It’s National Energy Awareness Month! Did you know that almost half of most energy dollars are spent on heating and cooling costs? According to ENERGY STAR®, the typical household in the U.S. spends more than $2,000 a year on energy bills, with the biggest share of energy use in heating and cooling. Here are a few property maintenance tips to reduce your energy consumption and save you money!
1. Upgrade Your Roof
Did you know your roofing system plays a large role in reducing your energy bills? Your roof is most likely something you don’t think about until there’s a problem such as storm damage, or perhaps a red flag during a home inspection. The best time to ramp up your roof’s performance is during a reroof. Installing a new roof or repairing an existing one can help lower your energy bills considerably and extend the overall lifespan. In the interim, routine maintenance and inspections are key to ensure your roof is up to par. Many roofing experts agree that 20-25 years is the standard lifespan of a roof. If you’re unsure of your roof’s condition, it’s important to get a property inspection from a licensed, certified general contractor. Routine inspections provide extremely important information to protect your home and provide massive energy savings.
2. Install Adequate Insulation
Having proper roof insulation is essential to ensure that your home is energy efficient and greatly reduces energy bills. The insulation in your attic creates an important barrier. This barrier provides protection and reduces the amount of thermal transfer between the temperature in your attic (whether hot or cold, depending on the season), and the air in your home. If you’re not ready for a new roof, you can start by getting an expert inspection of your insulation. Our accredited team conducts comprehensive property inspections that include your home’s interior, attic and crawl spaces to ensure that you have adequate insulation.
3. Ensure Proper Ventilation
Proper ventilation increases roof life span and greatly enhances your energy savings. Ventilation protects your roofing system by preventing the attic temperatures from getting too high in the summer months. A hot attic decreases shingle life and damages your roof decking. That excess hot air also seeps into the house, skyrocketing your air-conditioning bills. Ventilation stops this money-gobbling, inefficient air flow in its tracks. Properly installed intake vents and exhaust vents provide essential circulation. Cool air enters the intake vents. As it warms, it rises to the top of the attic and then exits through the exhaust vents. Our expert inspectors assess your existing ventilation system before a reroofing project to enhance your roofing system performance and lifespan and ensure energy savings.
4. Select Energy Efficient Roofing
Darker roofing systems attract more heat, causing the issues outlined above. There are a variety of newer roofing materials on the market today that are energy efficient and ENERGY STAR approved. Our accredited experts at Home Repair help you select the right roofing system for your property. A radiant barrier is another energy-saving option that can help reduce heat transfer from the roof to the attic. It’s a coating that helps reflect the heat away from the attic, reducing your energy bill.
5. Inspect Your Siding
Inefficient or damaged siding can be a real problem when it comes to energy loss. Energy-efficient siding works through the use of stronger insulation to help you rely less on heating and cooling inside your home. Efficient siding ensures that your home’s indoor temperature remains more moderate, lowering your energy bills. If your siding is damaged, tearing away from the home, poorly installed or inadequately insulated, you are most likely experiencing air leakage and an increase in your energy costs. Energy-efficient siding helps reduce your energy costs and typically requires little maintenance. Vinyl, metal, brick, or wood are easy to clean, long-lasting and strong.
6. Install Energy Efficient Windows
If your windows are older, it may be time to replace them with new, energy-efficient models. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafty windows can account for 25% of your energy bill by letting heat or cool air out. It’s like throwing money out the window, literally! About 20% of unwanted external air enters homes through openings in your windows. This forces your heating and cooling systems to work harder to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. If your home has single-pane windows, consider replacing them with double-pane windows that have a high-performance glass. You can also upgrade to storm windows which can reduce heat loss through windows by 25 to 50%. That’s a lot of savings!
7. Upgrade and Weather Strip Your Doors
Did you know that you can save energy by upgrading your home’s exterior doors? When they are damaged, cracked, or loose in their frames, outdoor air begins to leak in, causing your heating or cooling system to work overtime and spike your energy bill. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that sealing air leaks on a drafty house can save you up 30% on heating and cooling each year. If you’ve tried to repair your door, but still have drafts, consider replacing your doors for an energy efficient model. A tighter fit and improved weather stripping can create a secure seal that reduces air leakage around the edges. Weather stripping is one of the simplest and least expensive ways to upgrade your doors and increase energy efficiency. It seals air leaks and reduces energy loss. According to ENERGYSTAR, improved core materials such as fiberglass, wood cladding and steel with polyurethane foam core are the most energy-efficient door materials available.
8. Upgrade Your Appliances
You can save a whole lot of money on your electric bills by ensuring you have upgraded home appliances. Not only will they look more aesthetically appealing and add to your overall home value, they greatly reduce your energy bill. According to ENERGYSTAR, outdated appliances can skyrocket your energy bills. The refrigerator, if outdated, is the biggest culprit of consumption, followed by inefficient dryers. Water heaters are the third largest energy user in the home, behind heating and cooling. Lighting accounts for about 13% of your overall energy bill. Don’t forget to use energy efficient bulbs and turn off the lights when not in use.
Damaged, Destroyed, Or Just Tired...We’ll Get It Back to Beautiful!
As a licensed general contractor with over 25 years of experience, our expert team at Home Repair provides a range of services including property and roofing inspections, reroofs, roof repairs, storm damage restoration, siding, gutters, windows and more! We carry industry-leading accreditations and provide expert workmanship. Whether your home is damaged, destroyed, or just tired, we get it back to beautiful.
- October Is Energy Awareness Month, Energy.gov
- Why Energy Efficient Upgrades?, Energy.gov
- Energy Savers, Energy.gov
- Breaking Down the Typical Utility Bill, ENERGYSTAR.gov
- What Makes It ENERGY STAR?, ENERGYSTAR.gov
- 7 Signs You Need a New Roof, Angie’s List
- Siding: A Guide to the Options, House Logic
- 4 Ways Your Roof Can Save You Energy, Bob Vila
- Is Now the Time to Replace Your Windows?, Bob Vila