An energy efficient home will always provide a more comfortable and healthy environment. There are various ways you can improve your home’s energy performance. Some of the methods involve small changes made by your family and some involve bigger changes that can be made by a home performance improvement contractor.
5 small steps you can take to improve your home’s energy performance:
Homeowners are sometimes unaware of how much energy they waste while living in their home. They become used to the high energy bills and assume it is a part of being a homeowner. However, small changes in the way homeowners use energy, can make a huge difference in the home’s energy performance.
1. Thermostat: In summer keep the thermostat above 78 degrees. In winter keep it below 75 degrees (specifically, 68-70 degrees during the day and 55-60 degrees during the night). This reduces the use of energy from 3-5 percent. Ensure your thermostat has automatic regulatory features that will allow you to set it for the times you are away from the home.
2. Air-conditioner: Ensure the air conditioner is the optimal size for your home and properly installed for best energy use.
3. Air vents: Ensure your air vents are regularly cleaned and are not being blocked by furniture or window treatments.
4. Landscaping: Plant trees and shrubs near the house. Make sure they are at the appropriate distances away. The leaves and vines will help keep the dead air space cool and create an external and natural insulation.
5. Window Treatments: Make sure you have window treatments that help reduce drafts and excess sunshine keeping the temperature in your home regulated.
5 Steps a Home Performance Improvement Contractor can make to boost your home’s energy performance:
While the small steps you take will help improve your home’s energy performance, it is the work done by the home improvement contractor that will really boost the energy performance of your home.
1. Air Sealing
A house built under sustainable construction takes into account air movements and weatherproofing. However, most other homes have many ways by which air leaks cause a waste of energy. These areas such as utility entrance points, duct and vent systems, must be identified and sealed.
Your home has to be adequately insulated, the basement, the walls, the attic and crawlspaces. Optimal insulation can reduce the waste of energy up to 30 percent. The insulation works by establishing the thermal boundary there by decreasing the heating or cooling needed to condition the flow of air in the home.
3. Heating and cooling systems
Ensuring the heating and cooling systems in your home are energy-efficient is essential. Your home improvement contractor can help assess and if necessary, install more efficient models.
4. Appliances, Lighting and More
The type of appliances you use, the lighting system and bulbs, doors and windows all contribute to waste of energy. If they are not energy efficient they will cause your energy bills to pile up. It is essential that your home be assessed to ensure it is energy efficient.
Often, older homes may require basic home remodeling to ensure that the building becomes more energy efficient. This may include anything from small improvements to major renovations. However, the end result always provides more value for your home.
Improving Your Home’s Energy Performance
A homeowner does not need to make all the improvements at one time, rather contact a local home performance improvement contractor and get a home evaluation. A good contractor should also be able to advise you on financing resources such as tax credit, rebates and low interest or no interest loans. Finally, You must commit to getting the energy improvement work done. A good tip is to engage in what we call opportunity savings which is the reduction in cost of energy upgrades when timed to coincide with other necessary building maintenance. For example, add extra layers of rigid foam insulation to your exterior walls when executing a planned re-siding project.