While reading this e-book…

While reading this e-book, please refer back to your Home Energy Report. This e-book is a companion to your Home Energy Report provided to you by your InterNACHI-certified home inspector. To access your Home Energy Report, please use the URL link provided by your inspector.  To find an InterNACHI-Certified Home Inspector who provides a Home […]

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Low-Cost and No-Cost Ways to Save Energy

Here are several do-it-yourself tips to save energy right now, including easy low-cost and no-cost ways to save energy. Install a programmable thermostat to lower utility bills and manage your heating and cooling systems efficiently. Replace lamps in your older indoor and outdoor incandescent lighting fixtures with energy-saving incandescent, CFL, and LED light bulbs. Upgrading […]

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About This Companion Book

This is your companion book to the Home Energy Report provided to you by your InterNACHI inspector.  To access your Home Energy Report, please contact your inspector. Please refer back to your Home Energy Report to understand: how much your home will cost to operate; where energy (and, therefore, your money) is being wasted; and […]

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References

The following resources were used to develop this site: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy http://www.aceee.org/consumer/ Census Bureau Press Release, Information on Home Workers October 20, 2004. CB04-183. http://www.census.gov/ DOE Building America http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/building_america/ DOE Building Technologies Program http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/ DOE Building Technologies Program, 2007 Buildings Energy Databook http://buildingsdatabook.eere.energy.gov/ DOE Consumer Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable […]

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Professional Home Energy Audits

Professional energy audits generally go into great detail. The energy auditor should do a room-by-room examination of the residence, as well as a thorough examination of past utility bills. Many professional energy assessments will include a blower door test and a thermographic scan using an infrared camera. Preparing for an Energy Assessment Before the energy […]

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Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Assessments

You can conduct a basic, do-it-yourself home energy assessment to get a general idea about how efficient your home is. With a diligent walk-through, you can spot many problems in any type of house. When assessing your home, keep a checklist of areas you have inspected and problems you’ve found. This list will help you […]

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Solar-Powered Outdoor Lighting

Solar-Powered Outdoor Lighting Installing solar lighting around your home and garden is quick and easy to install, with an added bonus—no wires or electricity costs! You have many options for using renewable energy at home—from solar-powered outdoor lights to buying renewable energy from your local utility provider, or even producing solar electricity at home with […]

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Home Office Equipment and Home Electronics

Nearly 4.2 million people in the U.S. worked from home in 2000, up from 3.4 million in 1990. Working from home saves energy and time by cutting out the commute, but it may increase your home energy bills a lot unless you use energy-saving office equipment. ENERGY STAR labeled office equipment is widely available: it […]

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Major Appliance Shopping Guide

Shopping for Energy-Efficient Appliances When it comes to shopping for and comparing energy-efficient appliances and home electronics, look for the ENERGY STAR® and EnergyGuide labels. ENERGY STAR Label ENERGY STAR labels appear on appliances and home electronics that meet strict criteria for energy efficiency as established by the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental […]

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Laundry Appliances

Save Energy and More with ENERGY STAR ENERGY STAR clothes washers use 50% less energy than standard washing machines. About 90% of the energy used for washing clothes in a conventional top-load washer is for heating the water. There are two ways to reduce the amount of energy used for washing clothes: use less water […]

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Other Energy-Saving Kitchen Tips

Be sure to place the faucet lever on the kitchen sink in the cold position when using small amounts of water. Placing the lever in the hot position uses energy to heat the water even though it may never reach the faucet. If you need to purchase a natural gas oven or range, look for […]

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Refrigerators and Freezers

ENERGY STAR Refrigerators Are Cool! The EnergyGuide label on new refrigerators tells you how much electricity in kilowatt-hours (kWh) a particular model uses in one year. The smaller the number, the less energy the refrigerator uses and the less it will cost you to operate. In addition to the EnergyGuide label, don’t forget to look […]

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Dishwashers

How to Read the EnergyGuide Label The EnergyGuide label gives you two important pieces of information you can use to compare different brands and models when shopping for a new dishwasher: its estimated yearly operating cost, based on the national average cost of electricity; and its estimated energy consumption on a scale showing a range […]

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Appliances: What’s the Real Cost?

Every appliance has two costs: the purchase price and the operating cost. Consider both when buying a new appliance. Appliances account for about 17% of your household’s energy consumption, with refrigerators, clothes washers and clothes dryers at the top of the list. When you’re shopping for appliances, think of those two costs or price tags. […]

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Lighting

LEDs and CFLs—Two Bright Ideas! Making improvements to your lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. An average household dedicates 11% of its energy budget to lighting. Using new lighting technologies can reduce lighting energy use in your home by 50% to 75%. ENERGY STAR-qualified lighting provides bright, warm light […]

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Windows

Windows can be one of your home’s most attractive features. Windows provide views, daylighting, ventilation, and solar heating in the winter. Unfortunately, they can also account for up to 25% of your heating bill. During the summer, your air conditioner must work harder to cool hot air from sunny windows. Energy-efficient windows may have two […]

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Keep Your Energy Bills Out of Hot Water

Water heating is the third largest energy expense in your home. It typically accounts for about 15% of your utility bill. There are four ways to cut your water heating bills: use less hot water, turn down the thermostat on your water heater, insulate your water heater, and buy a new, more energy-efficient model.  Look […]

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Landscaping

Landscaping is a natural and beautiful way to keep your home cool in summer and reduce your energy bills. A well-placed tree, shrub or vine can deliver effective shade, act as a windbreak, and reduce your energy bills. Carefully positioned trees can save up to 25% of the energy a typical household uses. Research shows […]

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Programmable Thermostats

You can save as much as 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills by simply turning your thermostat back 10% to 15% for eight hours. You can do this automatically by installing an automatic setback or programmable thermostat. Using a programmable thermostat, you can adjust the times you turn on the heating or […]

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Air Conditioners

Sizing is important for both room and central air-conditioning systems, which need to be sized by professionals. Buying a bigger room air-conditioning unit won’t necessarily make you feel more comfortable during the hot summer months. In fact, a room air conditioner that’s too big for the area it is supposed to cool will perform less […]

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Natural Gas and Oil Heating Systems

If you plan to buy a new heating system, ask your local utility or state energy office for information about the latest technologies available to consumers. They can advise you about more efficient systems on the market today. For example, many newer models incorporate designs for burners and heat exchangers that result in higher efficiencies […]

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Solar Heating and Cooling

Using passive solar design techniques to heat and cool your home can be both environmentally friendly and cost-effective. Passive solar heating techniques include placing larger insulated windows on south-facing walls, and locating thermal mass, such as a concrete slab floor or a heat-absorbing wall, close to the windows. In many cases, your heating costs could […]

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Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are the most efficient form of electric heating in moderate climates, providing three times more heating than the equivalent amount of energy they consume in electricity. There are three types of heat pumps: air-to-air, water-source, and ground-source. They collect heat from the air, water or ground outside your home and concentrate it for […]

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Ducts

One of the most important systems in your home, though it’s hidden beneath your feet and over your head, may be wasting a lot of your energy dollars. Your home’s duct system, a branching network of tubes in the walls, floors and ceilings, carries the air from your home’s furnace and central air conditioner to […]

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Heating and Cooling Systems

Although several different types of fuels are available to heat our homes, almost half of us use natural gas. Heating and cooling your home uses more energy and drains more energy dollars than any other system in your home. Typically, 43% of your utility bill goes for heating and cooling. What’s more, heating and cooling […]

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Air Leaks and Energy Loss

Sealing Air Leaks Warm air leaking into your home during the summer and out of your home during the winter can waste a lot of your energy dollars. One of the quickest dollar-saving tasks you can perform is caulk, seal and weatherstrip all seams, cracks and openings to the outside. You can save on your […]

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Should I Insulate My Home?

Insulate your home when: You have an older home and haven’t added insulation. Only 20% of homes built before 1980 are well-insulated. You are uncomfortably cold in the winter or hot in the summer.  Adding insulation creates a more uniform temperature and increases comfort. You build a new home or addition, or install new siding […]

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Heat Loss from a House

A picture is worth…in this case, lost heating dollars. This thermal photo shows heat entering a bathroom shower ceiling during those expensive summer cooling months. The white, yellow and red colors show hot spots. Heat-gain areas like this make it more expensive to cool the house in the summer. Tips:  Insulation and Sealing Air Leaks […]

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How We Use Energy in Our Homes

Heating accounts for the biggest chunk of a typical utility bill.

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What Is a Home Energy Report?

It takes a lot of energy to heat, cool, and operate a home. Most home buyers have no idea how much it will cost them to operate their home once they move in. Current homeowners do not fully understand how much energy and, therefore, money is being wasted by their home. And if they did […]

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Your Home’s Energy Use

Your home uses energy every day, all day long. To understand where energy is being used in your home, refer back to your Home Energy Report provided to you by your home inspector. It uses energy to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It uses energy to provide you with […]

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About This e-Book

This e-book is a companion to your Home Energy Report your home inspector provided you. The book can show you how easy it is to reduce your energy use at home, including tips you can use today. There are easy, practical solutions for saving energy throughout your home—from the roof, walls, and insulation that enclose […]

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