Audit your attic and crawl space or basement
The top and bottom levels of your home can be the biggest sources of cooling and heating loss. Performing an audit and prioritizing improvement projects is a great way to make your home more energy efficient.
- Attic Insulation: Make sure your attic hatch is insulated, weather stripped and closes tightly. In the attic, determine if pipes and ductwork are sealed, and close any gaps with an expanded foam caulk or similar permanent sealant. Check to see if there is a vapor barrier under the attic insulation, such as tarpaper or a plastic sheet. If not, consider painting the interior ceilings with vapor barrier paint. This will reduce the amount of water vapor that can pass through the ceiling, preventing structural damage and improving the effectiveness of the insulation. Make sure that attic vents aren’t blocked by insulation, and that the entire attic floor is covered with insulation with an R-value of 38.
- Crawl Space or Basement: If yours is unconditioned and open, you should have insulation under the living area flooring with a recommended R-value of 25. If your sub-space is enclosed with heating and cooling appliances and ductwork, you should probably insulate the sub-space perimeter rather than the living room floor. The insulation at the top of the foundation wall and first floor perimeter should have an R-value of 19 or greater. If the basement is intentionally conditioned, the foundation walls should also be insulated to at least R-19. Your water heater, hot water pipes and furnace ducts should all be insulated.
Use SmartHub to monitor your usage
SmartHub is a free app linked to your account that you can use to view your account status in real time, pay your bill, and manage your account. You can also use it to view, in a layout of your choosing, your energy consumption by hour, day, week, and month. Tracking your energy usage reinforces what activities and appliances use the most electricity, and looking at the current status of your account on a regular basis can help to avoid unexpectedly high bills. You’ll also receive high energy use email notifications. SmartHub is available at bemc.org or by downloading the app, and if you’d like assistance setting it up, please call (800) 842-5871 and we’ll be happy to help.
Take action, build habits
- Shoot the breeze: Caulk and weather strip around drafty windows and doors
- Check it out: Get your HVAC system checked annually
- Turn it down: Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees
- Fill ‘em up: Only wash full loads of dishes and clothes
- Keep it cool: Turn off your dishwasher’s heat dry cycle, and air-dry clothes when possible.
More ways to save energy
Visit our website for additional tips, videos and resources to help you save energy lower your bill.