Winter is here again! If you’ve neglected making energy upgrades to your home, get ready for the same issues you faced last year…
Winter is here again! If you’ve neglected making energy upgrades to your home, get ready for the same issues you faced last year. Winter weather problems can include equipment malfunction, pest infiltration, indoor air quality issues, not to mention high energy bills.
It’s not too late to get your home ready for winter! Energy improvements will make your home more comfortable today and all year long! Here are five ways to get your home ready for winter:
Seal Air Leaks Air sealing is one of the least expensive and most effective ways to reduce energy loss and keep energy bills low. Air leaks around a home can waste approximately 10 to 15 percent of the money a homeowner spends on heating bills. Sealing air leaks around doors, windows, recessed lights, ductwork, chimney chases and more will keep conditioned air inside your home and reduce wear and tear on your heating system.
Upgrade Attic Insulation After air sealing, adding a layer of blown-in fiberglass insulation to your attic can further reduce your energy bills and help keep your home comfortable. Even if your home is newer, it may not be adequately insulated based on today’s building codes. (Unsure if your attic is properly insulated? Our staff can help!)
Insulate and Seal Your Crawl Space Crawl spaces are naturally cool and damp. Because they are in direct contact with the main floor of your house, the condition within your crawl space can affect your home’s comfort level. As your home breathes from ground to sky, this cool and damp air is drawn into your home’s interior through tiny penetration points around your floor. This can lower the internal temperature of your home and drive up your heating bills.
Check Your Furnace Confirming your furnace is in good working order can ensure that it’s working as efficiently as possible and can uncover any problems that could cause a midwinter breakdown. Don’t forget to change your furnace filter! Regularly changing the filter can help your furnace run more efficiently and reduce dust in your home.
Upgrade to LED Bulbs Have you taken inventory of your home’s light bulbs? Investing in LED bulbs pays off quickly! Upgrading to LED bulbs can reduce your energy bills, especially during winter’s shorter days when lights are on more than any other time of year.
Investing in these improvements will pay off in energy savings and a more comfortable home all year long. Have questions about air sealing, insulating, your crawl space or anything above? Contact our office – our team can help!
When you think of upgrading insulation, attic space is the first thing that comes to mind. Here are three key reasons…
When you think of upgrading insulation, attic space is the first thing that comes to mind. Here are three key reasons to upgrade your attic insulation and seal attic air leaks:
Air movement through a home is from ground to sky (and out through the attic and roof). By adding insulation and sealing air leaks in your attic, you can lower energy costs by preventing conditioned air from escaping your home.
On the flip side, insulating and air sealing your attic can prevent unconditioned outside air from coming into your home. This means your HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain your home’s optimal inside temperature.
Heating and cooling costs can total 50% to 70% of the energy used in an average home. In fact, in late 2016 the Energy Information Administration predicted natural gas users would see a 22% climb in their heating bills over the 2015-2016 heating season. Every day that passes is one more day you are spending too much money on energy bills.
When it comes to home insulation, the first area that comes to mind is the attic. Airflow in buildings moves from ground to sky, naturally pulling conditioned indoor air up and out of a structure. Proper attic insulation helps keep conditioned air inside your home and helps keep your home comfortable. To help you choose the best attic insulation option for your new home, we’ve rated three popular methods:
Good: Blown-in Fiberglass Adding blown-in fiberglass insulation to a new attic is a quick and easy way to increases R-value. This basic method of attic insulation is a cost-effective option.
Better: Blown-in Fiberglass with Air Sealing Insulating and sealing air leaks dramatically improves the energy efficiency of a new home. The first step is to seal penetration points around the attic floor. After air sealing is complete, a blanket of blown-in fiberglass insulation is installed. This method helps keep conditioned air inside the home and adds R-value.
Best: Spray Foam Insulation Installing spray foam insulation in the attic of a new home provides optimal energy protection. Spray foam is installed along the roofline to create a thermal barrier along the attic ceiling and seal any air leaks. This application provides the best energy benefits available in one easy step.
Adding insulation to your attic is one of the most cost-effective ways to save money on your energy bills each month. Wondering which insulation method is right for your new home project? Have questions on one of the methods or other insulation options for a new home? Contact our office today!
When you think of upgrading your home’s insulation, the attic is often the first area that comes to mind. Air naturally moves through a house from ground to sky. By focusing your dollars on an attic upgrade you are focusing on the number one area of energy loss.
Fiberglass insulation is a great option for insulating attics and for any area of a home. Here are three benefits of upgrading your attic with fiberglass insulation:
Fiberglass insulation is a cost-effective insulator. Fiberglass insulation is a low-cost product that is easy to install. It can easily be blown over existing insulation, creating a complete blanket to help reduce energy bills and keep your home comfortable.
Fiberglass insulation is a green product from manufacturing to installation. Fiberglass insulation is manufactured primarily from recycled glass. This means there are fewer natural resources used to manufacture fiberglass insulation than some other types of insulation. When installed, fiberglass insulation over its lifetime saves more energy than it took to produce. If you’re looking for a green product to insulate your home, fiberglass insulation is ideal.
Fiberglass insulation can be as effective as spray foam. When combining fiberglass insulation with full air sealing, fiberglass insulation can provide the thermal and air sealing benefits as spray foam – at a lower price point. Having your home fully air sealed by a qualified contractor helps keep conditioned air inside the home to increase comfort and reduce energy bills
Adding fiberglass insulation to your attic is one of the most cost-effective ways to save money on your energy bills each month. Wondering if your home could benefit from additional attic insulation and air sealing? Contact us for a free estimate.
When considering home energy upgrades, many homeowners look at two projects: insulation or windows. There are many conflicting messages about which is the best investment for your energy dollar. The more visible upgrade option, windows come to mind as a top energy upgrade priority.
Before you open your checkbook, we invite you to read below to learn more so you can make the best choice for your home.
Building shell When considering the total square footage of your home’s shell (i.e. the walls, floor and roof), windows comprise a small portion of it. Your house will benefit from upgrading your home’s attic insulation (and even exterior wall insulation) rather than investing in windows.
Heat flow Air inside a home naturally flows from ground to sky. A home loses 70% of energy through the attic and roof – far more than is lost through windows or doors. Upgrading attic insulation keeps the air you’ve paid to heat in your home. AND don’t forget about air sealing! Sealing air leaks in an attic further prevents conditioned air from seeping out around construction penetration points found around ducts, attics and more.
R-value R-value is a measure of the amount of heat flow a certain product resists. The higher the R-value, the better it reduces heat flow (a key component of energy efficiency). The R-value of windows can vary based on the number of panes, air space between panes, etc. Double pane windows have an R-value of 1.5 to 2. Upgrading attic insulation to current code results in an R-38. Combine this with the natural heat flow of the home, and it’s easy to see how a fresh blanket of insulation is a great investment.
The icicles hanging from your roof may look pretty, but they may be a sign of a bigger problem. Icicles can be a sign of ice dams – chunks of ice that form along the edges of your roof. Ice dams typically form when snow melts on your roof, water pools on the edge of the roofline and refreezes. During the freeze, the ice can back up under the roofing material and create ice dams. Ice dams result in water seeping into soffits, walls and even ceilings. Damage goes far beyond cosmetic issues – your home’s structure can suffer from moisture damage and even rot.
There are three key steps we recommend to reduce the risk of ice dams:
1. Seal Air Leaks Approximately one-third of heat loss in an average home is through the ceiling into the attic. Most of that heat loss comes from air leaks. These can be found in a variety of places such as gaps in drywall and other penetration points around things such as light fixtures, plumbing pipes, chimneys, access hatches and more. By stopping air leakage you’ll not only help minimize ice dams, you’ll save energy and reduce your heating and cooling bills
2. Check your Insulation Having proper insulation levels in your attic will work to keep the heat where it belongs – in your living space. Uncertain if your insulation level is enough? We can help. We typically recommend adding blow-in fiberglass insulation to attics of existing homes to fill open spaces around your current insulation.
3. Add roof and soffit vents Proper ventilation is an important part of attic insulation. A qualified insulation contractor will be able to determine if your attic has proper venting, and if not, how that can be corrected to ensure your attic has proper air flow.
Even if your home has adequate insulation and proper venting, large amounts of snow and the weight of that snow can result in roof damage. After a large snowfall it’s recommended to rake the snow from your roof to remove some of the weight and allow any water to flow off the roof.
Still have questions on how to prevent ice dams in your home? Call us!