Making Your Home More Energy Efficient

Why is my house always cold in one room and hot in another room?

On this months segment of Real Talk with Matt Epstein, I had a Q&A with Judy Rachel, Home Performance Professional. During the interview we talk about home efficiency, better quality of living and the benefits of having an energy efficient home.

Which Homes Needs an Efficiency Upgrade?

Believe it or not, almost all homes need energy upgrades, even new constructions. Current building models focus on LEED Certification and greener living. While these applications bring  in huge benefits for energy efficiency with your home’s hardware, they dont necessarily focus in on the micro-factors that plague most households.

That Cold Room

For instance, everyone has that one room that is always cold. It’s something most of us just take as a part of life. According to Judy, it doesn’t have to be that way. Temperature differences, different air qualities and moisture issues are all symptoms of energy inefficiency. Everything from leaky duct work to poorly installed insulation could be impacting the overall quality of your home system.

Home Efficiency Diagnostics

When Judy conducts a home diagnostic, she helps homeowners isolate their inefficiency problems. Whether she is sampling air in the crawlspaces or inspecting your heating and cooling systems, Judy is looking for ways to create a healthy, happier home. In fact, most homes in the nation suffer from either moisture or air leaks.

The Misconception About Home Energy

“New construction homes are pushing [the market] to be more efficient, but they are pushing at a very low bar.”

Judy informs us that the missing link is in the minute details. Home efficiency is like a delicate eco-system. Sure, trading in your appliances and swapping out lightbulbs is going to have a major impact, but these things are part of the base load, not the system as a whole.

What about LEED Certification

While LEED Certification is addressing some major efficiency upgrades in newly constructed homes, it still misses the specific and unique needs of each home. LEED is affecting a lot of the mechanical parts and pieces involved in a home. However, it is not affecting the micro ones that focus on the efficiency of that specific home environment.

The Base Load & Seasonal Costs

During Judys home diagnostic, she examines the past 12-months of energy bills. She uses the 12-month ledger to establish the base load, or cost of occupancy. (Consider your core electronics, daily water and electricity usage, etc,.) From there, Judy calculates the seasonal costs. With an understanding of your seasonal energy costs, it becomes easier to identify the specific changes that can make your home more efficient.

Southern California Home Efficiency

Southern California poses a unique problem for home efficiency, Judy says. We tend to run our heating and cooling systems in big bursts, especially in the summer, which can cause a lot of wear and tear on the motors while unevenly distributing and recycling the air. Furthermore, most of these systems are inappropriately sized for their enclosure. This is a huge inefficiency that Judy finds in almost all homes.

Home Efficiency is a big issue that a lot of home owners face as we face rising oil and electricity costs. After speaking with Judy, I have come to realize that I need to look at my own house and get my systems in balance not just to save money and energy but more importantly so that me and my family can live in a more comfortable environment.

IF you liked this episode of Real Talk with Matt Epstein and Judy Rachel let us know!

Want to know more? Watch the video for the full episode of Real Talk with Matt Epstein and Judy Rachel.

Any questions of comments please contact Matt Epstein from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices at or (818) 789-7408.  Matt Epstein is considered the expert for real estate sales in the South/East San Fernando Valley.