5 Overlooked Aspects of Home Energy Efficiency

by James Florence


To maximize your home’s energy efficiency, it’s important to address commonly overlooked details. Photo: D. Cook Construction (2014)

While making upgrades can enhance your home’s energy efficiency, it can be counterproductive if your existing appliances and systems aren’t operating at peak performance. To help consumers identify key problem areas, we asked five Diamond Certified Experts to weigh in on some of the most basic yet overlooked aspects of home energy efficiency.

1. Air sealing – Dustin Cook of D. Cook Construction
Air transmission is a major cause of home energy loss—it’s typically conducted through cracks, joints, and other gaps between the interior and exterior of a home. A simple way to address this is to fill in breaches with supplemental sealing agents like caulk and expansive foams.

2. Ductwork – Todd Lubash of Bell Products, Inc.
Over time, a home’s ductwork can start to deteriorate, whether due to natural wear or more active sources of damage such as rodents. Since leaky or poorly insulated ductwork can hamper furnace efficiency, it’s a good idea to have yours inspected periodically.

3. Electrical panels – Paul Parker of Mister Sparky
A single loose electrical connection can inhibit the efficient flow of energy throughout the home and even pose a safety issue by causing wires to overheat. Since there are more than 100 connections in the average electrical panel, it’s a good idea to have yours routinely inspected and serviced by a professional.

4. Refrigerators – Jerry Shafer of Affinity Solar Energy
While most people equate the sound of a running refrigerator to white noise, if yours seems to be running constantly, it may indicate an efficiency issue. Whether caused by dirty condenser coils or air leakage, an inefficient refrigerator can consume up to three times the amount of energy used by a properly functioning unit.

5. Furnaces – Kent Penning of Cold Craft, Inc.
In addition to changing your furnace filter on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to have your furnace inspected annually, both to prevent unanticipated system failure and minimize operating costs.