A New Way to Save Money and the Planet

New technology lets people insulate and seal leaks in homes and other buildings cheaply. An infrared video camera with a portable screen attached lets anyone see cold air entering a building through cracks and gaps, while a fan creates negative pressure inside the building. Then people can seal the gaps with inexpensive caulk or “foam in a can.” Finally, a so-called “blower door test” is done to make sure the building isn’t so airtight that it will be unhealthy for the people inside. A photo of the equipment used for this test is at:


This can save hundreds of dollars in heating fuel in a single winter, and reduces pollution. Government programs provide this service for free for poor people, and at a reduced rate for working class people. Middle class and rich people can hire a private company to do the infrared video and blower-door tests for around $200.

Global warming is caused roughly equally by three sources of pollution: heating and cooling buildings; generating electricity; and by cars, SUVs, and trucks. (Raising animals for meat is another major cause of climate change.)

Replacing an old refrigerator with a new one can save hundreds of dollars a year in electricity. Efficiency Vermont www.efficiencyvermont.com is a government-funded agency that often gives people money to help pay the cost of replacing fridges and other appliances. Similar programs exist in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. People can call Efficiency Vermont for the names and contact info for the equivalent agencies in other states.

In some parts of the Valley, walking, riding a bicycle, taking a train or bus, and carpooling are viable alternatives to driving alone in a car, SUV, or truck. More information on these transportation options is at:












In southeast Vermont, poor and working class people who want to insulate and seal leaks in their homes can contact www.sevca.org. This group can provide the name and contact info of the equivalent agencies in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. So can governors’ offices. One private company that does infrared video and blower-door tests is:


Several other companies in the Valley do these tests.


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