For 2,200 homeowners in this area, this winter's heating bill isn't likely to be as high as their neighbors', according to the Washington Gas Light Company.
As a result of upgrading the insulation in their homes, the gas company estimates those homeowners can expect an average reduction of 16 per cent in the rate at which they use fuel for heating.
The gas company began an insulation sales program in October, 1975, to help homeowners evaluate the existing insulation in their homes and to improve it if necessary. "We're very concerned about the need for conservation," said Washington Gas vice president Richard C. Vierbuchen, "and adequate insulation is the single most important means of conserving energy."
Most homes in this area were built before the energy crisis when fuel costs were low, Vierbuchen said, and they are poorly insulated by today's standards.
The National Bureau of Standards now recommends that attics in this area be insulated to a minimum of R-30. A few years ago that recommended minimum was R-19, Vierbuchen said. Insulation in older homes might have lost some effectiveness because of settling or matting, he added. m.
The effectiveness of an insulation product is determined by its R-value, Vierbuchen said. R-values are determined through controlled tests that measures a product's ability to resist the flow of heat. The higher the R-value of a product, the better the insulation value, he said.
Insulation of even the minimum amount of ceiling and wall insulation in homes which have none can can heating fuel usage by up to 30 per cent, Vierbuchen said. Homeowners who upgrade their present insulation can anticipate an average reduction of 16 per cent in the amount of fuel it takes to heat the home, he said.
Vierbuchen stressed that insulation savings are gained all year long, because "less energy is needed to keep the house warmer in winter and cooler in summer."
The gas company reinsulation program is available to all area residents whether or not they are gas customers. Appointments with a company sales representatives can be made by calling the Energy Conservation Department at 354-5700.