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Alex Graham asked:

Feb 17, 2014
What are the most cost effective things I can do to improve my home's energy efficiency?

Tom Gunter answered:

Feb 17, 2014

I would start with making sure your attic has adequate ventilation. 

Feb 19, 2014

Verify that all window and door seals/weatherstriping is in good shape.

Check to be sure doors and windows are caulked properly (no gaps, cracks or missing).

If you have an attic access, treat it like door opening and seal properly. If possible, create an insulated cover to go over it in the attic.

Check HVAC ductwork for leaks and seal with foil tape or mastic.

Wrap your hot water heater in a blanket.

Dec 6, 2014

The most cost effective things that you can do to improve your homes energy efficiency will depend on the existing condition of your building envelope, the efficiency of your equipment, and humiditiy control.

Addressing the condition overhead and tightening the building envelope are basic principles involved in maintaining efficient temperture control in the home. Thermal imaging will clearly indicate areas of major heat loss.

There are many types of structures and styles of thermal barriers. Therefore, you are best advised to have an energy consultant from a Home Energy Rating Service HERS evaluate of your particular home and assist in identifying the weakness of your home envelope and machanical equipment. Such a report  can provide you with a roadmap to begin taking steps to improve the overall efficiency of the home. 

Feb 20, 2014

Air sealing and insulation are the two biggest things you can do to globally improve the efficiency of the home. 

There are several articles on this application and I have yet to be in a home that didn't need it. 

Tightening up the envelope across the attic surface will lessen air infiltration at all the other areas of the home. 

Dec 2, 2014

Hello Alex, 

One alternative that most homeowners are not aware yet is reviewing your Roofing System. Along with the attic insulation, the type of roof you have can make a huge difference on how energy efficient your home is.

Most roofing materials (especially asphalt composite roofs) absorb solar energy and transfer heat to your home (requiring more air-conditioning during summer). On the other hand, energy efficient Metal Roofs are reflective and emissive. They bounce most of the sun's visible and UV light - meaning less heat transferred to your home. Independent studies show energy savings of up to 25%.

The Interlock Metal Roofing System is Energy Star certified (US only). More than energy efficient, our roofs are truly sustainable, being made of up to 95% recycled material, reducing the dependence of asphalt and stopping the cycle of old roofing material going to landfills. It is a lifelong solution that is better for your home, your pocket and the planet.

Attic Insulation

Are your heating & cooling bills going through the roof? Did you know that up to 40% of a home’s conditioned air escapes through the attic? Adding attic insulation is the most effective thing you can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Jan 13, 2015

All of the answers given were great options. There are many, many ways to improve a home's energy efficiency. As we are a siding and window company, my focus will be on those areas. Windows are a huge energy loss/gain. Did you know that windows and doors account for approximately 50% of your heating/cooling loss? Air leaks around a window or door due to a crack of 1/16" of an inch is like having a hole in your wall the size of a brick. In the average home, that is equal to about 15 bricks. Consider how large that "hole" is in your home. The glass package is the most important thing to consider when replacing windows. Most folks just look at the cost of the window and install, and some smoke and mirrors some companies like to drag on about. A smart homeowner knows what Low-E is, what a good U-Factor rating is, whether or not it's single, double or triple pane glass, etc. etc. Same features apply to most doors. Lastly, siding is another area where a homeowner can save money. Check into insulated siding. Check to see what kind of underlayment is being applied to your home. Many companies don't even put a housewrap on to save cost and the average homeowner never knows. Make sure you only hire someone who is appropriately licensed and insured. Ask to see those documents. Hope this helps folks looking to replace siding, windows or doors! Happy remodeling!

Mar 24, 2016

Windows and doors are the largest culprit in lost of energy efficiency. It may not be the cheapest option but will provide you with the largest impact.

Robert Shaw of Solare Energy PRO answered:

Apr 28, 2014

With current financing options that are available, the best return-on-investment is to go solar!  It may seem expensive to install a solar panel system, but with current financing options such as $0/down home-equity loans, you'll see immediate cash flow savings!

Solare Energy has been serving San Diego for 25 years and provides our customers with a free energy audit and rate analysis before designing a solar panel system for their homes.  This allows us to accurately size the system to your energy consumption needs and get you the best value for your investment.

Learn more at or call 858-547-4300 for San Diego area solar installations.

Rob Shaw
Marketing Manager
Solare Energy, Inc.
San Diego, CA

Lane Baker of Saltwater Homes PRO answered:

Sep 27, 2014

I really noticed a difference in my electric bill when I put in a programable thermostat for my HVAC. I tend to keep the air down low and would forget to turn it up when I went to work. The new thermostat does that for me. 

Apr 17, 2014

Check seals on doors & windows.  Replace single pane windows with newer products.  Check the attic for insulation.  Loose fill, blown in insulation is the best.  Make sure to seal any spots where air is escaping INTO the attic first.  Also make sure your attic has both adequate intake AND exhaust ventilation.  Make sure not to clog the airflow from the soffit area and the attic space by using Baffles as seen in the picture.  Check out YouTube for other great suggestions. 

Bruce Wiegan of BNW Builders PRO answered:

Apr 18, 2015

Make sure that your attic is properly insulated.  Make sure the seals around all windows and doors are in good shape.  If you can see daylight air is entering and leaving as well.

Nathan Harris answered:

Feb 17, 2014

You can also look into programmable thermostats!

Alex Bardi answered:

Apr 17, 2014

Definitely replace your air filters every single month as this is a big contributor to a home's energy efficiency when it comes to HVAC

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