Reducing energy consumption is a goal for many homeowners. However, the cost of retrofitting a house to make it as energy efficient as possible can seem to be insurmountable. Contributing editor Martin Holladay takes a look at the most cost-effective methods of reducing a house’s energy use by 50% to 90%. Energy retrofits can be done in phases and in different locations in a house. The roof, for instance, can become better insulated with a lower-cost project like sealing air leaks. Basements, walls, windows, and HVAC equipment all also can be air-sealed to help reduce energy consumption. The author considers both deep-energy and practical approaches for retrofits in each of these locations, and also looks at performance and cost comparisons for each. This article includes two case studies of deep-energy retrofits.
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