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Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

The Low Hanging Fruit

… Lead to Savings in Energy and Costs

By Mark Boudreau

“The single most beneficial thing you can do
to make your building more efficient is air-sealing.”

Home Energy Efficiency is a vast subject rooted in much ongoing scientific study that is both laboratory and field- based. Every year we builders, designers and building scientists advance our understanding and effectiveness. There are many technologies, methods and schools of thought around every aspect of energy efficiency.

There are so many efficiency measures you can do in your home and even more ways to do each of those things.  Where do you begin? How do you know the investment you are making will pay back dividends? Where is the “lowest hanging fruit” when you are trying to save energy, stay warm and save costs? How do you sort the marketing gimmicks from the genuine and valuable changes you can make to your home’s efficiency?

There are specific measures that can be taken in just about every home that are simple and pay good dividends. You just need to be open to learning, a bit handy and moderately organized. Those measures will help you save money, have a smaller carbon footprint and will cut down on the number of blankets on the bed through the winter.

Even so the “low hanging fruit” of energy efficiency cannot be discussed very efficiently in one article.

So we decided to put together a series of “bite-sized” articles over the next several issues that will give you concrete explanations and ideas of things you can do that will have the greatest impact on energy efficiency in your home for the lowest upfront costs.

Here are the topics for our next issues:

  1. Why taking energy-efficiency steps is fantastic for you, the planet and your wallet. Why making this investment is a “no-brainer.”
  2. What is an energy audit, why is it important, — and why it’s the starting point for any upgrades you make.
  3. Air-sealing:  your house’s “windbreaker”!
  4. Insulation:  your house’s “sweater”!
  5. Heating and cooling systems — so many options, which ones are right for you?
  6. Indoor air quality and the efficient home — a marriage between your health and your home’s health.
  7. Renewable energy — smart integration of renewable energy systems into existing homes.

In the end you will have a much better understanding about what to do and why you are doing it. Working with your house’s current conditions and improving them step by step are among the most significant measures you can take to reduce your carbon footprint, get more comfortable and put money back into your pocket. It is a win-win-win. Stay tuned!

Mark Boudreau is Co-owner of Lewis Creek Company, a full-service design-build company consisting of both trades-women and men located in North Ferrisburgh, VT. They create homes that integrate a holistic approach to new building and renovating weaving together people, homes, the environment, beauty, economy, and performance.



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