Tired of wasting hard earned money on heating bills? Here’s a chance to find out what you can do to reduce those bills, beginning with a very important first step.
You probably have a hunch about where your home or office building is leaking heat this time of year because of drafts blowing through on cold, windy nights. But to find out exactly the source of the cold air entering (and heat and dollars going out), your energy conservation plan should start with an energy audit. Unlike that other type of audit that inflicts terror on a taxpayer, this audit will accurately measure where your home or office is leaking heat through poorly insulated exterior walls and ceilings, the cracks around windows and doors, and where one part of your structure meets another. A blower door test is often the first step, and by creating a difference in air pressure between the outside and inside of a house, it identifies energy leaks on the screen of a recording infrared camera and takes the guesswork out of determining heat loss.
Stacy Sand, the Valley’s newly Certified Energy Auditor, will describe her blower door and infrared camera system and the results of a recent audit on the home of workshop presenter Russ Lanoie. Her findings went beyond confirming those areas of his house that Lanoie had suspected might be problems, and it showed areas of heat loss that no one would have guessed. Sand will explain methods to prioritize energy conservation measures including the upgrade or replacement of appliances based on the follow-up findings from her Kill-A-Watt meters that she left with Lanoie for him to record his electrical consumption.
After showing you how to find out WHERE your heat is escaping, this workshop will discuss WHAT STEPS you can take to stop that heat loss and how to get the best “bang for the buck.” There will be representatives of local businesses on hand to discuss insulation and weatherization products and techniques including windows and doors, moveable nighttime window insulation, and other modern methods of reducing energy costs and promoting “green” living.
While the emphasis will be on reducing costs for existing homes, many of the principles discussed will apply to new construction as well as remodeling to help you keep from missing an opportunity to get it right the first time. As Russ Lanoie found out from his audit, “While we did many things right when we built this house 30 years ago, we did make several errors that are hard to correct after the fact. Materials and building techniques have improved over the years, and I wish I knew then what I know now. While we’ve taken as much advantage of the free heat from the sun, it is, as I’ve learned from my own energy work over the years, a lot of little details that make a house efficient.”
Energy Conservation Workshops are sponsored in part by New Hampshire Electric Co-op and Cormack Construction Management. Cost is $10 for members and $15 for non-members. To register call 447-6991.