Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Conservation Pyramid

MN Power's Conservation Pyramid is one of many tools I'm referencing as look at decreasing our carbon footprint. The residential pyramid focuses on energy conservation and starts with the basics of understanding energy efficiency and inexpensive improvements. The pyramid illustrates additional conservation measures that gradually increase in complexity and consumer investment.

At this point I'm focusing on the bottom two tiers of the pyramid. We had a home energy audit performed in October 2009. The audit results were somewhat surprising, areas I anticipated would be huge inefficiencies (i.e. our windows) weren't all that bad. Other areas that I hadn't even considered being an issue were showing up as problematic.

Here's a brief list of what needs to be done:
  • Caulking around windows and ceiling/floor trim
  • Replacing the bathroom fans with more efficient models and making sure they are vented correctly to the outside of the house
  • Venting the range hood outside
  • Adding insulation in the attic to achieve R-50 and sealing up the attic hatch
  • Insulate rim joists
I missed the boat on Project ReEnergize, a program that rolled out in fall 2009 which offered rebates for specific efficiency improvements performed by certified contractors. As a result we will likely be doing most of this work ourselves. Typically this translates into Scott doing the work, but since it is my idea I have a hunch he'll have plenty of grunt work for me to do.

On the up side there may be tax credits available for some of our projects.

So far we have purchased replacement fans for the bathrooms and ventilation tubing and I am going to attempt to coordinate caulking under the trim with the replacement of the kitchen floor. Now the big challenge will be finding the time to get this done.

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