Friday, October 26, 2018

Are you ready for winter?

By Kevin Ronan

It was not very long ago when we were basking in the warmth of a wonderful Maine summer. Now it is time to get ready for the coming winter. What have you done to prepare your home? What options should homeowners consider when preparing for a cold Maine winter?

Have you considered an energy audit? An energy audit is an analysis of
a home’s energy consumption and outlines how to improve its overall energy consumption. This information can assist a homeowner to realize significant savings on utility bills and create a more comfortable living environment during the cold winters. An energy audit will cost between $300-$600 depending on how extensive the audit and there are a number of home inspection companies in Southern Maine from which to choose. When choosing a company to perform the audit, check to make sure they are insured and bonded. 

Are you familiar with Efficiency Maine (EM)?  Efficiency Maine is an independent administrator of energy efficient programs in Maine. EM's mission is to promote cost effective energy savings. Through Efficiency Maine, a homeowner can access a number of resources including determining your homes energy efficiency, energy savings technologies and available incentives and rebates. Efficiency Maine can be contacted at INFO@EFFICIENCYMAINE.COM, 1-866-376-2463.

What if you do not want to pay for an energy audit. What can you do yourself? Depending on your budget here are some suggestions to improve your home efficiency. Start by cleaning and servicing you furnace and hot water heater. Be sure to change the filters annually. Check around windows and door frames for any air leaks or drafts. An inexpensive tube of silicone caulk can greatly reduce drafts and heat loss. Replace any incandescent bulbs with energy efficiency LED bulbs.  Install low flow shower heads and finally unplug all unused chargers. 

Bigger ticket projects can reap even greater energy efficiencies for homeowners. Add or replace insulation in the walls and the attic. When choosing insulation pay close attention to the insulation R-value. Your local hardware or building supply store representatives are well informed and can help you choose the right insulation for your project. If your home has a HVAC system, get it serviced. This can be costly but well worth the cost. Finally, is it time to replace noisy old appliances with an Energy Star rated appliance.

At the time I was writing this article, the local weather forecast today calls for snow and cold rain; now is the time to get ready!  Stay warm!

Kevin Ronan,Associate Broker affiliated with Alliance Realty, 290 Bridgeton Road in Westbrook brings this article to you. He can be contacted at 207-838-4855 or if you need any assistance. 

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