In my quest of making our 52 year old colonial home more energy efficient I have researched and implemented several projects over the years. In order to make this effort a little easier for others I share my info and experience here.

I will post about all these improvements in more detail – so check back in.

This is the list of improvements I have done so far:

  • Start compost bin (details)
  • Collect rainwater in barrels
  • Replace light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs
  • Replace old double hung windows with vinyl replacement windows. This created already measurable results. We went from using about 740 gallons heating oil per year down to 520 gallons (~30% improvement)
  • Insulate walls with cellulose blow in insulation (since summer 2008)
  • Replace 52 years old oil furnace with new heat pump system. Installed an Acadia all climate heat pump in September 2008.
  • Installed Dual Flush and HydroClean upgrade kits in toilets to save hundreds of gallons of water (details)
  • Installed solar gable fan to reduce heat in attic during summer.
  • Installed water RO purification system.
  • Replaced entrance doors with modern fiberglass door.
  • Water heater blanket for electric water heater (details).
  • Replaced standard electric water heater with GeoSpring heat pump water heater (~73% savings)
  • Installed water recirculation pump to almost instant hot water in the winter months
  • Added blow in insulation in attic
  • Replaced garage door with R13 garage door
  • Installed Solar Panels
  • Started replacing some CFL light bulbs with LED bulbs (when they are on sale)
Upgreens and savings overview in our house
Upgreen Description Savings
Rain barrels 4 gal/Day*120days*$0.012 480 gal=$5.76
Compost reduces amount of trash
Windows 740 gal heating oil->520 gal oil 220 gal/year
Insulation savings together with Acadia
Heating System 83% less BTUs $1380/year
Dual Flush Toilet 2332  gal per person per year 4664 gal/year = $63