Making your home more energy efficient will not only help lower energy costs, but it will make your home more comfortable. Use the checklist below to inspect your home and make changes weatherize.
- Proper air sealing can make your home more energy efficient by keeping heating and cooling inside.
- Air seal around windows, doors, baseboards, and garage doors. Air seal around recessed lighting, plumbing, electrical lines, and HVAC ducts found in the attic, crawlspace, basement or unconditioned areas of the home.
- Caulking, weather stripping and spray foam are products used for air sealing.
- Air sealing your home can save as much as 10% on your annual energy usage.
- Insulation is measured in R-values. The higher the R-value, the better the resistance to heat flow. Before adding insulation in the attic, floor, walls, and attic knee walls, make sure you have properly air sealed any holes or gaps in the areas mentioned above.
- Recommended home R-values:
- Attic – R38 to R49
- Floors over unconditioned space – minimum of R19
- Walls – R13 minimum
- Attic knee walls – R19
- Always install insulation according to manufacturer specifications.
- Properly insulating your home can save up to 20% on energy usage.
Heating & Cooling
- Heating and cooling your home accounts for approximately 50% of your monthly energy bill.
- Schedule an annual heating and cooling system tune-up to ensure it is operating efficiently and to prevent unwanted breakdowns.
- Replace HVAC cold air return filters monthly.
- When replacing your heating and cooling system, replace it with an ENERGY STAR rated system.
- Heat pumps are rated two ways:
- Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) for cooling
- Heating Season Performance Factor (HSPF) for heating
- The higher the SEER & HSPF, the more energy efficient the heating and cooling system should be.
- It is estimated that 20 to 40 percent of a home's heating and cooling is lost due to an improperly sealed duct system.
- To properly seal a duct system, a UL 181 approved mastic or mastic tape should be applied before insulation is added to the outside of the duct.
- The following ducts should be sealed:
- Supply plenum (main trunk)
- Return duct system
- Supply take-offs and collars
- Panned joists
- End caps
Windows and Doors
- Install silicone caulking around existing windows and doors to reduce air infiltration. Remove any deteriorated caulking before replacing with new caulk.
- When replacing windows and doors, only purchase products that are ENERGY STAR rated.
- Windows, solid doors, and glass doors are rated as follows:
- U-value – Measurement of how effective a material insulates. The lower the U-value, the greater tresistance to heat flow.
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) – The fraction of incident solar radiation admitted through a window, both directly transmitted and absorbed, as well as subsequently released inward. The lower the SHGC, the less solar heat it transmits.
- When new windows are installed, ensure they have an airtight seal and are insulated at the window frame and rough opening.
- When new doors are installed, ensure they have been properly caulked with a silicone sealant around door jambs and that weather stripping has properly been installed.