This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
. . . the more they remain the


same. Another year has passed and Happy New Year—again. As I was thinking about the ways we can best help you in 2013, I also reflected on the past; on the many ways the world has changed since I wrote my first column. Life seems to be so much faster and busier now with the technology revolution. I thought about how great is has been to help so many people have more energy efficient and affordable houses. Just last evening a man said


to me, “Y’all have done a good job teaching folks about energy efficient construction. I walked through several houses under construction recently and all of them were using Marathon water heaters and cellulose insulation. I believe they learned to do that from y’all.” I love to hear comments like


that and so does your co-op. What we teach is good for the consumer, the environment and our nation. We will continue teaching in 2013 useing this column, how-to videos and www.togetherwesave.com. Te more things change–more


electric appliances like computers and TVs in the home–the more things remain the same–energy


efficiency concerns in the home are the same today as they were 30 years ago. If we made a list of every item affecting the efficiency of both a 30-year-old house and a brand new house, the two lists would be essentially the same. Of course, we would expect the new house to be the most energy efficient of the two, In most cases, it would be, but not always.


What we teach is good for the consumer, the


environment and our nation.


If the owner of an older home


has corrected the house’s energy inefficiency issues, it could easily be more energy efficient than a newer house. I often get calls in which the caller starts by saying, “I live in a 50-year-old house and ...” I can tell by the sound of the caller’s voice he/she has doubts as to if anything can be done to make the older house more energy efficient. Te answer is nearly always, yes.


The more things change . . . And what is on this efficiency


to-do list? It needs to identify the energy efficiency needs of your house only and based on facts, not guesses. In the 2013 columns, we are going to do our best to help you identify what needs to be on your list and teach you how to make improvements. We encourage you to not only read the columns, but to save them for further references. So, since it is already 2013, let’s get started. Without a doubt, the best


way to know about the energy efficiency of any house is to obtain a detailed energy audit. I often tell folks you will learn more about your house in a couple of hours with a good energy audit than you will learn in years without one. Ask around, there are bound to be professional auditor's in your area. You can also preform a self audit. OEC has a downloadable energy audit handbook at www.okcoop. org (go to Energy Audit in the Services menu). If your house has comfort


problems or high utility bills, you will almost certainly have air infiltration problems which is what we will cover in next month's column.


Doug Rye, a licensed architect living in Saline County and the popular host of the “Home Remedies” radio show, works as a consultant for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas to promote energy efficiency to cooperative members statewide. To ask energy efficiency-related questions, call Doug at 501-653-7931. More energy-efficiency tips, as well as Doug’s columns, can also be found at www.SmartEnergyTips.org.


News Magazine 23


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