Portland’s new Home Energy Score requirement is effiective Jan. 1st, 2018. Before you call your Portland home energy assessor to score your home, read our list of 4 things you can do yourself (DIY) to improve your home energy score. Recommendations are based on the home energy scoring guidelines used by the US Department of Energy.
- Stop air leakage. Most Portland homes were built thirty, forty, even fifty years ago, and little things like weather stripping and caulk tend to go bad after that amount of time. In addition, there are new products on the market that can do a much better job than that old and tired door seal! There are plenty of guides to weatherizing your home online, but the thing to keep in mind is that you can’t make a leaky, old window or door better with new seals. Double-paned windows will definitely boost your home energy score, so if they’re in your budget, go for it.
- Improve and upgrade insulation. This is one category in which your Portland home assessor will most certainly find room for improvement. While walls are usually costly and time-consuming to reinsulate, there are some low-hanging fruit if you have unfinished walls in your basement or attic. Attic ceilings should also be insulated, and don’t forget to seal the hatch leading into the attic itself. For insulation, R-39 or better is preferred. You might qualify for a cash rebate for the insulation itself.
- Check heating and cooling systems for efficient operation. You can help improve your HVAC system’s operation by cleaning the air compressor and emptying drains, or call for an annual maintenance by a professional. Check air filters and change them if needed. The same goes for your home’s A/C unit, if you have one.
- Check air ducts. The ducts circulating hot or cold air in your home may not be operating at peak efficiency if there are blocks in the line or if vents have accumulated dust and debris. Start by vacuuming vents, then check for leaks along visible ducts. If they are unsealed, you may want to seal them yourself — just be sure to use duct mastic, not duct tape! Call in a professional if you are unsure, because an incorrectly sealed or insulated duct will not help your home energy score.
Have questions about improving your home energy score in Portland? Contact us today — we’re here to help you get the best score possible.