Energy efficiency is when you use the least amount of energy to accomplish an equal amount of performance in your home.
Do you ever wonder why the air is a different temperature in each room of your house, or where that uncomfortable draft is coming from? A home energy assessment can help you determine the energy efficiency of your home and reveal any areas, that when changed, will reduce your energy consumption, in turn, costing you less money each month and making your home more comfortable to live in.
After an energy audit, it may be necessary for you to make some changes to your home in order to improve your health and comfort while also saving you money. Cost effective retrofitting is the process of using newer technologies to update your existing system, resulting in higher levels of efficiency and lower electric bills. Some examples of cost effective retrofitting for your home include: duct sealing, air sealing, insulating, attic access covers, radiant barriers, sealed crawl spaces, window replacement, heating, cooling and appliance upgrades. Here are more examples of ways we can be more energy efficient:
Use cost effective appliances: Many newer appliances, such as dishwashers, refrigerators, hot water heaters, ovens, washers/dryers, stoves, etc. use less energy than older models of the same appliance. Furnishing your home with energy efficient Energy Star appliances may significantly reduce your home energy bill. Smaller appliances, such as coffee pots or space heaters may also make a considerable difference. Spending a little more now will save you more in the months and years ahead.
Reduce home plug loads: Do you ever wonder why your electric bill remains so high when you are on vacation or away from home for a few days? Most appliances that are plugged in use electricity, even in standby mode. The energy used by these appliances is referred to as 'plug load'. Our home performance specialist can measure your current plug load and help you determine ways to reduce energy consumption by reducing that plug load. Examples of ways to reduce plug load include making sure appliances, such as computers and televisions, are completely turned off, not just in standby mode. We have measured plug loads in a small home office and the amount of electricity used in one month was close to $20. This can easily be accomplished by using power strips, which allow you to turn off multiple appliances with one switch. Plug loads also produce heat which causes air conditioners to run longer and harder.
Efficient cooling and heating systems: Cooling and heating systems can use more energy than all the other systems in our homes combined. Replacing old and inefficient systems with new efficient systems will save energy and money while making your home more comfortable. Make sure these systems are running efficiently by sealing duct leaks, replacing filters regularly and have them serviced at least once yearly. Using a programmable thermostat and adjusting the temperature so the air conditioner is not constantly running will put money back in your pocket.
Lighting: In the US, over 25% of our electricity is used for lighting. We can make a difference by using efficient light bulbs that not only use less electricity but produce less heat for air conditioners to overcome. Take advantage of natural light and limit the amount of lights we turn on in our homes during the day. Reducing the amount of lights in a room by removing unneeded bulbs can save energy. Don't forget to flip the light switches off in unoccupied rooms when we leave home. Consider reducing the amount of time nonsolar landscape lighting is on during the evening and night hours. These lights are typically inefficient and help burglars see what they are doing at night.
Use less hot water: Heating water can be one of the top energy expenses in our homes. Upgrading to an energy efficient Energy Star hot water heater could save a household over $100 a year in heating water. The savings could be even more with a solar hot water heater that is integrated into the heating system. The average home uses hot water for bathing, dishwashing, laundry and washing hands. Installing low flow faucets and shower heads is another step we can take to reduce the amount of energy we use to heat water. Lowering the thermostat to below 120°F and washing clothes with cold water will save energy as well.
Our team can assist you in making your home more energy efficient.