One of the trade-offs for owning or renting an older Philadephia home is the lack of energy efficiency. However, the Energy Coordinating Agency of Philadelphia says citizens can still keep their energy bills down by employing some simple changes and renovations to their lives.
Below, you'll see five specific energy and money-saving tips that Jerry Bennett from the city organization gave residents at a Roxborough Memorial Hospital workshop sponsored by the Office of Council Curtis Jones.
But first, here are some fast facts Bennett offered:
- Philadelphia is 1.5 degrees warmer than it was in 1970.
- Trees in Fairmount Park bloom two weeks earlier today than 40 years ago.
- Building emissions make up 51 percent of green house gases (as much as transportation and industry combined).
- Within a home, 30 percent comes from heating, 15 percent from hot water and 10 percent from air conditioning.
Bennett volunteered those facts to suggest to attendees that cutting down on inefficient heating will both improve the environment and lower your energy bill.
Five tips to reduce energy use in your house.
1. Caulk basement walls and areas where unlike building materials (wood on brick) meet—300 cubic feet of air enters an average rowhome per hour and all the air in your home is exchanged three times a day. Reducing any air escaping your home will go a long way.
2. Weather-strip all doors to the outside.
3. Install a setback thermostat to better regulate heating/AC. Can be 10 degrees warmer/colder at night or when you're at work. If timed correctly, you won't even notice the change.
4. Buy energy efficient appliances. Energy Star rated appliances will save you much money in the long-run.
5. Wrap hot water heaters in the winter with fitted blanket (if the heater is older than three years). The $11 wrap will save money and make the heater work better.
The Energy Coordinating Agency does outreach throughout the year and city. One big event coming up is a workshop Jan. 21, Martin Luther King Jr. Day at 106 W. Clearfield St. in Kensington from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.