Smart, green options keep money in bank

By Hawaii Renovation Posted in: ImproveTips
November 10, 2013

With the average American household spending more than $1,000 on heating and cooling expenses each year, more homeowners are seeking greener options to reduce the strain on their wallets. Incentives through the U.S. government’s Energy Star program and other state and federal programs have made it easier for homeowners to create a greener home.

Experts recommend taking the time to assess your home’s overall performance. A home inspector or certified Energy Rater can inspect your home and provide cost-effective recommendations that provide immediate and long-term savings.

One area homeowners often overlook is a home’s envelope — walls, windows, ceiling and floors.

Gaps and cracks within the envelope can add up to the size of a basketball. The U.S. Department of Energy Savers suggests that air leakage from these areas can account for up to 40 percent of home energy lost.

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Ensuring your home has a polyolefin plastic house wrap is one common method to minimize air leakage. Caulking and sealing is another simple and quick approach. Another consideration is high-efficiency windows. The U.S Department of Energy Savers says that air leakage via windows equates to about 10 percent of home energy lost. High-performance, double-glazed windows can help homeowners conserve energy, reduce heating and cooling bills and add value to their home.

An effective method to eliminate air leakage is replacing the traditional fiberglass insulation — prone to sagging, leaving gaps and absorbing moisture, which can have significant health impacts on occupants. Replacing a home’s insulation with spray foam insulation will insulate and air seal the entire home. Insulation experts from Icynene suggest that quality spray foam insulation can reduce heating and cooling costs, in some cases by up to 50 percent.

Suitable for any climate, it helps retain the conditioned air in the building, allowing the heating and cooling equipment to work more efficiently. Heating and cooling costs are kept down and air leaks become a thing of the past.

This article is courtesy of Brandpoint.