Improve your home: Home efficiency & comfort
Although your home performance contractor will develop a specific plan for your home, commonly recommended improvements for an energy-efficient home include:
Sealing air leaks and adding insulation
Would you walk outside on a cold day with your jacket unzipped? Air sealing your home is like zipping up your jacket.
Sealing air leaks will make your home more comfortable and significantly reduce your energy bills.
Many air leaks in homes are more obvious:
- Electrical outlets
But other areas are even more significant sources of air leaks:
- Recessed light fixtures
Along with air sealing, your contractor may recommend that you add insulation. Many older homes are not well-insulated, and some have no insulation at all! Even new homes frequently have improperly installed or missing insulation.
Properly installed insulation in walls, floors, and attics:
- Moderates temperatures throughout the house
- Results in a quieter, more comfortable living space
- Makes your home easier and cheaper to heat and cool
Number one rule in air sealing - air seal before you insulate!
Improving your air ducts
Many homes have leaky ductwork and poor air flow, resulting in stuffy and uncomfortable rooms. Sealing and insulating ductwork often solves this problem.
Your home performance contractor may recommend the following energy-efficient home improvements:
- Sealing ducts with a heavy tape such as mastic, durable foil-backed tape, or aerosol-based sealant
- Insulating ductwork in attics, crawlspaces and unconditioned basements
- Balancing the duct system to circulate air to all rooms
Learn more about duct sealing.
Improving your home’s heating and cooling systems
When it comes to heating and cooling equipment, bigger is not always better. A properly sized unit will make your home more comfortable by providing more consistent temperatures and better humidity control.
Also, if your furnace or air conditioner is more than 10 years old, your contractor may recommend that you replace it with a unit that has earned the ENERGY STAR label. Installed correctly, these high-efficiency units can save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs.
Learn more about how to heat and cool your home efficiently.
Upgrading to energy efficient lighting and appliances
Lighting can account for half of your home's total utility bill. As a result, your Home Performance contractor may recommend ENERGY STAR qualified products such as:
- Clothes washers
- Light fixtures
- Compact fluorescent lightbulbs
Adding renewable energy
To further reduce your utility bills, your contractor may also recommend adding renewable energy systems such as:
- Solar electric (photovoltaic)
- Solar hot water
- Ground source heat pump
- Small wind turbine
Return to Home Energy Improvements.
Learn more about typical results from home energy improvements.
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