Case Study – Energy Savings
Sometimes customers ask us if our clients actually have demonstrable savings on their utility bills. Through a great service provided by PG&E, homeowners can check the relative efficiency of their home compared to all other PG&E rate payers. This homeowner achieved significant bill reduction from implementing very cost-effective measures.
Energy Efficiency Upgrades Implemented:
- Air Sealing: We use diagnostic equipment to measure and identify gaps in the building construction. These gaps are what causes a house to feel “drafty”. By identifying these areas that need air sealing we typically reduce the draft in client’s homes by 20-40% which leads to a significant improvement in comfort as well as energy savings.
- Attic Insulation: Many homes can make significant improvements in comfort and efficiency by adding attic insulation. Many older homes in the Bay Area lack adequate insulation. Adding attic insulation is one of the most cost-effective home upgrades that can be made on older homes. Adding insulation in the attic also improves the comfort of the home as well as reducing the demand for energy since the insulation serves to keep the warm air in the winter and the hot air out in the summer.
- Duct Tune-Up: Most people are not aware that an older HVAC system may have very ineffective ducts. Below is a picture of a disconnected duct from this home. Just one disconnected duct can be a huge drain on the efficiency of a heating system. Not only is the disconnected duct not providing heat to where it should, but it essentially drains the entire system of efficiency forcing the heater to run much longer to heat up a home because a huge amount of the hot air is simply being pushed into an unused crawlspace or attic. We use a duct blaster test and duct through to identify all potentially troublesome issues with an HVAC duct system. Often times, homes have leaky or disconnected ducts as was the case here.
These were the only measures necessary to make this client’s home more efficient than what PGE considers an “efficient home”. Its amazing how much energy can be reduced and how much more comfortable a home can become with simple cost-effective solutions. Just imagine if all homes were able to acheive similar energy savings how much energy could be reduced across communities.
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