You don’t have to sacrifice comfort and energy savings to preserve the history of their New England home — there are a variety of upgrades that can save money and provide modern comforts without impacting the classic charm.
— Enoch Lenge is Eversource’s energy efficiency spokesman. This post on his blog is on the Eversource website.
If you’re a homeowner or renter looking to make updates, here are some common problems and solutions to keep in mind:
Increasing natural light in your home has actual health benefits such as boosting your mood, aiding in healthy eye development, giving you more energy and making you feel well-rested. Natural light can also save energy and make a room feel spacious.
If your home was built before the late 1970s, your single-pane windows may be costing you money. If you are considering a window upgrade, get the most out of your investment by pairing it with insulation and air sealing to make it part of a more comprehensive energy efficiency upgrade.
According to EnergyStar.gov, installing ENERGY STAR® qualified windows lowers energy bills and helps homeowners save $126–$465 a year over single-pane windows or $27–$111 a year over double-pane, clear glass replacement windows.
Drafty solutions: Windows, doors, exterior walls, attics, electrical outlets, and chimneys are all common areas for drafts.
One way to improve your home’s heat loss and efficiency is to enhance its insulation. Just like a home’s foundation, insulation settles over time and becomes compromised, causing air leaks. This can account for up to 30% of a home’s heating and cooling costs — which is like having a window open to the outside all year round!
Air sealing is another way to eliminate drafts. According to Energy.gov, you should caulk and weather strip for simple, effective air-sealing that will often return your investment in less than a year.
Enhance old fixtures with LED lighting: Think all light bulbs are the same? LED lightbulbs use 80 to 90% less energy, and each incandescent bulb you replace with an ENERGY STAR-certified light bulb will save you about $10 in energy costs each year. These bulbs are also dimmable, can last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs, and some now have Wi-Fi capabilities for automatic control.
Replace old, clunky appliances: Did you know that refrigerators more than ten years old could cost you over $100 extra per year? By replacing old appliances, you’ll not only enhance your home’s interior living space, but increase your home’s resale value, improve your family’s quality of life, and decrease your environmental impact. For a list of ENERGY STAR-certified appliances and products, go to EnergyStar.gov.
How do you get started? Good news! Eversource, through Home Energy Solutions, offers in-home energy assessments with our authorized contractors.
Additionally, our contractors can help identify rebates and incentives. In Connecticut, residents can take advantage of financing opportunities like the HES Payment Plan, a zero percent interest loan that provides up to $3,000 toward qualified energy efficient home improvements.
For more information on how you can get started on your home energy efficiency projects, call 877-WISE-USE or visit the Save Money & Energy pages on Eversource.com.