January 2010 Edition

Home Energy Survey 

We want to have our home evaluated by a professional to find out where we are wasting energy and what we can do to conserve without  sacrificing comfort. We are on a budget and do not want a full blown audit. What else is available, and what is the cost?  
In 2008, the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) adopted the first ever national standard for the performance of energy audits on existing homes. Almost at the same time, the Obama administration, the Senate and the House of Representatives are in agreement that a primary path for decreasing the energy use of our existing homes and businesses is through the application of energy efficiency upgrades. On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed the 2009 stimulus bill (The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) that made significant changes to the energy efficiency tax credits. The highlights of these changes are:  
• The tax credits that were previously effective for 2009 have been extended to 2010.
• The tax credit percentage has been raised from 10% to 30%.
• The tax credits that were for a specific dollar amount (example $300 for a central air conditioner) have been converted to 30% of the cost.
• The maximum credit has been raised from $500 to $1500 for 2009 and 2010. However, some improvements such as geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, and solar panels are not subject to the $1,500 maximum credit.  
In addition, the US Department of Energy has announced that 5 billion dollars has been allocated for the Weatherization Assistance Program. This money will be used to insulate, seal leaks, or modernize heating and air conditioning equipment for low-income families "at a cost of up to $6,500 per home." The assistance is for families making up to approximately $44,000 per year in the lower 48 states, $55,140 per year in Alaska, and $50,720 per year in Hawaii.  
• There has never been a better time to improve the energy efficiency of your home. There are numerous issues we are dealing with as a nation:
• The nation cannot address its energy and environmental issues without improving the energy performance of buildings.
• According to the Energy Information Agency, 70% of all electricity consumed in the U.S. is from buildings (36% from residential buildings).
• 39% of carbon emissions in the U.S. comes from buildings (21% from residential buildings).
• The International Energy Agency reported that improving the energy performance of buildings represents the most cost effective strategy for reducing carbon emissions.
• “If every American household replaces light bulbs in their five most frequently used fixtures with ENERGY STAR compact fluorescent bulbs, we could save more than $8 billion in annual energy costs and prevent greenhouse gasses equal to the emissions of more than 10-million cars.” Lynn Clement of Focus on Energy
• The EPA estimates that more than 1.25 trillion gallons of water, which would equal the annual combined water use of Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami, leaks from US homes each year. 
Your home works as a system of interacting components. An energy survey considers the interaction of these components and seeks to provide a combination of improvements that maximize the energy savings for you the homeowner.
We will evaluate furnaces, air conditioning condensers, water heaters and kitchen appliances to try and determine their efficiencies. The amount and type of insulation will be identified and if additional insulation is needed. We will also evaluate the construction of the home and make recommendations to improve air leakage and energy conservation. An energy survey only costs $175.00 for any home with up to two heating systems. Call Christian Building Inspectors today to set up your appointment. 

Tips To Save Energy Today 

Easy low-cost and no-cost ways to save energy.
• Install a programmable thermostat to keep your house comfortably warm in the winter and comfortably cool in the summer.
• Set your thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer.
• Use ceiling fans instead of air conditioning.
• Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120°F.• Use compact fluorescent light bulbs with the ENERGY STAR® label.
• Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher's drying cycle.
• Turn off lights if you’re not in the room.
• Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use.
• Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use (TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power).
• Take short showers instead of baths.
• Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
• Drive sensibly. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gasoline.
• Look for the ENERGY STAR label on home appliances and products. ENERGY STAR products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.
• Visit http://www.energysavers.gov/ for more energy-saving ideas. 

If you have a question, change of address, comment or home tip, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 3697 Habersham Lane, Duluth, Georgia 30096. You can E-Mail your questions to us at rodharrison@christianbuildinginspectors.com. We reserve the right to edit questions for length.  Quote of the Day

"Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath.”


A Tip Of The Hat To:

Gwen Jones

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

5252 Roswell Road

Suite 202

Atlanta Georgia 30342

**** Thank You****

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