Need help reducing energy costs
I have a ranch home in climate zone 5a (Northern NJ). It’s a ranch, with a partially finished attic, approximately 1600sqft. Primary heat source is propane via hot water baseboard, with a gas insert fireplace, and electric baseboard in the attic. This is my first year in the house, so I don’t have historical data, but this year we’ve been averaging approximately 300 gallons of propane use per 5-6 weeks, which is quite expensive!. In November I had a high efficiency condensing boiler with indirect hot water heater installed due to the age of the previous system and condition of the chimney liner. We have four heating zones on the main level and keep the thermostats at 59 with the occasional bump up to 62 in the living room in the evenings. I do not use the electric heater or the fireplace.
The house itself was built originally in the mid 40s and is concrete block construction. Additionally, most rooms have bay windows and there are a number of skylights, all of which were added I believe in the early 90s. Attic is, unfortunately, vermiculite insulation so I’m not going to be doing anything much there with the exception of replacing some recessed lights on the knee wall with sealed/IC units. The exterior walls do not have insulation, though I believe that solid foam insulation was installed under the siding when that was redone.
My question is…where do I go from here? My long list of items that I would like to do would include:
-Vermiculite removal so that I can properly air seal and improve attic insulation
-Mini splits for heat/AC (no AC currently) with the gas boiler as backup for the very coldest days
-Improved crawlspace air sealing/insulation
-Insulation of exterior walls via either blown in cellulose or removal of drywall and use of fiberglass batt
-Fireplace seems incredibly drafty…I don’t know anything about gas insert fireplaces, but I’m sure that improvements could be made there
-Possible replacement of some windows, better insulation around them (the window stool area is typically the coldest surface in the house)
Appreciate any suggestions…
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