Keeping my family warmer and our bills lower
posted by: Lori Holden
This is going to be THE MOST EXCITING article you’ll read all day.
Of course, I’m going to do my best to make this topic RIVETING, but I’m also wishing desperately that everything else you come across today will be on the boring side.
What is this intriguing, fascinating topic?
INSULATION. WoooooHooo! OK, you can step off the couch now and stop the fist-pumping.
So right up front, let me tell you why you should be interested:
- Comfort for your family in winter and summer
- $$$ in your wallet
- and more $$$ in your wallet
Why did I list $$$ twice? Because (a) you can save on both your heating and cooling bills, and (b) there are rebates and credits available from several sources right now if you act soon.
Through the Energy Efficient Home Alliance of North America, I was connected with Meridian Construction Company. A very nice gentleman named Jacob came to my house on an unseasonably warm Fall day to check the insulation in our attic. Seems that our once up-to-code 12 inches of house blanketing had compressed to fewer than 8 inches over the years. And the energy efficiency guidelines grew to 20 inches. We needed another foot of insulation.
And what would that get us?
- Comfort in the winter by eliminating cold spots.
- Comfort in the summer by keeping the bedrooms cooler. The heat will have a very hard time penetrating 20 inches of blanket.
- Guaranteed 20% or more reduction in energy bills.
And by insulating now, we were able to take advantage of three savings programs. Xcel Energy has rebates available up to $300 through December 31, 2010. Also through the end of the year there is a federal tax credit of 30% for materials, up to$1500. And finally, there is a fund through the Governor’s Energy Office — at RegchargeColorado.com you might find partial reimbursement, 40% per job up to $600, while funds last. To qualify you must use an accredited contractor.
Two guys spent two hours blowing pinkish fuzz into our attic. They then invited me to the top of the ladder to peer into the space and see for myself the difference in the thickness of the insulation. I was duly impressed and then got the heck down. After the gentlemen vacuumed the floor and removed all traces of having been there, they disappeared.
And then the cold weather came. It will be months before I can tell a difference in our energy bills, but already I can say that our bedroom is retaining heat better and that the cold pockets on the periphery are gone. It will be even longer before I’ll be able to report that summers are cooler. But I have already filled out the paperwork to take advantage of the rebate and credit programs, and we’re on our way to recovering close to 50% of the total cost.
So bring it on, Snow Miser and Heat Miser. This year, we’re covered.