Energy experts tell us that there’s one singular measure we should take
to have the most impact on our heating bills this winter: improve the
efficiency of our homes. We’ve invited two such experts to share their
advice and experience in conducting thermal energy audits of homes.
We’ll talk about the effective, low-costs steps that do-it-yourselfers
can try to make a big difference in their heatings bills, and we’ll look
at the more ambitious projects that come with a complete retrofit of a
Also on the program, environmental journalists have the enviable job of
spending a lot of time outdoors and visiting hidden corners of the
state. Reporter Candace Page joins us to share some of her favorite
places that you might want to visit this summer. (Listen)
And the Vermont
Institute of Natural Science is keeping an eye on baby birds. One of
their naturalists will give valuable advice on how not to disturb their
Listener emails on heating efficiency:
I’ve heard that when insulating walls in cold climates such a Vermont you should consider using a vapor barrier in the wall – between the interior wallboard and the insulation. This is intended to block water vapor from moving from the interior living space into the insulation. Do you have any advice?
Hutch in Pawlet:
What kind of chemical product is cellulose? And blown foam? Is there any evidence of off gassing or material residue in the retrofitted home?
Scott in Randolph:
I recently purchased a house that had 40 bags of cellulose in the attic. Rather than pay to have it sprayed in, are there any problems with just spreading the cellulose by hand?
Are there any laws in the state of Vermont requiring landlords to provide storm windows or make apartments as efficient as possible? I live in the bottom floor of a house built in 1850 which is missing storm windows on several windows. Others have cracks, and the basement is marginally insulated. I pay for the heat in the apartment and the landlords seem uninterested in helping replace the broken windows. We kept the heat at 50-60 all of last winter and still burned nearly 800 gallons of oil.
Mike in Andover:
I have blown in cellulose insulation in my attic. Should I dig through it to seal around recessed lights, ceiling fans, etc. or am I okay?
Dave in Essex Junction:
We have a programable thermostat. How cold should we let the house get during the day when we aren’t there?