Think turning down the AC is the only way to decrease energy use for heating and cooling in your home? Think again. According to the Department of Energy, heating and cooling account for 56% of the energy usage in your home. You can change this. You don't have to get rid of your heater or AC unit and you don't even have to commit to reducing your usage. All you have to do is insulate.
Spending a few hundred dollars to better insulate your home can reduce your monthly bill by up to 30%. The typical U.S. family spends $1,500 each year on energy, so you'll be saving almost $40 a month in cold hard cash just by updating insulation. Insulation usually only refers to that puffy pink stuff that is behind the walls in your house, but better insulating your home can also mean sealing windows and doors.
Check out the interview done by Chris Gregory and myself with Pascale Maslin, energy auditor extraordinaire. She explains that insulation is the first step to reducing your energy bill and increasing your energy efficiency. Pascale lived in a biosphere for six months and controlled it's daily operations...she knows what she's talking about. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrBgi7MCClA ;
Although some may be quick to point out that insulation does very little to actually reduce our dependence on oil, I would argue that any start towards energy efficiency is a good start. Bottom line: owning a home without insulating it properly is like throwing money out the window...literally.
*Want tips straight from the Department of Energy? http://www.energy.gov/heatingcooling.htm
*Info from the experts:Insulation Contractors Association of America http://www.insulate.org/consumerinfo.html#2