This blog was originally published on October 27, 2014 and has been updated for relevant information.
Congratulations! You’ve started on the path to energy efficiency by completing a home energy audit. This is the first step to a more efficient home – and lower monthly energy bills. After your thorough inspection, your energy auditor should have given you an energy improvement package, specific to your home’s needs. This is where homeowners often get stuck; the amount of information in that package may be overwhelming! Depending on your home, it may recommend extra insulation in walls or around pipes, HVAC equipment upgrades, or even solar power. There’s a lot to think about: what should you do first? Which upgrades are going to make the biggest impact on your energy use? If you’re wondering what to do after your home energy assessment, follow these steps to make that assessment work for you.
Step 1: Home Energy Audit
The good news is you’ve already completed step 1! You’ll start to save energy right away with the energy efficient LED light bulbs, smart power strips, and water saving measures that were provided to you at no cost during your assessment. Now move on to step 2!
What to Do After Your Home Energy Assessment
Step 2: Seal it Up
Air leaks and faulty insulation are some of the biggest areas of energy loss in Massachusetts homes! Before you make any other upgrades, seal up your home. This will help you save energy immediately, even if your appliances aren’t top grade. Additionally, when you do replace your old appliances, you don’t want them to work harder than they have to in a home that loses energy through the walls.
- Air Sealing. While air sealing isn’t done during your energy assessment, it is included in the assessment, which means that Energy Monster can perform air sealing at no cost to you. This involves sealing small cracks and leaks around your windows, doors, and anywhere else they may occur.
- Duct Sealing. This is also offered at no cost after your energy assessment! Your energy technician will seal any leaks in your ductwork ensuring you’re not losing air that you’ve spent money heating or cooling.
- Insulation. While homeowners know that insulation is important, we find that many Massachusetts homeowners don’t realize how vital it really is to have proper insulation. If your energy package suggests updating your insulation, make it a top priority. This will make a big difference in your energy usage right away, and you’ll notice a big change in your home’s comfort level as well.
Step 3: Heating & Cooling
Heating and cooling amounts for the majority of your energy bills, so it pays (literally) to have an energy efficient HVAC system. If your system is old or otherwise inefficient, it’s costing you an awful lot of money in your monthly bills. Now may or may not be the right time to replace your system, but when the time does come it’s important to select an energy efficient unit that’s right for your home.
If you don’t have space for a traditional HVAC unit, or you only need to control the temperature of a few pesky rooms, consider whether a ductless mini split system may be right for you. These systems are easy to install and easy to control from a remote or smartphone. They are a less invasive and more cost-effective answer to traditional HVAC units.
Step 4: Prioritize
Every home is different. Your home energy improvement package will be different from your neighbors’, so it’s time to figure out what your biggest priorities are. Did your technician suggest window and door replacements, new appliances, or even a solar panel consultation? Take some time to review your package in detail, and ask yourself a few important questions:
- What will make the biggest impact on my energy use?
- What can I afford to do now?
Making your home energy efficient is not a one step process. While it’s possible to make multiple upgrades to your home in just a few short months, it’s more likely that you will implement these changes over the course of a few years. Rather than replacing all of your appliances right now, you’re likely to wait until your existing ones wear out before replacing them with Energy Star rated ones. The most important thing is to know your priorities and to implement the changes that you can make. Not only will this make a difference in your home energy bill, but it will also reduce your impact on the environment.
Step 5: Finance
Too often, homeowners are paralyzed by the perceived cost of energy efficient upgrades. While there does tend to be a high upfront cost to some of these upgrades, Mass Save provides rebates and incentives designed to reduce the cost of upgrading. Your Energy Monster technician should have provided you with a list of rebates you qualify for. When you work with Energy Monster to upgrade your home, we can help you apply for these rebates and incentives and make upgrades to your home without spending a fortune. You’ll save on the work to become efficient and the efficient upgrades will help you save on your energy bills!
Bonus: Help Your Friends (and Yourself)
We think you’ll be so happy with your energy savings that you’ll want to shout it from the rooftops – and we hope you do! When you help your friends and neighbors save energy by referring them for a home energy assessment, we’ll reward you with a $25 American Express gift card. Learn more about our Refer-a-Friend program!
Ready, Set, Go!
You’ve got your energy improvement package and you’ve figured out which items are your biggest priorities. You’ve already taken the first step to a more energy efficient home – now it’s time to take the second! Contact Energy Monster today. We’ll be happy to help you with your energy needs.