The Power Squad was created by Virginia Energy Sense to demonstrate the simple actions all of us can take to become energy-saving heroes. Read each hero’s profile below to find out how you can transform into a Captain Caulker, an Incredible Insulator, an Audacious Auditor or another member of the Power Squad to keep your home safe from energy waste and high utility bills.
Super Power – Seals cracks, gaps and joints around his home with low-cost caulk and weather-stripping to prevent air leaks and save money
- Caulking is best for cracks that are a quarter inch or less. Be sure to start with a clean dry surface.
- Weatherstripping is best for locations where movement occurs such as windows and doors. You should consider using flexible options like foam tape and door sweeps.
- By sealing baseboards, window and door frames, areas where pipes and wiring meet walls, around wall-mounted A/C units and all gaps, cracks and joints, you can cut your energy bill by as much as 30 percent.
The Audacious Auditor:
Super Power – A true energy detective, she takes online home energy assessments, conducts DIY audits and works with a professional auditor to find and defeat all energy crimes in her and her neighbors’ homes
- Use the Virginia Energy Sense Home Energy Test to complete an assessment of your home’s energy usage.
- Before scheduling a professional audit, replacing equipment or making energy improvements, look for rebates & incentives – you may be eligible for a discount
The Powerful Programmer:
Super Power – A DIY master, he controls temperatures using a programmable thermostat to reduce energy waste and save money, especially when he’s asleep and away from home
- Install your programmable thermostat in a location on an interior wall away from heat or air sources to prevent “ghost readings” – heating and/or cooling sources that impact inaccurate readings.
- Set your programmable thermostat to reduce heating or cooling when you’re asleep or away from home. You could save up to $180 per year.
- Lower your thermostat a few degrees to your most comfortable temperature to save on energy costs this winter.
The Champion Charger:
Super Power – On a mission to rid the world of lurking energy vampires, she uses ENERGY STAR chargers, an all-in-one charging station that automatically cuts power and an energy-saving power strip to ensure her power cords don’t draw energy when not in use
- Use “smart” power strips to fully shut off products that have an energy-wasting standby mode while still maintaining power to “critical” devices
- Eliminate “vampire load” – power pulled by devices not in use – by unplugging appliances that aren’t used frequently such as your toaster, DVD player and coffee maker.
- Basic power strips are still effective by allowing you to cut power to all devices with one flip of the switch
The Incredible Insulator:
Super Power – Insulates attics, ducts, basements, crawlspaces, hot water pipes and more to save money and improve the comfort of his and neighbors’ homes
- Insulation is most needed in your attic and in walls and floors near an unheated space, like a garage or basement. The structural elements are usually exposed in these areas, which makes it easy to see what type of insulation you have and to measure its depth or thickness. Insulation is measured by its R -value — the higher the R-value, the better the insulation.
- Wrap your water heater in an insulating jacket to reduce stand-by heat loss by up to 45% and water heating costs by up to 9%.
- Insulate the first five feet of pipe coming out of the top of your water heater. If the whole length of exposed pipe between the water heater and the wall is less than five feet, insulate the full length