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Frequently Asked Home Energy & Comfort Questions

Common questions that are asked during comprehensive home energy audits with homeowners over the years.

  1. How much insulation should I get in my attic?
  2. Why is the floor so cold in our new addition?
  3. Why is my closet always so hot in the summer and cold in the winter?
  4. Can installing siding help with my insulation problem?
  5. Why was it so cold in my basement last winter?
  6. Why is my energy bill so high in the winter even though my basement is so cold?
  7. Why is my basement duct showing condensation on hot Maryland summer days?
  8. Why is the electricity bill so high in the summer?
  9. I have replaced my windows and my HVAC, can insulation really make a difference?
  10. Why does the energy bill seem very high for the size house I live in?
  11. What is the best way to treat our crawlspace?
  12. Why does BGE keep saying I am using more energy than my neighbors?
  13. Why is my back bedroom warmer that the rest of the house in the summer?
  14. Why is it so hot upstairs during the summer months?
  15. Is there a way to validate whether the windows are the reason for having high energy bills?
  16. What is the reason for my high humidity levels in the summer?
  17. Why are my energy bills still high after adding insulation?
  18. Why is the area around my kitchen sink so cold in the winter?
  19. How can I make the temperatures throughout my home more even?
  20. Why has my BGE bill increased by so much in one month?
  21. Why is my home still drafty after having my windows replaced?
  22. How can I improve the overall energy efficiency of my home?
  23. Is there a way to improve the air flow of my AC in the summer?
  24. Why is the closet in my bedroom so cold all of the time during winter?
  25. Will I ever be able to be comfortable in my basement or my loft?
  26. Do I need to replace my roof plywood if I have mold on the attic side?
  27. How can I lower my BGE bill and make it more predictable each month?
  28. Is there a way to make the upstairs less hot without having to add a new HVAC unit?
  1. How much insulation should I get in my attic?
    In Maryland, the following guidelines for insulation should be followed: flat attic area R49; sloped attic area R38; kneewall R13; rim joist R19; floor R25.  back to top


  2. Why is the floor so cold in our new addition?
    There could be several reasons for this, but likely the reasons are tied to the foundation and improperly installed insulation. Investigation is required to determine the exact reason.  back to top


  3. Why is my closet always so hot in the summer and cold in the winter?
    Do you have an attic access hatch or stairs in your closet? This issue happens to homeowners all over Maryland. Your neighbors all have the same issue. If you don't have a hatch, then there is something else going on.  back to top


  4. Can installing siding help with my insulation problem?
    Generally, no. Most of the gains that are made from installing insulation are having to do with treatment to the attic and basement. Siding can provide some benefits to the overall "tightness" to a house, but the main reason for replacing siding should typically be for protection and aesthetic reasons.  back to top


  5. Why was it so cold in my basement last winter?
    One typical reason for a cold basement during the cold Maryland winter months is an untreated rim joist. There might be insulation at the rim joist, but that does not stop the infiltration of cold air that is caused by pressure dynamics in the house. Have an audit done to find your cause.  back to top


  6. Why is my energy bill so high in the winter even though my basement is so cold?
    Another reason for a cold basement is a leaky dryer vent or other penetration through the rim joist to the outside. If this goes unchecked, it is equal to leaving a window cracked in the basement all winter.  back to top


  7. Why is my basement duct showing condensation on hot Maryland summer days?
    The location of the duct should first be taken into consideration in relation to any penetration that would allow warm, humid air to infiltrate into the area of the duct, causing it to "sweat".  back to top


  8. Why is the electricity bill so high in the summer?
    Typical reasons for high summer electricity bills in Maryland would be poor insulation levels around the home, thermal bypasses in the attic, disconnected HVAC ducts, un-insulated HVAC ducts that run outside of the living space (crawl space, attic). A home insulation assessment can determine the reasons for high bills.  back to top


  9. I have replaced my windows and my HVAC, can insulation really make a difference?
    The answer to this question is that as much as 40% of a homes air leakage and energy wastes is through areas at the attic floor and in the basement/crawlspace. Installing insulation using the correct methods for the Maryland region will make a big difference in comfort and make your HVAC last much longer because it won't have to run as long.  back to top


  10. Why does the energy bill seem very high for the size house I live in?
    Typically, what we find when Maryland homeowners ask us this questions is insufficient insulation and no air barrier installed around the envelope of the house. Uninsulated HVAC ducts that run outside of the conditioned space also are big offenders when it comes to high energy bills for smaller footprint houses.  back to top


  11. What is the best way to treat our crawlspace?
    Maryland summers are humid and Maryland winters are cold. Having an open crawl space with improper insulation installed at the crawl space ceiling is a recipe for comfort issues and high bills. Encapsulation for a Maryland crawl space is the way to go!  back to top


  12. Why does BGE keep saying I am using more energy than my neighbors?
    Typically the reason homeowners are finding this letter in their email is due to not having proper insulation levels and no air barrier in place. Have lots of recessed lights is also a possible reason for using more energy than neighbors if the recessed lights have not been sealed properly at the attic floor.  back to top


  13. Why is my back bedroom warmer that the rest of the house in the summer?
    Reasons for bedrooms that seem warmer in summer than other parts of the house are typically uninsulated ducts that supply the room or disconnected ducts that supply the room. Other reasons could be wind washing from air getting into the soffit too rapidly and causing an uneven area of insulation. An attic assessment can solve this issue.  back to top


  14. Why is it so hot upstairs during the summer months?
    Sometimes the design of the home and the type of attic contribute to the reasons for having uneven temperatures on different floors during summer. An assessment of your attic and the insulation level and method should be checked by a professional.  back to top


  15. Is there a way to validate whether the windows are the reason for having high energy bills?
    A blower door test is the way to go to solve the reasons for high energy bills and comfort issues. An assessment of insulation around the house is also a good way to figure out which part of the house is the worst offender.  back to top


  16. What is the reason for my high humidity levels in the summer?
    Typical culprits for high summer indoor humidity in our Maryland summers are untreated recessed lights, attic access points that are not properly sealed, lack of insulation and no air sealing.   back to top


  17. Why are my energy bills still high after adding insulation?
    Likely the thermal boundary was addressed (insulation) and not the pressure boundary (air sealing) and as a result your insulation is not as effective as it could be otherwise.  back to top


  18. Why is the area around my kitchen sink so cold in the winter?
    A recurring reason that we see cold kitchen sink areas in Maryland during the winters is due to the construction style of the house. Sometimes the kitchen is made larger or extended with a cantilever and if not properly treated, it can be the source of cold air infiltration.  back to top


  19. How can I make the temperatures throughout my home more even?
    In Maryland, the best way to regulate temperatures throughout your home is to treat the basement or crawl space and attic with air sealing and insulation.  back to top


  20. Why has my BGE bill increased by so much in one month?
    One reason for a drastic change in an energy bill amount might be if a BGE customer switched suppliers recently and got a good deal, but did not read the fine print and the price increased without warning.  back to top


  21. Why is my home still drafty after having my windows replaced?
    Maryland homeowners replace windows all of the time in hopes of solving drafts and high energy bills. The true reason for drafts is related to building pressure and a homeowner should always look to the top and the bottom of their home for the answers.  back to top


  22. How can I improve the overall energy efficiency of my home?
    Older homes with unconditioned basements or crawl spaces with HVAC ducts that are not insulated is one opportunity for huge energy savings if treated properly.  back to top


  23. Is there a way to improve the air flow of my AC in the summer?
    Yes, sealing accessible ducts, insulating ducts outside of the living space and general upkeep and maintenance of the HVAC system can improve air flow.  back to top


  24. Why is the closet in my bedroom so cold all of the time during winter?
    One big reason for this issue is that the untreated attic access hatch or stairs are placed in closets and they are huge offenders when it comes to air leakage. Other reasons might be light fixtures, poor insulation or other thermal bypasses that can be found in attics.  back to top


  25. Will I ever be able to be comfortable in my basement or my loft?
    The answer is YES! With proper insulation, air sealing and HVAC sizing it is possible to experience comfort on all levels of your home.  back to top


  26. Do I need to replace my roof plywood if I have mold on the attic side?
    The answer to this question is that if you control the humidity problem in the attic that is causing the mold then you no longer have to be concerned about the issue and as a result the mold will no longer be toxic and you do not have to spend the extra money.  back to top


  27. How can I lower my BGE bill and make it more predictable each month?
    The best way to get control of your energy usage is to understand the things that are costing you the most. If kneewalls, rim joists, top plates, thermal bypasses and air sealing are somewhat unfamiliar to you - get a BGE energy audit for $100 and unlock the answers.  back to top


  28. Is there a way to make the upstairs less hot without having to add a new HVAC unit?
    As with any retrofit, there could be inaccessible areas or areas that are impossible to treat, but as a general rule the answer is yes. There are usually several contributing factors to warmer upstairs temperatures in summer and there are ways to fight back!  back to top


Building Performance Institute Certified
Building Performance Institute
Building Analysts
Envelope Professionals
BGE Approved Energy Contractor
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Having your home evaluated by Hometrust is a great way to identify your next home improvement project. 
Certifications earned through the Building Performance Institute demonstrate our ability to:

  • Find air leakage points around your home. 
  • Show you steps to improve energy efficiency.
  • Use science to guide improvements to comfort.  
  • Educate you how to tighten your building's shell. 
  • Learn about these opportunties before it is too late. 
  • Provide a unique perspective on your home's overall performance. 
  • Determine the root cause of any problems.
  • Assess current insulation effectiveness.
  • Measure air flow.
  • Evaluate windows, doors, siding and roofing.
  • Put you in complete control of the outcome.
    Specialized Maryland Contractor
    • MHIC Licensed
    • Building Analyst Certified
    • Envelope Professional Certification
    • EPA Lead Renovator Certified

    Hometrust Remodeling is a licensed contractor specializing in a whole-house approach to home remodeling with an emphasis on educating our customers, providing energy efficient solutions, maintaining a network of high caliber technicians and using building science principles.  As a result, we can effectively guide Maryland homeowners towards projects that satisfy comfort needs, aesthetics and value.

    Service Areas

    Calvert County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Prince George's County

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    North Laurel, MD 20723
    301.957.6532
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