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Ask the Energy Crooks

Do you have a question about your home or business that no one has been able to give you the "right" answer or solution?

Come on…go ahead ask us your hardest question! See why we are known as the industry leaders in energy efficient, green, sustainable building.

Example Questions we've been asked time and again

1. We purchased a new home and the cost for gas heating averages $500 a month or $6,000 a year. Is this high for a 5,000 square foot (sf) home? Also my heater seems to run constantly in the winter. Is this bad?

The average home in the USA is 2,500 square feet with an average cost to heat of $2,500 per year. Your home is twice the square footage of the average home and costs 20% more than the average cost to heat.

If your heating system was properly designed with right sized equipment it would not run all the time. It should run and then turn off. If it is really cold outdoors it will run more, when it’s warmer outside it will run less, turning off and on for shorter periods of time.

An EcoBuilt designed home with Energy Star, 5 star plus rating with quantifying “J” load calculations would cost only $500 a year to heat a 5,000 sf home with air conditioning usage and costs 1/10 the amount of your present home.

2. Here we go again, we had an extremely hot summer and my office was so cold I have to wear two sweaters on some days. Now that winter is just around the corner it will be back to wearing two layers of clothing and will have to put the old space heater under my desk to keep warm. I am so uncomfortable at work it interferes with the projects I am working on. HELP! My company's utility bills are through the roof. How do we solve this problem?

Look up or look down and find the supply register for your cooling system. If you are right under it or right over it you should move or close it and then duct tape it closed.

Additionally, find what the thermostat is set at. If the setting is below 72° or 74°, advise the company head or facilities manager that that is the recommended setting by the DEP. For every degree increased in the summer and decreased in the winter you will save on the average of 5-8% off the energy bill.

The best solution is to rehabilitate the building using EcoBuilt design technology and your building too can use 1/10th of the energy to keep you comfortable at 68° to 70° in the winter and 73° to 75° in the summer. Both you and your company will be happy you did.

3. My convenience store electric budget payment is currently set at $5,000 per month year round. How can I reduce this bill and lower my electric costs?

Our first recommendation is to have an energy audit performed by an experienced BPI (Building Performance Institute) or HERs/Resnet trained professional auditor. They can do a blower door test along with infrared imaging to determine where there is heat loss and heat gain. It is also important to determine the amount of energy used by your heating, cooling, hot water, and refrigeration equipment. The auditors can also give you the return on investment (roi) for comparing present equipment to new.

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EPA Lead Safe Certified Firm
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