Rob Moore, 38, and Stephanie Lindloff, 35, are an engaged couple who live in Albany, NY with their cat, Baxter. They own an early 1930s home to which they added new insulation and a handful of other energy saving devices.
Being first-time homeowners, both were interested in fixing up their house. They also are environmentally conscious, so it made sense to find out how to make their new home more efficient.
Stephanie learned about New York State’s Energy Audit program, where for a couple hundred dollars they could have an auditor evaluate their home’s energy efficiency. The auditor found virtually no insulation and many leaks and drafts in the house. Stephanie and Rob also qualified for a low interest home improvement loan from the New York State Development Corporation, which added motivation to get the project done.
Rob and Stephanie’s energy saving makeover mainly involved replacing and filling their new home with insulation. They also changed many of the light fixtures and bulbs, sealed windows, and took steps to reduce energy use in the house.
A team of professionals came out to add cellulose insulation to the attic and exterior walls of the house. This not only helped to keep it warmer but also made it considerably quieter. Next, they sealed hidden air leaks in the chimney, weather stripped and insulated the attic door, and caulked the window and door frames.
The couple also purchased new ENERGY STAR approved fans for the bathroom and an ENERGY STAR room air conditioner for Stephanie’s home office. This keeps Stephanie from having to run the house air conditioning all day. The final touch was to replace every light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent bulb.
The Lindloffs also improved every day behaviors. They plugged all their electronics into power strips, making sure to turn them off along with the lights when they left a room. They closed the fireplace damper when it was not in use and ran the dishwasher only with a full load. They also opted in with their local utility to get 100 percent of their electricity from wind-generated sources.
Rob and Stephanie’s house is no longer drafty and they are insulated from the noisy street outside. Their energy bills are more reasonable and they feel like the changes had a dramatic effect on their energy consumption and the environment.
Rob and Stephanie would like to remodel their kitchen, as they both love to cook. They plan on purchasing all new ENERGY STAR appliances and utilizing all they've learned about energy efficiency through their recent efforts.