How to Create an Energy Efficient Home with Kim Owens

We have Kim Owens with us today. Kim is an energy auditor, so she goes to people’s homes to give them an overview of ways to make their home more energy-efficient. Most of her suggestions are easy and economical to implement. And there are many benefits to creating an energy-efficient home.

The way Kim works

Typically, Kim contracts Precise Building Performance, the company that she works for, to create energy efficiency for her clients. 

Precise Building Performance usually contracts with all the utility companies. because most people in the state of Oklahoma get their energy efficiency through their utility company.

Oklahoma is an energy state

Oklahoma is truly an energy state- and it’s not all about drilling for it! Driving down the streets of Oklahoma, one can see oil pumps with all the wind turbines in the background. There are also solar farms, and people find it very interesting to see just how much the utilities in Oklahoma are into energy audits.

About energy audits

Many people don’t know what energy audits are. Kim has a free newsletter to inform people about it because most Oklahoma utility companies offer free energy audits as a service to their members. Kim points out that the more energy-efficient you are, the more money you can save on your utility bill. 

It’s not just about saving energy

When we save energy, we don’t only save money. There are always many benefits to practicing green sustainability. 

  • We save carbon emissions.
  • We save lots of other greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • We improve our health in our homes, in our communities, and the world at large. 

Kim’s background and her focal points

Kim has a background in counseling and physiology. And she has a holistic wellness coaching business. Everything in our lives ultimately impacts our health in one way or another and there is always a causal relationship with everything, so Kim’s focus is on mental health, physical health, and the ways that people’s homes are affecting their health. 

People often have the wrong impression of energy auditing

People tend to think that their windows, air conditioning, and all the other big stuff will have to be replaced. Yet, windows are usually the last things that are recommended because they are expensive and it could take up to twenty-five years to recoup your investment. 

What a basic audit entails 

  • Kim starts from the outside and looks for things that are drawing heavily on your utility, like a pool, or a hot tub.
  • She checks in the attic to see how much insulation is in there.
  • She depressurizes the house with a vacuum tool to see how much air is being pulled in from the outside, through cracks and crevices. Then she checks the rooms for leaks.
  • She checks the air conditioning unit. 55-6% of most utility bills is from the air conditioning unit 

Kim likes to take the homeowner along with her as she checks their home so that she can educate them.

Ventilation

Sometimes it’s necessary for a certain amount of pressure to come into a home. With new homes that are built to be very tight, there are ventilation strategies and equipment that allow for that. With existing homes, it is very challenging to make them completely tight. 

Mold and mildew are not our friends. The exhaust fans in bathrooms take the humid air out so this helps prevent mold and mildew.

Remember to close the damper on your fireplace when you’re not using it.

Why utility companies are paying people like Kim to do energy audits for their utility customers

There seems to be a misconception that energy companies are out to screw people because they charge for the utilities they provide. Yet, they authentically care about their members, and about being good stewards of the energy they’re producing and supplying. And they want to do right by everybody, so if they can help people save money and create an energy-efficient home, they will. 

For utility companies to help us be more efficient with our use of energy, it helps them too because it means they don’t have to build as many facilities to handle peak-load production.

Power pools

Very simply put, there are power pools where all the utilities dump their power. Then the companies that want to distribute that power bid on it. 

Some tips for creating a more energy-efficient home

  • Place bits of cork all around the windows, on the inside of the house, where the window meets the wood trim.
  • Place weather-stripping around the doors.
  • Use LED lights.
  • Don’t run your pool pump all the time.

Links: 

Kim’s email – kimowenslive@gmail.com

Precise Building Performance – https://precisebp.com/

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