Energy Conservation Projects: EFI.ORG

Category: Infrastructure

Carries energy conservation items that are hard-to-find in traditional retail outlets.

Since Aaron posted a reference to this over on the HouseBlogs.net front page, I'll throw in my two cents over here about potential ways to cut energy costs this season.

It's no secret that I am a BIG fan of EFI.org. EFI is a not-for-profit organization started in 1982 by to help member groups purchase quality conservation products economically and assist the public in using energy resources efficiently.

We used EFI.org products when installing the new fans for our bathroom and they are superb. So I am definitely interested in what they have to offer to help us reduce energy costs this winter.

Some of the products that seem most relevant are:

- Caulk for use on the exterior of the house to seal up cracks around windows, vents, fans and doors.
- Door sweeps for exterior doors and weatherstripping for same.
- Outlet and switch gaskets, especially for those on exterior walls.
- Pulley seals (but a piece of flexible foam set into the pulley opening can work well too!)
- Reusable interior storms!
- Humidifier (the dry air in our house makes it more difficult to "feel" warm...humidifiers can help with that.)
- Energy saving, long-lasting lightbulbs
- Insulating wrap for the hot water heater.

Investments in these things now can save you money on energy bills for a LOT longer than just one season. I think I'm going to keep score by comparing our monthly usage in energy units from our utility bills to the usage from last year. That will challenge us!

I just need to find a supplier of insulating wrap for the steam pipes in the basement and I'll be all set. They are larger than hot water pipes, and the foam wrap insulation that is already cut doesn't fit around them. Darn. I really don't want to heat the basement this winter.


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Comments

Hey I never saw pulley seals before! I'll have to check them out. With the high cost of fuel for this winter, I think window and insulation companies are going to do quite well this season.
E.F.I looks real cool.

Thanks, Jim

the interior storms are a heavy plastic with a white track thing that you place on your window surround. I used them for my house and they are next to impossible to get off. When I finally did get them off they took some of the varnish off so now I have a strip around the window. For a newer house with fake wood they would be fine, but for a older home with nice trim I would never ever use them again. The good thing about them is they keep all the cold drafts out.

Thanks for the site info! I am afraid of our gas costs this year (I am in the Chicagoland area too!) We don't even have attic insulation, and we probably won't get to it this year either. Next year my plan is to work on tightening up the house for energy efficiency, but a few of these things I can do without any problems now.

I'm wondering if I could rig up interior storm frames with balsa wood, shrink wrap the plastic around that. Then, line the outside of the frame with wool or foam weatherstripping. Hmm. So you could fit the storm into the window frame from the inside but easily take it out (with a handle on the side facing inward maybe?) Then you could reuse them easily each year. I wonder if the balsa would warp too easily with the changes in temperature...

(Wanders away to look for napkin to draw on...)

we have a similar programme here in Canada to your EFI, called EnerGuide. it's all about making your home as energy effecient as possible, and as a bonus- homeowner grants! we're currently waiting for our evaluation results...

Not sure why you'd necessarily want to use balsa. Why not make the frame with 1X2s, paint/stain/whatever as desired, etc. It would be nice and easy to attach handles to those, and for the size of windows you'd be working with nothing would be too heavy...

 

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