Improving the Energy Efficiency of Your Home

Energy-efficient houses provide many benefits: long-term cost savings; improved comfort and health; and a more durable and more valuable home. ENERGY STAR® helps you make energy-efficient choices. As you consider rebuilding or renovating your home, consider making your home more energy efficient with properly installed insulation and ENERGY STAR® products.

Benefits of Properly Installed Insulation

  • Improved Comfort ” Properly installed insulation keeps indoor temperatures more steady and keeps rooms warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
  • "Lower Utility Bills” More than 40% of the energy consumed by a typical household goes to heating and cooling. By preventing heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter, insulation reduces utility bills year round.
  • Improved Durability ” When insulation is properly installed, the condensation that can decay building materials is reduced. This helps improve the durability of your home.
  • "Better Resale Value” The improved comfort, lower utility bills, and improved durability of properly installed insulation can mean a higher resale value compared to less efficient homes.

General Information on Insulation for Homeowners

  • The most common types of insulation are fiberglass (batt and blown), cellulose, rigid foam, rock wool and spray foam. Be careful if your home already has vermiculite insulation, as it could contain asbestos.
  • Where there are threats of flooding, install closed-celled foam insulation that does not absorb moisture.
  • Using more insulation than the required minimum saves on energy costs and makes the house more comfortable.
  • Insulation works best when air is not moving through or around it. To get the most benefit out of any insulation, be sure that all air leaks are sealed.
  • To get the biggest savings, add insulation in your attic. Other common places to add insulation are the floors above unheated spaces, unventilated crawl spaces, and the edges of slabs-on-grade.
  • Selecting high quality materials during construction may add to upfront costs, but will likely provide long-term savings through greater durability, strength and reduced replacement costs.

How ENERGY STAR® Products Improve Energy Efficiency

  • A combination of building envelope upgrades ”high-performance windows, controlled air infiltration, upgraded heating and air conditioning systems, and tight duct systems” contribute to improved home quality, lower energy demand, and lower utility bills.
  • Appliances and lighting account for 40% of home energy usage. Refrigerators are typically the single biggest energy-consuming home appliance. ENERGY STAR® qualified appliances use 10% to 50% less energy and water than standard models.
  • Many ENERGY STAR® qualified products are available, ranging from windows and doors to refrigerators and programmable thermostats. When buying new appliances, it pays to look for the ENERGY STAR® label.

Additional Resources

ENERGY STAR® is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. To find local homebuilders or to find out if you may qualify for energy efficiency home tax exemptions, credits or rebates, visit www.energystar.gov.