Choosing the Right Upgrades
Every house is different, so choosing the right upgrades for your home can be tough. If fact, homeowners have a wide variety of reasons for making upgrades (i.e. stopping drafts, replacing old equipment, lowering utility bills, reducing noise, improving air quality), and not all upgrades are created equal. However, one concept is true for all homes: using a “whole house” approach is the most cost effective way to achieve an efficient, comfortable and safe home.
Instead of looking at individual measures, the “whole house” approach takes into account all the energy related systems in a home such as windows, insulation, HVAC ducting, space heating and cooling and considers how they interact with each other. Specially trained contractors use diagnostic testing equipment to determine the root cause of problems instead of just guessing. This type of energy assessment can help you make informed decisions about which improvements will get you the biggest bang for your bucks.
This approach looks at a house as an integrated system rather than an assortment of individual systems so that all possible benefits are realized. For example, a homeowner might install an energy efficient heater but unless they address issues such as leaky windows or lack of insulation they the air they pay to heat won’t stay in their home.
Due to its comprehensive nature, the whole house approach also ensures that there are no missed opportunities for energy savings and increased homeowner comfort.
In addition to energy savings, the whole house approach looks holistically at the relationship between energy savings, comfort and safety. Addressing issues such as proper insulation and air sealing can increase occupant comfort and reduce noise.
But it doesn’t stop there; this methodology also looks at air quality and occupant safety. A major component of this approach is to ensure that combustion appliances such as gas heaters and stoves are operating safely and are not leaking toxic fumes.
To find out how the whole house approach can benefit you, contact one of emPower’s Participating Contractors and schedule a home energy assessment today. Contact us to learn more and schedule an appointment with an Energy Coach.