As part of my commitment to get our 1950's home on the path towards energy conservation, we just had a Home Energy Review performed by the independent, non-profit organization, known as Energy Trust. Of course we knew our single pane windows leak like sieves, but what else could be a cause of energy loss? One of the least expensive things we were told to do was to upgrade the insulation in the attic. Over time the insulation had been removed from some areas, and it was also greatly under insulated. The advisor figured we are at about R-18 or less and ideally should be around R-38. Energy Trust offers cash incentives for and array of energy saving improvements including our insulation project.
As part of their effort to create an immediate change in power usage, they left us with eight CFL bulbs, and offered to install two high performance shower heads (apparently a big improvement over the "low flow" ones from a few years back), for free. We've been slowly changing out our traditional light bulbs, so this is a big boost towards going green.
In the end, the advisor told us, (rather in the Southern manner of adding "bless your heart" after saying something a bit harsh) that our home was rather like "an old sweater with holes in it". Multiple energy leaks, and struggling to keep us warm. Our next step will be Home Performance Testing, a three to four hour review.
Strangely, I'm kind of looking forward to it. We don't have to do everything at once. Just baby steps, one at a time. I'll let you know how our 1950's "old sweater" holds up.