Dan, one of our readers from Kansas, graciously provided the information. Thanks go to Dan’s great record keeping and his willingness to share his story.
His success story provides us with a plan of action that many of us can use to save money on utility bills. Some of the revisions to the house are more than I would take on, with my meager tool skills, but many are items that most of could do ourselves.
This log of the work done, over the course of several years, comes directly from Dan’s records. The story starts when Dan acquired a 1953 vintage house that had little done to it since it was built.
Description of the house before work began
- 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, 1 utility room / washer and dryer hook ups
- Central heat / air 2.5 ton unit (1978)
- 30 gallon natural gas water heater (1989)
- Floor space approx 1,000 sq ft
- Blown insulation only in the atticXOriginal roof was 12-3, pitch roof bungalow style
- 5 each 60 x 32 double hung windows with single pane glass and storm windows
- 2 each Double 60 x 32 double hung windows (60 x 68 approx) with single pane glass and old aluminum storm windows
- 1 each 9 pane single glass 60 x 96 window with no storm window
- 1 each 9 pane single glass 36 x 96 window with no storm window
- 2 each 32 x 32 double hung window with single pane glass and storm window
- 1 hollow core exterior 78 x 36 door with 3 single pane windows with aluminum storm door
- 1 solid pine raise panel door 78 x 30 with 24 x 24 single pane window with aluminum storm door.
Revision 1 (1999)
Remodel of bathroom
- Removal of bathroom window because of shower re-location
- Installed exhaust fan (non-existence before)
- Installed 2.5 GPM shower head
- Installed R-13 insulation on all 4 walls
- Replace sink vanity and faucet with 1.5 GPM aerator
- Installed toilet tank insulation tank kit (stops the tank from sweating)
- Toilet tank 1.6 gallons
Revision 1 - Work Description and Results
Windows was on south side of house were leaky, and wanting to put the tub and shower there, I did not want a window in the middle of my new fiberglass shower wall. The window had to go. But, with that being so, I had to install an exhaust fan in the room to meet code.
Also, by insulating all four walls you help with noise and humidity issues. None of the walls had any insulation to start with.
In upgrading the showerhead and faucets, I was not really thinking about water conservation at time. But, the water bill did drop about 5% so money saved. I also installed a toilet tank liner kit. Basically, it is 3/8 Styrofoam sheets that you glue to the inside of the tank. No real energy saving value, except for a little water displacement, but the tank doesn’t sweat any more. (It reduces the water volume of the tank reducing the water used per flush.)
Revision 2 (also 1999) Summary
- Removal of south windows ( 2 ) 60 x 32 with storm windows. And filled the hole from windows with R-13 insulation and sheathing and siding
- Removal of living room’s 9 pane (60 x 96) windows with out storm windows and replaced using recycled windows (60 x 32) that had been removed from the south side windows with storm windows.
- Installed R-13 insulation in walls around living room windows
- Removal of dinning room’s 9 pane window 36 x 96 windows with used double glass & aluminum sliding glass door 78 x 72
- Removal north (2) 60 x 32 windows with storm door windows. And filled the hole from windows with R-13 insulation and sheathing and siding
Revision 2 – Description of Work and
Removal of south windows made some sense, as the house next door was only 18 feet away. I didn’t want the lights from vehicles shinning through it and the noise, and I didn’t think I would miss the view the neighbor’s house. The other was because of the closeness of the neighbor’s garage with an automatic light. Enough said there that why it’s gone.
Removal of living room
windows, that was the big money saver. There the window was 8’ wide and 5'
tall with 9 individual pieces of glass and over time settling and a little dry
rot due to the sweating windows, they leaked big time (if you were sitting on
the couch you had to were a coat or blanket just to keep warm) draft and
sweating was really bad.
“Want not, waste not”. I re-used the 2 windows I took out of the south end of the house, used them in place if the big window that had no storm window (approx cost to have one made would have been about $300. Too expensive).
I had fairly good windows that I had just taken out and little paint and caulking and they would be in good shape. Plus, I insulated around the wall where I could get to with R-13 rolled insulation.
Removal of dining room window was about the same thing but it was a little smaller, 8’ wide and 3’ tall but, I was out of spare windows. I bought a used sliding glass door (6 footer for $20 with double walled glass). It was better than the leaky windows that were rotting out the floor and wall. While doing this I insulated the surrounding wall with R-13 rolled insulation.
With those 2 simple things (kind of simple), I bet I save $200 that winter alone and you did not have to wear a coat on the couch any more.
There are three more articles in this series so stay tuned for the next one.
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