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Old 02-15-11, 06:48 PM   #1
TimJFowler
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Default Good results from 3 weather-proofing projects

Per my New Year's resolution I completed three DIY home projects this fall hoping to reduce our use of natural gas. My weather-proofing projects were:
  • Seal 7 window frames with spray foam insulation
  • Close a large air gap under the bathroom vanity
  • Replace the backdoor and double up weatherstrip

I've had my fingers crossed that these weather proofing projects would make a difference large enough to see on our gas bill. It looks like I didn't need to worry. Here are the numbers.

Heating Bill before and after Weather Proofing
Before Weather Proofing
Jan 12 - Feb 11, 2010 (30 days)
Natural Gas used = 70.09 Therms @ $75.12
Heating Degree Days = 1015
Therms per Heating Degree Day = 0.0690

After Weather Proofing
Jan 12 - Feb 9, 2011 (28 days)
Natural Gas used = 60.8 Therms @ $58.37
Heating Degree Days = 1029
Therms per Heating Degree Day = 0.0590
14.5% reduction in natural gas used!

Woo Hoo! We are making real, quantifiable progress in reducing our need for natural gas (and gas bills).

I've written more (and link to the projects) here: The Rugged Individual vs Fossil Fuels | EcoDaddyo.com

Tim

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Old 02-15-11, 11:55 PM   #2
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Almost 15% is great! Did you calculate how much everything cost and how soon the savings will make up for it?
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Old 02-16-11, 12:38 AM   #3
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15% is pretty good!
I found that the next easy air leak to get that makes a big impact is where the wood wall meets the foundation, cold air comes in there while warm air is pushed out the top of the house, these air leaks are commonly noticed as cold floors.
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Old 02-16-11, 07:47 AM   #4
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Great job, Tim! I love being able to see noticable results in my utility bills for upgrades I've made. Besides being good for the environment, sustainability and all that, I want to see the results in my checkbook.

What do you have planned for as you move forward?

And Ryland, have you caulked where your foundation and sill plate meets? What kind of positive results have you seen? Inquiring minds want to know.
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Old 02-16-11, 08:54 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by gasstingy View Post
have you caulked where your foundation and sill plate meets? What kind of positive results have you seen? Inquiring minds want to know.
I did a number of rounds of sealing between the foundation and wall, I have a half basement with crawl spaces so first round I did was just filling in spaces that I could see light or feel a draft from the inside, sealed them with expanding foam, then I crawled around the outside and filled every gap I could find as well, we hired out to have our sill boxes sealed but there were still cracks and gaps that causes cold spots in the floor so at that point I took the can of foam inside the living space, pulled off the shoe molding (quarter round on the base board) and drilled small holes where there were cold spots and shot foam in them, the change was almost instant, within half an hour or so the floor that had been cold was warm.
My room mate has had a broken foot all winter so it's hard to get a good reading as she has kept the temp up a little higher but our natural gas use so far has been at least 18% less, I should be getting another bill in the next few days and have a more accurate number.
I personally like the warmer floors and find it worth it just for that even if there was no cost savings.
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Old 02-16-11, 01:03 PM   #6
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I agree that all improvements do not necessarily have to have a monetary payback to be worthwhile. But it is icing on the cake when the change keeps money in my pocket.
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Old 02-16-11, 03:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
Almost 15% is great! Did you calculate how much everything cost and how soon the savings will make up for it?
I haven't done the calculations yet, but the total cost wasn't much. I'll have to dig up a few receipts to get the actual price.

Thanks,
Tim
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Old 02-16-11, 03:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
15% is pretty good!
I found that the next easy air leak to get that makes a big impact is where the wood wall meets the foundation, cold air comes in there while warm air is pushed out the top of the house, these air leaks are commonly noticed as cold floors.
I'm thinking that a combined exterior foundation and wall insulation project is probably the next BIG task. Getting to the interior side of the wall - foundation connection is quite difficult given the depth of the crawlspace at one end of the house.

Thanks,
Tim
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Old 02-16-11, 04:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by gasstingy View Post
What do you have planned for as you move forward?
Next on the list are things like custom shelves for the living room. I'm alternating projects between efficiency and livability. As my wife has sagely noted, the eco-projects tend to be invisible.

The next eco-project may be a cold-frame for our garden. I'm continually looking for more quick and cheap projects. My schedule has filled up so I want something I can finish in a weekend or two.

Thanks,
Tim
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Old 02-17-11, 08:53 AM   #10
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Very smart move. As they say, if Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.
It is a wise man indeed who takes his wife's feelings into account before setting off on an adventure.

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