Our Home Energy Efficiency Evaluation Report
We have the results from our pre-retrofit energy evaluation. We rated 59 out of a possible 100. The report gave us a number of recommendations and if we implemented all of them, we would be able to increase our homes efficiency to 65 points. Our home is an older home (close to 70 years old) and the average energy efficiency rating for a house this age is 38 whereas the highest rating is 74. So our house really didn't fair out that bad!
The recommendation that would bring the highest savings in energy was the replacement of 20 windows in our home. Doing this would bring our rating up 3.4 points. However, to do this would cost a pretty big chunk of money and the federal incentive to do so would be $800. It isn't cost efficient to spend all that money replacing our windows as the money we would save on our oil bill after doing this wouldn't come close to paying for the windows. Of course we do plan to replace the windows at some point in time and when we do we will use windows that are ENERGY STAR rated to ensure the highest energy efficiency. I have to say that the $800 incentive is really not that much of an incentive! The windows in this old house are one of my favorite features, they are huge windows that let in a ton of light which can warm up our home on sunny days even in the winter. This can only add to the energy efficiency of the house. Steve puts custom storm windows on in the winter and we have custom screens that go on in the summer. They are a lot of maintenance but they are also a big part of the character and charm of our home.
A recommendation that will be much easier to carry out is adding insulation to the attic. This is not a huge undertaking and will improve our rating by 1.2 points. The federal incentive for this is $569. This incentive seems a bit more realistic.
Another recommendation that would improve our rating by 1.3 points was to insulate the "furnace room" in our basement. This would entail making walls in certain parts of this space. This may include moving the plumbing as well which could end up costing quite a bit of money in the end. The federal incentive for this project is $162 which would not even touch the amount we would spend.
Other recommendations were to improve the air tightness which would bring the rating up 0.6 points, installing a heat recovery ventilator which would raise our rating a total of ZERO points or by replacing our toilet with a low flush toilet which would also raise our rating ZERO points.
All in all, the report was insightful and not that surprising. We expected that our windows were the major problem and they in fact were the biggest one. We know where we need to focus when improving our home and look forward to making it more energy efficient in the future. In the meantime we plan to make our home better in some other ways this summer. We are planning to make our home "greener" in a literal sense by painting the exterior green this summer. We also plan to install a fence in our back yard so that our dog Homer can run around and not be confined to a dog tie. And we plan to pave our driveway so that our ten year old can get a basketball net and spend more time outside and less time playing video games!
As we make our energy efficient changes, we will keep you informed and will continue to offer advice and tips on how you can make your home "greener"