Homeowners have expressed a lot of interest lately in creating an energy efficient home. If you build from the ground up, you have a distinct advantage, but a retrofitted or remodeled space can also become an energy efficient home. The same is true for commercial spaces. It may be easier to build energy efficiency into a building under construction, but you’re not necessarily stuck when you work with an existing space.
An energy efficient home involves many factors
If your goal is to create an energy efficient home, you need to look at many factors. Choosing an energy efficient heating and cooling system will certainly make a recognizable difference on your utility bills, but there are lots of ways to lose (and gain) energy efficiency.
Fuel source. Your fuel source is one element of an energy efficient home that you can address. Whether you’re trying to save money (and who isn’t?), or trying to transition to a cleaner, more eco-friendly fuel source, you can change your fuel system. Heating oil has gotten a bad rap in the past several years. The cost of heating oil, along with environmental issues, will always be a concern. Switching your fuel source can not only save money, but it can also help clean up the environment.
Ductwork. Ductwork is highly inefficient. The pathway between your furnace and your living space could be a long one, thermally speaking. Between the furnace and the living space, a system of ducts distributes heat. Ducts absorb and dissipate heat, and the longer the duct runs are, the more heat you lose. You can use dampers to reduce heat in nearby rooms and encourage heat to travel to far-away spaces, but you still end up with a system that’s perfectly tuned to keep everyone uncomfortable.
Insulation. You can control the amount of insulation that protects your living space. Many older homes have little or no insulation, and that can be a big source of heat loss. Improving the insulation in your exterior walls, attic and around your windows can make a big difference in both the comfort level of your home and the money you spend to keep your home snug. It can also help move you toward your goal of creating an energy efficient home.
Humidity. Humidity levels in your home have a big impact on your comfort. Air that’s too dry makes you feel cold and can cause you to turn up the heat. Air that’s too wet can promote mold and mildew growth, and can also make you feel uncomfortable. By controlling the humidity year-round, (aim for about 50%), you can adjust your thermostat higher in the summer and lower in the winter without sacrificing comfort.
Windows and doors. Windows and doors are a significant source of energy loss in your home. Over time, windows may start to leak cold air around the frames. They can also change shape and lose their seals. Weather-stripping around doors can deteriorate, which creates air leaks. An air leak is a double whammy. It not only lets cold (or hot) air in, but also changes the humidity level, making it more difficult to achieve an energy efficient home.
If you’d like more information about creating an energy efficient home, please contact us at New England Ductless at (617) 915-2803. We can show you how a ductless heating and cooling system can help you achieve your goal of living in an energy efficient home.