3 upgrades to help boost your home's energy efficiency

insulation in the ceiling of a house that is being built

With milder temperatures and longer days, it seems as though the last vestiges of winter are behind us. Yet, if you experienced high heating bills, or drafts and cold spots throughout your home, it could mean your home is not as energy efficient as it could be. Home improvement experts suggest spring is the ideal time for homeowners to think about investing in projects that boost their home’s energy efficiency while helping save money each month.

With an increasing array of solutions available on the market, homeowners can make informed decisions on which areas of their home are worth the investment. Here are three key home improvement projects homeowners can consider to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of their home.

Window upgrades

You might not realize it, yet windows can play a major role in the overall comfort of a home and its occupants. The U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Savers states that air loss through windows can equate to around 10 percent. Sealing cracks and gaps around the glass and window frame can make a noticeable difference to curbing air loss, while installing double-glazed windows, originally designed for extreme climates, are an increasingly popular and effective way to help minimize air loss and make those wintry drafts a thing of the past.

HVAC equipment upgrades

Inefficiencies in your heating and cooling equipment could be contributing to your monthly energy bills. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that as much as 25 percent of a home’s annual bill could be directly connected to inefficient HVAC systems. Having a regular maintenance schedule as well as replacing furnace filters can have a positive impact on improving the performance of your heating and cooling equipment. Additionally, over the past decade, advancements in heating and cooling technology have led to manufacturers introducing more energy-efficient equipment. For example, an air conditioning unit from the 1990s can use as much as 6,000 watts per hour, whereas a newer unit is more likely to be using around 1,700 watts per hour.

Upgrading your attic insulation

It’s commonly understood that heat rises, and a home’s attic can be one of the leading contributors to air loss. Air leaking from your home (particularly your attic) cannot only limit the effectiveness of your HVAC equipment, it can also lead to drafts and cold spots as well as the potential for ice dams forming on your roof. Gaps or inadequate insulation in your attic could be costing you money each month. Investing in upgrading your attic insulation to a material that provides both insulating value as well as air sealing can help combat air leakage. Spray foam insulation provides both insulating value and air sealing in one step. Growing quickly in popularity among homeowners, spray foam insulation is a high-performance material that delivers year-round energy efficiency benefits. Spray foam insulation, like that available from Icynene, works well in all types of homes across the country, regardless of climate.

Spray foam insulation performs for the life of the property, ensuring that homeowners can enjoy comfortable indoor temperatures all year round without overrunning their heating and cooling equipment. The insulation material helps limit air loss through the attic (as well as wherever else it is applied) to help create a comfortable living space.

Homeowners interested in understanding more about the performance and energy efficiency advantages can download Icynene’s comprehensive home insulation mobile app, available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The app allows homeowners to understand where air leaks can occur in their home and why insulation is a smart home improvement investment. More information about Icynene spray foam insulation can be found at Icynene.com.

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