How much will energy saving improvements to your home save you?
You will often hear sellers of energy saving improvements make projections about home energy savings. The reality is that no one can accurately predict a home’s future energy consumption or savings, irrespective of whatever energy improvements are made. This is because no one can predict how the occupants of the home, or their friends or visitors will use, manage, conserve or waste the energy after the improvements have been made. In addition, the energy consumption of every home is influenced by unique features and conditions, some of which are listed below.
- Location and geographic climatic or region
- Home size, layout and number of levels
- Solar exposure
- Surrounding buildings or trees that cast shade
- Size, type and orientation of windows
- Cross or mechanical ventilation
- Type, location and efficiency of ceiling fans
- Type, number and location of light fixtures
- Type, location and age of thermostats and humidistats
- Type and rating of wall, attic and roof insulation
- Type and color of roof
- Type, color and thickness of walls
- Type, age and efficiency of appliances
- Type, age, location and efficiency of water heaters and air-conditioners
- Type of foundation and floor assembly, as well as the floor covering
- Configuration and insulation of hot water pipes
- The design, location, insulation, and air leakage level of the air duct system
- The extent of air leakage in the home shell
Finally, each of the above has an effect on all of the others in a holistic manner.
As a professional home energy rater, I have been trained to measure and gather this type of data and input it into special scientific software that analyses and provides reports and a third party verified rating for a home’s current and estimated energy usage.
A home energy rating and analysis takes the best part of a day to complete, so when someone tells you that the purchase of a particular appliance will save you a certain percentage off your electric bill, know that the prediction might be a little closer to a thumb suck than reality.
Visit my Home Energy Efficiency Store.
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