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Home Comfort and Energy Efficiency Go Hand-in-Hand!

September 27, 2012

Why is it still so hot in the house at 9:30 at night when the AC is cranked all the way up! Yes, it may be a very hot summer but chances are your home is not in the best shape to keep you comfortable. It’s easy to blame the weather, but your house may need some upgrades.

Just like anything else, your home will become less efficient over time. That means your house will become less cozy and you’ll need to make some improvements. But all is not lost! The good news is that there are ways to make your home more energy efficient and by doing so, you’ll also boost your home comfort.

More Heat…More Money

Air leaks and poor insulation will make your house chilly in the winter, even with a good heating system. That means a loss in home comfort and higher energy bills. The summer is no different! You might say, “no one has their heat turned up in the summer!” but your heating system isn’t the only thing that’s making your house warm. Other contributing factors could be things such as not drawing the curtains when the sun’s at its zenith, for example. As a result, you’ll most likely spend more money trying to stay cool.

Trouble Areas & How to Fix Them

Just about anything can affect home comfort. More often than not, they are things that seem small and not so important. Here are some common problems that can affect home comfort, especially during the summer.

  1. Old, leaky windows: There’s not much to a window right? Wrong! Windows can act like an AC/heating unit. For example, cool air can leak out from windows or they can trap in too much heat from the sun, making rooms in your house hotter. Your thermostat then gets a false reading because of the extra heat and your A/C starts working overtime. There goes efficiency and cheaper energy bills! Installing energy efficient windows will keep the heat out and can even cut your yearly energy costs by up to 20%.
  1. Old-fashioned light bulbs: Yes, good old incandescent light bulbs can make the rooms in your house warmer. Stand near a lamp that uses one on a hot night and you’ll feel it! Incandescent bulbs produce more heat than fluorescent ones and use more electricity. Regular light bulbs are cheaper to buy but more expensive to use overall. They use four times more electricity than fluorescent bulbs.  Fluorescent light bulbs may cost more at first, but in the end will use far less energy (a 15-watt fluorescent bulb uses the same amount of energy as a regular 60-watt bulb) and will save you money. Also, fluorescent bulbs keep the house nice and cool especially on those hot summer nights.
  1. Dirty filters: If your air conditioner has clogged filters, you’ll definitely feel it! Clogged dust and dirt in the filters forces your A/C to work harder and still won’t keep your house cool enough. Once again, low efficiency and less home comfort. Also, dirty filters are loaded with allergens, dust, and germs that can make you and your family sick. Cleaning and replacing filters will make your A/C work a lot better and your life a lot easier!

Have it All…Efficiency and Comfort

You can’t have it all in life, but you can have a home that’s both energy efficient and cozy. All it takes is finding out what may need to be replaced or fixed. Hiring a certified RESNET home energy auditor is a great way to start. They’ll carry out assessments to identify weaknesses and problem areas in your home and voila! You’ll find yourself on the path to energy efficiency and more home comfort!

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