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The Home Energy Diet: How to Save Money by Making Your House Energy-Smart (Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series) Paperback – May 1, 2005
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With rising energy costs, homeowners are beginning to examine the energy efficiency of their own homes, asking questions that range from where energy comes from and how much it costs, to how to choose new appliances and what options exist for renewable energy?
The Home Energy Diet answers all these questions and more, while helping readers take control of their personal energy use and costs so they can save money, live more comfortably, and help the environment. Energy auditor Paul Scheckel first explores energy literacy, and then describes how your home uses-and loses-energy you pay for via:
- Hot water
- Heating and air conditioning, and
- Windows, walls and insulation.
The Home Energy Diet involves readers in learning about their own homes by measuring, metering, investigating, and considering habits related to household energy use, then learning how to quantify energy consumption and cost, and to make informed decisions about cost-effective improvements and upgrades. The book explores the misunderstood concept of efficiency versus cost by comparing fuel costs and equipment choices, including the possibility of using renewable energy for meeting home energy needs. This authoritative guide makes efficiency fun through personal anecdotes and humorous "tales-from-the-basement" energy misadventures.
Since energy efficiency is an investment that offers returns greater than Wall Street, readers can earn several hundred dollars every year just by following the advice in this book. As a bonus, many of the energy-saving strategies described can make for improved indoor air quality and healthier, more comfortable homes.
Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series(2004-12-01)
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Topics discussed in the book include energy literacy, electricity as a means of transporting energy, electrical appliances, hot water, heating and air conditioning, insulation and windows, and purchasing new appliances. Appendices include forms for calculating total energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions, and home heat load, as well as a list of household appliances with average energy requirements. You don't need to be an electrical engineer or have a degree in physics to follow the text. Scheckel provides clear examples of energy calculations that anyone with a hand calculator should be able to follow. The only real math prerequisite that would be useful is an ability to read and interpret pie charts, since Scheckel relies on them extensively in his discussions of energy sources and usage.
In the text, Scheckel writes about a fictional family who has called him to do an energy audit.Read more ›
Of great interest was the opening section, which provides a discussion of the 'energy system' in the United States, which is important background for understanding how one's home links into the large system. As part of that, roughly 20% of the nation's energy use is in homes. If every American home owner read this book and made minimal investments based on it, the nation could see a rapid cut in energy use -- through efficiency rather than any reduction in lifestyle.
While everything in this book can be found elsewhere, this is a clear and relatively comprehensive discussion of key household energy issues. (And, if necessary, one can quickly track down more detail on other issues.) I've already recommended this book to over 50 people directly ... And, while I originally got this from the library, I find it of such use that I've bought a copy to have around as reference material ...
The real meat starts at about page 93 with some very important electrical power safety tips, followed by an appliance-by-appliance list of items that use energy in a typical North American home. It is alphabetical and organized like an index.
Each item listed includes information about the amount of energy it uses and tips on how to save money using it. The "what to do" information is very specific and easy to put into practice. It starts with Air Cleaners and goes right through to Well Pumps.
Some items get just a sentence or two and others get a whole chapter. The biggest energy users get the most page space. Hot water, heating and air conditioning get their own chapters, as they should.
Like most grouchy old engineers, I read the book looking for details to disagree with. That approach was rewarded with frustration. In fact, there is so much good stuff in this book that I put it on the shelf next to my desk where it will be a handy reference.
I am forever getting questions from folks wanting to know how much they save when they shut off the item in question. The book has a handy chart, as appendix C, which does a good job answering that question.
More importantly, it provides focus for action by letting you identify the big energy users in your home. I get too many questions from people worried about the cost of running a computer when they should be focused on their heating, cooling and kitchen energy use.
The book is targeted at folks who own a house, but renters should read it too. If you pay the energy bill at your home this book will pay back the cover price many times over.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Some good ideas i hadn't already thought of plus the ones i have.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I rented this book from the library initially, but I decided I needed to get a copy to keep, as there is way too much useful information to be... Read morePublished on June 20, 2014 by akOSU
This book is pretty useful and should help the average user save money in a fairly substantial way.
For more on how to save money in certain states, go to:... Read more
This is a book that everyone should read. It 's fundamental for everyone to know energy in general, and specially about home energy. Read morePublished on February 8, 2014 by lionking2424
I like being able to save money on all Utilities, I live in a mobile home park
and there are only so many types of things one can do with a trailer to
make it fit the... Read more
This book has some pretty good ideas, but not a lot that I didn't already know. I'd say for someone who doesn't know anything at all about how to save energy this would be a good... Read morePublished on October 24, 2013 by Heather O'Cain
As the title suggests, The Home Energy Diet is a full menu of ideas for putting your home on an "energy diet. Read morePublished on November 21, 2012 by S. Hansen
I think the key thing to know before you decide whether or not to buy this book is that according to the author, Paul Scheckel, the average American household consumes about 30... Read morePublished on November 17, 2012 by Soccerfan