Homeowners in the DC metro area are rejoicing in the fact that the winter weather is almost gone. Most of us look forward to spending more time outside and ditching those extra layers, but now is also the perfect time to focus on improving your home’s energy efficiency. The problem? Most homeowners don’t know where to start.
Improving energy efficiency may seem like a lofty or difficult goal, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are just a few ways to boost home performance, all of which can have an immediate impact on indoor comfort levels and your energy bills.
Upgrade Your Insulation
The chances that your home is “uninsulated” are extremely slim. The chances that it’s under-insulated, on the other hand, are quite high.
As many as 90% of American homes lack proper insulation, which means that just as many homes are underperforming in terms of energy efficiency. Spray foam, cellulose and fiberglass insulation all come along with clear benefits and can lead to a more comfortable indoor environment, especially when applied to “problem areas” like attics, walls and crawlspaces.
As far as basic home performance upgrades go, adding high-performance insulation to your home may be the most effective road toward reducing your monthly energy costs.
Focus on Air Sealing
Better insulation is going to make a difference regardless of the circumstances, but whether or not it reaches its true potential comes down to how tight your home’s building envelope is. Most homes are riddled with tiny cracks and gaps that allow for unwanted airflow to occur.
If you’ve ever felt an unmistakable draft come through a portion of your home, you most likely have this problem on your hands. The solution can be found in air sealing, which effectively closes off these tiny gaps and tightens up the home, allowing your insulation to do its job as effectively as possible.
Air sealing is like the windbreaker around your sweater (the home’s insulation), and the differences it can make are impossible to ignore.
Schedule a Home Energy Audit
While insulation and air sealing are two of the most important and effective home performance upgrades that can be made, the best way to ensure you’re doing the right thing for your home is to schedule an energy audit. An energy audit is a walkthrough and detailed inspection of the home, which can give you the information you need to perform the most effective retrofit possible. Ready to take energy efficiency by the reins this spring? The Fifth Fuel team is here to help.