Is your home so drafty that you can feel the winter’s chill? Does that old furnace in your basement burn a hole in your checkbook without heating your house?
There’s plenty of cold weather ahead this year, and it’s not too late to consider making improvements that will keep your family comfortable, even on the coldest of February nights.
Start off with a comprehensive home energy audit that takes a detailed look at your home and makes recommendations on how to make it more efficient.
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) recently extended its New Jersey Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) program through Dec. 31.
Through HPwES, part of New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program, homeowners work with certified contractors to determine how and where energy is wasted in a home.
When the audit is complete, a homeowner receives a list of recommendations for improving the home’s energy efficiency. Homeowners can save up to 30 percent on energy bills by implementing the recommendations of the audit.
And that’s not the only way that homeowners can save. Up to $5,000 in incentives is available for upgrades. Visit www.njcleanenergy.com for more information about the program.
New Jersey Natural Gas is helping homeowners overcome the upfront financial barriers to energy efficiency, NJNG’s Save Green program offers qualified customers the opportunity for a no-interest repayment plan. Customers can borrow up to $10,000 and pay no interest for 10 years.
Visit www.njng.com for details.
Installing a new, high-efficiency heating system not only reduces energy consumption, it actually pays for itself over time, says Raymond Dietrich, owner of Brown’s Heating and Cooling in Little Silver. In other words, homeowners can save green by being green.
“With a typical high-efficiency furnace you’ll see about a 30 percent savings on your gas bill,” Dietrich says. And with rebates from New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program, New Jersey Natural Gas’s Warm Advantage Program, and the manufacturers, homeowners can save an average of $1,200 – $3,600 – often a third to half of the cost of the installation, he adds.
Homeowners with 15 – 20 year old heating systems will see a dramatic drop in fuel consumption. Those units run at about 70 percent efficiency, Dietrich says, while the most efficient unit available today operates at 98 percent efficiency.
Dietrich points out that high efficiency units will save money on electric bills, too. New heating systems use less power, which result in a 10 – 15 percent savings during the heating season.
While there’s still plenty of cold weather left this winter and spring, it’s not too early to think about air conditioning. Cooling your home doesn’t need to bust your budget. New, high efficiency air-conditioning units from Lennox come solar ready, Dietrich says, so homeowners can harness the power of the sun to keep cool in the summer.
Visit www.brownshc.com for more information