8 Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency in Your Massachusetts Home (Part 1)
Posted: January 25, 2017
We’re all looking for ways to save money on our energy bills and have a more comfortable home. But what are the best ways to do it?
In this first of a two-part post, we’ll explore four great ways to make your home more efficient and more comfortable in every season. We’ll do four more next week, so be sure to tune in!
- Make sure your walls and attic have enough insulation – Insulation keeps heat from flowing out of your house in winter or into the house in summer; that means your home heating and cooling systems won’t have to work as hard to heat or cool your house. In a house with conventional stud walls (or any other construction method that produces wall cavities), a relatively small investment in insulation – especially in your attic – can greatly improve your home comfort and lower your energy bills by 20 percent or more. It’s one of the best bang-for-the-buck efficiency investments you can make.
- Plant shade trees and shrubs around your house – If you plan to be in your home for the long-term, think ahead by planting deciduous trees near your home – particularly on the house’s west side. In summer, their foliage will block radiated heat from the sun; in winter their bare branches will let that same radiation through to warm your home. You can also take advantage of the greenhouse effect to cut energy costs by leaving curtains open in sun-facing rooms during the day and closing them at night to retain heat.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with LEDs or CFLs – Energy efficient light bulbs such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs) typically use about 25 to a whopping 80 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. They also last anywhere from three to 25 times longer.
- Replace an older furnace with a high-efficiency system – If your gas furnace was built before 1992, it probably wastes 35 percent of the fuel it uses – and it’s also more than likely near the end of its service life. Replacing your furnace with a new high efficiency model is an investment that will probably pay for itself within the first three years of ownership, or even less if we get particularly bad winters. For houses with hydronic heating systems (systems that use radiators or baseboards), the savings from a modern boiler can be even greater.
Looking for more ways to save and keep your family more comfortable all year long? Let’s talk!