5 Home Improvements that will Increase Your Home's Energy Efficiency

Go Green and Enjoy Energy Efficiency



Go Green and Enjoy Energy Efficiency

You don’t have to put expensive (and soon to be obsolete) solar panels on your home to make it more eco-friendly. You don’t have to spend a fortune to make your home energy efficient, and many projects can be tied to other home improvements you want to do. Here are five home improvements that will increase your home’s energy efficiency.

Have an Energy Audit

An energy audit involves an inspector checking your home for thermal leaks, whether caused by air leaks, poor insulation or other causes. The inspector looks for energy-guzzling appliances and wiring issues. An energy audit can point out issues to be fixed like overheating wiring panels, places where insulation has settled that you can fill in when replacing drywall and repainting or putting in drapes if not new windows to reduce heat loss. 

Seal the Gaps

One of the cheapest ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home is to seal the gaps. Whether it is a new, better fitting door or door sweeper attached to the current door to prevent gaps, preventing that air leakage keeps in the air you’ve just heated and cooled. Caulking gaps around windows, gaps around pipes and other leaks will help eliminate these leaks. Also, seal the ductwork if there are gaps in it, both to reduce noise caused by air leaks and wasted energy.

Add Insulation

An extra few inches of insulation in your attic can significantly reduce heat loss in the summer. Combine this with a radiant barrier, and you’ll dramatically reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the attic in the summer. 

Replacing windows with double and triple pane windows that rely on extra air gaps for insulation is an expensive way to reduce energy losses, but this may be offset by tax rebates for energy efficiency and better lighting control.

New Siding

If your home has siding, installing insulated siding will reduce your home’s energy bills. This is a little more expensive than the standard hollow vinyl siding but it has much better insulation than the traditional option, maintains a better air seal for your home than conventional siding, and it dries faster, too.

Replace Your HVAC System with a More Efficient One

If your air conditioner, furnace or heater requires repairs approaching half the cost of a new unit, a good rule of thumb is to go ahead and replace it with a more energy-efficient unit. 

In some jurisdictions, installing a more efficient piece of HVAC equipment makes you eligible for tax rebates or utility rebates. If you are considering changing utility providers and making home repairs, compare electric companies to see who will reward you most for energy efficient upgrades like these.

Start with an energy audit to determine the most important energy leaks in your home. Seal the gaps where the air is leaking out. Add insulation where it is cost effective to do so. New siding can improve the energy efficiency of your home. Replace your air conditioner, furnace or heat pump if it is in need of repair and more than seven years old.

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