Steps Homeowners Can Take to Fight Climate Change
Photo courtesy of Indow
The United States may be pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, but individual Americans still have the power to improve the long-term health of the planet.
They can advocate for initiatives and policies at the local and state level to reduce carbon emissions. And they can lead at home by driving less, reducing their consumption and making key home improvements. Most people consume more energy in their homes than they do for transportation or any other use, so changes at home can make a big difference.
Three key things a homeowner can do to fight climate change:
Air seal. Caulk and weatherstrip around windows, doors and chimneys. Homeowners can do a lot of this, but proper air sealing goes beyond the envelope of the building to include ductwork, which is often leaky. A Building Performance Institute certified contractor will be able to tell you what you can do yourself and what you should hire someone to do.
Insulate. Insulate walls, attic and crawlspaces. Here is an Energy Star DIY guide to air sealing and insulating.
Address drafty windows. If you have single-pane windows or faulty double-panes, consider installing storm windows. A U.S. Department of Energy study found that installing Indow interior window inserts led to a more than 20 percent reduction in heating, ventilating and air-conditioning use in a Seattle home. Indow inserts are custom-manufactured sheets of acrylic edged with the company’s patented Compression Tube. Commercial and residential buildings account for 40 percent of energy use in the United States. Windows are an important aspect of heat loss and gain and so it’s vital to address them in any weatherization program.
Read more about energy efficient home remodeling.