01 Nov Make your existing home more energy efficient
Technology moves at lightning speed. Smartphones are getting faster and more powerful every year, and the technology going into your home is no different. These days, you can connect to your lights, locks, and TV from anywhere — and that’s just the beginning.
New construction homes are built to be more energy efficient than they were just a few decades ago. In fact, homes built after the year 2000 are about 20% more efficient than those built in the 90s or earlier, despite the fact that they’re 30% larger on average.
Energy efficiency is good for the environment and your wallet. More and more people are interested in doing their part in making the world more eco-friendly, but the best news is: you don’t have to buy a brand new house to get the benefits.
You can make your existing home more energy efficient, whether it was built in the 1980s, 1880s, or anywhere in between. Here’s how you start.
Get a home energy audit
Making an older home more energy efficient might seem like a daunting (and expensive) task, but it doesn’t have to be. Get a home energy audit to help you understand where your energy usage is now and where to go from here.
A home energy audit is a complete assessment of your home’s energy usage. The results of your audit tell you where your home is losing energy. Then, you learn the steps to take to make your home more comfortable and cut your utility bills.
TSI Energy Solutions has been helping homeowners with energy audits for more than 30 years. All our home energy audits include three main parts:
Blower door testing
For blower door testing, we set up a large fan in an exterior door. When we turn the fan on, it sucks air out of the house and creates a vacuum that depressurizes it. The test allows us to easily identify cracks in your walls and ductwork that can’t be seen with the naked eye, but could be leaking air.
Infrared cameras detect temperature differences, and an infrared scan of your home helps identify areas where conditioned air might be leaking outside (or vice versa). Our certified thermographer scans your floors, walls, and ceilings to identify areas with little or no insulation. We also check the insulation in your attic and crawlspace or unfinished basement.
Along with blower door testing and infrared scanning, our trained team does a full walk-through of your home during your energy audit.
We examine the exterior of your home, like the eaves, doors, windows, and any utility entry points. We go into the attic and crawlspace or basement to evaluate your insulation and ductwork. Finally, we look through your home room by room to check for other possible energy leaks.
Find small ways to make big improvements
Even if you’ve lived in your home for decades, the results of your energy audit might surprise you. Our technicians walk through the findings with you and make recommendations to make your home more energy efficient.
You don’t have to make huge changes to see a big difference in your home’s energy efficiency. For example, outlets and light switch boxes on outside walls can be the source of up to 5% of outside air leaks in a home.
Outlet gasket covers to seal the boxes cost just a few dollars. While that 5% savings might not seem like a lot, the energy savings start to add up when you make a few of these small changes around your home.
Some of the simplest and most affordable ways to make an old home more energy efficient are:
- Insulating outlets and light switches on outside walls
- Insulating hot water pipes in a crawlspace or unfinished basement
- Replacing light bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs
- Sealing ductwork in an attic, crawlspace, or unfinished basement
- Weatherizing cracks in window and door frames
You can make lots of energy improvements yourself if you want to DIY it, or you can choose TSI’s Home Energy Saver Program and get it all taken care of in one day. The program includes electrical box insulation, pipe insulation, light bulb replacement, and weatherizing.
Make home maintenance work for you
Now that you’ve identified and addressed the small ways energy escapes your home, you can focus on energy efficiency for the future.
When a major appliance, like a refrigerator, air conditioner, furnace, or water heater goes out, consider choosing a replacement with a high Energy Star rating. If you have single-paned windows, energy efficient replacement windows could save you more than $400 a year in heating and cooling costs.
The latest technology is often the most efficient when it comes to home upgrades like these. While it might cost more up front, it’s an investment that could end up saving money in the long run — especially if you have no plans to move.
Making your home more energy efficient doesn’t have to be complicated. Start with a TSI Energy Solutions home energy audit to decrease utility bills and increase comfort.