Is your home ready for winter storms and colder weather? If you’re a home owner looking to make your home more energy efficient this season, you’re in luck! HouseSmarts TV host Lou Manfredini stopped by recently to discuss common myths about energy efficiency, and share tips on how you can make your home more energy efficient with the latest technology, new windows or even just by moving some furniture!
Candace Rose: With winter nearly upon us what can homeowners do to improve their home’s energy efficiency this season?
Lou Manfredini: “Well, one of the simplest things, Candace, that doesn’t cost anything at all is to check the arrangement of your furniture. Look, you’ve got forced air heat in your home or maybe you’re heating your home with a radiator, if furniture is covering those vents or something’s up against that radiator your system inside your home has to work harder to bring it up to the temperature that you’ve set your thermostat at. And when it has to work harder to do that, you use more energy which means it costs you money. If you can slightly rearrange the furniture or pull it away from a vent that is covered you’d be amazed at how much more comfortable you are and how much money you could save.”
Candace Rose: And how can we use technology like smartphones to improve energy efficiency?
Lou Manfredini: “Well, there’s a bunch of different thermostats that are out there now (programmable thermostats) which by themselves is great technology, but can now be hooked up to a smartphone. And the idea behind this is that you can control the temperature no matter where you are. The thermostat gets connected to your home WIFI system and then there’s a program that connects the two together, so if you’re going to head out of town or you maybe programmed it to set back at a certain temperature when you’re going to come home early you can reset it so that it gets to the temperature you want it at. It gives you better control, and if there’s ever a problem with your furnace (maybe it stops working) it’ll send you an alert so you know you need to call somebody to check it out before pipes start to freeze.”
Candace Rose: What are some other things homeowners can do to make an impact on energy efficiency in his or her home?
Lou Manfredini: “I want you to take a really good look at your windows and doors in your home because this is the area of greatest loss. I’ve spent the last 10 years working with the Marvin window company because I install those windows in the homes that I build and renovate because they’re problem-free for me and for my clients whose homes that they’re living in. Their wood windows (to me) give you the best value at a proposition – you can paint or stain it. The design capabilities are limitless of what you will do inside of your home. And on the exterior side with the high performance glass and the aluminum cladding, you have no worries as far as maintenance goes.
To me this is a window that 25 years from now we’re going to have a conversation about how much you still love them and how much they’re still giving you the energy efficiency that you paid for earlier and that they still operate and that they’re still working.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any suggestions when shopping for windows?
Lou Manfredini: “Go with brand names because brand does matter when you go to sell, and it’s that whole value added proposition. Now of course as I mentioned I work with the Marvin folks, I have a bunch of energy efficient tips that you can find at Marvin.com/Energy. And there’s even a promotion going on right now called their Smart Performance Promotion where one person can win $5,000 to put towards the purchase of new windows and doors. So that’s money savings that has nothing to do with energy, it has a direct effect on your bottom line.”
Candace Rose: Are there any common myths or misconceptions about energy efficiency that you’d like to dispel?
Lou Manfredini: “A lot of people think they can’t do stuff themselves – they think, ‘well, I have to have someone come in and do this’. But the fact of the matter is if you eliminate drafts coming into your home by putting in weatherstripping that you can do yourself, whether it’s a self-stick weatherstripping that you put around doors that are leaking air (this is something that anybody can do) or if you have those vents and switch plates where you feel that draft when you’re next to it. This is something anyone can do – pennies of an investment and just a little bit of time, and it’s a remarkable difference in the overall comfort in your home and your bottom line energy usage to keep more money in your wallet.”
Candace Rose: Where can viewers go for more information?
Lou Manfredini: “They can find additional tips at Marvin.com/Energy.”