If you have seasonal comfort issues in your home, now is the time to prepare. It may be too late to save all the money you might have saved on summer air conditioning bills, but you still have time to strategize ahead of winter's frigid temperatures.
A quick search on improving home comfort shows there are hundreds of possible causes of discomfort and any one of these may exist inside your home. Rather than shoot in the dark, Consumer Reports Magazine suggests taking the prioritized recommendations from your home energy audit as a starting point for installing upgrades saying, “you don't have to buy a new house to reap the latest energy savings.”
“Choose a contractor certified by the Building Performance Institute. They're required to do an audit before and after any work to guarantee results.” Consumer Reports magazine says.
Proper insulation levels will help to decrease heat loss and improve comfort during colder winter months. “A properly insulated home not only reduces heating and cooling costs, but also improves comfort,” says the U.S. Department of Energy.
Homeowners participating in New Jersey's Home Performance with Energy Star program have the added assurance of a verification inspection at the completion of work to ensure that renovations have improved the home's performance and that safety standards are met. Verification testing includes comparing both pre and post air infiltration rates, as well and combustion safety testing performed both before and after the installation of upgrades.
Other benefits of participating in the New Jersey Home Performance with Energy Star program include:
- Reporting process that requires participating contractors to report jobs that are promoted to homeowners and performed under the NJHPwES logo.
- Job report review process that ensures program compliance and provides for follow up with the contractor when necessary
- Customer feedback mechanism which allows customers to provide feedback directly to the program sponsor.
- On-site inspection protocols including a sampling rate set at a minimum of 5% for all participating contractors.
- Conflict resolution mechanism for responding to and resolving customer complaints.
- Record keeping and tracking of results from on-site inspections, customer surveys, and corrective actions. Records must be available for review upon request from the national Home Performance with Energy Star program.