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Where to Begin? Prioritizing Energy Efficiency Improvements


Looking to improve your home’s efficiency, save on your utility bills, and create a safer, more comfortable environment to live in?


Photo Credit: Green Dream Group

Photo Credit: Green Dream Group

















It can be intimidating knowing where to start, knowing which steps to take and when. Luckily, Green Dream Group, a Chicago-based home performance has outlined a helpful hierarchy of energy efficiency upgrades. By taking a prioritized approach, homeowners can implement some of the simpler, yet extremely effective upgrades first, thus spending less and getting quicker results. After a home has undergone these modifications, then a homeowner can move onto other energy efficiency measures.


While every home is different, a typical home improvement plan could fit this sequence:


First Step:  Sealing air leaks and adding insulation

2nd Step:  Improving heating and cooling systems

3rd Step:  Sealing ductwork

4th Step:  Replacing windows

5th Step:  Upgrading lighting, appliances, and water heating equipment

Final Step:  Installing renewable energy systems


While multiple variations of this energy performance hierarchy exist – see MN Power’s Pyramid of Conservation below for another example – they can prove to be a useful tool for forming your home performance action plan.


Photo Credit: MN Power

Photo Credit: MN Power



One way to be sure you are addressing the right issues and taking the appropriate steps, though, is to have a professional energy assessment conducted. So if you are considering home energy improvement, contact 401(e) and we can help you out.