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maryland home performance with energy star
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Energy improvements through a Maryland Home Performance with ENERGY STAR can:

Save you money

  • Homes that have been improved through HPwES cost significantly less to heat and cool.
  • Home energy savings can range from 10-40%.

Make you more comfortable  

  • Foaming, caulking, weatherstripping, and adding insulation can help to eliminate drafts and air pockets that cause uncomfortable cold spots and overheated rooms.
  • Many homeowners report reduced dust in their homes after completing HPwES projects.

Improve your home’s ventilation and humidity control

  • Sealing air leaks and installing correctly-sized, energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment can dramatically increase the feeling of comfort in your home.
  • Improved ventilation and humidity control can also reduce your home’s potential for mold.

Reduce your home’s environmental impact

  • Most energy used in our homes comes from burning fossil fuels (coal and natural gas) that produce greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide and methane, which trap heat in the atmostphere). By saving energy, you reduce your home’s contribution to greenhouse gases.  
  • A modest 20% energy savings in a typical Maryland home can save 6,350 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2), the equivalent of taking half a car off the road.

Although your home performance contractor will develop a specific plan for your home, commonly recommended improvements for an energy-efficient home include the following:

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Sealing air leaks and adding insulation
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Would you walk outside on a cold day with your jacket unzipped? Air sealing your home is like zipping up your jacket.

Sealing air leaks will make your home more comfortable and significantly reduce your energy bills.

Many air leaks in homes are more obvious:

  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Electrical outlets

But other areas are even more significant sources of air leaks:

  • Attics
  • Basements
  • Recessed light fixtures

Along with air sealing, your contractor may recommend that you add insulation. Many older homes are not well-insulated, and some have no insulation at all! Even new homes frequently have improperly installed or missing insulation.

Properly installed insulation in walls, floors, and attics:

  • Moderates temperatures throughout the house
  • Results in a quieter, more comfortable living space
  • Makes your home easier and cheaper to heat and cool

Number one rule in air sealing - air seal before you insulate!

To learn more about insulation, please visit:
pliers Insulation 101
pliers Types of insulation
pliers Installing insulation.

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Improving your air ducts
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Many homes have leaky ductwork and poor air flow, resulting in stuffy and uncomfortable rooms. Sealing and insulating ductwork often solves this problem.

Your home performance contractor may recommend the following energy-efficient home improvements:

  • Sealing ducts with a heavy tape such as mastic, durable foil-backed tape, or aerosol-based sealant
  • Insulating ductwork in attics, crawlspaces and unconditioned basements
  • Balancing the duct system to circulate air to all rooms

pliers Learn more about duct sealing.

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Improving your home’s heating and cooling systems
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When it comes to heating and cooling equipment, bigger is not always better. A properly sized unit will make your home more comfortable by providing more consistent temperatures and better humidity control.

Also, if your furnace or air conditioner is more than 10 years old, your contractor may recommend that you replace it with a unit that has earned the ENERGY STAR label. Installed correctly, these high-efficiency units can save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs.

pliers Learn more about how to heat and cool your home efficiently.

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Upgrading to energy efficient lighting and appliances
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Lighting 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:

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Adding renewable energy
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To further reduce your utility bills, your contractor may also recommend adding renewable energy systems such as:

  • Solar electric (photovoltaic)
  • Solar hot water
  • Ground source heat pump
  • Small wind turbine

 

Compact fluorescent lightbulbs: A single 20-watt CFL provides the same amount of light as a 75-watt incandescent light bulb and lasts up to seven times longer.
ENERGY STAR: A program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to help consumers make informed decisions about energy efficiency products and energy usage in all types of buildings including homes.
Ductwork: A series of tubes that circulate air from a furnace or air condition system. These tubes move air from rooms back to the main system. For example, when you turn the thermostat higher, the furnace heats the air and sends it out through ducts into rooms and simultaneously pushes cold air out of the rooms back to the furnace.
Insulation: Materials used to keep air from the home inside and keep outside air out and greatly reduces heating and cooling bills.
Air sealing: Combined with proper insulation, air sealing plugs holes or cracks that let air into your home. These leaks are common around doors, windows and attics. Sealing can be accomplished with caulk or weatherstripping.
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