Improve Your Home with Energy Efficiency Projects | DIY NJ
Regardless of how energy efficient your central heating and air system is, there are countless places in the home where energy is lost. Each small problem in your system can nickel-and-dime your energy bills to a much higher expense throughout the year, especially during the winter months. Just take a look at a typical breakdown of your energy costs:
As you can see, space heating accounts for about half of your total energy costs. There’s always a way to improve on what you have, so let’s start from the top and work our way through simple improvements you can make to reduce costs by increasing energy efficiency in your own home.
Four Home Improvement Projects to Increase Energy Efficiency
1. Attic Insulation
When your attic is improperly prepared for the weather it can cause problems both inside and out. A lack of insulation will warm the attic as much as it warms your house (increasing energy demands to keep the attic warm). The excess attic heat leads to melted snow on the roof which can form ice dams. These dams are not a problem initially, but as the block water, it can work its way into your attic where it ruins insulation and damages walls or the ceiling.
- To prevent air leaks, caulk around vents, pipes, and any other openings.
- Then prevent excess heating by ensuring there’s a minimum of 12 inches of fiberglass insulation between your rooms and the attic.
The three biggest ways to prevent ice dams from forming is by increasing insulation, ventilation, and finding and sealing air leaks. Watch this video to learn how to add insulation to your attic:
2. Ventilation and Ducting
A well-insulated house can still be uncomfortable if your ventilation is not cared for. A proper ventilation system, some rooms will be excessively warm while others remain too cold.
- Check accessible vents and ducting for loose connections or kinks in flexible duct-work.
- Ensure proper airflow throughout the system by sealing joints and repairing any damage you may find.
- Finally, insulate the ducts themselves to prevent heat or, in the summer, cooling loss as air travels through the ventilation system.
3. Air Leaks
As you would in the attic, seal off any leaks inside your home.
- Check around windows for leaks and caulk them to seal them.
- Do the same for wall joins.
- Check doors for air leaks as well.
- Caulk around the outside of door jambs and make sure all weatherstrips are in good condition.
- Replace any damaged weather strips or places where you can feel a draft coming through the door. Install insulated gaskets around outlets or external ports that lead into the home.
- If you haven’t already, upgrade your windows to double-paned glass or storm windows.
- For a low-budget solution, add thick plastic sheets over the windows to keep out the chill in the coldest rooms.
Watch this video to learn how to find and seal air leaks around your home:
Use weatherproof caulk for cracks less than 1/4 inch and Expandable Foam Spray for any gaps larger than 1/4 inch.
4. Basement Seals
The basement needs to be sealed and insulated just like any other room in the home. A layer of insulation and proper air seals make it easier to regulate the temperature, but they also prevent pest infestations. Since the basement is at ground level, any unsealed windows or vents are a likely point-of-entry for all sorts of bugs seeking refuge from the weather outside.
And there you have it, from top-to-bottom, the majority of these fixes are simple and can be done in a very short period of time. A few inexpensive fixes can lead to major savings in energy costs over time. They can also improve the lifespan of your central HVAC system by reducing the load placed on the system.
Don't forget to schedule your furnace maintenance in the fall in order to maintain your manufacturer's warranty, extend the lifespan of your system, and prevent a breakdown in the depths of winter.
Give us a call today at (732) 365-3199 or schedule an appointment online! We’re available 24/7 to solve all of your home service needs.