Thursday, March 15, 2007

Energy Matters

“Summer’s gone” or so the signs say. The spiders are on the wall and the dew is heavy in the morning. Time to think about the coming winter and how best to cope with the new reality of $70.00 oil. For many years we have lived in a paradise of low energy costs and plentiful supply but the party is over and it’s time to get serious about energy saving. I have had a lifetime of experience in this area and can boil it down to the following suggestions. These are in order of savings, the most savings at the top of the list.

1. Tune up your furnace.

2. Install computerized auto set back thermostats.

3. Air seal the house. This means sealing all the places where the air you have paid to heat is leaking to the outside. It’s pretty simple if you know where to look. The sill area, windows, doors, electrical fixtures, attic hatches, plumbing holes and the chimney are the major culprits. We have the good weather strip in stock.

4. Attic insulation, 10” recommended.

5. Basement insulation. Surprised? The average home looses 20-30% of it’s heat through the basement. We recommend 2” of truwall foam covered with ¼” meranti plywood, the bonus is that when the insulating is finished , you have a comfortable finished usable room. Great for kids or it can be further finished into a Home theatre or spare bedroom etc.

6. Replacement windows: The advent of the vinyl insert window has made window upgrading very economical and the new windows are so easy to clean, no painting, the advantages are more than just energy savings.

7. Insulation of cold walls: The new foam insulations make it easy to make any room warmer.

8. Electric heat: You heard me right. With the oil prices being what they are it is a good alternative in the shoulder season’s to use electric heat especially if your furnace is more than ten years old. Jamieson Electric [629-1449] is the favorite electrician of the House Doctor and John Cahill [628-6419] is the favorite plumber/ furnace man.

All these upgrades pay for themselves these days. Safer than the stock market and great returns.

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