Before You Fix A Problem, You Have To Know What It Is
400 East Ave. Rochester, New York 14607
No Hard Sell, Just Pure Energy Analysis
Frequently Asked Questions
Will Home Energy Solutions perform a no-cost audit?
If you are eligible for the low income Weatherization Assistance or EmPower NY programs, your audit will be free.
A full audit can take several hours to properly conduct. Our audits are time intensive and consist of a comprehensive report that provides health and safety, insulation, air sealing, mechanical, electrical, and owner management control results and suggestions.
If you do not qualify for a free audit, the fee for the audit will be absorbed into the price of installation, if you decide to install our recommended findings. Audit fees are calculated on an individual basis.
I want to replace my windows, does HES provide this service?
HES can and will replace windows when the reasons are financially justifiable. Unless the windows are damaged or beyond repair, HES does not recommend replacing your windows as a significant energy improvement. Window replacements are more for function and maintenance, because they typically do not save enough energy to pay for themselves.
What are other benefits of having my home weatherized?
In addition to saving money in the long-term future from lowering energy bills, weatherizing a home makes the home more comfortable for its residents, improves the safety and efficiency of heating systems, improves property value, and has a broader impact in terms of the environmental benefits that come from reducing energy usage such as lowering energy emissions. Weatherization also reduces dependence on foreign oil and it creates many direct and indirect jobs in local economies.
If you pay in full for home weatherization you can claim tax form 5695 which allows residence to claim tax credits for house efficient improvements to your owned property in the United States during 2009 or 2010, you may be eligible for reductions in your federal taxes. The following products may be eligible:
•Windows and doors •Insulation and roofs •Central AC and heat pumps •Furnaces and boilers •Water heaters •Biomass stoves
What if I need help with my heating costs and cannot afford weatherization services?
The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) helps to fund the State Emergency Relief program that is operated through local DSS offices. HEAP helps with the cost of your heating bill. If you are a HEAP priority referral to the PathStone Corporation Weatherization Assistance Program, you will be given priority on the waitlist.
Where do I begin making my home energy efficient?
We recommend starting with analyzing your fuel and energy bills to know where your money is going. This will tell you where your usage is and may tell you where you might need to cut back.
After reviewing your energy bills, begin thinking about what areas of your house needs the most improvement. This will help identify where your usage is high. For example if your heating bill is high, you might want to consider where your house needs to be tightened up. On the other hand, if your electric bill is high, you should start thinking about turning the light switch off more often, unplugging unused electronics, switching to energy star light bulbs, and shopping for an appropriate thermostat that matches your home heating system. When you are ready to make the next investment, shop for Energy Star appliances!
What can I do to make my home operate more efficiently?
Before you think about buying energy efficient appliances like dishwashers, washer and dryer for laundry, furnaces, etc. start with reviewing your energy bills, then we suggest some basic do-it-yourself improvements and lifestyle changes such as caulking and weather stripping around doors and windows, using door draft guards on exterior doors, opening your blinds during the day to let the sun in and closing them at night to keep the cold air out, using energy efficient light bulbs, lowering your thermostat for at least 8 hours per day, using plastic film to cover your windows during the winter season, and turning off lights.
If you do not see drastic improvements in your energy bills consider a home energy audit with a company that has BPI certified auditors. Be cautious about free home energy assessments from contractors and other for-profit companies because these sometimes do not give the best advice for your individual needs. Remember, a sales person’s job is to make a sale and what they recommend could not always be in your best interest. For example, windows are not an energy efficient improvement; it’s recommended that you address energy saving improvements before aesthetics.
Small changes like door draft protectors, insulation, window caulking, outlet insulators, turning off lights, compact fluorescent light bulb replacements are all cheap and easy ways to see an improvement in your bills. Only after making these changes should you consider large purchases like dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, water heaters, and furnaces to see a return on investment.
Does it really save you money to lower and raise the temperature of the thermostat?
Your heating system always runs at the same rate when it is on. The main variables are how long it remains on and off. Studies have proven that turning the thermostat back 10 degrees for an eight-hour period will save you 30% on your heating bill, on average. If you can't turn your thermostat down 10 degrees, try 5 degrees for at least 8 hours - every degree for 8 hours is roughly 3% of your heating bill saved. The longer your home remains at the lower temperature, the more it will provide savings. For example set your thermostat to a lower temperature after you fall asleep and while you're at work and then set it to a comfortable temperature for when you get home from work. Never lower your thermostat below 55 degrees or shut it off during the winter season otherwise you will run the risk of bursting your pipes.
As the season change and you decide to open your windows to let the Spring air in, remember to turn off your heat if the outside temperature is cooler than the inside temperature of your home or rental property. For example if your thermostat is set at 65 degrees and it is 58 degrees outside, your furnace will work harder to offset the temperature difference coming from the outside.
Where can I learn more about Weatherization?
It is a popular misconception that it is better to keep your home at a constant temperature because the boiler or furnace will "work harder" to bring the inside temperature back up from a 10 degree set-back.
What do your offered services entail?
Our consultation services are completely flexible to meet your needs. Consultations range from a simple review of energy usage and behaviors to a whole-home audit or problem diagnostics. A simple consultation, with a quick site visit of your home, provides you a chance to discuss any prior energy bills/audits, review your personal behaviors or raise any other questions you have, while we have a chance to see the building's situation and identify areas for improvements.
Home energy audits are an essential tool for identifying areas of improvement for energy conservation in and/or around the home including occupant behavior and control of systems. Our whole-home approach to home assessments includes a complete review of the results with suggestions for educated improvements. HES focuses on educating homeowners by addressing individual energy situations and occupant behaviors.
To enhance our consulting services, we offer the ability to be your contractor and install any recommended improvements.
All of our services are available on an À la carte pricing system. Services are structured and priced on an individual basis.