't all that hard, and it does not require investing in any new technology. In fact, it only takes using your brain -- and a little work.

The New Republic Magazine wrote a little piece about this in a recent issue: Efficient Buildings a No Brainer.

You need only remember a few key steps when thinking about your home and making the building more efficient.
  • Put in enough ceiling insulation. Any do-it-yourselfer can install a roll of fiberglass insulation. The stuff is available in various grades and from various manufacturers at most large household supply stores. Just make sure you put in the right amount of insulation for your geographic region. Colder climates warrant more insulation.
  • Patch up leaks. Again, a little caulking and weather stripping will go a long way to reduce unnecessary drafts around windows and doors. Older homes may need some patch work on the exterior, perhaps to seal up cracks in plaster walls. It may take a few days this summer, but you can seal up your house on your own, and save money in winter.
  • Weatherize heating and cooling ducts with insulation. Roles of insulation material are available at most hardware supply stores and you can wrap ducts in a weekend, while still stopping to watch the Tour de France.
  • Clean you furnace filter, and get a furnace check-up/tune-up before the heating season starts. If you have the need for a new furnace, be sure to invest in the most energy efficient furnace possible -- and check for government tax breaks!
Simple steps, and they'll not only increase energy efficiency while lowering utility bills -- they'll also improve the value of your home!

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