Celebrating the non-energy benefits of efficiency
CEE has been spreading the good word about energy efficiency for decades. It’s a win-win — saving energy means cutting emissions and cutting costs. As an official participant in Energy Efficiency Day 2019, we are excited to come together with likeminded organizations to showcase energy efficiency’s primary benefits: It’s good for the planet and good for your wallet.
Did you know that efficient improvements impact your home in other ways too? Here are some of the key non-energy benefits of efficiency, each illustrated by a potential home improvement project. You may notice that many of these elements overlap — further evidence that energy efficiency projects can truly improve your whole home.
Energy efficiency projects are often associated with improvement in the quality of indoor air. Air sealing and insulation often come hand in hand with additional or improved ventilation projects. Without proper ventilation, homes may have problems with moisture, odors, and pollutants. Effective and efficient mechanical ventilation ensures that you aren’t breathing in contaminants — improving your home’s overall indoor air quality.
If you have a natural draft vented water heater or heating system, there is potential for hazardous gases, such as carbon monoxide, to leak into your home when the equipment is not operating in the right conditions — a process called combustion gas spillage. The good news is that taking the steps to avoid combustion gas spillage will also significantly improve the equipment’s efficiency (which will save you money on energy bills).
If your home gets unusually chilly and drafty in the winter or if you struggle to keep your home cool in the summer, you probably have air leakage in your walls or attic. Leakage happens when conditioned air escapes or outside air enters your house through cracks and openings. Pursuing an air sealing or insulation project will help close up the gaps through which air is travelling — meaning that you won’t waste energy heating or cooling — with the added benefit of helping to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Learn about why replacing your windows is not going to solve the real problem.
Ice dams: a perennial topic of news and conversations in Minnesota. The solution to ice dams and the potential damage they can cause to your roof and walls is not to get up on a ladder and knock them down — instead, the answer is internal. Air sealing and insulating your attic and walls will prevent ice dams from forming to begin with, as well as save energy on winter heating.
These are just some of the additional benefits of pursuing energy efficiency. Explore Home Energy Hub for more ideas on how to incorporate energy efficiency into your home and life. And stay tuned the rest of the month as we continue to celebrate Energy Awareness Month!
Not sure what problems your home might have that could be solved through energy efficiency? Get in touch with your utility to discuss whether a home energy audit might be available to you.
Home Energy Hub: Home Ventilation
Home Energy Hub: Appliance Gas Spillage
Home Energy Hub: How to Improve and Fix Ice Dams