Energy Awareness – A Little Effort Can Save You Money
Colder weather is on its way! Don’t wait to make sure your home is operating efficiently. The Federal Energy Tax Credit will expire at the end of the year. If you have not taken advantage of the $1500 rebate you may want to do so before December 31, 2010.
The benefits of an energy-efficient home are endless but here are a few:
- You can reduce monthly utility bills
- Enjoy a more comfortable home by eliminating cold and hot spots
- Reduce the home’s carbon footprint by using less carbon based energy sources. This is increasingly important across many communities in the U.S.
Doing a little homework will increase your results. Conduct that energy audit. Enlist the help of a professional or visit Energysavers.gov for a helpful check list. But here are a few things to look for:
- If you can see floor joists in the attic, you need to add more insulation
- If you can see daylight around a door or window, there’s an air leak.
- Run a damp hand along the edges of windows and doors. If there is a draft, it will feel cool to your hand.
- Look for dirty paint at the edges of your outlets on exterior walls- they may need sealing.
- Look for dirty carpet along the base boards of your exterior walls- you may need to seal the drywall to your sub-floor.
Seal leaks, caulk or weather-strip around fireplaces, electrical outlets and door and window frames.
Insulation is the most important addition to a home for improving comfort and savings. Homeowners have options in the type of insulation that would be best in solving the problem: fiberglass batt insulation, blown-in insulation or spray foam insulation. The key areas to focus on are:
- Unfinished basements which can contribute to one-third of a home’s heat loss
- The attic: especially if the home is more than 30 years old. It is likely it is substantially below current code recommendations for energy-efficiency.
- Add insulation to exterior walls. Consult a contractor to drill small holes in the stud cavity and add blown-in insulation.
- Use insulation backed siding when re-siding your home.
Rob Brockman, marketing manager for CertainTeed Insulation was a guest on Talk Philly sharing tips for Energy Awareness month and making your home more energy-efficient. You can view the segment here.
Lucas Hamilton is Manager, Building Science Applications for CertainTeed Corporation