Thursday, May 19, 2011

How To Make Sure Winter Drafts Don't Become Summer Hot Spots

Those cold drafts that blow through houses induce shivers and raise energy bills throughout the winter months are over. But don’t be fooled. Having a poorly insulated and sealed home, which causes those winter drafts, will continue to raise your energy bills throughout the summer. 

“What many people don’t realize is that the same problem areas that make your home cold and drafty in the winter will make your home hot and uncomfortable in the summer,” says Tom Brown, an Energy Savings Consultant with BrightHome Energy Solutions. “Heat enters your home in the same way that cold does, making your air conditioner work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature, which ultimately costs you money on your energy bills.”

Brown recommends checking your home’s airtightness to identify problem areas. BrightHome has a variety of tests available, including the blower door test, where a calibrated fan in a door-panel unit is used to measure how much air your home is leaking, and a thermal imaging test, which uses a camera to detect changes in temperature and create a map of your home’s problem areas. But knowing where your problem spots are isn’t much use unless you know what to do about them.

Brown explains what comes next, “Once we identify the places in your home that need insulation and air sealing, we create a set of custom recommendations designed to save you energy in the most cost efficient manner.  Together with your input we develop the best plan for your needs and budget to properly insulate and air seal your home.”

Many BrightHome customers have identified their windows as a problem area and were concerned that they needed to replace their windows.  In many cases, properly air sealing and insulating the walls around the windows actually proved more cost effective at reducing energy costs and making the house more comfortable. 

Sometimes, however, new windows are necessary or desired.  Argon insulated windows and windows with low-emittance coatings can reduce heat gain during summer months, with the added benefit of reducing heat loss in the winter. Replacing windows is a fine art though. BrightHome technicians who install energy efficient windows are also experienced carpenters who know how to install your windows for maximum airtightness and match your new windows to the style of your home for seamless design integration.

To keep winter drafts from becoming your sweltering summer indoor hotspots and raising your energy bills, give BrightHome a call. A BrightHome certified home energy efficiency consultant can check out your home and give you custom recommendations to help you get the biggest bang for your energy efficiency buck.  At BrightHome our mission is to help you use less energy, save money and be more comfortable. 

BrightHome can help you take advantage of up to $3,500 in New York Home Performance with Energy Star® cash incentives and Federal Tax Credits and financing as low as 3.49%.

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