Home Energy Upgrades
Once your home energy check-up has been completed by a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR contractor, you will receive a comprehensive home assessment – a list of suggested energy efficiency upgrades that will make you more comfortable while saving money. Common upgrades may include:
On average, almost 15 percent of cooling energy is wasted due to duct leakage. This can result in hot and uncomfortable rooms regardless of the thermostat setting. Your Home Performance contractor may recommend sealing your home’s ducts with mastic or spray-on sealant, and balancing the duct system to optimize air flow to all rooms. Insulating ductwork will also help to ensure that your home will be more comfortable and that you are getting every dollar out of your heating and cooling equipment.
Sealing Air Leaks
Air leaks are not just in windows and doors. Most homes are full of hidden holes that let outside air in, conditioned air out and can negatively impact the performance of your insulation. In Arizona, leaks in your attic from plumbing penetrations, electric wires, light fixtures, and other holes often represent significant energy losses. Sealing these air leaks is a critical step to improving the overall efficiency and comfort of your home.
Repairing or Adding Insulation
For insulation to be effective, it must be installed properly. To achieve maximum performance, insulation must be installed in the right location and without gaps, voids or compressions. Your Home Performance contractor may recommend repairs to existing insulation or adding insulation when needed. Combined with sealing air leaks, properly installed insulation in attics, walls, and crawlspaces provides for more even temperatures throughout the house and results in a quieter, more comfortable living environment.
There are many ways to improve the performance of your windows and block the sun’s rays during hot Arizona summers. Shade screens offer an affordable solution that blocks up to 70% of the solar heat gain through your windows.
Effective March 1st, 2013, residential shade screen rebates will no longer to available to APS customers. Eligible shade screens installed prior to March 1st 2013, may still apply for rebates.
Improve HVAC Efficiency
If your air conditioner is more than 10 years old, your Home Performance contractor may recommend that you replace it with high-efficiency equipment that has earned the ENERGY STAR label. Installed correctly, these units can save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs. Make sure to insist on a quality installation of your cooling equipment, in particular. Studies show that half of all central air conditioners in U.S. homes never perform to their advertised capacity and efficiency due to incorrect installation.
Upgrading Lighting and Appliances
Energy used for lighting and appliances can account for half of your home's total utility bill. As a result, your Home Performance contractor may recommend ENERGY STAR qualified products, such as refrigerators, dishwashers, electronic equipment, light fixtures, and compact fluorescent bulbs. An energy- and water-efficient hot water heating system may also be recommended.
A combination of any of these measures will help maximize your home's efficiency. Once you've taken these steps, consider adding renewable energy – such as solar photovoltaic or solar hot water – to further reduce your energy bills.