Maximizing Energy Efficiency
By: Danny Lipford
Homeowners Sammy and Suzanne Massingill have knocked out walls and redone the kitchen in their over 50-year-old home, but they’ve done little to make the home more energy efficient and reduce their heating and cooling bills so we’re helping out.
One of the best ways to save energy in your home is to make sure you have enough insulation in your attic. The attic of homes in warm climates should have an R-38 or more, while those in colder climates should have at least an R-49.
Read How to Determine Insulation R-Value to find out about the R-Value of the insulation in your attic.
Stone wool insulation, such as Roxul ComfortBatt, is easy install since it cuts with a serrated kitchen knife and doesn’t itch like some insulation. It’s also fire resistant, water repellent, and provides a sound barrier.
When adding batts of insulation to your attic, fill the space between the joists first, then add a second layer of insulation on top running perpendicular to the joists.
To cut down on heat and cool loss on the attic door or access hole, apply foam weatherstripping around the opening, and attach insulation to the top of the access cover using construction adhesive. For attics with pull down stairs, install a cover, such as the Duck brand Attic Stairway Cover, over the stairs in the attic.
Watch Attic Stair Insulation Options to find out more.
Heating and CoolingReplacing an older thermostat with a programmable model can save energy by allowing you to set the temperature to run more when you’re home, so the unit won’t be heating or cooling the house when you’re away from home.
Watch Advantages of a Programmable Thermostat to find out more.
Another way to save on heating and cooling bills is by replacing an older, inefficient system with a new more energy efficient one. One such system is the Carrier Infinity 16 heat pump. When combined with a two-stage compressor, variable speed blower, and Infinity control unit, it has almost twice the efficiency of older units.
Glass Doors and Windows
Replacing old single pane glass doors and windows with energy efficient insulated glass units can save energy and help block noise from outside. The windows on the Massingill’s house had already been replaced with insulated glass windows, but the sliding glass doors had not.
After the old sliding glass doors had been removed, they were replaced with new glass doors from Window World with insulated SolarZone glass. The Window World SolarZone insulated glass package includes:
- Low-E coating on the glass to reduce solar heat gain in summer.
- Warm-Edge spacers around the glass to reduce heat transfer.
- Argon gas filled space between the panes, which transfers less heat than ordinary air.
The vinyl frame on the doors transfers less heat than a metal frame, and it doesn’t require painting like a wood frame.
Read How to Select Insulated Windows to find out more.
If you can’t afford to replace single-pane windows, consider installing clear plastic insulating sheeting on the inside of the windows, such as Duck brand Roll-On Window Insulating Kits.
Watch How to Install Plastic Window Insulation Kits to find out more.
It’s also important to fill any cracks around windows, doors, and siding with caulk or weatherstripping.The Duck brand Triple Draft Seal door sweep is easy to install to fill the gap under doors. Simply cut it to length, slide it over the bottom of the door, and adjust the height for a snug fit.
Cold air can also leak into your house around electrical outlets and switch covers on exterior walls. To seal out the cold, turn off the power to the outlet or switch, remove the cover, install foam Duck brand Socket Sealers, screw the cover back on, and turn on the power.
Read Easy Ways to Save Energy in Your Home for more energy saving tips.
Other Tips from This Episode
Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Cleaning Glass Oven Doors
To clean the inner surfaces of glass oven doors, remove the access panel or drawer under the oven door, attach a window cleaning wipe to coat hanger wire, slide it up the slots at the bottom of the door, and clean the inside of the glass panes. (Watch Video)
Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Philips SlimStyle LED Light Bulb
Philips SlimStyle LED light bulbs provide the same amount of light as a 60-watt incandescent bulb while only using 10.5 watts of electricity. Philips SlimStyle LED bulbs are dimmable, last up to 25,000 hours, and available at The Home Depot. (Watch Video)
Ask Danny Lipford:
Generator Need to Power Home
While a portable generator can be used to power a refrigerator or lights during a power outage, it’s not designed to power your heating, cooling, or entire home. For that you would need to install a whole house standby generator. (Watch Video)
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