You made the decision to get a home energy audit in order to improve your home’s energy efficiency, which will contribute to a healthier environment in addition to saving you money. Problems revealed by the audit can include air leaks, poor insulation, faulty or inadequate HVAC equipment, and a variety of other issues. Now that the audit is complete, what improvements should you make first?
Improvements for a small budget: If making improvements/repairs on a small budget, start with sealing air leaks, installing storm windows, and making mechanical improvements, such as putting a timer on the water heater, installing programmable thermostats and adjusting appliances. Sealing air leaks and the like can save up to $150 per year, while fixing mechanical issues can cut energy bills in half. Put off more expensive improvements that require a contractor until your budget allows it.
Improvements for a bigger budget: Should money not be an issue, go for improvements that will “pay off the fastest.” Start by replacing old windows, then move on to old appliances. While replacing windows is expensive, it pays off quickly. New windows add value to your home, so you can get back as much as 71 percent of what you initially spent when you go to sell. Upgrading old appliances will result in instance energy bill reductions. In general, replace oldest appliances first for best results.
Quick fixes: Has your home energy audit resulted in the need for quick fixes, or limited time for repairs? Begin with repairs you can easily do yourself. Seal minor leaks, add attic insulation and upgrade to energy-efficient light bulbs.
Assessing your capabilities is necessary before performing any home repairs/upgrades yourself. Hire a contractor for bigger projects as needed, such as insulating ductwork, and be sure to thoroughly research service professionals before hiring one.
For more expert advice on your home energy audit and other issues relating to home comfort and energy savings, please contact us at Robert. R. McGill Air Conditioning, Inc. We have served South Florida communities since 1979.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Palm Beach County, Florida about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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Filed under: Energy Evaluations
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