Energy efficiencyEnergy efficiency means making your home more comfortable while using less energy. When you improve your home to optimize your energy use, you’re taking the first step toward a net zero lifestyle.
When assessing a home’s energy usage, our professionals are trained to look for the easiest upgrades with the highest returns first. Our key areas of focus are insulation and air sealing, lighting, home controls, and windows.
Air Sealing & Insulation
Air sealing and insulation go hand-in-hand, and are often the first thing we look at because it is generally the most cost-effective improvement a homeowner can make.
You can think of insulation as a wool sweater for your home, and air sealing as more of a windbreaker. On a cold day, a well-insulated home wearing its wool sweater will feel warm until the wind blows when the freezing air finds its way through the porous little gaps in the knitting. When a home is also outfitted with the wind-breaking effects of high quality air sealing, however, the cold wind is blocked, and the sweater becomes more effective. A home is much more energy efficient when it has sufficient insulation paired with quality air sealing.
Our experts perform a blower door test to identify the leaky spots in a house — often electrical outlets, can lights, and attic hatches — and then seal them with foam or caulk. Just a few hours of air sealing can often cut a home’s energy leakage in half.
Next, we refer to our modeling to add insulation wherever it will be cost-effective. We will likely add insulation to your attic, and potentially to your walls, basement and/or crawlspace depending on the situation.
Windows are another major source of energy leaks. While replacing windows can be expensive, the benefits go well beyond energy savings. For instance, new windows can eliminate uncomfortable drafts, open and close easier than older windows, and improve the aesthetics of a home.
Today's high efficiency LED bulbs are far superior to traditional fluorescent or incandescent bulbs. They also offer exceptional light quality, are dimmable, and have much longer lifespans. Switching to LED lightbulbs is always a cost-effective upgrade.
Installing simple controls in homes such as motion sensor light switches and timers for bathroom fans is another relatively inexpensive upgrade with significant energy saving returns.
Motion sensor lights offer convenience, automatically activating upon entry to a dimly-lit room, and they conserve energy by turning themselves off when a room isn’t in use. While all rooms can benefit from them, bathrooms, laundry rooms, closets, and basements are ideal areas for motion sensor lights installations.
Bathroom fans are important for removing odors and humidity, but they expend significant amounts of energy if left running all day. If accidentally left running after use, bathroom fan timer switches shut off on their own, thereby conserving energy over time.