Energy Efficiency 101

Since we all just had a cord of wood delivered to avoid turning on our heating systems here in New England, (How is everyone doing? Anyone turn on the heat, yet? Let us know on Facebook!) let’s focus some attention on energy efficiency. The guys at G&C are big on going green and encourage all customers to take advantage of an energy audit to make sure you’re utilizing your home to the fullest.

Over the years, Greg and Brandon have gathered some tips to get the most of an audit. Today, they share them with you because they’re such nice guys!

The Energy Audit Low Down from a Master Plumber

“Professional energy assessments go into great detail about your home’s energy use,” said Greg Sheck. “You can contact your utility company or hire an outside energy auditor and they will typically go room-by-room, examining your house and taking a look at past utility bills.” Mass Save can also be a big help.

Greg said that most professionals will do what is called a blower door test which includes a machine that measures the airtightness of buildings. It can also be used to measure airflow between building zones, to test ductwork airtightness and to help locate air leakage sites in your home.

Do You Have to Clean Your Closets?

Greg says, No!

“But, you should make a list of existing problems such as condensation on windows or rooms that have drafts,” said the Master Plumber.

He also suggests having copies or a summary of your home’s yearly energy bills. “You can get these from the utility company if you burned them to keep warm this month,” laughed Greg.

Why Is He Looking There?

“An auditor usually examines the outside of the home first to get a sense of the size and the number of windows it has and then he or she will focus on you,” said Greg. So, be prepared to answer the following:

  • Is anyone home during working hours?

  • What is the average thermostat setting for summer and winter?

  • How many people live here?

  • Is every room in use?

This is Not an Interrogation; You Are Not in Trouble!

Unless you’re hiding something in the basement, your answers should help uncover some simple ways to reduce your household’s energy consumption. Walk through your home with the auditors as they work, and ask questions about weatherization and getting those new light bulbs. Be sure to strike up a conversation about heating systems, financing and rebates. Then call the guys at G&C Plumbing and Heating!

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