energy efficient home pittsburgh

How to Improve Energy Efficiency in Your Home

One great preparation you’ll want to make for the upcoming spring and summer seasons is to get your home energy-ready. This is one of those projects you’ll want to do now, before the weather gets too hot.  During a heat wave, you can’t get a dedicated professional over to your home (not that you’ll need one, but in the case that you do, now is the time to figure that out).  In the summer months, HVAC workers can be so overbooked that you may have to wait through several days of humid, hot weather with no hope of cooling off.

This year, you’ll want to start with the following steps to make sure your home is energy efficient and your summer cool and affordable. If you want the easy version, make sure you at least complete steps one and two.

  1. Uncover your air conditioner’s condenser unit (the part that is outside), turn on the AC unit, and test the system by turning down the temperature. If the unit doesn’t turn on or isn’t putting out cold air, you might need to call a professional.
  2. Change your air filters on both your main unit and any portable air filters you may have around the home.
  3. Install a smart thermostat. You can save roughly $100 a year by installing a programmable thermostat. This will pay for itself in one or two years, and even the most expensive ones (once with mobile app functionality) will pay for themselves in five years.
  4. Have your air ducts checked for leaks.
  5. Check your home’s insulation (especially in the attic), as the insulation may have compacted, and you might need to add more.
  6. Install a whole-house fan that helps keep your home cool and comfortable.
  7. Check doors, windows, and garages for places where you may need to install weather stripping or make repairs to the frame.
  8. Add fresh air to the home—by opening windows, you save on energy costs. The more days you can open the windows instead of turn on the AC, the less your energy costs will be.

Being energy efficient isn’t difficult by any means—the complicated tasks can and should be done by a professional. Of course, it’s always difficult to have someone come to the home and pay repair prices, but it’s much better to do so now than to deal with a broken air conditioner in the middle of summer or endure unnecessarily high energy costs all summer long. The rest of the steps involve things you can do in a few minutes and aren’t complicated at all.


Henry Duckstein Jr.


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