When you think about heating and cooling your home, do your thoughts turn to money and energy efficiency? The more efficient heating and cooling systems are, the less they cost to run. That means your utility bills can be lower. Energy efficiency is good for the environment, too.
Before you invest in a new system, ask about the EnergyGuide label — it lets you know how energy efficient a model is compared to others like it. Products that meet certain energy efficiency criteria will have the ENERGY STAR logo. If you want to increase the efficiency of your system but you’re not in the market to replace it, consider a professional or do-it-yourself home energy assessment. It can show you how specific fixes — like sealing air leaks or beefing up insulation — could help you save money and boost efficiency.
More than half of the energy use in a typical home goes toward heating and cooling it, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). There’s plenty to consider when you look at new heating and cooling systems: the latest options, the cost to buy them, how much energy they use, and the cost to operate them.
By choosing the most energy-efficient equipment and installation from your local experts, you may be able to spend less money on heating and air in your home, as well as preventing costly repairs from faulty installations.
A professional assessment with special equipment like blower doors and infrared cameras might cost several hundred dollars. Before you choose a company, be sure to get several references, and check the company record with your local consumer protection agency. Make sure the auditor uses a calibrated blower door and does thermographic inspections, or else contracts with another company to do them. Your assessment should include specific recommendations you can implement.