Episode 18 - Home Energy Savings

Intro: Welcome to 1000 Ways Green! The show where we give busy people like you easy ways to help save the planet for our future generations, and of course, try to save you money along the way. As the weather is now approaching full on winter temperatures (if you’re in the northern hemisphere) it is a great time to ensure you’re using less of your energy (and money) to keep your house comfortable.

Onto this week's three things…

Mint Green level: To ensure that the heat you put into your home stays there it is important to make sure there are no gaps around your door. The most common place this can occur is under your doors. To help avoid this there are two things you can do. One, make sure each of your doors has a door sweep on it, that is the extra flap on the bottom of the door that is usually screwed in. I have an example linked in the show notes. There are some doors that you can’t do that with though unfortunately and you’ll need to use a door draft stopper in front of or under the door to prevent the air flow. I’ve linked one of those in the show notes too that I like because it stays there all the time but there are other puffy door draft stoppers that you’ll have that they manually need to move back by the door to keep the air in if you have an awfully raised up entrance.

Shamrock Green level: For your shamrock green challenge this week I ask you to get and put window weatherstripping around your windows and doors to seal those annoying leaks that make homes drafty. Windows are often one of the last things people upgrade in their homes, therefore making them one of the oldest and least energy efficient things and the most in need of energy efficiency help in the way of weatherstripping. You can find an example weatherstripping tool in the show notes if you need one though my gas company was willing to send me some for free if I asked so you may want to try that first.

Forest green level: Last and by no means least is your forest green level challenge is to add insulation to your attic. This is the most costly up front but is also the best bang for your buck as it will pay you back the quickest. If you live in the United States the building code when your place was built probably requires you to have an insulation R value of somewhere between 25 and 50 but to truly help the environment I would push your installer to make that closer to 45 (for warmer climates) and 80 (for cooler climates). By doing that not only are you letting less heat (or AC) escape from your home but that also means you’re requiring less fuel to heat or cool your home. That is especially important if you’re using coal, natural gas, propane or wood to heat your home but is still important if you’re heating with electricity. While any insulation is better than none, there are definitely better insulators than others. I’m linking to a list of better insulators to choose when using it to fill your attic.

Links from the show: