It might be time to upgrade the energy efficiency of your home. It’s been hot in Oregon lately, and you may have noticed that your house gets hotter than it used to and you’re paying more than ever when it comes to your utilities. If that’s the case, it may be worth it to hire an insulation service such as Northwest Weatherization to improve the energy efficiency of your home.
While we highly (and humbly) recommend that you have us at Northwest Weatherization come out to your home for an energy audit, there are a few things that you can do to check the energy efficiency of your home.
One of the first and best things you can do for the energy efficiency of your home is to make a list of any obvious air leaks or drafts. Reducing drafts in a home can significantly reduce the amount of energy you consume. Sometimes these energy savings add up to 20% over a year! Not only that, but reducing drafts and air leaks makes the house much more comfortable. That’s great news for anyone working from home this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A good way to check for indoor air leaks is to search for gaps along the baseboards or along the edge of your flooring. Make sure to check where the walls and ceilings meet. In addition to checking for indoor air leaks, you need to check for exterior leaks. Pay close attention to areas where different building materials meet such as where vinyl siding meets brick. Additionally, check windows, doors, lighting fixtures, plumbing fixtures, light switches, and electrical outlets. Check the fireplace for an open damper.
You can’t just seal up all of the air leaks without considering ventilation. Proper ventilation is one of the biggest reasons we recommend having an insulation service such as the professionals at Northwest Weatherization come out to your home to help make it more energy-efficient. Without proper ventilation, homeowners run the risk of both indoor air pollution and combustion appliance backdrafts.
Backdrafting is when combustion appliances and exhaust fans in the home compete for air. Exhaust fans may pull combustion gases from the appliance back into the living space. This process creates a dangerous living situation.
While backdrafting is often caused by improperly-sized or blocked flues, even properly-installed equipment can backdraft into the home. Whenever the home becomes negatively pressurized, air pressure pulls the exhaust into the home rather than pushing it out of the home through the vent. Backdrafting makes your home less energy-efficient but it also may cause carbon monoxide buildup in your home. If you suspect that your home has an issue with backdrafting, you need a ventilation contractor to address the problem as soon as possible.
If you have a carbon monoxide detector properly installed in the home, it will alert you and your family if there are dangerous levels of carbon monoxide built up. However, you don’t have to wait until the alarm goes off. Here are a few ways to check for backdrafts in your home:
While it’s definitely possible to evaluate the insulation in your home without calling an insulation service such as Northwest Weatherization, the next step is much easier when you involve a professional. If your house is poorly insulated, you could be wasting a ton of energy and money. Put that money back in your pocket and do something great for the environment by reducing energy usage. An insulation service can evaluate the home’s existing insulation and make recommendations based on years of regional experience and in-depth knowledge of the industry.
Another way to evaluate your home’s energy efficiency is to check the heating equipment and any air conditioners you may have. HVAC systems require regular maintenance and failure to keep up with that maintenance can have drastic consequences when it comes to your home’s energy use and the monthly utility bill. A programmable thermostat can also result in energy savings. Schedule bi-annual inspections with an HVAC technician to stay ahead of any potential issues and to enjoy lower home energy costs!
In addition to paying attention to Energy Star ratings on appliances and electronics, homeowners can begin saving energy by calling an insulation service. The professional insulation contractors at Northwest Weatherization know how to help your home’s energy efficiency. No matter your insulation needs, the experienced insulation installers at Northwest Weatherization can guide you and recommend steps to take to get those energy bills down. Whether you need your home insulation completely evaluated or you’re just looking to have someone check the attic insulation, Northwest Weatherization can handle all insulation services in Salem and the surrounding areas. Make your next home improvement project an overhaul of your home energy usage! Call today to get started!