Category: energy efficiency

Five Energy-Saving Projects for Fall

When temperatures begin to drop, it’s time to get your home ready for winter. Here’s a quick checklist to keep your house—and property—in peak condition this winter.

  1. Improve Your Windows
    Old and inefficient windows leak conditioned air. Switch out your window screens for storm windows—if you have them—before the frigid temps kick in. This swap will save you money on energy costs, protect your window from the elements, and eliminate drafts throughout fall and winter.
  2. Service Your Heating System
    Check the pilot light, vacuum excess dust, and change the filter. Heating systems will use fuel more efficiently, last longer, and have fewer problems if properly serviced. While you’re at it, get your wood stove and fireplace in working order. Pay special attention to your wood stove or fireplace insert’s door gasket to ensure a tight seal. Servicing your system now will help make it through any unexpected cold snap.
  3. Caulk Windows and Air Seal
    Air sealing around windows and door frames helps prevent heat from escaping. Caulking and sealing these openings is one of the least expensive maintenance jobs you can do. If left undone, openings in the structure can cause water to get in and freeze, resulting in cracks and mold buildup. Need more help than a tube of caulk? We can help!
  4. Inspect Your Roof
    Make sure the roof is in good shape. Inspect for missing and loose shingles. Look for trouble spots now instead of in a few months when ice, rain, snow, and wind wreak havoc on existing problem areas.
  5. Check Your Insulation
    While temperatures drop outside, you can still stay warm and keep your energy bills low with proper insulation. Attics are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to winter energy loss, so prep yours for winter by upgrading your insulation now.

BONUS TIP: Reverse Your Ceiling Fan
Change the direction of your ceiling fan to create an upward draft that redistributes warm air from the ceiling. Fall is also a good time to prep your humidifiers. Be sure to clean them regularly during the heating season. Bacteria and spores can develop in a dirty water tank resulting in unclean moisture misting out into your room.

Perform these upgrades and see your energy bills decrease! Ready go get started? We can help. Call today for a free insulation estimate.

How to Know if Your Attic Needs More Insulation

Even if your home is newer, your attic may be under insulated. Today’s building codes may be different than codes when your home was built. Your insulation may have settled. A hard wind entering your attic through your soffits may have compromised your insulation. These factors – and many others – can result in you spending more money on energy bills than is necessary.

If your attic has less than 12” of insulation, you may be wasting money on your energy bills. Today’s building codes require 12” of insulation (equivalent to R-38) to ensure your home is properly insulated.

Want to check your attic? Here’s how:

  • Open the access point to your attic. This may be found in the ceiling of a closet, a bedroom, or the garage.
  • If your home has two different rooflines (one section of the roof pitching one direction, one pitching another) be sure find the access point for each.
  • Place a ruler into the attic insulation with the one-inch mark at the bottom and make a note of insulation depth. With the required 12” of attic insulation, proper attic insulation depth should reach the top of a standard ruler.
  • Call us and tell us the results. We are happy to schedule a time to double check the depth and provide an estimate to upgrade your insulation. 
  • Don’t forget – 12” is the minimum level! Building codes in our area say attic levels could be up to R-60, which is approximately 17” of insulation!

Adding insulation to your attic will increase comfort and reduce your energy bills. Have other questions about energy efficiency? Call us – we’re happy to help!

Tips to Save Energy This Summer

Are you looking forward to summer but are already sweating how much your energy bills will be? Don’t let the impact heat and humidity can have on your energy bills (and wallet) take the fun out of summer. Here are some tips to help save money on energy bills this summer and year ‘round.

  • Turn on Ceiling Fans. Keep your ceiling fans running to circulate conditioned air and keep the air moving. This will create comfort without putting extra strain on your HVAC system by circulating air that’s already cool and create a slight breeze.
  • Adjust your Thermostat. During the day, increase the temp on your thermostat and close window treatments. Keeping windows covered helps control indoor temps, and turning up the temp during the day prevents the air conditioner from running when people aren’t home. If your home doesn’t have a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust your HVAC system, consider installing one.
  • Seal Leaks Around your Home. Air leaks exist in homes as a result of the construction process. Air leaks allow conditioned inside air to escape. You wouldn’t leave a window open when the air conditioning is running, would you? Not having your home air sealed has the same result. Having your home air sealed by a qualified contractor will help ensure the job is done right the first time.
  • Run Exhaust Fans. Run your bath fan and/or a kitchen fan. Running the bath fan will help remove warm, humid air after a shower or bath. Consider adding a timer to your bath fan to continually push warm air out of the house. Running your kitchen fan will also help remove warm air that results from cooking and has an added bonus of removing food odors from your home.
  • Add Insulation to your Attic. Most homes can benefit from additional insulation. Even if your home is newer, the insulation level in your attic may not meet current codes. Contact a qualified contractor to have insulation added to your attic. Increasing your attic insulation can save up to 30% on your energy bills!

Now is the time to make your home more energy efficient – before the heat and humidity of summer are here. Your wallet will thank you! Contact our office with questions about ways to make your home more efficient.