July 27, 2015

With summer in full swing, many homeowners are feeling the heat in the form of high electricity bills and cooling costs. Here's five easy tips on how to save energy this summer:

  1. Install a programmable or learning thermostat. By turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for  8 hours, you can save 5% to 15% a year on energy use. A learning thermostat can dial back your AC when you leave for work and turn it back up so your home is cool and comfortable when you return. Even just turning the AC down a bit at night can make a noticeable difference.

  2. Make sure your insulation is up to code. Energy Star recommends 12 to 15 inches of attic insulation for New Jersey homes. While insulation plays an important role in keeping your home warm in the winter, it is equally important in locking in cold air during the hot summer months. If your home has 6 inches or less of attic insulation, adding more is highly recommended and extremely cost-effective when considering the future energy savings.

  3. Close blinds and curtains during the day. Minimizing your home's exposure to sunlight is crucial to reducing cooling costs. Keep blinds closed, especially on south facing windows, when possible during sunny days. A longer term solution is to use trees and other landscaping features to provide shade to south facing areas of the home.

  4. Air Seal the envelope of your home. The average home contains a half-mile of cracks that air leaks in and out of. Air leaks can be found around doors and windows, in recessed light fixtures, all throughout the attic floor, and in countless other locations in the home. Air sealing with a Building Performance Institute certified contractor gives you the confidence that your home is as tight as it can be, and that the air you pay to cool stays in your house and not leaking into the outdoors.

  5. Get a home energy audit. While many problems are common across different homes,every house is different. A comprehensive energy audit with a certified professional can reveal problem areas in the home you may not have thought about before, and can pinpoint the most cost-effective ways to improve your home.


New Jersey's Home Performance with Energy Star Program offers homeowners generous incentives, including cash rebates and low-interest loans, for home improvement projects with certified professionals. Typical projects include air sealing, insulation, and high-efficiency HVAC and hot water upgrades. Building Sciences LLC of Short Hills has completed over 700 jobs with the HPwES program in the last three years, and is the leading HPwES contractor in Northern New Jersey. For more information about the program or how to get started, visit here, or call (973) 786-3700