Do you struggle to keep your home warm in the winter? Do you find yourself dreading high energy bills in the colder months? Are you ready to learn more and finally combat the challenges of an inefficient home?
When it comes to the climate change, we are not as powerless as we may sometimes assume. While the true big change requires regulation and governmental policies, before that happens a societal mind-shift is needed. It has to become unacceptable to mindlessly spew CO2 and to continue to use fossil fuels at the high levels we do now. Hence, there is room for our contribution: we can help speed up that mind-shift. The more we speak about climate crisis to family, friends and coworkers the larger the circles of people seriously concerned about this problem. We can clamor for offsetting our carbon with renewable energy generation or sustainability. Some of us could even more substantially impact our workplaces, change how the products are made, how buildings are run, drive energy reductions, cut waste, and through these efforts impact both emissions and awareness/culture.
Here are a few facts related to housing stock in Pittsburgh region, as gleaned from energy audit data by Conservation Consultants, Inc (CCI). Energy audits evaluate all aspects of home performance, including mechanical systems, walls, windows, attics, etc., and the data comes from physical measurements at each home.
A stunning 75% of homes do not have even half the insulation that would be prescribed by today’s building code for the attics. Thirteen percent have absolutely no insulation; that means that heat leaves or enters freely in winter or summer, and the energy waste in such homes is simply tremendous. Forty-four percent of homes have walls that could be insulated but are not - this strongly affects the comfort level of residents. Last but not least, a combined surface area of the gaps and holes in the homes add up to, on average, the surface of the three pages of paper. That equates to having a small window continuously opened to the outside, any day of the year. In totality, these flaws add up to a rather large CO2 contribution attributable to our homes on average: 26,400 pounds of CO2 annually.
Conservation Consultants, Inc. has partnered with Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy in organizing its 3rd Annual Energy Efficiency Fair, to be held on February 9, from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., at the Frick Environmental Center. Experts will be on hand to answer homeowner questions. Equipment and materials used in home efficiency improvements will be on display. You may even be quizzed on your building science prowess. The event is kid-friendly and participants can hope to win a free energy audit ($400 value) in a raffle.