Welcome to the Adirondack
Energy Conservation Center


Elements of an Energy Efficient House

Designing and building an energy-efficient home is an important step in building a new house or addition. An energy efficient home is one that incorporates common sense design principles that makes the building efficient in terms of - Reducing the need for expensive heating & cooling appliances/equipment - Reducing appliance running costs - Reducing energy related greenhouse gas emissions . Energy efficient homes have the following elements:a high R-value, tightly sealed thermal envelope; controlled ventilation; and lower than usual heating and cooling bills.

Most air leakage problems are found in the areas listed below. Make sure your builder has identified these potential trouble spots in your home building plan and that steps will be taken to properly seal:

utility and other vented areas
staircases on outside or garage walls
holes for wiring & plumbing
walls where they meet floors and rooflines
attics and attic doors
knee-walls and dormers
duct systems
bathtubs or showers on outside walls



Energy Star qualified products help protect the environment and save you money. Shop for water heaters, windows and other products for your home.

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Plans for Builders, Architects & Homeowners to help make a more efficient, functional & comfortable home.

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Fuel Efficient Cars

The FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies (FCVT) Program is developing more energy efficient and environmentally friendly highway transportation technologies that will enable America to use less petroleum. The long-term aim is to develop "leap frog" technologies that will provide Americans with greater freedom of mobility and energy security, while lowering costs and reducing impacts on the environment.

Fuel Efficient Cars.biz
Shop for fuel efficient cars. Research hybrid, electric, diesel, and other alternative fuel vehicles.

Find gas saving tips, and compare prices of cars with great gas mileage!

Fuel Efficient Rescource Center

Heating tips for your home
Cover all bare floors. Carpeting or rugs add to comfort and heat retention, especially if there is little or no floor insulation.
Set your thermostat to 60 degrees if going on vacation during the winter months, but don’t turn it off.
Raise the temperature slowly to keep your bill lower.
Set your thermostat to 68-70 degrees during the day in the winter, and 65-68 degrees at night to keep your home comfortable and save on heating costs.
Keep your thermostat close to the outside temperature – it’s cheaper to keep your home at 70°F when it’s 50°F outside than when it’s 30°F.
Don’t block air vents with drapes and furniture.
Get an energy-efficient heat pump and you could cut your heating costs in half.
Change the filters in your heating system every month for optimum efficiency.
Give your air compressor space to work efficiently. Never stack anything against your HVAC or drape anything over it.
Heat your home with the sun's help. Leave window shades or blinds open during the daytime. And consider using solar heat to supplement your normal heating source.
Close the flue in your fireplace and install glass doors to keep in the warm air.
Limit your use of portable heaters. They’re great for "spot" heating, but running a 1,500-watt heater 24/7 can be expensive.
Lower your thermostat every time you leave the house.

Schedule service for your heating system. Find out what maintenance is required to keep your heating system operating efficiently. Furnaces: Replace your furnace filter once a month or as needed. Find out more about maintaining your furnace or boiler. Wood- and Pellet-Burning Heaters: Clean the flue vent regularly and clean the inside of the appliance with a wire brush periodically to ensure that your home is heated efficiently. Find other maintenance recommendations for wood- and pellet-burning appliances.

Seal the air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes ("plumbing penetrations"), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets. Find out how to detect air leaks. Learn more about air sealing new and existing homes. Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows. Find out how to select and apply the appropriate caulk. Learn how to select and apply weatherstripping.

Photo of a window with the curtains open. Sun is shining into the room and snow-covered mountains are visible outside. Copyright iStockphoto.com/Giorgio Fochesato. Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration. Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing. Find out about other window treatments and coverings that can improve energy efficiency.

Cooling Tips for your home
Switch your ceiling fan to turn in a counter-clockwise direction In the summer; in the winter, run it at low speed, but clockwise.
Close your exterior doors and windows tightly when the AC is on. Save even more by turning off kitchen and bath exhaust fans.
Change or clean your AC's air filters at least once a month to keep your system running at peak performance.
Plant trees to provide shade on the sunny side of your home.
Make sure your AC has a rating – or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) – of 15.
Make saving automatic: Set your thermostat fan switch to "auto" to save energy. Leaving it in the "on" position keeps air running constantly.
Block the sun from overheating your home! Inside, use shades, blinds and drapes. Outside, use awnings, trees and shrubs.
Give your AC tune-up. Running an inefficient AC system can result in high monthly bills. Plus, you could qualify for a rebate.
Open interior doors so that cooled air flows freely throughout your home.
Repair leaky ducts to reduce heating and cooling costs.
Install attic insulation rated R-30 and sealing any attic leaks to reduce high home cooling costs.
Check for household leaks to make sure air isn't escaping through openings such as fireplace dampers, doors and windows.
Insulate your walls with injected foam insulation to help you save energy by keeping hot outside air from seeping through porous block walls – check with your local building supply company for details.
Decorate for a cooler home by hanging light-colored curtains that allow light to enter a room while blocking some of the sun’s rays, and light-colored paint to reflect heat.
Close unused air vents. If you have central AC you can close air vent in rooms you're not using so you're not paying to cool them.
Use ceiling fans to cool off for less. Ceiling fans use no more electricity than a standard light bulb. However, be sure to turn fans off when you leave — they only cool people, not rooms.
Install more ceiling fans. Because the breeze of a fan can make you feel three to four degrees cooler, you can raise that thermostat and still stay comfortable.
Raise the temperature on your thermostat by a few degrees to save on your cooling costs.
Install a programmable thermostat to adjust your temperature during the day.

from the US Dept of Energy

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