When you’re looking at energy efficiency, there’s really a sequence that you want to undertake. The first thing really that we recommend is looking at air-tightness, so sealing those cracks and reducing the amount of heat that can escape through the walls and in around the windows is your first priority.
Once you’ve done that, and that’s really the low-hanging fruit, then you start to look at other options like adding insulation. There there’s a little more expense and you also maybe need to bring in someone who can help you to add that insulation. The attic may be simple but it’s more difficult if you’re adding it to walls.
Then once you’ve done that you’ve really reduced your need for heating and in fact for cooling too. Then you can start to look at mechanical system retrofits, like a furnace or a new boiler. But again, only once you’ve reduced the need for heating, so then if you do replace that furnace, you’re getting one that’s optimally sized for your home and it’s not oversized.
Then once you’ve done that you can actually start to look at other creative options like tapping into the sun’s energy through solar heating or photovoltaic panels. You don’t simply put a solar panel in ’cause it’s sexy and doing it off to start, but rahter you really do targeted retrofits. And at the end of the day you’ll have a much more intelligent approach to renovating your home and achieving your energy saving objectives.