You wouldn’t step outside on a zero degree day with your shirt and jacket unbuttoned – you’d be cold! So button up your home to keep your energy bills manageable and be comfortable year-round. But what does “Buttoning Up” mean?
Just like dressing for winter means blocking the wind and wearing thick, warm clothes, buttoning up your home means
- Sealing air leaks, which prevents drafts and keeps the air in your home warm in winter and cool in summer
- Insulating the walls and attic to stop the heat from leaving your home in winter and stop the heat from entering your home in summer
Both air sealing and insulation are necessary. A thick sweater doesn’t keep you warm if it has holes in it, and similarly attic insulation doesn’t keep your home very comfortable if there are air leaks between the living space and the attic. These leaks are usually hidden behind walls, and with the right knowledge and tools you can find and fix them.
You can button up your home in 3 steps.
- Find the opportunities for improvement with a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. An experienced pro will track down all the ways you can stop the drafts and add insulation. If you use Vermont Gas for heat, see if you qualify for their free audit. If you don’t, visit Efficiency Vermont to find a professional energy auditor. If you can, walk around the house with your auditor – ask tons of questions and you’ll learn a lot!
- Review the audit report to decide what work to do yourself and what work to hire out. Remember, you don’t have to do everything on the list at once. Energy-efficiency is a journey. Discuss your options with your auditor and your contractor, and start with the projects that make sense for your budget and energy-savings goals. If you are handy, consider doing some of the work yourself.
- Do the air sealing and insulation work that you chose. You may do some of it yourself, and hire a contractor for the rest. Be sure to ask Vermont Gas or Efficiency Vermont about incentives and rebates that can pay you thousands of dollars!