If you’re concerned about saving energy year round, the best place to begin is at home with DIY weatherization evaluation. There are four areas in your home that can steal energy and cause unecessary discomfort and higher utility bills.
Weatherize Your Windows
Do you know that up to 25% of your heat can go out the window? Here’s what you can do:
- Use caulking and weather stripping to stop much of the heated air from escaping.
- Replace single-thickness windows with thermal-type double thickness windows.
- Install storm windows and doors to provide additional insurance against heat loss.
Weatherize Your Walls
Are you aware that an uninsulated attic can raise your heating and cooling costs? Here’s what you can do:
- Install R-30 insulation in the ceiling.
Weatherize and Upgrade Lighting
Did you know that compact fluorescent light bulbs use one-fourth the wattage and provide the same amount of soft light as incandescent bulbs? Here’s what you can do:
- Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent ones.
- Use lower wattage bulbs for small areas like hallways and vestibules.
- Get in the habit of turning out the lights when you leave a room.
Check for any gaps where pot lights, ceiling fans, or chandeliers are attached. It may seem like a small thing, but if you have multiple gaps throughout several rooms in the house, there are opportunities for cool or hot air to escape.
Weatherize and Upgrade Appliances
Do you know that the biggest user of energy on the home is your heating and cooling system? To conserve energy and cut down on energy waste here’s what you can do:
- Upgrade older equipment with higher efficiency oil or gas furnaces, central air conditioners and heat pumps.
- Make sure that your heating/cooling equipment is properly sized for your home. Operating a unit that is too small or too large is very inefficient. We can determine the best size unit for your home.
- Check your heating system to see that it is running efficiently. Have us inspect and suggest weatherization opti0ns for your HVAC, furnace, boiler and heat pump systems before the winter months.
- Be sure to change the air filters at least every three months.
- If you replace your HVAC, Air Conditioning or Heating systems, opt for a high efficiency, Energy Star rated Carrier appliances. Check the efficiency ratings mandated by the Department of Energy when you shop for new equipment so you can make sure you’re getting high-efficiency equipment. Ratings will be prominently displayed on the yellow hangtag required by law to be on each new unit sold.
- Install electric ceiling fans to boost the efficiency of air conditioners in the summer and to circulate warm air away from the ceiling in the winter.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat that will adjust temperatures at night and when you are away from home.
- Install a zoning system to control and regulate airflow and temperature so you only have to heat or cool areas of your home that you’re using.
- Adding a humidifier to your heating system may enable you to turn your thermostat down and still be comfortable at lower temperatures.
Central Air Conditioner efficiency is measured by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The higher the SEER the more efficient the unit. Units with a SEER of 12 or above are considered high-efficiency; 17 is the highest available.
Furnace efficiency is measured by the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating. The colder the climate and the higher the local utility rates, the higher the AFUE you should get. Furnaces with AFUE ratings of 90% percent and above are considered high-efficiency; 96.6% is the highest available. Heat Pump cooling efficiency is measured by a SEER rating; a heat pump’s heating efficiency is measured as the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). A heat pump with a SEER of 12 or higher and an HSPF of at least 8 is considered high-efficiency.
Contact Logan Home Energy Services for more weatherization tips for your home and ways to improve your energy efficiency year round.