Archived Story

Energy Awareness Month designated to remind homeowners to boost their home efficiency

Published 5:50am Monday, October 7, 2013

Crisp, autumn air signals the seasonal change that will soon have homeowners dialing up thermostats and preparing for winter.

To ensure utility bills don’t get out of hand, it’s important to guard against potential areas of the home where energy may be lost.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) celebrates Energy Awareness Month each October, making it an ideal time for homeowners to make their home more comfortable while improving its energy efficiency. CertainTeed, North America’s leading brand of building products, offers the following tips to keep energy use in check this year.

Take stock of energy use. There are plenty of areas throughout a home where energy could be quietly wasted, such as a drafty window or doorway or an under-insulated attic.

Conducting a home energy audit can be eye-opening in helping homeowners identify inefficiencies and areas for improvement. ResNet is a great resource that helps connect homeowners with auditors in their community. For more information, visit www.resnet.us.

Build or remodel with sustainable materials.

When buying a new home or taking on a remodeling project, potential buyers are more likely to focus on countertops and fixtures than what type of insulation or wallboard to install.

However, these materials can have a significant impact on both the home’s future energy consumption and overall comfort for years to come. Products such as Sustainable Insulation, made with high recycled and renewable content including a plant based formaldehyde-free binder, is engineered to reduce environmental impacts and improve energy savings.

Let your house soak up the sun. Photovoltaic roofs can generate electricity by harnessing solar energy from the sun’s rays.

The Apollo II 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 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 insulation to create cozier living spaces. If the tops of the ceiling joists are visible from the attic, more insulation is needed to attain the current recommended R-value.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average homeowner can save as much as 30 percent on energy bills simply by having the right amount of insulation throughout the home.

Fiberglass insulation is a perfect solution for adding thermal performance in an attic, and is an easy, safe and effective way to keep a 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.

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