HFH inspires energy conservation tips

  • Published
  • By Gary Krivokapich, Resource Efficiency Manager
  • 49th Civil Engineer Squadron
Members of our very own Team Holloman recently donated more than 500 hours of their time over a six-month period to build an energy efficient home with the nonprofit housing organization, Otero County Habitat for Humanity.

It was not only a Habitat for Humanity home, but one of the most energy efficient homes in Otero County, and we at the Resource Efficiency Office hope this experience will inspire Airmen to follow Habitat for Humanity's lead.

Holloman is constantly looking for ways to reduce energy costs, which can be as high as $18,000 a day. New building plans are reviewed to make sure they are using the latest cost effective energy efficient measures and existing building are being updated to be more energy efficient. For example, there is a $1 million upgrade for office lighting that should be started and completed this summer.

Holloman expects to spend from $8 to $12 million in energy conservation projects to meet the 30 percent reduction goal set for 2014.

Recent mission changes here have resulted in a large influx of civilians and Airmen relocating to the Alamogordo area. Many civilians and enlisted Airmen have purchased homes or are building homes in the area. We assembled the following tips from eight different sources to help Team Holloman members cut their energy use at home.

· Sealing the home -- seal all penetrations and ducts, use high efficiency double-pane windows and use R-23 insulation in the walls and roof. The HFH home used a rigid 1 inch foam insulation board along with the house wrap on the outside wall to drive the R value to R-23 for the walls. The house wrap reduces air infiltration (drafts into the home). Keep the heat or cold air in the living space by making sure your home passes a heating and cooling duct test and blower door test.

· External ridge vents and soffit vents remove heat and humidity to prevent attic frost or mold problems. Light color shingles are used to reduce heat gain. A properly designed roof overhang helps shade the sun from entering into the windows during the summer, yet permits the sun to enter during the winter. Also, not placing windows on the west or east avoids solar gain.

· Choose high efficiency air conditioning -- the home utilized a 14 SEER air conditioning system. The higher the SEER rating the more efficient the system. Also use programmable thermostats to avoid heating or cooling unoccupied space.

· Save water and energy -- use compact fluorescent lighting and water-saving bathroom fixtures.

If you are considering building a new home in Alamogordo, you can utilize some of these ideas that make the Tularosa Habitat for Humanity home 40 percent more efficient than the standard home.

For more information on energy saving techniques, call our Resource Efficiency office at 575-572-3931 or learn the techniques first-hand by volunteering for Habitat for Humanity at 575-437-6562 or visit them at 1109 10th Street.