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Making your Home Energy Efficient

home energy

Making your Home Energy Efficient

Making your Home Energy Efficient

Making your Home Energy Efficient – Builders often refer to the exterior of a home as the “envelope” or the “shell.” Sealing the envelope or shell against air infiltration (air leaking into the house from outside) and air exfiltration (air leaking from inside the house to the outside) helps reduce your energy expenditure for space heating and cooling. Besides, no one likes to live in a drafty house.

In this article, we’ll show you a variety of ways you can seal leaks and improve insulation to make your home cozier and more energy efficient. Once you’ve sealed and insulated the weak areas, the work doesn’t stop there. We’ll show you how routine cleaning and water conservation can increase energy efficiency and save you even more money on your energy bills. Begin the improvement process with the following basic sealing guidelines to help you secure your home’s exterior.  Contact Ted at Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415.  Please Visit Plano Texas Handyman website to view and read about all of our capabilities. Contact Plano Texas Handyman for more details

Baseboards and Floors – Gaps are often left between baseboards and hard floors, such as tile, hardwood, or laminate flooring. These gaps can be successfully and neatly filled with latex caulk, thus preventing air from entering the home at foot level.  Making your Home Energy Efficient

Weatherstripping Doors – While windows attract most of the attention when it comes to energy efficiency, doors can play a major part in what can go wrong — or right. Doors have a particularly difficult role to fill. Not only do they need to open and close smoothly and easily, but they also have to seal tightly to keep out drafts, and must have at least some insulative value to keep cold at bay.

There are many different options on the market that can be used to upgrade a door’s existing weatherstripping. Some of the most effective are types that contain a vinyl bulb or padded strip set into the edge of a conventional wood doorstop. The wood part is nailed to the doorjamb and is flexible enough to conform to even a badly warped wooden door. The vinyl bulb or strip seals out air movement, but is gentle enough that the door’s function is not affected.  Energy Efficient Homes, Making your Home Energy Efficient

Sealing Windows – Owners of older homes that still have their original windows are often dismayed by the amount of cold air leaking through those old windows during the winter. There are several ways of dealing with this problem that don’t involve a lot of time or money.

One option involves using a caulk gun and “weatherstripping caulk sealant” or “temporary” caulking to seal up the cracks between the window and window frame. Weatherstripping sealant is caulk that is designed to stick in place nearly as well as regular caulk but can be peeled off when it is no longer needed. It is available inexpensively in regular caulk tubes and comes in a clear color. It is nearly invisible when in place and removes easily without damaging either paint or clear finishes.

Switch from incandescent to fluorescent – Although compact fluorescent bulbs cost more initially, the end result is considerable savings. This is because fluorescent light bulbs last 8-12 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Even using a mix of fluorescent and incandescent lighting throughout your home can have an impact in overall energy usage.   Contact Ted at Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415. Please Visit Plano Texas Handyman website to view and read about all of our capabilities. Contact Plano Texas Handyman for more details  Energy Efficient Homes

The big difference between CFLs and incandescent bulbs is how much energy it takes to use them over time. CFLs use about 70% less energy than incandescent bulbs. They also last years longer than traditional bulbs, and only cost about a dollar more per bulb.  Energy Efficient Homes, Making your Home Energy Efficient

However, one of the biggest drawbacks of CFLs is that it takes a few moments for them to warm up and reach full brightness. That means they’re not ideal in spots where you want lots of light as soon as you flip the switch, such as a dark, steep basement stairway. They also cannot be used with a dimmer switch.  Energy Efficient Homes

Now consider that those savings are from just one bulb. Think about the number of lights in your house — some fixtures, like chandeliers or ceiling fans, probably even use three bulbs or more. If you replaced 20 incandescent bulbs with LED light bulbs throughout your home, you could save up to $3,260 over their 23-year lifespan (and that’s assuming utility rates don’t rise).

Eliminating Ice Dams – If you have ice dams forming on your roof during the winter, it means that heat is escaping the house and leaking into your attic. Ice dams are the manifestation of energy inefficiency in a home. They are the result of poor air sealing, a lack of insulation, and inadequate ventilation in an attic.

Warm air travels upward because of its natural buoyancy. As it reaches the ceiling in the top floor, it seeks ways to rise even higher through cracks and gaps in the ceiling and walls. Some of those pathways are obvious; many others are not. Openings around and through recessed canister lights, whole-house fan installations, attic-access hatchways and pull-down stairs, and electrical boxes in the ceiling and walls all provide conduits from the house into the attic. Additionally, heat is conducted upward through the top-floor ceiling through inadequate attic floor insulation. The result of the air leaks and conducted heat is an accumulation of warm air in the attic.  Energy Efficient Homes

Attic Sealing and Insulation  – Most every attic has at least some insulation in it, and that’s fine. Insulation helps prohibit heat loss. It doesn’t stop airflow, however, and that’s a problem. The insulation lying on attic floors often conceals a very large problem — cracks, gaps, and holes through which pressurized air from the house below is driven into the attic.

These fissures take many forms: holes drilled into the wood framing where wiring runs from a room below up into the attic; lighting fixtures and electrical boxes; areas where the tops of partition walls in the room below intersect with the attic-floor framing; bulkheads over kitchen and bathroom cabinets; exhaust vent fans; and fireplace and heating equipment chimneys and flues. It’s a long list, and it’s likely you can find fissures in your own attic that aren’t even mentioned.   Energy Efficient Homes, Making your Home Energy Efficient

These days most attics don’t have enough insulation or have insulation that isn’t working as well as it should be. An upgrade — one that will pay off every year and in every season you live in your home — is only one messy afternoon away. Yes, you can and should add more insulation to your attic. It’s one of the best ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency.

R-factor is a numerical indicator of an insulation’s efficiency at retarding the flow of heat. The scale goes from low to high; higher R-numbers mean a given insulation is better able to stop heat from moving from one place to another. Current building codes recommend an insulation R-factor of R-38 for attics in most of the country. That would be about 10 to 12 inches of fiberglass batting or blown cellulose fiber insulation. Bear in mind that R-38 is actually the minimum recommended standard for attic insulation. Proposed energy codes would increase that number to R-50.

Cleaning Refrigerator Coils Regularly – The coils underneath and behind a refrigerator are dust magnets. Refrigerant is pumped and circulated through the coils as a fan blows room air across them. The moving air removes heat from the refrigerant inside the coils. As the fan sucks air from underneath the refrigerator, it brings along with it dust and dirt that stick to the coils. Removing the access panel from the lower front of the refrigerator can reveal a startlingly filthy sight if the coils haven’t been cleaned in a while.  Energy Efficient Homes, Making your Home Energy Efficient.

Contact Ted at Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415.  Please Visit Plano Texas Handyman website to view and read about all of our capabilities. Contact Plano Texas Handyman for more details

tedvinci@gmail.com

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