Last December, the Quimby family paid $1,100 to heat and power their Winthrop, Maine, farmhouse for the month. Something had to be done.
Jeld-Wen, manufacturer of energy-efficient doors and windows, came to the rescue. The company found the Quimbys during its nationwide search for the family with the highest utility bill, part of an effort to find out just how much difference efficient doors and windows could make. Jeld-Wen replaced the family’s old, heat-leaking windows with 35 new Energy Star-certified Jeld-Wen Vinyl windows (note: Natural Home does not recommend vinyl), installed two Jeld-Wen AuraLast Wood door system exterior doors and added insulation to the basement.
The energy savings have been astounding: The Quimbys reduced their heating oil intake by half. In addition, their home is more comfortable. Before Jeld-Wen installed the efficient windows, doors and insulation, the family avoided spending time near the drafty windows.
We hope you don’t have four-figure utility bills to contend with. But even if your situation isn’t as drastic as the Quimbys’, you can make similarly dramatic reductions in your own utility bills. First, find out if your home is leaking energy by performing (or hiring someone to perform) an energy audit. These audits uncover problem areas and find the proper measures to fix them, depending on your home’s needs. Many energy-efficient upgrades may even give you a tax credit under the economic stimulus plan.
Last year, Natural Home helped a New Jersey family take steps to reduce utility bills in their old, drafty home. Watch this video to find out just how easy—and economically viable—these fixes can be.