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Energy-saving tips: Creating a ‘whole-house’ energy efficiency plan

Energy Saving Tips, Newsletter May 16, 2013 No Comments

Energy-saving tips:

Creating a ‘whole-house’ energy efficiency plan

Did you know that the typical U.S. family spends about $1,900 a year on home utility bills? Unfortunately, a large portion of that energy is wasted. And each year, electricity generated by fossil fuels for a single home puts more carbon dioxide into the air than two average cars. And as for the road, transportation accounts for 67% of all U.S. oil consumption. The good news is that there is a lot you can do to save energy and money at home and in your car. To cut your energy use up to 25%, see the recommendations below.
Developing a ‘Systems’ mindset
The key to achieving these savings in your home is through a whole-house energy efficiency plan. To take a whole-house approach, view your home as an energy system with interdependent parts. For example, your heating system is not just a furnace—it’s a heat-delivery system that starts at the furnace and delivers heat throughout your home using a network of ducts. Similarly, your air conditioner isn’t just an appliance. Like your furnace, it’s a delivery system that utilizes the same ductwork that your furnace uses. That ductwork is as important as the furnace or air conditioning unit when it comes to minimizing wasted energy.
Even a top-of-the-line, energy-efficient furnace will waste a lot of fuel if the ducts, walls, attic, windows, and doors are not properly sealed and insulated. Taking a whole-house approach to saving energy ensures that dollars you invest to save energy are spent wisely.
Energy-efficient improvements not only make your home more comfortable, they can yield long-term financial rewards. Reduced utility bills more than make up for the higher price of energy-efficient appliances and improvements over their lifetimes. In addition, your home could bring in a higher price when you sell.

Determining where your energy is really going
The first step to taking a whole-house energy efficiency approach is to find out which parts of your house use the most energy. A home energy audit will pinpoint those areas and suggest the most effective measures for cutting your energy costs. Most home owners don’t have the equipment or expertise to do an effective energy audit themselves. For a comprehensive examination, contact Eagle Shield for a no-cost audit.

Formulating Your Plan
After a comprehensive energy audit has identified where your home is losing energy, assign priorities by asking yourself a few important questions:
• How much money do you spend on energy?
• Where are your greatest energy losses?
• How long will it take for an investment in energy efficiency to pay for itself in energy cost savings?
• Do the energy-saving measures provide additional benefits that are important to you (for example, increased comfort from installing double-paned, efficient windows)?
• How long do you plan to own your current home?
• What is your budget and how much time do you have to spend on maintenance and repair?
Once you assign priorities to your energy needs, you can form a whole house efficiency plan. Your plan will provide you with a strategy for making smart purchases and home improvements that maximize energy efficiency and save the most money.
Get the advice of a professional
Eagle Shield will analyze how well your home’s energy systems work together and compare the analysis to your utility bills. He or she will use a variety of equipment such as blower doors, which measure the extent of leaks in the building envelope, infrared cameras, which reveal hard-to-detect areas of air infiltration and missing insulation and surface thermometers. After gathering information about your home, we will give you a list of recommendations for cost-effective energy improvements and enhanced comfort and safety.

Energy-saving tips: Creating a ‘whole-house’ energy efficiency plan

Energy Saving Tips, Newsletter May 12, 2013 No Comments

Did you know that the typical U.S. family spends about $1,900 a year on home utility bills? Unfortunately, a large portion of that energy is wasted. And each year, electricity generated by fossil fuels for a single home puts more carbon dioxide into the air than two average cars. And as for the road, transportation accounts for 67% of all U.S. oil consumption. The good news is that there is a lot you can do to save energy and money at home and in your car. To cut your energy use up to 25%, see the recommendations below.

Developing a ‘Systems’ mindset

The key to achieving these savings in your home is through a whole-house energy efficiency plan. To take a whole-house approach, view your home as an energy system with interdependent parts. For example, your heating system is not just a furnace—it’s a heat-delivery system that starts at the furnace and delivers heat throughout your home using a network of ducts. Similarly, your air conditioner isn’t just an appliance. Like your furnace, it’s a delivery system that utilizes the same ductwork that your furnace uses. That ductwork is as important as the furnace or air conditioning unit when it comes to minimizing wasted energy.

Even a top-of-the-line, energy-efficient furnace will waste a lot of fuel if the ducts, walls, attic, windows, and doors are not properly sealed and insulated. Taking a whole-house approach to saving energy ensures that dollars you invest to save energy are spent wisely.

Energy-efficient improvements not only make your home more comfortable, they can yield long-term financial rewards. Reduced utility bills more than make up for the higher price of energy-efficient appliances and improvements over their lifetimes. In addition, your home could bring in a higher price when you sell.

 

Determining where your energy is really going

The first step to taking a whole-house energy efficiency approach is to find out which parts of your house use the most energy. A home energy audit will pinpoint those areas and suggest the most effective measures for cutting your energy costs. Most home owners don’t have the equipment or expertise to do an effective energy audit themselves. For a comprehensive examination, contact Eagle Shield for a no-cost audit.

How Home energy is usedHow We Use Energy in Our Homes
Heating, air conditioning, and water heating generally comprise over 50% of a typical utility bill.

 

Formulating Your Plan

After a comprehensive energy audit has identified where your home is losing energy, assign priorities by asking yourself a few important questions:

  • How much money do you spend on energy?
  • Where are your greatest energy losses?
  • How long will it take for an investment in energy efficiency to pay for itself in energy cost savings?
  • Do the energy-saving measures provide additional benefits that are important to you (for example, increased comfort from installing double-paned, efficient windows)?
  • How long do you plan to own your current home?
  • What is your budget and how much time do you have to spend on maintenance and repair?

Once you assign priorities to your energy needs, you can form a whole house efficiency plan. Your plan will provide you with a strategy for making smart purchases and home improvements that maximize energy efficiency and save the most money.

Get the advice of a professional

Eagle Shield will analyze how well your home’s energy systems work together and compare the analysis to your utility bills. He or she will use a variety of equipment such as infrared cameras, which reveal hard-to-detect areas of energy leakage. After gathering information about your home, we will give you a list of recommendations for cost-effective energy improvements and enhanced comfort.

 

Investing in Our Community: Helping with energy conservation

Newsletter May 12, 2013 No Comments

Eagle Shield was there when Maria Loutzenhiser accepted the keys to her new Idyllwild home then hugged Julie Countryman who gave them to her. About 200 people attended the dedication ceremony of the four-bedroom, two-bath home that was built at no cost to the Loutzenhiser family.

Loutzenhiser is the widow of U.S. Forest Service Fire Capt. Mark Loutzenhiser, who was killed in October of 2006 while fighting the Esperanza Fire. Most Habitat for Humanity homes are provided to low-income families at an affordable cost. This project was different. Maria Loutzenhiser had no house payments thanks to the generosity of the public.

Habitat For Humanity selected Eagle Shield to provide the insulation protection for the home.  Idyllwild sits at about 5300 feet in the Southern California mountains and experiences freezing lows in the winter and can reach triple digits highs in the summer.  Traditional insulations would not due.  Fire fighting professionals have been fans of the Eagle Shield technology found in its High Performance Reflective insulation, long before it became “popular” because of its tremendous resistance to heat and its ability to slow down a fire in a home.  Firefighters have used this technology for decades.  Eagle Shield’s High Performance insulation now protects this home’s roof, walls, and crawl space under the house.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry that seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Habitat invites people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need. Habitat has built more than 250,000 houses around the world, providing more than 1 million people in more than 3,000 communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter. HFHI was founded in 1976 by Millard Fuller along with his wife, Linda.

Technology Spotlight: Solar Energy-Still Our Best Energy Alternative

Newsletter, Solar May 12, 2013 No Comments

As many of you already know solar energy is a renewable energy source. Our sun is virtually an unlimited source of energy, and solar energy cannot be depleted unlike fossil fuels that will eventually become depleted. Once this happens world needs to have good alternatives, and solar energy definitely looks like one of the best possible alternatives. Here’s why:

  • Solar energy is an environmentally friendly energy source that doesn’t emit harmful carbon emissions that contribute to climate change like fossil fuels do. With every watt of energy generated from the Sun we need less fossil fuels, and with it we are actually reducing the impact of climate change. The latest studies have reported that an average home solar system is capable to eliminate 18 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from the environment each year. Solar energy also doesn’t emit nitrogen oxide or sulphur dioxide meaning that it doesn’t contribute to smog or acid rain.
  • The Sun is a completely free energy source which can be used by each and every one of us. Nobody owns the Sun, so after you recover the initial investment, the remaining energy from the Sun is completely free.
  • The more solar energy we use the less we are dependent on fossil fuels. This is not only good from the environmental point of view but also improves our energy dependence and our energy security since there is a lesser need for foreign oil import.
  • On the long run solar energy saves us money. The initial costs are well worth it because you will have access to energy that is totally free, and if your home solar system produces more energy than you need, your utility company can buy it from you, meaning there’s a potential extra profit involved. Many countries also provide different tax benefits, and offer financial incentives for using solar energy.
  • Solar panels operate very silently (unlike huge wind turbines) so there is no noise pollution. Solar panels usually have a very respectable lifespan of at least 30 years, and maintenance costs connected with them are very low since they have no moving parts. It is also fairly easy to install solar panels.
  • Photovoltaic cells (often referred to as ‘solar cells’) are the most efficient technology to date. Photovoltaic cells are “devices that convert sunlight into electricity using the photoelectric effect”. Photovoltaic cells are made of semiconducting materials similar to those used in computer chips and use a lens to focus the sunlight onto the cells which contain collectors of the Sun’s heat.

As you can see, solar energy is one of the best energy options for individuals looking to reduce or eliminate their dependency upon fossil fuels. Eagle Shield utilizes the latest technology in photovoltaic cell systems Eagle Shield’s High Performance Solar Systems modules have received the California Energy Commission’s top performance ranking and ensure years of superior energy production. Our system is designed to make installation of modules quick, simple and secure. Fire-code friendly panels allow for easy, fast installation. To learn more, call us at 800-811-0466 for a free estimate. We’ll include an 18-point home energy audit to show you other ways you can increase your home comfort, save money on energy bills, and protect the environment.

Neighborhood Stories: Helping friends be comfortable and reduce energy expense

Newsletter May 12, 2013 No Comments

Eagle Shield has helped over 30,000 homeowners be more comfortable and reduce their energy expense. Our customers love us! Read Northern California resident Marrianna Isaacs ’ story…

Eagle Shield: Tell us what it was that you were experiencing that resulted your investing in Eagle shield?

Marrianna: I have a condo that was built in 1984 with single pane windows. In the winter the downstairs portion of my condo would be least 15-20 degrees colder than upstairs. Trying to heat the downstairs to a comfortable temperature meant that the upstairs would be 100 degrees. And in the summer the upstairs would be stifling.

Eagle Shield: It sounds like you needed a way to achieve a consistent temperature throughout your home. After consulting with Eagle Shield, what service or products did you decide would get you the results you were looking for?

Marrianna: I decided to have Eagle Shield’s High Performance Reflective Insulation  installed. (Note: Reflective Insulation – sometimes called radiant barrier insulation –  is a patented, strong, thin aluminum foil sheet designed to block radiant heat transfer across open spaces. Installed on the rafters in your attic, it works with your existing insulation to boost the insulating power of your home.)

Eagle Shield: How did working with Eagle Shield meet or exceed your expectations? What was the ‘before and after’ difference?

Marrianna: Before having the High Performance Reflective Insulation installed I would wear several layers of clothing and turn on the heater and it would run for three hours. The downstairs temperature would raise only 5-10 degrees (not much to notice) and the upstairs would be at least 40-50 degrees hotter. In the summer the condo would be very hot when I got home.  Now with the Eagle Shield Insulation I do not have to wear several layers of clothing and the downstairs warms up much faster and stays warm after I turn off the heater. In the summer the condo stays fairly cool when I arrive home after 6pm.

Eagle Shield: How would you rate the competency and professionalism of the service, and follow-up provided by Eagle Shield?

Marrianna: An Eagle Shield staff member explained the value of Reflective Insulation and what it would do for me, and I decided to purchase it. The installers were great. They were professional, friendly and were informative. They were in and out of my home quickly and they cleaned up after themselves in a timely manner. The staff member followed up to see if the product was working like she had explained and if I was satisfied.

Eagle Shield: How do you feel about recommending Eagle Shield to others?

Marrianna: I have recommended the Eagle Shield High Performance Reflective  Insulation to my friends and family.