Most Americans want to do everything that can to reduce the amount of energy they consume. Unfortunately, it can take a lot of energy to properly heat, cool and run a household these days. The best way to improve the overall efficiency of your home is to do everything you can to make little improvements that will add up to a big savings – not just in the energy you consume, but in your monthly utility bill.
While some of these “things” can be easily done on a Saturday or over a long weekend, others will require professional help. Learning what needs to be done, knowing how to do it properly and making sure that the right materials and tools are used will go a long way toward maximizing your results. If you aren’t sure about any of the tips listed below, make sure to consult with a trusted professional who has experience working in your area.
#1 – Schedule a Home Energy Audit
The best way to get started is to know where you stand. Older homes were not insulated using the materials, technologies and techniques that are available today, so it is very possible that if your home is 20 years old or older, you might need to make some upgrades and adjustments. Hire a reputable, professional insulation installer to perform your home energy audit and ask for suggestions and recommendations on ways that you can improve your residential insulation.
#2 – Check for Leaks
One of the biggest contributors to heat loss is air leaks. One study showed that if the air leaks in the average American home were all put together, it would amount to having a three foot wide hole cut in the side of an exterior wall. That’s a lot of heat loss! You can go around your home with a caulking gun and look for air leaks or you can hire a professional insulation installer to take care of it for you. You can also have then check for air leaks in your attic, around outlets, doors, windows and anywhere else that might be contributing to the problem.
#3 – Get Your Ductwork Cleaned and Checked
If you have a leak in your ductwork you will lose heat before it even gets to the rooms of your home. A duct leak is similar to any other type of air leak in that it will cause your HVAC system to stay on, working harder and using up more energy in the process, in an attempt to reach the temperature you have set on your thermostat. Taking the time to inspect and seal any discovered leaks in your air ducts will help your HVAC system to work more efficiently and keep your home warm and comfortable in the winter months.
#4 – Increase Your Insulation
If your home energy audit revealed that the R-value of your current insulation is not adequate for your needs, you might need increase the amount of residential insulation in your attic, walls or other trouble areas. This is why it is important to hire a professional insulation installer that you can trust to properly identify issues and provide solutions that will get results. The better your home’s insulation, the less your HVAC system will have to work to heat or cool your home, reducing the amount of energy consumption required and lowering your monthly bill. Most residential insulation upgrades pay for themselves in just a few months or years in savings associated with reduced utility bills.
#5 – Upgrade Windows and Doors
While checking for air leaks is important, especially around windows and doors, it is also important to ensure that the windows and doors that you have installed in your home are energy efficient and designed to keep out the cold air in winter and reflect the heat in summer. Upgrading to Energy Star-rated vinyl windows and storm doors could help to save you a bundle on your annual energy bill and will create a more temperature controlled home for you and your family to enjoy.
#6 – Upgrade Your HVAC
It might be time to upgrade your heating and air-conditioning system if you have already improved your residential insulation, conducted a home energy audit, sealed all the leaks in your home and improved your R-value through the help of a reputable, professional insulation installer. Get a professional evaluation of your HVAC system to see if repairs, tune-ups or upgrades are in order.
#7 – Keep Moisture Away from Your Home
Another great way to help your home to be more energy efficient is to keep moisture away from your home. Moisture can come into your home in a number of ways, but the best way to tackle this problem, especially during the rainy months, is to use seamless aluminum gutters. By upgrading from traditional gutters to more effective and efficient seamless aluminum gutters, you can reduce the amount of water that collects near the base of your home, which can seep into drywall, basements, crawl spaces and other areas, leading to increased humidity, reduced heating efficiency, mold, mildew and property damage.
Call Richie’s Insulation to Get Started!