Energy efficient homes start with you!

Presented by the Historic Chicago Bungalow Association & Chicago Energy Consultants

Presentation Outline
• Time • Format • Presentation will be available online @

Why are we here?
• Chicago Climate Action Plan: a
multi-faceted program that hopes to reduce the negative impact our city will have on the environment. • Calls for a 30% reduction of Energy use in buildings across Chicago. • The energy that your home and your family uses matters greatly to this pilot program!

Homes are complex systems!
• A safe, comfortable, healthy, durable, and
energy efficient home does not happen by chance! • Building science is a fairly young field, so new information and innovations continue to change ‘the old rules’ • Knowing how your home works is half the battle!

How we feel comfortable
• Metabolism + Clothing level • Air Temperature • Mean Radiant Temperature • Air Velocity • Humidity
If one or more of these factors is ‘out of bounds’, discomfort can result

How We Use Energy in our Homes

Space Heating & Cooling: 43%
• Heating Degree Days, and Cooling Degree
Days = the difference of the average daily temperature from 65 degrees Fahrenheit • Chicago HDD: 6493 CDD: 835 • We will need much more energy to heat our homes than to cool them.

Space Heating & Cooling: 43%
Many factors: • Infiltration (air leaks ) • Insulation • Fenestration (holes in the wall- windows, doors) • Heating and cooling systems • Distribution systems (ducts or pipes) • Orientation (Passive Solar) • Temperature difference

Space Conditioning: Air Infiltration
• Air sealing is almost always the quickest return • •
on investment. Most homes are much more leaky than they ‘need’ to be, but only testing can tell for sure. Possible risks from an over sealed, under-vented home: Accumulation of Radon, moisture, or other indoor air contaminants, combustion appliance venting issues.

Air Infiltration – In the winter
• Think of your home as a hot air balloon: warmer • • •
air is lighter than cool air, and wants to rise Your ceiling, walls and floors (hopefully) stop most of your heated air from escaping When some air leaves the home, it creates a negative pressure Cold, heavy outside air then leaks into the home, at the lower levels where negative pressures are the greatest.

Space Conditioning: Air Infiltration

Air Infiltration - Ventilation
• Homes that are air sealed might require increased • • •
mechanical or natural ventilation Your homes have had work performed to reduce infiltration when possible, be sure to use kitchen and bath vents when bathing or cooking! Some especially tight homes might require fans that run constantly to pull fresh air into the home Use passive ventilation on pleasant days- Open windows! Opening windows high and low in the building will allow gravity to pull air through the building without using any energy

Space Conditioning: Insulation
• Insulation slows down the movement of heat by • • •
conduction and convection. If air is moving through insulation, it cannot do its job! Small gaps or areas of missing insulation make for big drops in performance! Example: 1000 SqFt ceiling insulated to R-50, with 5 SqFt un-insulated area= R-40 overall. A 20% drop in performance from a 0.5% flaw!

Space Conditioning: Fenestration
• Windows and Doors have much lower R-values than walls. Good • •
windows are rated from R-3 to R-5, while walls are typically R-5 to R-15 in most existing homes. Tightly closing and locking windows goes a long way to reduce drafts Use curtains or shades to both block drafts from windows, as well as to raise the radiant temperature you’ll feel inside. Coverings should be close to windows to prevent air movement. Inside mount cellular shades work especially well. In the winter, pull shades down to allow in light & heat during the day, and close them at night to keep heat in the home In the Summer, keep shades (especially southern facing windows) closed during the heat of the day, and open windows at night to cool the home

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Space Conditioning: Mechanical Systems
• Proper upkeep of heating and cooling systems is important. • For forced air systems: change air filters every 3 months, typically • Professional maintenance of boilers, furnaces, and A/C units is • • • •
recommended Use floor or ceiling fans in the summer, and wear cool clothing Wear your snuggie in the winter, and drop the thermostat a couple degrees. Run ceiling fans in reverse in the winter, at their lowest setting. This is especially important with high ceilings. Careful with humidifiers; both room units and units installed into furnaces. Tighter homes can accumulate humidity much quicker. Over-humidification symptoms can include: Condensation forming on windows or walls, water pooling on window sills, discoloration or mold growth on walls or ceilings.

Space Conditioning: Distribution Systems
For radiant systems: • Do not obstruct radiators, they depend on air movement. Keep top, front and sides clear of obstructions for at least 6 inches. • Keep radiators and baseboard units clean, and free of dust. • Radiator color matters (a little) black is best, white less so, and silver or metallic the worst. • Most radiator covers reduce efficiency, use them only where safety concerns require. • Situating a ‘reflector’ against the outside wall helps to bounce heat back inside the home (aluminum foil taped to cardboard is a popular, cheap DIY method). Do not allow any materials to touch the radiator, and allow at least ¾” clearance from the radiator. • Insulate pipes in areas where you don’t need or want heat, like in basements and crawlspaces

Space Conditioning: Distribution Systems
For forced air systems: • Do not obstruct vents. Avoid placing curtains or furniture over vents. • Be sure that air filters are changed regularly • If possible, pull vent covers off and seal any visible gaps between duct work and the wall/ceiling/floor, using either metal foil tape, or siliconized caulk. • Seal any duct leaks in areas where you don’t want to condition the air. The best product to accomplish this is a “Duct Mastic”. Never use Duct Tape!!!

Space Conditioning: Orientation
The direction a building is oriented can make a major difference in how it performs. • You can’t change orientation after you have built, but you can change the area around your home • Plant broadleaf trees that will grow tall to the South of the building. These trees over time will shade the home in the summer, and allow sunlight on the home in the winter. • Growing ivy on exposed walls , or on a trellis over windows also helps to reduce heat gain. • Use or install window awnings to shade windows in the summer time, and allow sunlight in during the winter.

Water Heating: 12%
• Set tank to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, to both save energy • • • • • •
and reduce scalding hazard Insulate exposed hot water pipes Best bet is to reduce hot water consumption Take showers instead of baths, use low-flow showerheads Wash clothes in warm or cold water Use cold water for hand washing, cleaning tasks More tips at: /index.cfm/mytopic=13030

Lighting: 11%
• Daylighting – use what is free!
-windows & skylights -Light tubes / light shelves

Lighting: 11%
• Choosing an
efficient type of lighting is key to realizing energy savings! • Controlling lighting with timers, motion sensors, photocells, or occupancy sensors is also a good way to save energy.

Computers & Electronics 9%
• An old computer running 24/7 can cost you serious money- from
$60 t0 $300 a year! • Standby power / Phantom loads – look for speakers, printers, modems, and other devices that are left on after computer is off • Power adapters for laptops, cell phones, or any rechargeable items • TVs, stereos, and speakers can use lots power when turned ‘off’ Solutions: • Use power strips, and turn off items completely when not in use. • Enable power saving settings on computers, both to turn off monitors, and to suspend / hibernate. • If you love your remote control, Invest in ‘Smart Strips’ that turn on and off devices, based on when one ‘master’ device is switched on and off. • Turn down brightness level on TVs / computer displays. Most TVs come with brightness levels set much higher than optimal.

Appliances 9%
• Always choose Energy Star certified items, when •
available! If your clothes washer was built before 1998, you’re paying about $145 more each year on your utility bill than you would if you owned a new ENERGY STAR qualified model. Replacing a dishwasher manufactured before 1994 with an ENERGY STAR qualified dishwasher can save you more than $30 a year in utility costs. A 40-pint ENERGY STAR qualified dehumidifier can save consumers $20 per year. This can add up to more than $250 over the life of the unit.

Appliances 9%
Save money with your current appliances: • Place appliances on power strips, and turn them off when not used. Anything with a remote control, or clock is always using some energy, even when not ‘on’ or in use.

Refrigeration 8%
• Old refrigerators and freezers are big wasters of energy! • • • •
It usually makes good sense to replace refrigeration appliances made before 1993 That old pre-1980’s refrigerator running in the basement or garage is probably costing you $250 a year to run! A new energy star model costs $45 a year to run. An over 30-year-old freezer costs you an extra $100 each year to run compared to a new ENERGY STAR qualified model Find out your estimated savings here: calculator Through the door water / ice, side by side, and bottom freezer units are typically less efficient than top freezer models.

Refrigeration 8%
Keep your refrigerator working at its best: • Ensure adequate ventilation clearance at back, sides and top of unit. Follow manufacturer’s recommendations. • Clean the air intake grill and coils located under the refrigerator, and ensure it is free of debris. A special ‘coil brush’ is available to assist with this task. • Inspect and occasionally clean the magnetic seal on the doors, and the area where it contacts. • Place refrigerators in cool areas, if possible. A hot garage can cause an older unit to run continuously, costing $25-$50 dollars a month

Water Conservation
How do we use water… What type of water user accounts for the majority of water consumption in the United States? Irrigation Thermoelectric power (gas / coal / nuclear) Public supplies (water department) Industrial

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Water Conservation
Answer: turning off a light saves water! • 48% Thermoelectric power (gas / coal / nuclear) • 34% Irrigation • 11% Public supplies (water department) • 5% Industrial

Water Conservation
• Fix any leaks! One drip every second adds up to • • •
2,082 Gallons of water wasted every year. Most water in homes (approximately 40%) is used for toilet flushing, consider water saving toilets that use 1.6 gallons per flush or less Install flush tank water displacement devices on older toilets (Toilet Tank Bank) Consider disconnecting your downspout from the sewer system, and installing a rain barrel

Save $
Federal (Tax Credits) and local incentives compliment your energy savings Local utilities offer programs, such as: • Water Department - Water $avers • Peoples Gas – Rebates for efficient appliances and insulation • ComEd – A/C Cycling program, 2nd refrigerator buy-back, real-time pricing

Water $avers
• Switch to metered water usage • Save money, guaranteed! • Monitor your own usage with new
accurate gauges.

ComEd conservation programs
• AC Compressor Cycling: $5 or $10 bill credit per
summer month ($20 or $40 total credit), if you allow ComEd to install a switch that can disengage your AC compressor for brief periods of time. Refrigerator buyback: 25$ to pickup and recycle a working refrigerator Real Time Pricing – buy electricity on the ‘open market’. The price you pay for power varies hourly, and is more expensive during peak hours

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Thank You!
• Presentation content, links, and other info
is accessible online @ • Feel free to email me with any questions: • Questions?

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