An energy-efficient home is achieved when you view it as an integrated whole. Many guidelines for making your home more energy efficient talk about different parts of your home or its HVAC system. However, for the best results, you should take the whole-house systems approach.What exactly does this involve? When you look at a house for energy efficiency, you examine the whole as well as the parts. A problem in one place affects other areas. For example, if you have leaky windows, your heating and cooling equipment will have to work harder to compensate, and that will have effects on other systems in your home.
Where do you start in implementing a whole-house systems approach? Take a systematic approach that looks at cost versus energy savings:
- Seals – Make sure that the house is sealed. That means weatherstripping or caulking around doors and windows, and repairing cracks in walls, ceilings and floors.
- Ductwork – Sealing and insulating ductwork will eliminate potential air leaks and maintain air temperatures better.
- Attic insulation – Increasing the amount of attic insulation will keep heat from radiating downward into your living spaces in the summer, and keep warmth in your home in the winter.
- Windows – Replacing old single-pane glass with double-pane insulated glass will improve the thermal barrier and cut summer solar heat gain.
- HVAC equipment – Replacing an older system with new energy-efficiency cooling and/or heating equipment can save up to 30 percent on energy costs while improving home comfort.
- Water heater – Similarly, older water heaters are not as efficient as new ones. New water heaters have more efficient heating elements and better insulation.
- Lighting – Replace high-wattage bulbs with lower-wattage ones. You can get rid of the incandescent bulbs and go with CFLs or LEDs.
- Ceiling fans – Install Energy Star rated ceiling fans to lower the load on your HVAC system.
- Appliances – As older appliances age out, replace them with Energy Star rated models to get higher efficiency and lower operating costs.
Even implementing a few of these items will bring you closer to having an energy-efficient home.
If you want to learn more about the whole-house systems approach to energy efficiency or obtain more information on home comfort/energy savings, please contact us at Wolff Mechanical. We have been serving Phoenix and the surrounding communities for over two decades. Give us a call today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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