The Energy-Efficient Home: How Your Systems Work in Sync
Posted on October 3, 2013
Committed to making your home more energy efficient? A key is understanding the whole-house systems approach. After all, the systems in your home work in sync. Thus, your home’s systems are much like the parts of your body. When one area suffers, it negatively affects another. For example, you can’t achieve an energy-efficient home if you put all your effort into the air conditioner and furnace but neglect the ductwork that delivers air to each room.
The benefits of an energy-efficient home include:
- Reduced utility costs.
- Enhanced comfort.
- Less noise.
- A healthier and safer environment.
- A more durable home.
Here’s how to tackle the whole-house systems approach for best results:
Seal Your Home
Sealing the air leaks in your home’s outer envelope minimizes infiltration between the interior and exterior. Caulk and weatherstripping are low-cost solutions that bring you closer to an optimally energy-efficient home.
Seal the Ductwork
Leaky ducts allow conditioned air to escape to unconditioned spaces. This thwarts your air conditioner’s attempts to operate efficiently. Hire a contractor to seal and insulate the ductwork properly.
The attic is the most cost-effective place in your home to add insulation. Aim for several inches of insulation to achieve at least an R-30 insulation level. Some types of insulation require a professional’s help, while others can be installed without professional experience.
Shade the Windows
Summertime heat gain primarily occurs through the windows. After making sure they are properly sealed, take the time to install shade devices on the interior (blinds and drapes) and exterior (tinted window films, solar screens, awnings and strategically planted trees) to keep the summer sun at bay.
Schedule HVAC Maintenance
A qualified HVAC technician should tune up your air conditioner in the spring and your heating system in the fall. Be sure to replace the air filter between formal checkups.
Upgrade Lighting and Appliances
When it’s time for an upgrade, choose energy-efficient options that consume less power, save you money on your utility bills and lower your carbon footprint.
For other energy-efficient home ideas, contact Comfort Systems in Wichita.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about energy efficiency and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.