Energy efficiency is not just for older homes. According to Energy Star, home evaluation data shows that a home’s energy efficiency is not directly correlated to its age. Even if your home is relatively new, you could be saving valuable energy and money with some simple steps.
Industry data, consistent with our years of experience performing home energy efficiency inspections, show duct systems leak up to 30% of the air that passes through them. Imagine if $30 of every $100 you spend to heat or cool your home is wasted by leaking into your attic, crawl spaces and outside. If your furnace frequently turns on and off, or if you have some rooms that are too hot or too cold—these are possible signs of duct leakage. Properly sealing your ducts makes your home more comfortable and helps you save you money.
Many homes also have small cracks and holes where leakage occurs. These outer walls are known as your building envelope. Sealing your building envelope reduces drafts, saves energy costs, and keeps mold and allergens out.
Lighting in your home accounts for about 10% of your household electricity use. Retrofitting your entire house with LED lights may seem like an expensive proposition, but it’s a fantastic investment with nearly immediate return. An LED’s diode only burns at 145 degrees vs. a basic light bulb filament burning at 380 degrees. You’ll notice a cooler and brighter home, particularly in the warmer seasons as your entire house won’t have to fight radiant heating from your lightbulbs. It may be wise to consider LED dimmer light so you can dim down on the lights at times like dusk and dawn where you still have daylight to work with and don’t necessarily need 100% illumination throughout the home.
“According to Energy Star, home evaluation data shows that a home’s energy efficiency is not directly correlated to its age.”
Lastly, your water heater can account for up to 20% of your home energy usage*. If you have an electric water heater with a flue pipe, chances are you’re paying approximately $50 a month just for hot water. Older oil or gas heaters are considered dated at this point, taking up considerably more space and being more prone to high energy costs and insulation issues. High efficiency water heaters are typically hung on the wall and tankless. They make hot water on demand and they never run out. This reduces the need for an insulated tank, which may be not only unsightly, but also inefficient.
These are just a few tips to all those who bought a new house in the past 10 years. Just because a home is new does not mean it is energy efficient. Have an inspector come take a look so they can point you in the right direction.
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