We’ve talked about weatherization and ways to prevent air leaks in the home extensively on the blog. It’s an important step homeowners must take to ensure their homes are performing to their maximum potential. Especially in older homes, air leaks and drafts can be a huge burden on the overall efficiency of the home and can lead to a great deal of wasted energy and money. Not only can this save individual homeowners a great deal of energy and money, it can also make a big impact when looking at the larger picture of energy usage in our country.
In a recent study by researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) found in a new study that proper weatherization and air sealing to an appropriate and uniform level could achieve as much as $33 billion in annual energy savings in the US. Individual home savings can be large for each homeowner and save a large amount of money, but these collective numbers show the potential simple changes and upgrades can have for energy consumption in our nation.
“Currently people who weatherize can get their homes about 20 to 30 percent tighter. But they’re not sealing all the cracks. There’s still quite a bit left on the table, and those extra leaks and cracks could potentially save a lot of energy,” said Berkeley Lab scientist Jennifer Logue.
This 20 or 30 percent savings across the board could have a massive impact on our country’s energy grid. Much of this weatherization and air sealing can be done on the part of the homeowner, which means the cost of making these upgrades is typically relatively low. To make these energy savings percentages even higher, professionals can be brought into the home to run thorough tests for hidden air leaks that may not be visible or reachable by and untrained individual.
The study sources standards set forth by the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for much of the data and comparisons in their study. If all homes within the residential sector of our country were to meet these standards when it comes to the level of “tightness” in their homes, these energy and cost savings could be realized. While it’s unrealistic to think every home in America will make these upgrades, the study does outline the impact even small changes can make when it comes to home energy savings techniques.
It’s extremely important to note that weatherization through air sealing shouldn’t be the only thing on the top of homeowners minds when it comes to home energy savings and safety. Proper ventilation in homes goes hand in hand with this topic. ALL homes require ventilation, and ensuring adequate ventilation is a must before doing any deep sealing in your home. Air circulation can also maximize home comfort and indoor air quality.
It may be a good idea to contact a professional contractor to have a home comfort and energy audit done to ensure your home has proper ventilation before sealing up your home completely. Once that happens, you can help our society make have a big impact on energy consumption and savings.Tags: Conservation and Utility Savings