Freezing temperatures and big jumps in heating bills have homeowners throughout the U.S. and Canada searching for relief and long-term solutions.
Sources such as Bloomberg News are reporting the biggest jump in energy bills in more than a decade, making it much more expensive to heat homes this winter. Combined with sub-freezing cold snaps being experienced in many regions, homeowners who are looking to stay comfortable without breaking the bank are feeling the squeeze.
Part of the solution to combat wildly fluctuating and unpredictable home energy cost increases includes home improvements designed to make the biggest long-term impacts to help consistently reduce utility bills. Leading experts at trade organizations such as the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) say that homeowners would do well to consider home improvements that reduce energy use not just in the winter, but all season long. That’s because while homeowners are experiencing the pain of higher energy costs this winter, there’s little indication the situation will be any better this summer.
“Choosing better performing materials and installation practices that offer increased efficiency such as quality metal roofs can make a major difference in controlling energy costs while making homes more comfortable and resilient over the long term,” said Renee Ramey, MRA executive director.
MRA also reminds homeowners that adding or replacing attic insulation and ensuring proper roof venting will keep your home comfortable and protected in any season. Have a professional roofer conduct an energy audit in your attic and make sure it includes proper venting. Other tips to help keep save energy this winter include:
Sealing drafts around windows and doors, including closing the chimney flue when fireplaces are not in use to prevent cold outside air from seeping in
Installing a programmable thermostat and setting it a few degrees lower, especially at night
If possible, direct heat only to those rooms being occupied by closing vents or using customizable room thermostats
Using ceiling fans to help circulate warm air and keep it from collecting near ceilings
Changing furnace filters
Using drapes effectively, including closing them at night and opening in the day to allow sunlight in
Lowing hot water heater temperatures by a few degrees
Consider additional efficiency tips offered by the Department of Energy at energy.gov/energysaver/energy-saver
MRA also is advocating for incentives and to reinstitute tax credits and financial relief for homeowners who want to take action to make their homes more efficient. While some utilities continue to offer local rebates to help encourage homeowners to make more energy efficient choices, many of the federal tax credits and incentives that used to be offered through programs such as ENERGY STAR have been revised, reduced or in some cases, were phased out at the end of 2021.
Unfortunately, the lack of strong, ongoing incentives to help encourage more efficient practices is coinciding with a massive spike in costs for residential heating throughout the country and an urgent need to reduce fossil fuel reliance.
“While smaller steps to save energy at home can certainly help, they pale in comparison to the difference that actions such as choosing a more efficient, better performing roof, increasing insulation and properly weatherizing your home can make,” said Ramey. “At MRA, we advocate for better building and remodeling practices that benefit both homeowners and the environment, now and for the long run.”
About Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA)
Representing the residential metal roofing industry in the United States and Canada, the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) was formed to help educate consumers about the many benefits of metal roofing. The main objective of MRA is to increase awareness of the beauty, durability, and money-saving advantages of quality metal roofing among homeowners, as well as to provide support to the residential metal roofing industry. For more information, visit MRA at www.metalroofing.com.