Are you ready for summer and secretly worrying about your summer energy costs? Many homeowners experience higher than necessary energy bills during summer. Saving money on energy bills and keeping your home comfortable isn’t as hard as you think. There are a few simple things you can do today to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of your home.
Try some of these:
- USE THE GRILL. On the warmest days of summer, keep your kitchen and home cool by using an outdoor grill for your meals instead of the stove or oven. Not only will you reduce strain on your indoor HVAC system, you can turn any day into a backyard party!
- SWITCH ON THE CEILING FANS. Ceiling fans better circulate the cool air already blowing inside and the slight breeze keeps you cool too. Plus, using fans actually allows you to raise the temperature setting on your thermostat four degrees. This can help lower your electricity bills without sacrificing overall comfort. Bonus tip! Switch on your bathroom fans — they pull heat and humidity from your home which also improves comfort.
- SEAL AIR LEAKS. Low-cost caulk can be used to seal cracks, openings and other heat penetration points in your home. Air sealing keeps warm air out and conditioned air (air you’ve already paid to cool) inside your home. Need help or have a bigger job than you can handle? Contact us for a free estimate.
- MAINTAIN YOUR HVAC SYSTEM. Having your air conditioner serviced annually can help keep it running efficiently (and help prevent those mid-summer break downs). Check and replace your furnace filter regularly (which also helps keep your home clean), and don’t forget about your programmable thermostat! Setting your programmable thermostat to a higher setting when you are not at home can save an estimated ten percent on your energy bills annually.
- SEAL DUCTS. Air loss through ducts can lead to high utility costs. Leaky ducts keep conditioned air from getting to desired rooms in your home, and they force your HVAC system to work harder. Leaky ducts account for nearly 30 percent of an HVAC system’s energy consumption! Sealing those ducts can go a long way toward lowering your electricity bills.
Questioning high utility bills this summer? Give us a call for a free in-home estimate.
Although energy efficiency is important all year, colder temps and the prospect of an uncomfortable home makes energy efficiency a priority for many homeowners. As fall temps move in and you are thinking about the energy efficiency of your home, check out these five areas of your home for any necessary upgrades.
Proper insulation levels can keep you warm and reduce your energy bills. Attics are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to winter energy loss, so prep yours for winter by upgrading your insulation now. And don’t forget about air sealing your attic! Air sealing your attic is an important energy upgrade.
- WINDOWS AND DOORS
Sealing around windows and door frames can help prevent heat from escaping. Sealing around windows and doors is a very inexpensive project and easy to do!
- HVAC SYSTEM
Your HVAC system works all winter. When your heating system is properly maintained, it will run more efficiently, last longer, and have fewer problems. Servicing your system now will help make it through any unexpected cold snap.
- THE ROOF
Make sure your roof is in good shape. Inspect for missing and/or loose shingles. Addressing this spots now will help keep winter weather out of your home.
- CEILING FANS
This is so easy – and so many homeowners forget to do this! Change the direction of your ceiling fan to create an upward draft. This redistributes warm air from the ceiling back down into your living area (tip: before you do this, dust the blades).
Just these few areas of your home can increase your home’s comfort and decrease your energy bills. Ready to get started at the top of the list by upgrading your insulation? Contact us today for a free insulation estimate.
When it comes to insulating walls, most people think of fiberglass batt insulation. For years, fiberglass batt insulation was the only way to insulate walls. Today’s construction technology has many other options! One cost-effective and energy-efficient option is the blown in wall system.
The blown-in wall system provides a high-efficiency energy blanket of insulation at a fraction of the cost of spray foam insulation. This system is installed in open cavities during the construction or remodeling process, and can be used in residential or commercial buildings. The blown-in wall system gives homes a seamless, thermally efficient blanket of insulation that completely fills any void in the wall cavity.
Here’s how it works:
- Fabric mesh is installed across the open wall cavity. It is tacked to each stud in the wall assembly.
- Loose-fill fiberglass insulation is blown behind the fabric mesh. It is installed at a density that fills all voids in the wall cavity.
- The penetrations in the mesh are sealed to hold the product in place.
There are many benefits to installing the blown-in wall system in your next project. The blown in wall system offers:
- Higher R-values than traditional fiberglass batt insulation, saving on heating and cooling expenses.
- Reduced air infiltration. National laboratory tests have shown a 68% reduction in air infiltration when installing a blown-in wall system over fiberglass batt insulation.
- TAKE ENERGY EFFICIENCY ONE STEP FURTHER! Air seal each wall cavity prior to installing a blown-in wall system to further increase efficiency!
- Excellent sound control. Because loose fill fiberglass insulation completely fills the wall cavity, noise transfer is reduced.
- Does not settle. Because the insulation is dense packed, there’s no chance of it setting and affecting r-value.
Interested in learning more about the blown-in wall system? Call us with questions or to schedule a free estimate.
In case you haven’t heard, the Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit has been renewed! This is great news if you plan to make any energy efficiency updates to your home this year. It is also a great reminder to apply any updates you made last year to your taxes this year. You could be eligible for a tax credit up to $500!
Here is a list of product eligible for tax credits.
(To be eligible these projects must be complete by December 31, 2016.)
Building envelope improvements
- Insulation materials and systems
- Exterior doors and windows, including skylights
- Roofs—pigmented roofs designed to reduce heat gain, and asphalt roofs with cooling granules
Heating, cooling, and water heating equipment
- Advanced main air circulating fan
- Natural gas, propane, or oil furnace or hot water boiler
- Electric heat pump water heater
- Electric heat pump
- Central air conditioner
- Natural gas, propane, or oil water heater
- Biomass stoves
These products have specific requirements to qualify for the tax credit so make sure you review the Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit requirements before making a claim on your taxes or planning a project for 2016.
Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
If you have set your sights on a larger renewable home energy project for this year like a solar energy system or even a geothermal heat pump, you’re in luck too! Those tax credits have been renewed as well. Be sure to read the details on the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit requirements before planning your project.
Have questions on how upgrading your insulation would apply to these tax credits? Give us a call!
Adequate insulation is one of the most cost-effective ways a homeowner can save money on their annual energy bills! No matter the season, insulation helps to keep your heating or cooling bills in line. Thanks to the renewed energy tax credit, you can save both on your utility bill and your insulation investment!
Here is what you need to know to take advantage of the offer:
Have questions? Contact our office.