Buying a new home is a big investment—perhaps one of the biggest you’ll ever make! You want to get the best value for your money, and there are so many factors to consider in doing so, whether it be the price, location, style, or the condition and age of the home. Another important factor to consider is energy efficiency. A well-insulated home with heating, cooling, and ventilation systems and appliances designed to save energy could reduce your monthly energy costs by as much as 30% a month, something you’ll undoubtedly come to notice over the course of the time you reside at your residence.
If you’re looking at newly constructed homes, much of that efficiency is likely built-in. But with a tight market, you may be considering an older house. Many sellers are making upgrades to make a house more energy efficient—Here’s what to look for, inside and out.
The envelope refers to the exterior—the roof, walls, doors, and windows. The better the materials, the more likely they will help keep your home warm in winter and cool in the summer while keeping energy bills under control.
Insulation, Air Sealing, and Weatherstripping: Make sure the home is well-insulated and well-sealed, especially around doors, windows, pipes, and anyplace utilities enter. In poorly sealed houses, as much as a third of the air can escape via drafts around windows and doors. That’s air you are potentially paying to heat or cool.
Energy-Efficient Windows: Installing storm windows or Energy Star-rated windows can reduce heat loss by 25 to 50 percent. Often the glass is treated to filter out the part of the light spectrum that damages furniture.
The equipment and systems that keep your home warm and cool, as well as your appliances, also play a role in a house’s efficiency. Even the fuel that runs those systems can make a difference when it comes to both efficiency and eco-friendliness.
Fuel: When it comes to heating a home in the Hudson Valley, with a five- to six-month heating season, an oil heat system makes the best sense. Heating oil generates a very high number of BTUs of heat energy per gallon, so it will warm your home reliably—and more evenly. Modern, efficient heating-oil systems in well-insulated homes can help homeowners achieve the same amount of warmth while using much less fuel. And today’s ultra-low sulfur heating oil burns 95% cleaner than in 1970.
Energy-Efficient Heating System: Whether the home has a boiler or furnace, make sure it’s less than 10 years old. Newer high-efficiency heating equipment could lower your fuel costs by as much as 20 percent. Better efficiency means you burn less fuel to keep your home warm.
Smart Thermostats: You can program a smart thermostat to automatically adjust according to conditions or your schedule, maximizing energy savings.
Efficient Appliances: Look for energy-efficient appliances rated by Energy Star, including refrigerators and freezers, ranges, washers, and dryers. And consider propane-fueled appliances: Propane produces 43% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than the equivalent amount of electricity.
Tankless Water Heaters: Tankless water heaters are extremely efficient because they heat water as you need it instead of burning energy maintaining a hot temperature for gallons of stored water.
Whether it’s your forever home or you’re preparing to sell, the pros at Depew Energy can help you make it more energy-efficient. We’ll give you an honest assessment and help you make the right choice for your needs and your budget. Our expert technicians can install a new system the right way, to ensure maximum savings and optimum performance for years to come. Contact us today to learn more—or to get a FREE estimate.