Rather than focusing on a single problem, like an old heating or cooling system, not enough insulation or leaky windows, Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® looks at how improvements throughout your home can work together to give you the best results. To learn more about the benefits of this comprehensive approach, watch this informative ENERGY STAR video or check out our "What to Expect" brochure. Your Home Performance with ENERGY STAR contractor might recommend any of the following types of typical energy-saving home improvements:
Sealing air leaks and adding insulation
Along with sealing air leaks, which could be allowing cold or hot air to escape or penetrate your home, your contractor may recommend adding insulation. Many older homes are poorly insulated, and some have no insulation at all. Properly installed insulation in attics, walls, and floors provides for more even temperatures throughout the house and results in a quieter, more comfortable living environment that is less costly to heat and cool.
Sealing and insulating ductwork
Regardless of the thermostat setting, many homes have leaky ductwork and poor airflow, resulting in uncomfortable rooms. Your contractor may recommend sealing your home's ducts and balancing the duct system to optimize airflow to all rooms. Insulating ductwork located in attics and crawl spaces also can reduce energy usage and increase your home's overall comfort.
Improving heating and cooling systems
If your heat pump, or air conditioner is more than 10 years old, your contractor may recommend replacing it with a unit that is ENERGY STAR qualified and properly sized. Installed correctly, high-efficiency units can help you save on heating and cooling costs. They also can make your home more comfortable year-round by providing more consistent indoor temperatures and better humidity control.
Fixing your combustion equipment
Your contractor also should test the combustion equipment in your home, such as your furnace and water heater, to ensure that they operate and vent properly. In addition, the contractor will conduct a carbon monoxide reading on ovens and other areas to further test the safety of your home.
Improving water heating system
If your water heater is an electric resistance water heater that is 8 years old or older, your contractor may recommend replacing it with a high efficiency gas tankless or heat pump water heater. Replacement of an older electric resistance water heater can help you save on your water heating costs.