How Your House Works
You can save the most energy and money by thinking about how all the parts of your house work together as a system. Parts of the system include:
Do you have any of these problems?
These can all indicate that the system isn’t functioning properly.
If one part of the system has a problem, it affects the ability of the other components to function properly. Treating an obvious symptom without knowing the root cause can actually make the problem worse or create new problems. Properly diagnosing and fixing the real culprit requires a “house-as-a-system” approach. A whole house energy upgrade will find and fix the root causes of the problems.
Reasons to upgrade your home include:
Comfort: Do you live in a cold, drafty house? A home energy upgrade will reduce drafts, make cold rooms warm, and reduce noise. These comfort improvements will give you and your family greater enjoyment from your home.
Health and Safety: Inefficient homes can cause indoor air quality problems, including mold, radon, and carbon monoxide exposure. During a home energy assessment, your contractor will test for carbon monoxide and natural gas leaks and make recommendations for health and safety improvements. Implementing these recommendations will ensure you and your family are safe in your home.
Reduce emissions: Decreasing energy usage in your home reduces the pollution caused by burning fossil fuels. In the U.S., this pollution is responsible for more deaths than motor vehicle accidents. Home energy upgrades also reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from buildings, which account for 38% of carbon dioxide emissions that cause rapid changes in our climate.
Savings: Are you wasting money on energy bills? For most New Yorkers, the answer is yes. Most homes have leaky, uninsulated attics and basements and inefficient heating systems and appliances. On average, New Yorkers spend $2,600 per year on home heating, electricity, and hot water. By upgrading your home, you can save between 20 and 60% -- up to $1,500 a year!
Create local jobs. Investing in home energy upgrades generate spending on local goods and services related to energy efficiency. In addition to creating local contractor jobs, energy efficiency upgrades also create a multiplier effect as money not spent on energy stays in the pockets of families and recirculates in the local economy.
1. Union of Concerned Scientists. For an overview of air pollution health problems, see Curtis A. Moore, Dying Needlessly: Sickness and Death Due to Energy-Related Air Pollution, Renewable Energy Policy Project Issue Brief, College Park, Md.: University of Maryland, February 1997. See also Irving M. Mintzer, Alan S. Miller, Adam Serchuk, The Environmental Imperative: A Driving Force in the Development and Deployment of Renewable Energy Technologies, REPP Issue Brief No. 1, April 1996
2. United States Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory, Department of Energy.
Last updated April 12, 2020