Life in the Brady Home. As with any new home, there have been some issues. One area that has been of concern has been our second energy bill from the Public Utility District (PUD). In previous posts I have discussed how this Energy Efficient Home was designed; including the very tight building envelope, and three zone heating and cooling system.
We keep the home at 68 degrees (which some would say is a little on the cool side) but with the elimination of drafts…the home is warm and comfortable….So why the higher bill?
I go back to the systems in the home. When building the Brady House we used “building science” to develop a extremely efficient home. One system or detail following another, making sure we “dotted our I’s and crossed our T’s”. One missed step and the efficiency of the total system is lost. An All Systems Approach.
So in my search for the problem I took what I know to be true, the home is very tight (had it tested twice same results). I started with my typical largest energy users:
- Heating and Cooling system. I have a BayWeb Internet Thermostat. Through conversations and diagnostics, I realized that the heat pump and heating elements were not reading each other and they were both running at the same time, first fix.
- Second largest: HOT Water. I changed the timer on my Recirculation Pump to work with our schedule, checked the temperature out of the tap and adjusted the tanks.
- Appliances: I have been having issues with the new Energy Star Refrigerator, it likes to run all the time. Repair person could not fix it, new refrigerator delivered, problem solved.
My Advice to New Home Owners
If your energy bills are high, create a checklist starting with the largest energy users all the way to the smallest. Check to make sure they are all working at their top performance. If you cannot fix the problem yourself, call people who can, so that your new home runs at the level of efficiency it is supposed to.