Homeowners are increasingly looking to reduce the monthly costs of running their home by improving their building’s energy envelope. As the summer temperatures rise, you can maximize your home’s energy efficiency by focusing on the following areas.
Replace Windows and Doors
Energy loss through windows accounts for 10-15% of the average home’s power bill. While you should replace windows every 15-20 years, you can also make an improvement by weatherproofing your windows. Caulking gaps around windows and doors and replacing weather stripping is an easy fix to reduce leakage.
Add Insulation and Close up the Gaps
A blower-door test is a wonderful way to see just how leaky your home is. If there are drafts and cold spots, it’s time to bulk up the insulation and seal the leaks. Caulk all openings, especially around plumbing and electrical outlets.
Evaluate your home’s insulation. Start from the foundation and work your way up. Add an additional layer of insulation in the attic. Many local governments offer incentives to encourage homeowners to improve their home energy envelopes. Check with your local government for rebates that may make the bigger jobs more affordable.
Check the Floors and Walls
Ensure flooring is properly insulated and caulk crown moulding and baseboards.
Replace or install insulating gaskets behind light and electrical switches.
An energy audit using an infrared camera is a good way to see where energy is leaking from your wall systems.
Choose the Right Cooling System
You can choose between conventional cooling air systems and the ductless air systems, also known as mini splits. Old duct systems account for about 30% of leaked energy in older homes. Repair leaking ducts or replace ducting to improve energy efficiency. Ductless systems have the advantage of not losing conditioned air through leaky ducting.
Where new AC units need to be installed, ensure that you calculate the right sized unit for the home to ensure efficiency.