Have you ever been in the middle of a home improvement project and thought, I wish there was a way to get some money back from this? Energy Star, a government-sponsored energy-efficiency website, has a tool, “What’s Your Score,” you can use to target specific projects around the house that get you real returns. Energy Star’s site offers concrete ways to realize energy savings by implementing some simple, as well as some more involved, projects. New Jersey residents who use central A/C, along with a gas furnace and water heater, can save up to 25 percent in energy consumption. Energy Star suggests the following areas for improvement: 1. Home Sealing Even with the most efficient heating and cooling equipment, homeowners won’t realize savings without a tight home seal. Sealing air leaks and ductwork, and adding insulation, alleviates the problem. Leaks in ductwork alone contribute up to 20 percent in energy losses. By combining these three areas, homeowners with little experience can use Energy Star’s online guides for each project. The guides offer how-to’s for product selection and take you through the project, step-by-step. 2. HVAC Equipment Homeowners using a furnace or air conditioner for more than 10 years could benefit significantly (up to 20 percent) by upgrading to high-efficiency systems. In addition, heating water attributes 15 and 25 percent of all the energy your home uses. Upgrading this system targets a potential energy loss in a big way. 3. Temperature Control Installing a programmable thermostat and using pre-programmable settings can also reap rewards. Each degree that you set your thermostat back, over 8 hours, means a 1 percent savings – and that’s a saving that adds up. 4. Lighting Technology in new light bulbs promises savings because their lifetime use is over 10 times that of conventional light bulbs. These bulbs are “smart,” consuming 75 percent less energy and producing less heat by 75 percent. To see energy savings, materialize in utility bills and as money in your pocket, check out Energy Star’s recommendations. Pipe Works Services is happy to answer your energy savings questions. Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. Pipe Works Services serves Chatham, NJ, and the surrounding areas. To get started, check out our website.