Greening America, One Home at a Time
Despite the government’s push towards energy efficiency, and federal and local incentive and subsidy programs such as tax credits, grants, low-interest loans and green mortgages, the vast majority of homeowners in the U.S. have yet to take advantage of them. Over 80 million homes in America are still consuming two to three times more energy than they need to, mostly due to faulty building assemblies, which are poorly insulated, lack proper air sealing, or both.
To make matters worse, new homes are being built every day with very little concern for energy efficiency. These new home are bigger and with architectural features – such as cantilevers, bay windows, and cathedral ceilings – that, when overlooked in terms of insulation and air-sealing, become significant sources of energy waste.
Why is it that even with soaring fuel prices, in a difficult economy that makes savings of any type desirable, so many homeowners are still living in uncomfortable and wasteful homes?
These are indeed trying times and many people are still recovering from the housing crisis. There is also a lot of misinformation and misleading advertising, with exaggerated claims concerning the energy savings of just about every related product under the sun. On top of that, the average homeowner is already a bit wary of dealing with home contractors in general.
Yet, recent industry reports show that people are still renovating their kitchens, revamping their bathrooms, and building additions. So why aren’t we investing in energy saving improvements, that will not only pay off quicker than any other home improvement project, but will also pay more than other more popular investment options, including stocks and bonds? Why go on overpaying for heating and cooling, and living in an uncomfortable home?
As Larry Janesky -- a building scientist, successful entrepreneur, and author of five books concerning building performance and energy efficiency – explains, this is really a homeowner’s issue. He believes that with the proper knowledge and the right assistance, every home in America can become green, and for much less than most people think.
With the help of friends, and some of his employees at Basement Systems and Dr. Energy Saver, Larry put together a series of two videos called Ideas Worth Sharing, one of which illustrates this post. These videos demonstrate the difference that simple and relatively inexpensive building envelope improvements, such as attic insulation, foundation insulation, and air sealing can make in our lives -- helping homeownwers save an average of 35% on heating and cooling bills, making homes more comfortable, and after the initial investment is recouped, put some extra, tax-free, real money in their pockets every year.
Larry believes that, by helping spread the word, more homeowners will feel empowered enough to roll up their sleeves and start building a greener future for themselves and their communities today, one home at a time. Visit My Home Science website or their YouTube Channel to watch the full series.