Top 6 Ways Your Pennsylvania Home is Wasting Energy
Our customers in Lancaster, Berks and Chester Counties are realizing significant savings on their energy bills when they correct the sneaky ways energy is being wasted their homes, including:
- Inadequate insulation. R-30 is now standard in attics (12”), but homes over 15 years old typically have half of that and “standard mass insulation” (fiberglass/cellulose), which will not stop radiant heat energy from escaping your home. This causes your heating and cooling units to work overtime to maintain a comfortable temperature.By installing a radiant barrier in your attic, you will prevent energy loss, your home will be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, and best of all, your heating and cooling costs will go down.
- Leaky windows & doors. Homes with poor weather stripping, un-insulated doors and single pane glass windows are serious energy wasters, allowing heat or air-conditioned air to pass right through or under them. A temporary solution is to use one of the several products made to prevent drafts under doors, and a plastic covering for windows in the winter to prevent heat loss. These items can be purchased at a local hardware store for minimal cost.However, the most efficient and cost-effective solution is to upgrade to Energy Star-rated windows and doors. If you’re on a limited budget, consider replacing a couple windows or doors at a time. Over time, you’ll see a nice return on your investment.
- Old appliances and HVAC equipment. You might be hanging on to outdated appliances, air conditioners and heaters to avoid the cost of replacing them, but every month, they are costing you money. Old refrigerators and freezers use 2-3 times the energy as newer, Energy Star-rated units. If you have an old washing machine, not only does it require more energy to run than newer machines, it also uses much more water than updated front load models.
- Phantom load. Phone chargers, TV’s, VCR’s and similar small appliances that are plugged in, actually use electricity even if they are not turned on. That means while you’re sleeping, your TV and computer are using up energy. A good tip is to plug these items into an outlet on a switch, and turn the switch to off when they are not in use.
- Attic not vented properly. Most attics reach temperatures over 115 degrees on a hot summer day. Proper attic ventilation will reduce cooling costs and increase shingle life. Consider a solar powered attic fan, which is easy to install and runs on free solar energy.
- Water heater tank. Water heaters over 4 years old typically have poor insulation and lose up to 40% of their heat while not in use. Some options you have are to add a thermal blanket/wrap to your water heater, or consider a more energy-efficient tankless water heater or solar powered system.
Need help identifying problem areas in your home that are wasting energy?
Ask us about our free, no-obligation home energy audit.