Category: Energy Audit

Is Your Home Green?

I’m not talking about color. I’m talking about lifestyle. “Going green” means to pursue knowledge and practices that can lead to more environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible decisions and lifestyles, which can help protect the environment and sustain its natural resources for current and future generations.


There are several ways you can achieve this. Here are just a few…

Install a programmable thermostat

These automatically adjust for when you are away or asleep, saving you money.

Set your hot water tank to 120

Not only does higher temperatures increase risk of injury, it also increases energy costs as well.

Start a nightly routine

Go through the house and make sure all unused lights, appliances, ceiling fans, electronics, etc are all turned off.

Upgrade your appliances

Today’s appliances are so energy efficient. They come with ratings so you’ll know exactly what you are getting.

Seal, Seal, Seal!

Around windows, doors, basements, attics! Everywhere that cool air can get in and heat can escape. Also, if you have older windows, you may want to cover them with those shrinking plastic kits until you can afford to replace them.

Buy energy efficient light bulbs

These typically use about 25%-80% less energy than traditional incandescent, saving you money and they last significantly longer!

One last thing I want to include is specific for Massachusetts home owners. Have you ever heard of Mass Save? It is an initiative sponsored by Massachusetts gas and electric utilities and energy efficiency service providers. They work closely to provide a wide range of energy efficiency services to help residents manage energy use and related costs. They have rebates, incentives, tips, resources and more. There is even a place to take an online assessment to see where you could save more. It’s a great program and is worth checking out. Just click HERE!

Well, that’s it for now. Stay warm!

Making Your Home Energy Efficient

Making you home energy efficient will save on the environment and your wallet. That all sounds good but exactly how do you do it? Here are 10 top ways to make that happen.

energy audit

First, get an energy audit. 

This is where a professional comes in and assesses your home and tell you what needs the most attention. Its a good idea because they know places to look that we wouldn’t even think of. FYI, We offer them here at Newhouse and Sun…

Second, Seal up doors and windows

Use caulking or other methods to seal around doors and windows. These are the number one way we lose energy in our homes. You can also check attics and basement for cracks and hole.

Third, insulate the attic

Half the homes in the US are under insulated. This is easy to do and you will notice the difference.

Fourth, seal your ductwork 

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that roughly a fifth of this air escapes through leaks. Use duct sealant to fix any leaks.

Fifth, install a programmable thermostat 

These devices “save about 10 percent on your heating bills and your cooling bills in the summer, so they pay for themselves literally in a matter of months,” says Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy.

Sixth, install new windows

New windows can save you a bundle. They also add to the value of your home so its a win/win

Seventh, install energy efficient doors

Avoid hollow doors! I know they are cheaper but the air goes right thru them.

Eighth, install storm windows

This can be a cheaper option than window replacement if your interior windows are in good shape.

Ninth, replace old systems

Replacing your HVAC units can lower your monthly energy bills. Not to mention make the home overall more comfortable. Make sure you have done the other steps before you do this one though, otherwise you lose it all.

Tenth, install a new water heater

Water heating takes up 15 to 25 percent of the homes energy usage. Energy efficient water heaters can significantly lower that!

Now that you’ve done all of these your house should be free of drafts, be more comfortable and you should start seeing a drop in your energy bills. Energy is expensive! Here at Newhouse and Sun we offer all of the services listed above as well as solar panels…but that’s a different blog! Why not give us a call today? (978) 657-7274


How Much Heat Is Your House Losing?

Since the winter started, New England has had several feet of snow blanket the area.  This winter wonderland is beautiful, but it brings with it many issues that homeowners have to deal with.   Just driving around the area, it is easy to see which homes and buildings are losing heat.  Long and dangerous icicles drape from the sides of buildings, showing that heat is escaping through the roof. This creates ice dams that damage a roof, causing costly repairs.  The thing is, roofs are not meant to melt snow, and so what is a homeowner to do?

Until a homeowner knows where the heat is being lost, it is virtually impossible to fix the issue. The best way to find out where your heat is going is to scan your home utilizing an infrared thermal imaging tool used during an energy audit. Infrared thermal imaging works in ANY season when used by a skilled technician.  With just a few-degree differential, the camera helps diagnose where insulation is not doing its job or if your home has moisture problems from a leaky roof.  It detects how readily surfaces give off heat and can be used both outdoors and indoors with heating or air conditioning.  And this infrared thermal imaging tool is used to actually SEE into wall cavities. It is used to reveal:

  • compressed insulation where fiberglass loses as much as 60% of its R-value
  • settled insulation producing gaps hidden within walls, floors and ceilings
  • wet areas from rain or leaking pipes.

During an energy audit, the above picture was taken of a home where there is significant heat loss through the roof and around the windows. A skilled technician can make recommendations as to how to improve these areas which will help significantly improve your heating costs annually, as well as stop ice dams and icicles.

If we were to scan your home, would it look like the picture above? Now is the time to get the facts and fix the areas of heat loss before costly repairs are required.

At Newhouse and Sun Construction, we can find areas of heat loss and make recommendations as to how to improve them, saving a homeowner many thousands of dollars annually. If you contact us at 978-657-7274 or at before the end of February 2011, we will give you 10% discount off our services.