Female Drinking Coffee in and Energy Efficient Home

B&E Energy Solutions can help provide you with an energy-efficient home by completing an energy audit. Read further to learn why having an energy-efficient home is a smart choice.

According to the Winter Fuels Outlook 2021 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, American households are facing higher energy bills this year, regardless of whether they use natural gas, electricity, or heating oil. Inflation, along with higher global fuel prices is hitting households with higher energy bills (up 29.3% in December 2021). The price increase could crush family budgets if households aren’t prepared. 

A good way to help control heating & cooling costs is by reducing energy waste. For households, an important part of keeping your bills low is by having an energy-efficient heater, air conditioner, and building shell to provide the comfort you need at a lower cost for an energy-efficient home.

As the principal deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Kelly Speakes-Backman, explains the priority for households is to figure out the easiest and “cheapest ways” they can make a difference. That is precisely where identifying how energy efficient your home is can make a big difference. 

Sign #1 of An Energy-Inefficient Home: Higher Energy Bills 

Every household should expect energy bills to fluctuate slightly during the year, as seasonal changes affect your heating & cooling needs. When you are considering your energy bills, it is a good idea to compare on a year-to-year basis. It would not make sense to compare your heating costs over the summer to your winter costs, as an increase is to be expected during the colder months of the year. 

We also remind you to consider your recent living situation. For example, many American households recorded a sharp heating cost increase during the first year of the pandemic. The move to work from home meant that people were now heating the property during working hours, while they would not have needed heating previously. In other words, if you now spend more time at home than you used to, your heating & cooling costs will reflect the change. 

Keeping an eye on previous bills from the same period and situation can help you with a fair comparative analysis. It is an excellent way of identifying abnormally high energy bills. 

Sign #2 of An Energy-Inefficient Home: Cold Air Instead of Warm Air

The first sign of a comfortable home in winter is the air temperature. Warm air circulates throughout the building and heats the rooms. When your rooms remain chilly despite turning the heating on, it could be a sign that winter’s cold air is finding its way inside your home. 

Where does the cold air come from? 

Every property is different. Yet, more often than not, households that are uncomfortably cold struggle with:

  • Insulation problems
  • Air leaks from the attic
  • Air leaks from the Crawl Space or Basement
  • Leaky ductwork

In other words, air leaks detract from the heating efforts and contribute to elevated heating costs as homeowners need to use more energy to warm the room. 

Thankfully, you can help identify air infiltration inside your home by having an energy audit done https://beinsulated.com/energy-audits/ 

Homeowners may notice some surfaces are cold to the touch when air is infiltrating through ceiling insulation, inside the walls, or in the basement. For instance, you may notice that the ceiling underneath the attic or the floor above the basement or crawl space is cold. This can drop the temperature inside your home by several degrees, despite keeping the heating on. 

We strongly recommend regular maintenance checks on essential home structures such as your roof. Even when your ceiling is insulated, missing or broken roof shingles could lead to water infiltration that could damage the insulation. The same principle applies to external walls and the basement, as a crack in the structure could let the outside air and moisture through, despite using quality insulation. 

Things to Considerations About Keeping Your Heater Energy Efficient

As mentioned, higher energy bills and the presence of cold air inside your home are red flags when it comes to energy efficiency. However, other factors can also affect your heater and challenge energy-efficient functions. 

The age of your heater

Even with regular maintenance, heaters tend to lose efficiency over time. On average, a heater loses approximately 5% of its energy efficiency level every year once past its prime. As a result, experts recommend an approximative life expectancy of 15 to 20 years for residential heaters. Many households assume that they can save money and keep their heater for longer with plenty of care. Unfortunately, it is a false economy and could increase your heating expenses.

The annual fuel utilization

The AFUE, or annual fuel utilization efficiency, refers to how much fuel your heater converts into energy, and the AFUE rating is a percentage that highlights your heater’s fuel efficiency. 

With an old furnace, the fuel efficiency could be as low as 56%, which means that 44% of the energy produced doesn’t convert into heat. You will find the information in the user’s manual for the heater or on a sticker inside the furnace cabinet. 

As a rule of thumb, an energy-efficient furnace has an AFUE rating of 90% or higher, meaning 10% or less energy loss. For new furnaces, the minimum AFUE rating permitted is 78%. 

The last maintenance date

To prevent issues, you need to keep your furnace and heating system regularly maintained. Maintenance can spot faults early, ensuring diligent repairs to maintain the efficiency of your system. It will prevent the furnace from overheating or working overtime to no avail. 

Households who rely on their HVAC system for heating could face high costs when they fall behind on maintenance routines, such as changing filters regularly. 

Why You Need to Audit Your Home for Energy Efficiency

As energy prices are on the rise, many households are already expecting increased energy costs. Having, an energy efficiency audit can prove highly useful in identifying areas of improvement, aka helping you cut down your heating costs despite inflation. 

An audit can present an energy heating efficiency strategy that increases your home’s comfort. As Americans worry about facing elevated energy expenses, many households consider changes to save costs, such as keeping the heating temperature lower during the colder months of the year. At B&E, we believe that saving money and energy should not put your comfort and health at risk. That is why we strongly recommend performing an audit to evaluate your current situation. 

How B&E Can Help Keep Your Energy Bills Low 

Our team of experts at B&E is dedicated to increasing the energy efficiency of your home to support your comfort and your energy savings. We take an all-encompassing approach to monitor and evaluate the best energy-efficient approach for your home.

We start with an energy audit to evaluate your comfort levels, energy use, safety concerns, and the performance of your existing systems and insulation solutions. 

We use the audit to determine the best strategy for your situation. This can include:

  • New and improved insulation solutions for attic, basement, etc.
  • Replacement for your heating or AC system
  • Air sealing solutions to keep the cold air out

We are also happy to provide advice and information about New Jersey Utility program energy efficiency rebates and zero-interest financing options for your home. 

Why Trust B&E

With over 25 years of experience, our B&E Energy Solutions team is passionate about improving the comfort of your home. We are residential home experts, providing market-leading solutions to enhance home comfort and energy efficiency at the lowest possible cost. But don’t take our word for it. Instead, please take a look at the 5-star reviews left by our satisfied customers in New Jersey. 

We are screened and approved HomeAdvisor contractors, Building Performance Institute Inc Goldstar contractors, and Energy Star Home Performance and clean energy program partners in New Jersey. You can rest assured that we know how to tackle the energy efficiency challenges in your home. 

We are also dedicated to making energy efficiency improvements affordable to all households. It is common for our clients to spend no money out of their pockets for our services. We combine our expert knowledge of buildings, energy efficiency technology and solutions, and mechanical science to reduce your heating costs significantly. B&E is able to offer combined zero-interest financing and rebates up to $20,000 for a 10-year term with your participating NJ Utilities to cover the cost of your improvements 

Are you ready to enjoy a comfortable home with an energy-efficient heater? Then do not hesitate to get in touch with our experts in New Jersey at (888) 740-7920 or via our contact form online. We serve Ocean, Monmouth, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem, Atlantic, Cumberland, and Cape May. You can also reach us by email at  info@beinsulated.com, to discuss your needs.