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Energy efficient heating and cooling questions

My house was built around 1998. I have the same split system heating/air conditioner with propane heat and water heater.

My system works fine. I actually prefer a propane water heater with a family of four because it can keep up better and still works during a power outage. (I live in the country)

I am wanting to reduce as much as possible utility costs. I was debating installing a more efficient unit myself.

I would really like a geothermal. I have the land for the lines and have available a trencher to bury the lines, but the units are expensive and difficult to purchase myself. There is no way to afford having a contractor do it.

Would I really save that much upgrading from a 1998 unit to a more modern unit? My house is 1500 square feel downstairs. I have a 50x10 feet bonus room upstairs with a small heat pump that is about 5 years old.

My house has 2x4 walls, filled with r-13. Ceiling is insulated. I live in zone 4 southern ky. Summers get humid and hot.

My roof is black shingles and is a steep roof. (The kind you typically see with dormers but I don't have any). I am assuming I gain a lot of heat through the roof. (Which has had me thinking about if a sheet of radiant barrier between the roof trusses would be a good idea).

Anyway I am getting some tax return money coming back and looking for ways to lower my energy bills.

Oh by the way my house is vinyl sided with osb walls.

Thanks!

Asked by don gilbert
Posted May 19, 2014 8:14 AM ET
Edited May 19, 2014 8:39 AM ET

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Don,
The first step for you is to hire an energy auditor or home energy rater (preferably one certified by BPI or RESNET) to conduct a home energy audit. At the end of the audit, you will be presented with a report that suggests energy-efficiency improvements for your home. The report will list the most cost-effective retrofit measures, and will be customized for your home and climate.

For more information on this topic, see Energy Upgrades for Beginners.

Answered by Martin Holladay
Posted May 19, 2014 8:38 AM ET

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