A “deep energy” retrofit can reduce your heating and cooling bills by over 50% in an older house, sometimes up to 90%. This approach. however, is not for the faint of heart.
Depending where you live, saving 50% on your energy bill might not make you sit up and take notice. For those who decide to go this route there is some serious work to be done.
The major elements of a deep energy retrofit are:
- bringing the crawlspace into the house (insulating it)
- super-insulating the walls, roof, and crawlspace (the “envelope”)
- sealing air leaks (especially at the attic)
- installing super windows
- installing high efficiency furnace (inside the envelope)
- sealing leaky ducts
- replacing air conditioner with whole house fan
- insulating hot water pipes
- using high efficiency water heater
- installing efficient lighting
- replacing appliances with energy efficient models
Doing all of these improvements so they work together properly and also manage moisture from inside and outside the house is a complicated project. Be sure to do get professional help from a building science consultant.
Of course, this is a radical approach to upgrading your home’s energy efficiency. So it won’t come cheap. It takes quite a commitment of money, time, and disruption-tolerance.
A few will decide it’s worth it to go that far. Others will simply look for chances to improve their house’s energy efficiency one remodel at a time.