WellHome’s Blog for Homeowners Offers Advice for Energy Efficient Living

May 13, 2011

As a homeowner or future home-buyer you may question what are some of the basic sustainable concepts that you could incorporate into your dwelling to benefit the environment and also your wallet. A WellHome blog called Andy vs. Randy encourages the understanding of home energy efficiency.

Andy and Randy are two fictitious home owners and the site uses calculations and assumptions of the average use of energy in Mid-Atlantic States’ homes to show what can be saved by making your home more efficient.

Andy is the green, sustainable home while Randy is the traditional home.

They break home efficiency into four categories:

  1. Lighting: Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) vs. 75W Incandescent bulbs
  2. Windows: Double-pane, energy-star rated vs. old, single-pane (not energy rated) windows
  3. HVAC: New units with a high SEER rating of 15 vs. an older unit with a low SEER rating of 8.
  4. Insulation and Sealing: Proper insulation vs. improper insulation

Understanding these four categories is crucial to lowering your home’s monthly and yearly energy consumption.

To clarify: SEER ratings are Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratings that are standards developed by the government as a formula to understand energy consumption. The lower the number the more energy is used. Traditional appliances usually rate between a six and eight, whereas new high efficiency units score a rating of 12 or more.

Proper insulation can reduce energy consumption up to 20 percent for the average household, while improper insulation increases the amount of energy required to maintain the average, desired comfort zone of living.

Andy and Randy have little in common when the total savings are calculated. Andy saves annually $1,079 in electricity, 11,736 lbs. in CO2 emissions, and 9,048 kWh in energy.

WellHome’s site allows the use of an easy assessment tool so that consumers and homeowners can see their own annual savings and what they can do to improve their homes. They also break down the things that need to be understood to make smart choices such as:

  • Lighting infographics
  • Smart meters
  • HVAC
  • Low-hanging fruit infographics
  • Energy myths

WellHome’s demonstration using a green house “Andy” vs. a traditional home “Randy” is a very easy-to-understand consumer guide to the benefits of making homes more energy efficient. Since they allow you to calculate your own savings, this shows that sustainable living is better for the green environment and the green in your bank account in the long run.

This is a great blog to start at if you are thinking of buying a new home or renovating your current dwelling, to understand and to implement energy efficiency concepts.

The full infographic is below.

Resources: Althoff Industries, Inc. and WellHome



Jennifer Shockley

Jennifer is originally from Colorado and has recently moved back from Michigan. She is finishing up her Master’s degree in Architecture. She is currently focusing on urban planning and sustainable design and hopes to gain employment at a design firm specializing in these areas. Jennifer also has writing experience serving as an editor for her school newspaper and college magazine. Jennifer has two cats named Prada and Dior-aptly named after her shoe obsession. You can follow Jennifer on twitter @jenshock81.