You talk a lot about air sealing and insulation, to lower winter heat bills by keeping the heat in the house. But isn’t that a problem in the summer, when you want to keep the heat out? I don’t want to get the house insulated if it’ll mean running up an air conditioning bill. What do you say?
Great question. Air sealing and insulation actually help a house stay warmer in the winter AND cooler in the summer. You see, when you properly “tighten” a home, you make it hard for indoor air to escape and for outdoor air to enter, year ’round. In the summer, that means that less hot air comes in from outdoors and less air escapes from a cool house. That adds up to a more comfortable home with lower cooling costs.
In fact, in many tightened Vermont houses, the need for air conditioning can be eliminated or significantly reduced when you use some simple summertime cooling techniques. For example, you can open windows in the cool part of the day (with or without window fans) to create a cross breeze. Then, keep that cooler air inside by closing windows before the day heats up, and shutting window coverings to keep out direct sunlight. Check out more energy-saving cooling tips.
If you’re ready to air seal and insulate your home, the most effective and energy-saving approach is to hire a professional. A Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® contractor is specially certified to find and fix the causes of uncomfortable rooms, high energy bills, drafts, air quality issues, and more. These contractors can conduct an energy audit and make recommendations for home improvements. Many of the contractors can then perform the work that you decide to have done. Efficiency Vermont offers homeowners rebates for energy-saving work that has been completed by one of these contractors. Learn more and to find a list of participating Vermont contractors. Now is a great time to explore your options because spring can be a less busy time for contractors in demand. Thanks for writing in!
Bob for The Home Team