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Chemist's Corner: Is your home energy efficient for winter?

How Energy Efficient Is Your Home?

Each year millions of homeowners across this country make decisions regarding preparation of their homes for the upcoming winter season. How each owner prepares their home will be influenced by which factors they consider important. For example, energy cost, energy efficiency, infrastructure, weather forecasts and location are all important factors to consider. The cost of energy from all sources has gone up considerably this past year. As a result, the price of energy delivered to residential customers this coming winter 2021-2022 is projected to be up approximately 15% for natural gas, 50% for heating oil and 3% to 10% for electricity according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). These unusually large price increases can put real financial strain on most homeowners.  

Do you have a gauge on how energy efficient your home is? Not knowing this information could be costing you considerably. First start with determining how much you’re spending yearly for all sources of energy that your home consumes. Once you have this total take that result and divide it by the square footage of your home. This is your baseline energy cost annually per square foot.

Rising Energy Costs

The average cost annually in 2019 was 0.72 per square foot in the United States according to (EIA). If you had a 2000 square foot home, you would have paid around $1440 (fourteen hundred and forty dollars) for your energy needs in 2019. We provided this example because it helps in establishing whether your home is energy efficient (below the average) or energy inefficient (above the average).

Keep in mind the cost of energy does vary depending on what region of the country you live it. If, for example, you happen to live where the cost is unusually high to start with, you may be higher than the average but still live in a fairly energy efficient home. However, for most of the country, if you are already at or below the average, then congratulations! If you are above the average, we want to offer some suggestions that might be helpful to you.

Energy Evaluations and Audits

Conducting an energy evaluation for your home is a great way to start. The website has several tools for helping homeowners and business get a handle on energy usage. On their website, at the bottom is the button Find Ways to Save, which will guide you through the process of a home energy audit. The tool will only be as accurate as the information you provide.

Another option is to make use of a program that is specific to your location. The following link lists programs available in specific states and regions: Look through the list to see if there is a program near you.

If these evaluations reveal that your home is not properly sealed, it could very well drive up the cost of energy consumption by twenty percent or more according to the EPA. In addition to cost, air leaks can contribute to cold drafts, moisture condensation problems, mold, unwanted noise, dust/airborne pollutants and insect infestations. Not having a well-sealed home both inside and outside can negatively impact the comfort, quality and safety of your home.

Most of these tools work by viewing your home as a complete system. This is the same approach we have taken at Perma-Chink Systems® when it comes to the protection of your home from the elements. Our products work together to build a dependable and long-lasting sealed home.

Perma-Chink Systems also has two energy-related technical tips: Energy Audit and Finding Air Leaks. These tips were written to help homeowners find ways to save on energy costs and create a more comfortable environment in which to live.

Here to Help Inform and Prepare Homeowners

For over forty years now Perma-Chink Systems has partnered with homeowners to help seal and protect homes. Energy conservation is complex and navigating the many twists and turns can be overwhelming at times. The decisions you make regarding energy today will have an impact on you and your loved ones for years to come. At Perma-Chink Systems we want to give you the products and tools needed for success.

For more information, please visit our website at When “Old Man Winter” comes knocking at the door this season, we want you to be confidently prepared.