When it comes to your home comfort, do you struggle to find the balance between your high heating and cooling costs and maintaining a comfortable temperature for the whole family? Is the fight over the thermostat becoming more like a scene from the movie Gladiator, where one side wants to stay warm while the other side wants to avoid high energy bills?
Because of the extremity of the four seasons here in Vermont, homeowners are always trying to find a balance between their electric bills and staying comfortable. As the trusted home performance contractor throughout Woodstock, Barnard, and Barre, EnergySmart of Vermont has been helping homeowners find the right home performance upgrades for their homes. Here’s how you can save money on your utility bills while maintaining true home comfort all year round.
Get to Know Your Home
The list of home performance upgrades you could use to make your home more energy efficient is almost too long to write out. From major renovations like roof replacement to the smaller things like replacing your lightbulbs with LEDs and installing programmable thermostats, there are many ways to use less energy while keeping your home a comfortable place to live. But how can you know which upgrade will have the greatest impact throughout all four seasons?
In order to prescribe the perfect plan to meet your energy savings goals, you need to get to know your home, and a great way to do that is through an energy assessment called an energy audit. Think of an energy audit like a diagnostic test on your car, or a CT scan for a person suffering from illness. An energy audit gives you insights into what is causing a number of symptoms, like:
High electricity bills
Frequent air conditioning or furnace breakdowns
Undesirable indoor temperatures
Poor indoor air quality
Increasing Home Performance in Vermont
Not only does Vermont experience extreme weather (especially come wintertime), there are also a large number of historic homes throughout the state. Though each home will have its own home performance challenges to overcome, at EnergySmart of Vermont we have found there are a few upgrades that are particularly effective for many homes.
Though you may think that the heating and cooling systems of your home are where you lose most of your energy costs, your home’s insulation can be the hidden culprit. Proper insulation is a large part of the thermal boundary of your home. Insulation prevents the transfer of heat between your home and outside, and this happens in two ways. In the winter, insulation keeps the heat from your HVAC system in your home and can prevent ice dams from forming. In the summer, insulation keeps the heat out.
Insulation is prone to deterioration over time, water damage, and improper installation. With an energy audit, we can measure your insulation levels and effectiveness before determining if removing and replacing your insulation will help keep your home more comfortable and efficient.
As we just learned, insulation prevents heat from infiltrating or exfiltrating your home through the materials that make up your home’s construction. Unfortunately, that isn’t the only area where unwanted temperatures will try and move between your living space and Vermont’s great outdoors. Any tiny air holes and gaps should be sealed to prevent unwanted temperatures, as well as any pollutants, allergens, and moisture from entering the air you breathe.
Get Your Home a Report Card & Save
Once your energy audit is complete, you will receive an in-depth report on the current state of your home performance, along with our recommendations on which home performance upgrades will lower your energy utility bills in both the long term and the short term. Your EnergySmart energy auditor will then walk you through the results, what your options are for executing your new home improvement plan, and can even help you qualify for any available rebates.