Spring Energy-Saving Tips
Make sure you include these steps on your list of things to do during spring to ensure that you're comfortable in your home and you lower energy bills. Some of the tasks will help you better prepare for summer's heat, too.
- Check the home's insulation. It's possible for insulation to get wet or become damaged from rodent activity or air leaks, decreasing its performance capacity. It's essential to brace your home for the heat wave coming your way in a couple of months, so be sure your attic in particular has enough insulation to ward off the stack effect, a process where heat rises and gathers in the attic. As the attic temperature rises, and without an effective insulation barrier between it and the home's living spaces, that heat will radiate into your home. Insulation in the walls is also critical for ensuring that heat stays outside of the home. With innovative retrofit methodologies, upgrading wall insulation is an easy way to boost the energy efficiency of your home, without having to tear into walls or destroy your home's siding.
- Get the A/C ready for action. Schedule a maintenance check with your local HVAC technician. The check-up ensures the system is clean and ready to perform efficiently, keeping you comfortable all summer long.
- Get into crawl spaces. If the crawl space isn't sealed and insulated, hot outside air in the spring and summer will infiltrate the space. As the area heats up, so will your home's temperature, as the heat energy radiates out of the crawl space and into your living areas. Hire a professional to assess the insulation's condition. If the insulation is wet, its performance decreases and it will need to be replaced.
- Seal the ductwork. You can compromise the effects of a properly insulated home and an A/C in good condition if the distribution system (the ductwork) isn't working properly. Ductwork leaks are surprisingly common. In fact, the average home can lose as much as 30 percent of the conditioned air moving through ducts that leak. Energy loss in ductwork can make a home feel very uncomfortable and increase energy costs, causing homeowners to think that the A/C isn't working well. Stop energy loss and have ductwork sealed with the proper materials.
- Find air leaks. Like insulation, crawl spaces and ductwork, the home's ability to work together as a system is derailed by air leaks. For example, insulation prevents heat energy from moving through your home's structure in summer, helping to keep it cooled. However, gaps or cracks in the home's structure let hot air move through them, raising the temperature indoors and your energy bills, too. Some experts estimate that sealing energy leaks can amount to as much as 30 percent savings annually.