This thorough diagnostic test takes a whole house approach to analyze where you are losing the most energy. A good analysis will also give a good indication of return on investment for various improvements. Remember, money saved on energy bills is after-tax money—so $100 annual savings on a $1,000 investment is like earning 10% tax free! And that savings grows and energy prices go up!
Beware of auditors that only have one solution!
While you may love those new windows—NYSERDA has them very low on the list of things that will save energy. If your auditor has a limited arsenal of solutions don’t be surprised by disappointing energy savings.
This material works very well at filtering air, but not so well as insulation. Air moves very easily through it. Any air movement quickly reduces its insulation value. In walls there are convective currents that reduce fiberglass’ effectiveness. In attics there is wind-washing from vents and stack effect up through plumbing and electrical penetrations. Furthermore, fiberglass is widely recognized as “the next asbestos.”
Sometimes the incremental investment gets the best return.
Remember the adage: “You’ve got to spend money to make money?” With energy savings, you have to invest money to get a return on investment. When spending $4,000 on a new furnace, that small additional investment in a variable speed motor can dramatically increase efficiency and comfort. Spending a little more for air sealing insulation instead of air permeable insulation will pay back at current energy prices—so when prices go up that incremental investment gets a geometric return. Don’t spend a bunch of money and miss the real opportunities for return on investment!