Monday, May 3, 2010

The ThermWise Home Energy Audit

A few months ago Ken went to an informational meeting at work, that had nothing to do with work. It was a Questar Gas Representative that was explaining all the things you could do in your home that would help you save energy, and thus, save Money. Ken's interest was peaked, especially when he heard that you could have a Home Energy Audit done that would tell you the most important, best and easiest things you could do to make your home more energy efficient. It cost $25 to do the audit, but if you make any of the changes they recommended, and submitted a form to Questar, they would refund your $25, plus give you any rebates associated with the changes you made.

Ken wanted to be here for the Audit but we didn't realize how popular those Audits were and we waited too long to call and make the appointment, and the only appointments that worked for us were on weekdays while Ken was at work. Poor Ken, he missed out.

Today was the day. Bright and Early at 8 AM. If I had remembered this earlier (I realized that a Questar employee was going to be showing up Monday morning, on Sunday night) I would have done a better job at cleaning the house this weekend. But I couldn't go back in time and so as I welcomed the nice Man into my home I apologized for the state of my home, but told him that I felt the need to let him see exactly how we live, "Who knows, maybe the stuffed animals all over the floor of the front room help to insulate it!" I said, He laughed, I inwardly cringed. But all in all it was a good Audit. We are apparently doing quite well on our own to keep our costs down. (This is because Ken is good at keeping the Thermostat between 60 and 65 during the winter and I seem to have become oblivious to the house temperature, I just put on more clothes or cuddle up in a blanket.....I really don't even look at the Thermostat, weird, I don't know how or why this has happened, Ken must be saying his prayers)

I was most interested in our Attic Insulation, I really didn't think there was enough, and considering all the other ways we know our builder cut corners when building the homes in our neighborhood....lets just say I felt my suspicions were well founded. I was surprised by how many other things I learned.

1. I block too many cold air intake grates in my house. Looks like Ken is going to have to move the furniture in the front room all around again. :) Thanks for putting up with me and my furniture rearranging needs, Sweet Ken.

2. If we had a programmable Thermostat it could be set slightly warmer during the morning and cooler at night, thus lowering my extra clothes/blankets usage and possibly eliminating a load of laundry every week or two..... interesting, plus they pretty much pay for themselves.

3. Our Water Heater is 10 years old in should be replaced with in the next year or so, plus it is positioned in a weird place and doesn't have a blanket or pipe insulation (who knew water heaters liked Blankets? Not me? Well, it sounded vaguely familiar...) I also didn't know that water-heaters life span's were only about 7+ years long.

4. The Attic is amazingly under insulated, At best it only has 8 inches of insulation and we probably should have about 13 inches or more, the worst spots only have 4 inches, this explains why it gets SUPER HOT up in the loft during the summer, and supports my theory that our builder was not the best...or his contractors. Luckily there are those nice government rebates out there for people who put in more insulation, so we will be taking care of this problem as soon as we can, hopefully it will also pretty much pay for itself.

5. There is one window in our home that has some problems, so if anyone knows how to caulk around windows and other stuff like that, let me know, I need help.

There was more but those were the most interesting things to me. So Ken and I now have some work to do, and maybe, just maybe after we take care of a few of these things we will win the Award for Lowest Gas Bill EVER! Wouldn't that be nice.

1 comment:

Shanna said...

We had our audit done last year I believe. It was rather interesting. Most of the stuff they told you we knew due to our inspection when we purchased here. Like attic insulation. Though we were told it was due to settling and that it may have been code back when they were built. Either way we ended up purchasing more attic insulation a few years ago and it has worked wonders. We knew our water heater was outdated again due to our home inspection. And we had already purchased a blanket for it. My husband has stripped and re-caulked most if not all of our windows when we have put plastic up in winters past. It's really not too hard. And I LOVE programmable thermostats. They are awesome!!
Anyway, it's always nice to see how your home adds up in energy efficiency. They ended up telling us there was nothing more we could do short of spending thousands of dollars on new water heater and such that we wouldn't end up seeing a profit on for YEARS to come.