Home Energy Savings and Do-It-Yourself Audit Information
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Please be aware that there are several different issues Insulation with fire safety concern regarding fiberglass versus cellulose. Fiberglass is not combustible naturally. In Colorado, adequate insulation is crucial whether According to NAIMA, ―Fiber glass and cellulose perform your concern is heating or cooling. According to very differently in terms of fire safety. Fiber glass insu- energysavers.gov, ―Only 20% of the homes built lation is naturally non-combustible because it is made before 1980 are well insulated.‖ Statewide data from sand and recycled glass. The insulation requires Your community Utility from the U.S. Census shows that approximately 60% no additional fire-retardant chemical treatments. of all homes built in Colorado were built before 1980. Most facings attached to fiber glass insulation are com- The Alliance to Save Energy evaluated energy costs bustible and should never be left exposed. Other spe- in all 50 states in 2007. They determined that ap- cial flame-resistant facings may be left exposed where proximately 60% of Colorado home owners’ energy desired, such as on a basement or crawl space wall. expenditures go to heating. Although Loveland Wa- ter and Power does not provide our residents with Cellulose insulation is made primarily of ground-up or Home Energy Savings and Do-It-Yourself natural gas service, which most residents use for shredded newspaper, which is naturally combustible. heating in conjunction with To protect against fire, cellulose insulation is heavily their forced air furnace, we treated with fire retardant chemicals. Though cellulose always want our customers to able to make educated deci- is treated with fire retardants, it is not fire proof. This Audit Information means the insulation could still burn if exposed to a sions about all their energy heat source. Also some tests have shown that fire re- choices. tardant chemicals can lose their effectiveness over The Department of Energy’s time. Energy Efficiency and Renew- Tests conducted by the California Bureau of Home Fur- able Energy office recom- nishings and Thermal Insulation demonstrated that mends that wood-framed buildings in our climate most cellulose samples failed the standard fire safety zone have R-49 in the attic and R-18 in wall cavities (have insulation blown into any uninsulated exterior test only six months after installation. Smoldering and wall cavity). The North American Insulation Manu- re-ignition problems present additional concerns with facturers Association (NAIMA) recommends R-49 in cellulose insulation should a fire start.‖ the attic, but R-21 in exterior walls. This information was verified with the Loveland Fire There are several different types of insulation. Also, Department. Please consider these factors when mak- please refer to the separate table containing infor- ing your decisions about insulation. mation about the uses of each insulation type from the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office. Fiberglass – available in blanket/batt or loose/blown form Graphic courtesy of ENERGY STAR® Cellulose – according to coloradoenergy.org, blown cellulose has a higher R value per inch than blown Information Provided by: Loveland Water and Power is proud to be an ENERGY fiberglass Loveland Water and Power— Resource Efficiency Program STAR partner. Rigid Foam Board – potential fire concerns with toxic fumes in the event of a home fire Susan Pascoe Spray Foam Resource Efficiency Coordinator Service Center Reflective Insulation/Radiant Barrier – ideal for 200 N Wilson Ave areas where cooling is the major concern Loveland CO 80537 970-962-3566 firstname.lastname@example.org Loveland Water and Power’s Home Energy Cheat Sheet For customers interested in improving the efficiency Water 3. Consider ENERGY STAR qualified windows if you of their home, we have many resources available decide to replace your existing windows. online at http://www.ci.loveland.co.us/wp/power/ Consider xeriscaping for some areas of your yard. Conservation/main.htm. From here you can navi- The doors and windows in your home are a source of gate to web pages with links to other resources on Think about composting rather than using your garbage the internet. You can also find information about thermal exchange. These areas are not as insulated disposal. home energy audits as well as a list of contractors as your walls, plus they are meant to open and allow that will conduct home energy audits in Loveland. air movement. However, there are a few easy things Ensure that your toilets are not leaking by getting your you can do to increase your home’s efficiency. Please note that the Utility does not recommend or free dye tabs from the Utility Billing office or pick them up endorse any of the companies listed. The informa- at the Service Center. tion is provided solely as a starting point for custom- ers’ own research efforts. Evaluate replacing your old toilets, especially those in- stalled prior to 1980. Today’s toilets only use a maxi- Also, if you do not have access to the internet, here mum of 1.6 gallons per flush. are some suggestions ad- dressed by category. Consider a front-loading ENERGY STAR qualified clothes washer when you need to replace your existing machine. Remember that for residential customers, your water use Energy affects not only your water bill but your sewer bill too! Change out your high-use incandescent light bulbs to Taking steps to save water will save you on both bills. compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). Note that (Note that sewer bills are calculated on the average of a CFLs are not appropriate for all uses, in particular, few winter months use to account for indoor vs. outdoor avoid CFLs in motion sensors, garage door openers use. Therefore, you may not need an immediate change or any application that is turned off and on a great on your sewer bill.) deal. - Use weather stripping to seal air leaks around win- Home Envelope dows and doors. Properly maintain your home’s heating and cooling - Caulk around windows and where two different types There are two main areas of concern with regard to a system. Change the filter regularly to help the sys- of siding meet, such as where brick meets wood or home envelope. One is fenestration, more commonly tem run efficiently. siding. known as doors, windows and skylights. The other is - Consider adding storm windows. insulation. There are three main things that a home When it’s time to replace any electric appliance, - Replace old windows and glass doors. owner can do to help save money by looking at the fac- chose an ENERGY STAR qualified one, if possible. tors in their home’s envelope. It is important to keep in mind that you do not want ENERGY STAR has programs for the following: your home shut up too tight due to concerns about Clothes Washers, Dishwashers, Refrigerators, Room 1. Seal air leaks. You can check for drafts by using a indoor air quality. But, many homes should have Air Conditioners, Ceiling Fans, Central Air Condition- candle or lit incense stick in front of switch plates, out- weather stripping and caulking added at a minimum. ing, Furnaces. lets, etc. (Please be careful with the candle flame and Many times, these small and relatively inexpensive wax.) Use weather stripping, caulking, spray foam and actions will bring a great deal more comfort by elimi- Turn off your home computer and monitor when not foam gaskets (for outlets and switchplates) to seal up nating drafts that cause undesirable temperature in use and enable power-saving features. areas where air is penetrating. variations in specific rooms or areas of a home. The Lower your water heater thermostat to 120°. monetary savings from lower heating and cooling 2. Add insulation. See additional information page about costs will also add up over time. insulation choices.