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Turn Your House Into an Energy Star

Turn Your House Into an Energy Star
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Ensured their home’s envelope was extremely tight, starting with a foundation of concrete block sandwiched between two foam layers, a system that produces an R-22 (most foundations rate only an R-10), and using foam insulation in the shell.
5. Efficient Heating and Cooling Equipment

[What you can do]

Repair poorly functioning furnaces, boilers, and water heaters. Clean air filters every three months and have your furnace serviced regularly; if your furnace is more than 20 years old, replace it. Use a programmable thermostat to save heat if you’re away from the house during the day.

[What our featured homeowners did]

Installed high-efficiency equipment: a Buderus oil-fired burner, HS Tarm wood-burning boiler with insulated storage tank for hot water, and a masonry heater (see “Detail”). For cooling they use a whole-house fan.

6. Partner with Experts

[What you can do]

Use the Energy Star Yardstick program, which compares your home’s efficiency with similar homes across the country and makes recommendations. All you need is your last 12 months of utility bills, the number of occupants in your home, square footage, the year the house was built, and ZIP code. Log on to, click on “Home Energy Yardstick,” and submit your request.

[What our featured homeowners did]

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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