Steps to Creating an Energy Efficient Connecticut Home
Creating an energy efficient Connecticut home can lower your utility bills and potentially save you hundreds of dollars every year. In addition, improving your home’s energy efficiency can reduce your carbon footprint. Overall, making energy upgrades to your home is better for you and for the environment. These steps will help you improve your Connecticut home’s energy efficiency.
Get (or Perform) an Energy Audit
An energy audit is a comprehensive review of your home’s energy efficiency. Energy audits can be conducted by professionals who perform these services for homeowners and businesses owners, or an energy audit can be performed personally by DIYers. If you decide to conduct your own energy audit, you’ll examine all the major systems of your house and look for energy leaks. The energy auditing process is outlined here on the U.S. Department of Energy website. Once you've performed your energy audit, you should better know which of the following steps will help you make your home more energy efficient.
Seal Your Home’s Envelope
Sealing the home’s envelope is a multi-step process that involves eliminating energy leaks. There are several ways that you can seal your home’s envelope:
- Bring insulation up to code. The insulation in many older Connecticut homes may have been code compliant at one time, but new building codes are stricter and more efficient. Bringing your home’s insulation up to code will prevent exchange of inside and outside air through the walls of your home.
- Weather stripping or replacing doors and windows. Old doors and windows can make older homes drafty and highly energy inefficient. Replacing your doors and windows for newer more energy efficient models can improve your home’s efficiency and improve property values as well. Alternatively, weather stripping will allow you to keep your older doors and windows, if you’re not ready to replace them at this time.
- Caulking cracks and seal holes. Walking around the exterior of your home, you’re likely to see small cracks in the area around the mud sill, around pipes that enter the home and even in the foundation itself. Filling these cracks with foam and caulk can help you reduce drafts and prevent your home from filling with cold air during the winter.
Install Energy Efficient Fixtures and Appliances
The ENERGY STAR program rates new appliances for their energy efficiency and specially endorses appliances that are a cut above the rest. ENERGY STAR appliances are rated the most energy efficient appliances on the market. Replacing old, energy inefficient appliances with ENERGY STAR models can dramatically reduce your home energy usage.
Seal Inside as Well As Outside
Sealing the leaks in your home's outer shell is a good start, but sealing leaks inside your home is important as well. Seal any leaks in your home’s HVAC system, and upgrade the insulation in the wall between the home and the garage. These interior energy leaks can be as expensive and inefficient as outer energy leaks.
Tighten the Attic and Roof
The attic is a big liability when it comes to energy efficiency. Attics that don’t have enough insulation can freeze a home in the winter, contribute to the formation of ice dams, and force the air conditioning to work harder than necessary in the summer. To improve the efficiency of your attic, seal the air leaks, add to the attic insulation and install a “cool roof” the next time you replace your roof.
For more information about how you can make your home more energy efficient, contact Litchfield Builders, New Haven's premiere general contractor.