In comparing energy efficiency, the difference between an existing home and a newly constructed one is that a new home is generally 30% more energy efficient. Considering a typical American household spends $115 a month on utilities, it’s easy to see just how great your savings could be.
However, not everyone is lucky enough to be in a situation where they can build their own brand new home, especially in this economy! Nevertheless, there are still things that you can do to your current home to make it more energy efficient, leading to significant financial savings plus a more comfortable living environment.
First, look for proper insulation
Only 20% of pre 1980 homes are insulated to the proper standard. Up to 1/3 of your heating could be escaping through the ceiling.
In the USA, your attic insulation should be between R-30 and R-60, depending on where you live.
Although the attic is a major contributor to heat loss, an older home could also be lacking insulation elsewhere. By investing time and money insulating walls, crawlspaces, floors and garages, you could save up to 50% in energy costs!
How old is your air conditioner?
What equipment and appliances could be changed to ENERGY STAR versions? ENERGY STAR rated products save between 20% and 30% on average.
For many, the air conditioner will have the greatest effect when making an energy comparison. This is especially true in hotter climates. In Florida, 40% of utility bills are taken up by the HVAC system – mostly for cooling.
In most cases, a new air conditioner will be 30% more energy efficient, and by upgrading your air conditioner from a SEER 9 to a SEER 13, you could save up to $300 annually.
A general contractor can help you, where the builders haven’t
A new home doesn’t just perform better because of energy efficient components. Older homes simply weren’t built with energy efficiency high on the agenda.
This is where a RESNET Qualified EnergySmart Contractor can help – consider hiring one. As an experienced Home Energy Professional trained in energy efficiency, they can show you where you’re losing energy and provide cost effective solutions.
Take your ductwork for example. Older ducts were often not properly sealed or insulated, resulting in many older homes having up to and even over 40% duct leakage. Imagine, 40% of your money could be spent heating the Christmas tree in the attic!
But it’s not surprising that ducts aren’t checked for such leaks very often. After all, nobody enjoys working in the filthy old crawl space do they?
Talk to a RESNET Qualified EnergySmart Contractor about cleaning, sealing and insulating your ductwork, while making sure all the connections with the registers are tight.