Need Energy Advice


I have lived in a 1960 single-family, split-home for about 5 years and during the fall/winter time, my house is extremely cold.  The walls are cold and I have already replaced just about every window in the home except one! We recently made a hole in the wall to find out if it had insulation.  Although it was hard to make a determination, I believe that they are insulated but, considering the house is nearly 50 years old, I’m not quite sure how effective the insulation is.

I am concerned because my gas bill every month is about $600 a month and would like to know what to do to resolve this problem.  I want to have a warm, cozy home without using so much heat that I hurt my pockets!
bigdaddyangelone – 10/27/06 10:19 PM

I feel your pain!  It sounds, however, like your problem may involve more than just window replacement and wall insulation.  It could be a single issue, or it could be a combination of many issues that add to your home’s inefficiency.  For example, houses built in 1960 typically have lousy attic insulation and very poor ventilation.  So, besides not having enough insulation, what you do have won’t insulate very well.  Another issue is that you have a split level house.  This architectural style is notoriously difficult to heat and cool evenly.  As a result, some floors are over heated while others remain chilly.  The problem is there are too many possible issues for you or me to decide which one is causing the biggest energy drain.

To get to the bottom of this, I strongly recommend you do a whole home energy audit.  The US Department of Energy offers some wonderful online tools to help.  For example, the Home Energy Saver tool allows you to calculate the amount of energy savings based on various home improvements.  The DOE site also offers advice on both do-it-yourself and professional energy audits.  You should also download the Home Energy Savers booklet for a great overview.

But first, I suggest you contact your local utility company and find out if they offer a professional home energy audit service.  Many utility companies do this for little or no cost, and some are even required to do so in order to maintain their operating license.

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