According to the U.S. Department of Energy, one of the main reasons for high energy bills is an inefficient home component. Whether your windows are not properly sealed or your home is not properly insulated, the cold New England winds are coming in and your money is pouring out. The following guidelines will help transform your house into a comfortable and energy-conserving home.
Replace Your Old Windows and Doors
They may look like they're getting the job done, but time and weather have probably taken a toll on your windows and doors. Harsh weather – especially wind, rain and snow – causes window and door frames to decay, which ultimately allow the outside elements in.
The experts at Finehomebuilding.com claim that the average non-energy efficient home loses about 30 percent of its heat or air-conditioning through its windows! This is a lot of energy and money to waste, especially when the initial cost of replacement windows and doors is offset by the need for a less expensive heating and cooling system.
Heat and air-conditioning can also be escaping through the glass of your windows and doors in a process called conduction. In order to minimize or prevent conduction, choose replacement windows with low U-values, which indicate high insulative capabilities.
Energy efficient replacement windows have a strong moisture resistance, excellent leakage protection and greater insulation levels than other windows and doors.
Boost Efficiency with a New Roof and Siding
In order to create a truly efficient home, you must choose siding with wind and water resistance, as well as insulation. Energy efficient siding comes backed with a foam insulation that fills the gap between the siding and your home.
Perhaps the one housing component exposed to the severe New England weather the most is your roof. Aside from general wear and tear, many roofs are targets for poor energy efficiency simply because they were never insulated properly in the first place. Contact roofing professionals to have a more eco-friendly, insulated roof installed on your home.
Insulate Your Home and Keep in the Heat
Heating and cooling are the main sources of home energy use, and are often responsible for nearly 70 percent of a single household's energy consumption. It is essential that this vast amount of energy is not wasted, and the best way to do that is to properly insulate your home.
Insulation is a key step to creating an energy efficient home because it helps lower utility bills, regulate uniform in-house temperatures, and increase the durability of your house. Insulation and energy conservation specialists can help you determine what areas of your home should be insulated.
Some Simple Steps to Creating an Energy Efficient Home
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends taking the following actions to reduce the amount of energy consumed in your home:
- Replace light bulbs with Energy Star bulbs
- Install a programmable thermostat to turn down the heat or air-conditioning while you are not home
- Turn down the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees
- Hire an energy specialist to perform an in-house energy assessment
It Pays to be Energy Efficient
In addition to the money you will save on your electric bill, select eco-friendly home improvements allow you to qualify for an energy tax credit of up to $1,500. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, individuals who install the following components are eligible for the energy tax credit:
- Bulk insulation or insulation products that provide a certified air seal
- Metal roofs with pigmented coatings and asphalt roofs with cooling granules
- Windows, doors and skylights with a U-factor of less than .30
Energy tax credits also exist for certain non-solar water heaters, biomass stoves, HVAC systems, and other renewable energy systems.
Do not waste any more time on taking the steps to create a more energy efficient home. With the government's energy tax credit, now is the perfect time to improve the environment by improving your home.