An energy review will provide comprehensive information about how your home uses energy. Many homeowners will get energy reviews in winter, but summer may actually be the season when the most energy is used in your home. When you get an energy review in summer, it can reveal ways to reduce your energy usage when the most energy is being used.
1. Sealing Air Leaks
Most homes are not airtight, and in the summer, hot air can enter the home through openings around doors and windows, or cool air can escape and cause the indoor temperature to rise, or your HVAC system to work harder. Energy reviews will show where air leaks occur, and sealing them is an inexpensive, fairly easy process that can lower your cooling costs by up to 20 percent or more.
2. Adding Insulation
Inadequate insulation can lead to higher energy bills when your air conditioning has to work overtime to cool the air that finds its way in. Insulation is a moderately costly renovation that usually pays for itself over time in energy savings as well as making your home more comfortable during the warm summer months. An R-value of at least 30 and up to 60 is recommended for the Northeast.
3. Appliance Efficiency
An energy review also tests the efficiency of all your appliances, including your HVAC system. Your reviewer can run calculations that will tell you how much you could save on your energy bills and whether it would be cost efficient to replace aging appliances and systems with newer, more energy efficient models. Central and window air conditioners older than 10 years will be far less efficient than their newer counterparts and can show significant savings.
4. Ceiling Fans
Using fans (even with central air conditioning) circulates air and makes it feel cooler, with minimal energy usage, which will bring your cooling cost down. Ceiling fans can be installed on your own or by a qualified installer.
Using energy efficient lighting will help lower your summer energy costs.
5. Lighting Adjustments
Incandescent light bulbs not only burn out faster and use up to 90% more energy than their more energy efficient counterparts, but they also release more heat into the home, which then must be cooled during summer months. Although the initial investment in LED, halogen or compact fluorescent light bulbs may be a few hundred dollars, these bulbs will cut energy costs by around 10 percent and will last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, paying for themselves several times over during their life span.
6. Window or Roof Replacement
New windows and a new roof are costly renovations, but if your windows or roof need replacing due to age or damage, there are energy efficient choices like double pane windows filled with argon gas and metal or reflective roofing that can contribute to energy savings in both summer and winter.
Moonworks parters with MassSave® to offer free energy audits. Call 1-800-975-6666 to schedule your free energy audit and get your free estimate for how to reduce your energy usage.