Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings: Save Money, Save the Earth


Increasing the energy efficiency of your home can save you money, help the environment, and enhance your comfort, but how do you decide which improvements are the most beneficial and cost-effective? Completely revised to incorporate the latest developments in green technology, Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings is the definitive resource for consumers who want to better their home's performance while reducing their energy bills.

Well-organized and highly readable, Consumer ...

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Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings: Save Money, Save the Earth

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Increasing the energy efficiency of your home can save you money, help the environment, and enhance your comfort, but how do you decide which improvements are the most beneficial and cost-effective? Completely revised to incorporate the latest developments in green technology, Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings is the definitive resource for consumers who want to better their home's performance while reducing their energy bills.

Well-organized and highly readable, Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings begins with an overview of the relationships between energy use, economics, and the environment. Updated and expanded chapters focus on specific aspects of any home, such as heating and cooling, ventilation, electronics, lighting, cooking, and laundry, and provide helpful explanations for each, including:

  • Energy use characteristics
  • Comparisons between available technologies
  • Cost-effective repair and replacement options
  • Step-by-step guidance for finding the right equipment

This comprehensive resource is packed with tips on improving existing equipment and guidance for when and why to invest in new purchases, as well as a reminder to check local government and utilities for purchase or retrofit grants or incentives. It is a must-read for anyone concerned about reducing both their energy bills and their environmental impact.

Jennifer Thorne Amann is the buildings program director at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

Alex Wilson is the founder of BuildingGreen, Inc, executive editor of Environmental Building News, and author of Green Building Products and Your Green Home

Katie Ackerly is a researcher at the Center for the Built Environment and a graduate student in architecture ate the University of California, Berkeley.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Full of brand name evaluations to help a homeowner make more knowledgeable purchases..." — The New York Times

"Must reading for homeowners in the market for new appliances...contains a wealth of information on how to make the appliances you own now work more efficiently. The advice here will also save you hundreds of dollars a year in energy costs." — Better Homes and Gardens

"With many diagrams, this is a readable, affordable it!" — Library Journal

"To help maximize energy and dollar savings in your home, check out the Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings....The guide is full of tips, diagrams, charts, explanations and lists on almost every facet of home life that involves energy use: insulation, windows, heating and cooling systems, food storage, cooking, dishwashing, laundry, lighting and much more. By purchasing energy-efficient appliances, you can slash your energy bills and make a positive impact on national security, the economy and the environment." — Mother Earth News' Guide to Homes

"The Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings" suffers from a modest title...the guide reveals how to buy and operate just about everything in your house that's connected to an electric or gas meter." — Today's Homeowner

"One of the best resources for homeowners that we've ever seen." — Anne Ducey, Conservation Marketing Coordinator, Seattle City Light

"Face it, most of us don't have the inclination—or the time—to become experts...about energy efficiency and its impact on the environment. But whether we're sealing a drafty doorway, remodeling a bathroom or shopping among rows of gleaming new refrigerators, we know our actions have an impact-on the planet, as well as on our pocketbook. This book offers practical advice that will help you make smart decisions about how you build or buy.Not a textbook in volume or style, this paperback makes for handy toting-perhaps for perusing during your energy-efficient commute on BART or Muni." — Beth Bourland, The San Francisco Chronicle

"It tells you which appliances you can replace for the biggest energy words anyone can comprehend in real sentences and nice, neat diagrams." — Coastal Maine News

" A comprehensive reference guide (in plain English, no less) for homeowners who've chosen to wade through the sometimes murky waters of buying green, and money-saving, home improvement products." — The Flint Journal
"Not only does the Guide rate all the brands of major home appliances and fixtures for energy efficiency, it also shows how to insulate, landscape and maintain your home in the manner that will make your wallet and your planet greener."
E Magazine

"This compact little book is full of tips on saving energy in light of costs to both you and the planet. And speaking of energy, an evening spent examining this book before you decide which major appliance to buy is a productive and efficient use of yours." — Small Home Designs

"If you own one book on saving energy at home, this should be it." — Iris Communications

"An indispensable handbook for consumers who want to reduce their home energy use." — The Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices

"The most comprehensive guide to saving money and the environment available today." — Diane MacEachern, Tips for Planet Earth (syndicated column)

"A comprehensive, easy-to-use resource..." — Science News

"...could be used as a model for government information campaigns-it's an excellent, easy-to-read summary." — Global Environmental Change Report

"Besides up-to-date comparisons of the latest HVAC systems and appliances, the guide includes an assortment of energy-saving tips." — Fine Homebuilding

"...comprehensive, easy-to-read prose...clear, accurate, and well-illustrated..." — NESEA's Northeast Sun

"Whatever your question is about home energy use, this book can almost surely answer it." — Co-op Currents

" unparalleled reference..." — SunWorld (International Solar Energy Society)

"Don't furnish your home until you've consulted [the Consumer Guide]. It's a must-have resource." — Metropolitan Home

"There are a number of sources of information about the energy efficiency of furnaces, boilers, water heaters, and air conditioners...perhaps the most useful to the typical consumer is the [Consumer Guide] published by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy." — Kansas Country Living

"You can save a lot of legwork by consulting [this book]...chock-full of tips on energy considerations of each category of appliances, as well as energy efficient tips for home renovators." — The Green Consumer Letter

"...a clearly-written, well-illustrated guide to insulation, air sealing techniques, heating and cooling systems, and energy-efficient lighting and appliances." — The Journal of Light Construction

"This book could have easily been titled The Encyclopedia of Home Energy Savings. It's the most comprehensive resource to home energy savings that I've seen. Every homeowner and environmentally conscious (or utility paying) renter should have a copy." — Green Living

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780865717251
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/20/2012
  • Edition description: Tenth Edition
  • Edition number: 10
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer Thorne Amann is the Buildings Program Director at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. She has written numerous articles and reports on energy use in buildings, appliances and consumer products with the goal of educating citizens on a range of environmental and consumer issues.

Katie Ackerly conducts research on building efficiency for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. She has produced a number of reports on residential and commercial building technologies. She also helps manage ACEEE's online consumer resources and has several years of experience as an artist and illustrator.

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Table of Contents

Home Energy Checklist for Action front and back inside covers

Lists of Tables viii

Acknowledgments xi

Chapter 1 Save Money, Save the Earth 1

Chapter 2 The Building Envelope 19

Chapter 3 Ventilation and Air Distribution 47

Chapter 4 Heating Systems 63

Chapter 5 Cooling Systems 101

Chapter 6 Water Heating 127

Chapter 7 Food Storage 151

Chapter 8 Cooking 159

Chapter 9 Dishwashing 169

Chapter 10 Laundry 175

Chapter 11 Lighting 185

Chapter 12 Home Electronics 205

Chapter 13 Other Energy Uses in the Home 215

Appendix For More Information 223

Index 231

About the Authors 239

About ACEEE 241

Lists of Tables

Table 1.1 Energy Conservation and CO2 Savings in the Home 4

Table 1.2 CO2 Emissions From Different Energy Sources 6

Table 2.1 Cost-Effective Insulation R-Values for Existing Homes 29

Table 4.1 Dollar Savings per $100 of Annual Fuel Cost 75

Table 4.2 Comparing Fuel Costs per Unit of Delievered Heat 83

Table 4.3 Target Heating System Efficiency Ratings 87

Table 5.1 Ceiling Fan Size 106

Table 5.2 Minimum Standards and ENERGY STAR Requirements for Room Air Conditioners 111

Table 5.3 Target Efficiency Ratings for Central Cooling Equipment 121

Table 6.1 Federal Requirements for Storage Water Heaters 131

Table 6.2 Life-Cycle Costs for 13-Year Operation of Different Types of Water Heaters 142

Table 6.3 Peak Hourly Hot Water Demand 143

Table 7.1 Comparison of Energy Use Across Refrigerator Types 153

Table 7.2 Cost of Owning a Second Refrigerator 155

Table 8.1 Energy Costs of Various Methods of Cooking 165

Table 10.1 Range of Energy and Water Use for ENERGY STAR Washers 176

Table 11.1 L-Prize Criteria for 60W LED Replacement Bulb 190

Table 11.2 Equivalent Lamp Wattages 194

Table 11.3 The CFL Light Color Spectrum 195

Table 11.4 Dollar Savings Achieved by Switching to Energy-Efficient Lamps 197

Table 12.1 Common Electronics Operating Modes 207

Table 12.2 Energy Usage of Common Home Entertainment Appliances 209

Table 12.3 Energy Usage of Common Home Office Appliances 213

Table 13.1 Electricity Consumption of Selected Miscellaneous End-Uses 216

Table 13.2 National Energy Use of Selected Miscellaneous End-Uses 217

Table 13.3 Energy Savings from Pool Pump Upgrades 218

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