No matter where you start, the elements of home energy efficiency are connected. Drafty doors, walls, leaky ducts and attics are letting air out of a household’s budget as homeowners pay the price to wrangle the warmth in the winter that freely escapes their home. These homes lack good weatherization or thermal envelope (well insulated, air-resistant perimeter between the inside air and outside air). Tuning up a home’s performance provides the opportunity to improve energy efficiency and savings.

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Recognizing the need for a more energy-efficient home, one Neptune couple took the necessary steps to make their home more efficient and comfortable. Joanna and Anthony D. took a whole-house approach to their home’s performance, turning to NJ Natural Gas for help assessing how much energy their home was consuming and to evaluate what measures they could take to improve energy efficiency and comfort.

One Couple’s Introduction to Energy Efficiency

“The nearly 20-year old furnace was original to the home. As we were thinking about replacing our furnace, we wondered what other energy-efficiency measures needed to be addressed,” Joanna said. That prompted the couple to have a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® (HPwES) comprehensive audit before simply replacing their home’s HVAC equipment.

The audit helped the couple assess how much energy their home was losing and evaluated what actions they could take to improve efficiency. “I often complained to my husband that the house was drafty in the winter and too warm in the summer. There were uneven temperatures between rooms. Not to mention that the heating and cooling systems ran constantly,” Joanna noted.

Seal Up and Insulation:  The Key to Tuning Up a Home’s Performance

The couple was surprised to learn that heat was escaping from places they least suspected, such as the high hats in their bathroom and the attic. Once the insulation and seal up were complete, the homeowners installed a 98 percent AFUE high-efficiency natural gas furnace and a 96 percent high-efficiency natural gas water heater.

The Affordable Means to a Whole-House Approach

To help make the implementation of energy-efficiency measures more affordable, the couple took advantage of New Jersey Natural Gas’ 10 year, fixed 0% APR On-Bill Repayment Program (OBRP). Homeowners who take a whole-house approach to energy efficiency with HPwES may receive up to $5,000 in rebates and borrow up to $10,000 with NJNG’s OBRP for the approved costs of HPwES eligible home improvements.

The Results Pay Off

“Our home is much more comfortable,” the couple reported. All the rooms, up and downstairs, are the same temperature. In fact, the furnace does not run as often as it used to. And the insulation has quieted the house.” The couple estimates they yield total energy savings of approximately 35 percent following the implementation of their energy-efficiency measures. Joanna and Anthony are finally comfortable in their home … gone are the cold, drafty winter nights and higher energy bills.

NJ Natural Gas can provide some easy tips to tuning up your home's performance.  To find out more detail on how you can improve your home’s energy performance, visit The SAVEGREEN Project or call 877-455-NJNG (6564).