FEATURE – Groundwork Tips for Energy Efficiency
December 6, 2012 - As temperatures begin to drop and more homeowners dial up their thermostats, it’s important to guard against potential areas of the home where energy may be lost, resulting in higher utility bills. CertainTeed, a brand of building products, offers the following tips as you embark on a path towards energy savings.
First things first – conduct an energy audit. Home energy audits are an important first step, as they help locate areas where changes are most needed to conserve energy. The audit should be conducted by a professional that is certified.
Next, look downward. The concrete slab of a home can leak heated air, making it a major culprit in higher winter heating bills for many homeowners. The EnergyEdge system from CertainTeed provides increased comfort and a new way to reduce energy bills. The system forms, insulates and protects the exterior of the concrete slab foundation. When the system is installed on the exposed slab edge of the home, homeowners can save up to 10% or more in heating costs.
Let your house soak up the sun. Photovoltaic roofs can generate electricity by harnessing solar energy from the sun’s rays. The Apollo Solar Roofing System can easily be integrated into either an existing roof or with the installation of a new roof that combines solar panels and asphalt shingles—all without sacrificing your home’s curb appeal.
Install insulated siding
One of the best ways to impede the loss of heated air through exterior walls — and reduce home heating and cooling costs — is to install housewrap along with insulated siding. Products such as CertaWrap weather resistant barrier and CedarBoards insulated siding offer an ideal solution in improving the overall R-value of a traditionally insulated wood-framed wall, helping to reduce home heating and cooling costs.
Maximize your home’s insulation to create cozier living spaces. Insufficient insulation in unheated garages, basements and attics during the winter months can allow heat to escape, resulting in extra costs on monthly energy bills (not to mention chilly living spaces). According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average homeowner can save as much as 30% on energy bills simply by having the right amount of insulation. So make sure your house is outfitted for the cold—add insulation products where needed, such as CertainTeed’s Sustainable Insulation, which helps maintain a more even temperature in all areas of the home, and will keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler during the summer for year-round comfort.
For more information on selecting the best type of insulation, recommended R-values for different areas of your home and an estimate of your potential savings, visit www.certainteed.com/itools.
Overwhelmed? Start small. For those who can’t undertake large projects at the moment, you can still find small ways to save energy in your house. Turn off all lights when not in a room, replace furnace filters and turn off and unplug all appliances and electronics when not in use. Establishing small new habits can have a big impact in terms of your home’s comfort and sustainability.