How To Plan Home Energy Upgrades Based on an Energy Audit

How To Plan Home Energy Upgrades Based on an Energy Audit

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Did you realize that properties and companies use 40% of the total energy consumed within the United States? Does your house have excessive vitality payments, chilly flooring, or drafts? If so, a home energy audit is step one in bettering residence consolation, slicing your vitality payments, and lowering your carbon footprint.

An auditor can decide if lack of insulation, leaky home windows, or gaps and cracks within the residence exterior are the primary culprits. If your house has vitality efficiency points, an auditor can typically get to the basis trigger. Energy effectivity consultants can use a blower door take a look at, infrared cameras, and a duct leakage take a look at to customise prime energy-saving suggestions on your residence.

Some residence vitality upgrades may be executed as a DIY weekend challenge with restricted talent whereas others are tougher to finish. Some upgrades could qualify for 0% financing, permitting the vitality financial savings to outpace the mortgage funds in some circumstances. Many of the information within the superior energy-saving upgrades part could qualify for financing. Let’s check out a number of the prime suggestions for lowering your home energy consumption and carbon footprint.

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Simplest Energy-Saving Projects

Install Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

If you continue to use incandescent or halogen gentle bulbs in your house, you will need to swap these out. High-efficiency LED light bulbs can pay for themselves in energy savings in as little as one 12 months. Check to see if there are any incentives in your space. You may be capable to obtain discounted or free LED or compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL).

Eco-tip: LEDs have come down considerably in price lately however are sometimes nonetheless dearer than CFLs. They additionally last more and eat much less electrical energy, making LEDs a greener option total.

Maintain Your Heating and Cooling System

Did you realize that on common, 43% of your energy bills are for heating and cooling? Having your HVAC system serviced at the very least yearly helps maintain it working at peak efficiency and helps forestall expensive repairs. Also, be sure you swap out your furnace filters as beneficial to maintain the air flowing by means of the system correctly.

Eco-tip: Purchase a reusable furnace filter and clear it recurrently to make sure correct filtration.

Install a Water-Saving Showerhead

On common, water heating includes about 18% of your energy bills. Installing a water-saving showerhead is an effective way to preserve each water and vitality. Also, wash laundry in chilly water at any time when potential.

Eco-tip: To save essentially the most water and vitality, set up a showerhead that makes use of 1.5 gallons per minute (GPM) or much less.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats permit you to set the optimum ranges for every day of the week after which the system adjusts itself mechanically. Some fashions permit you to make changes from an app or web site. These gadgets save vitality and increase residence consolation as a result of they regulate your house to the programmed temperature on the designated time. Once they’re programmed, you don’t need to make adjustments manually. No extra forgetting to show the warmth down at night time or when leaving on trip.

Eco-tip: Install a smart thermostat if you’re possible to make use of the distant options for better vitality financial savings.

More Complex Energy-Saving Upgrades

Seal Leaky Ductwork

Leaky ductwork is one other frequent explanation for excessive vitality payments. Gaps within the ducts permit conditioned air to flee into unconditioned areas and trigger your heating and cooling system to work tougher to compensate. The greatest solution to decide the situation of your ductwork is thru a duct leakage take a look at. Unfortunately, ductwork is often laborious to entry in lots of properties, so techniques have been developed the seal the ducts from the within. There are additionally strategies that seal leaky ductwork with seal putty or tape when the ductwork is accessible.

Eco-tip: Use unhazardous, water-based merchandise if sealing the ducts from the within.

Insulate and Air Seal the Attic

Because sizzling air rises, plenty of conditioned air can escape by means of your attic if it isn’t properly sealed and insulated. Unfortunately, insulation breaks down on account of time, water, or vermin, making it much less efficient. An infrared digital camera might help detect gaps in insulation, and a blower door take a look at helps pinpoint gaps and cracks within the exterior. A home energy auditor can conduct these assessments for you.

The U.S. Department of Energy of vitality has particular suggestions on insulation values by location. When insulating the attic, it’s also alternative to air seal it as a result of it saves vitality, will increase residence consolation, and retains critters out. While you’re at it, air seal the basement or crawl house to have the largest affect.

Eco-tip: Use insulation with recycled content material and unhazardous supplies when potential and keep away from fiberglass insulation and sure sorts of foam insulation that use blowing agents with potent greenhouse gases. Check out our information on the greenest home insulation products.

Advanced Energy-Saving Upgrades

Replace Inefficient Heating and Cooling Equipment

The vitality effectivity of HVAC gear has superior considerably lately. According to Energy Star, it can save you 30% on cooling prices if you happen to substitute an air-con system that’s greater than 12 years previous. Some owners select to switch inefficient gear whereas others watch for the system to interrupt down first.

Eco-tip: Install a high-efficiency heating and cooling system with a variable pace motor.

Replace Old Windows and Doors

Although this might help minimize drafts and increase total vitality effectivity, replacing windows and doorways typically isn’t one of many prime suggestions when contemplating price and estimated vitality financial savings. In some circumstances, including climate stripping, caulk, and thermal window remedies are enough. If you may have older single-pane home windows and dwell in a chilly local weather, then it could be worthwhile to switch home windows for the vitality financial savings alone. Installing new home windows also can make it simpler to ventilate the house if the home windows are simpler to open.

Eco-tip: Install home windows with low toxicity and excessive thermal integrity.

Replace Inefficient Water Heaters

If you may have an inefficient electrical water heater, it could be price changing it for the vitality financial savings alone. Many water heaters have a label with estimated energy use. Determine your annual financial savings to resolve if the water heater upgrade is worth it.

Eco-tip: For better water heater energy savings, improve to a hybrid or tankless mannequin.

Replace Inefficient Refrigerators

If your fridge was manufactured earlier than 2001, it could be price changing it. If your fridge qualifies as an vintage, it’s undoubtedly worthwhile changing it for the vitality financial savings alone. A kill-o-watt meter might help you identify how a lot electrical energy your fridge is draining and whether it is worthwhile to switch it for the vitality financial savings alone.

Eco-tip: Install an Energy Star-certified refrigerator and recycle your old refrigerator. Check out our buyer’s guide to efficient refrigerators.

Purchase a Front-Loading Washer

If you may have an previous top-loading washer, it could be price changing it. Front-loading washers conserve water and are known to perform better than their top-loading counterparts.

Eco-tip: Install an Energy Star-certified washer as a result of they use 25% much less vitality and 33% much less water. Check out our buyer’s guide to efficient washers.

Download the Guide

To view our printable information to vitality upgrades within the residence, click on the picture under.

Earth911 guide to energy-saving home upgrades

Originally revealed on March 4, 2019, this text was up to date in March 2021.

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