Your House Is A System, Treat It That Way
When you think about home improvements that can save you energy or increase the health and safety of your home….
It is important to understand that a house functions as a system, with many parts working together that affect the comfort, safety, and cost of running a home.
Consider how you dress for winter weather: you stay warmer when you add layers such as sweater, coat, hat, gloves, wool socks… as opposed to simply wearing a jacket. With a complete set of warm weather gear your body doesn’t have to work as hard to keep in the heat.
Just like adding layers in cold weather, treating your house as a whole rather than disjointed parts, is essential when making cost-effective improvements.
Before investing in any major home upgrades or renovations, we recommend having an energy audit done on your home so that you can see how all of the systems of your house are working together and know clearly where to make the changes that will have the biggest impact.
A Comprehensive Energy Plan Gives You A Roadmap for Upgrades And Improvements
You may think that purchasing a new, energy efficient furnace is the best improvement you can make, but if you have an attic that isn’t sealed properly, that new furnace will just be more efficiently heating the outside all winter long!
An energy audit provides a roadmap for your home improvements. You will know the most logical (and sometimes economical) place to start and have an action plan for how to make a home function at its best.
Why A Comprehensive Energy Plan?
At HEAT Squad, we do love to help homeowners save money and have a lower environmental impact, but we like to look at an even bigger picture so that people can make the best decision for their individual needs. Some things to consider:
- Who is living in the home, do they have any special needs?
- Are there air quality issues that could be improved through proper air sealing?
- Does anyone suffer from respiratory issues that could be alleviated with an updated heating or a/c system?
- Is it hard to make the home comfortably warm in the winter and does it affect residents’ mobility?
- Is solar power desirable and is your home set up for it?
- Is an electric car in your future and can your current system support a charging station?
- Are there areas outdoors that are affecting home safety such as drainage and grading issues?
These questions are just a few examples, but when we perform an energy audit we get a full, comprehensive picture so that the recommendations we make for improvements not only lower your bills, but raise your quality of living as well.
Can A Comprehensive Approach Save Me Money?
By looking at your home comprehensively, it is possible to save money in the long run. After an energy audit is complete, your auditor will make the recommendations for the most necessary improvements for your particular home.
The benefit of a professional audit is that it allows you to see how making two or three improvements together can have a much bigger impact than one. You may have made the decision to invest in new windows but, after an audit, learn that sealing your basement and attic as well will make your home more energy efficient and feel much cozier than the new windows alone.
By getting a comprehensive plan, you may be able to save money by having the work done at the same time rather than paying a contractor to come to your home for separate projects years apart.
It’s also possible that by addressing issues comprehensively, you can save money on costly equipment. Fixing an under-insulated roof and controlling moisture in a basement or crawlspace may mean that you can purchase a smaller furnace that will heat your newly sealed home just as efficiently as a big one and cost less.
It’s important to understand that each home is unique and your plan and savings are going to differ from those of your neighbors. Having an energy audit through HEAT Squad allows you to understand how your home is functioning as a system and where the best improvements can be made for your house as well as the people living in it.
Interested in a low-cost energy audit from HEAT Squad? We audit single family homes, apartment buildings, duplexes, condominiums, modulars, second homes, small commercial up to 10,000 square feet, and rentals. From farmhouses to new construction, we can do it all. Find out more here.
An added benefit to creating a comprehensive energy plan is that it may qualify you for more incentives. HEAT Squad works with Efficiency Vermont to secure rebates for qualified improvements, up to $2,500. You receive your energy audit report the same day that the audit is performed and contains the information about the rebates available for suggested improvements.
The Zero Energy Now program that is currently being offered with Green Mountain Power to former Central Vermont Public Services customers encourages homeowners to make comprehensive changes to their houses and is offering additional monetary incentives to do so. Currently the Zero Energy Now Program is offering up to $5,000 in rebates and guaranteed cost savings to qualified participants! More information about that program can be found here.
If you are thinking of making any energy or other types of home improvements, please give us a call first! Having an audit done beforehand allows you to make the most informed decisions about how to spend your money so you can achieve the best return on your investment!
Visit our Energy Audits page to learn more about how our energy audits can help you with a comprehensive energy plan!