As a homeowner, you constantly have more questions than answers. When you fix your leaky roof and water damaged ceiling, your dryer breaks. When you fix your dryer, you find your sink is clogged. When you fix the sink, you finally have time to paint the bedroom. The work of a homeowner is never complete. No homeowner can know how to fix everything; that is why you have us.
The water damage restoration experts at ServiceMaster of Baltimore know owning a home is not always the dream you had hoped. But with our help, you can ensure you stay one step ahead of the game. Each week, we are going to unveil the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions homeowners have, from how to fix a water damaged wall or floor to how to defrost frozen pipes. This week, we are going to address a question plaguing the minds of homeowners everywhere: “How do I make my Home more Energy Efficient and Save Money?”
When it comes to your home, its energy efficiency is the cumulative effect of its parts. Your home is a system. Everything works together for the greater good. When one part of the system is inefficient, the whole system suffers. In order to make your home more energy efficient and save money, you must address each aspect of your home, starting with your HVAC system.
When most homeowners think energy efficiency, they immediately think about their heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, better known by the acronym HVAC. Your HVAC system is responsible for both heating, and cooling your home. When your furnace or air conditioner lacks proper efficiency, you may notice several things: your furnace may struggle to achieve thermostat settings, your home may not be as comfortable as you’d like, and your energy bills will begin to rise. To remedy this, be sure to replace your furnace filters once a month and have your system inspected annually by a professional to ensure it is running at peak efficiency. Of course, even an HVAC system running at peak efficiency can’t do its job if another part of the system, like your attic insulation, is lacking.
Attic insulation plays a very important role in the energy efficiency of your home, slowing the rate of heat flow out of your house. This ensures less energy is required to heat your home. ENERGY STAR recommends about 12-15 inches of attic insulation (R-38). An insulation’s R-Value is a measure of its ability to resist heat flow. Thus, the greater the R-Value, the better the insulation will perform.
When you ensure your attic insulation is adequate, it is important to check the rest of your home for drafts, especially around doors and windows. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts let heat escape in the winter, wasting 5% to 30% of your energy use. You can seal any cracks or air leaks using weather stripping or caulking, depending on the location of the draft. If your windows are particularly old, you can experience even more energy savings by replacing them. According to EnergyStar.gov, replacing windows will save 7% to 24% of your energy bills.
So what are you waiting for? Get to work and start making your home more energy efficient!