Energy Efficiency Ideas

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Fun Projects That Also Save Energy

Let’s face it, adding insulation to you attic and caulking your bathtub and sealing pipes is useful and saves money and makes us more comfortable year round.  No one can argue the fact but…. if you are gong to be in your home for a few years and are considering some home improvements, there are some things that you can do to not only make your home more energy efficient but look nicer at the same time.

Architectural lighting is a great area to consider energy efficient lighting.  Custom LED lighting for outdoor spaces is becoming very popular.  Having traditional incandescent lighting on year round definitely adds to the energy bill.  Swapping out or designing in energy efficient LED’s can not only create beauty but can help shave off some of your energy bill as well.

Another common project is redesigning the kitchen.  Onyx and Corian counter tops look great and are a very popular addition to a kitchen these days.  Down lighting and incandescent high energy spot lights were often used to add accent lighting to these areas.  While they do look great, they add a lot of heat in the summer time and suck energy year round.  Instead you may want to consider a back-light effect on a wall by using custom sized LED panels.   They have years of experience and are great to work with.  They can fit almost any area and a professional lighting company can easily blend in the back lighting into your decor.  These panels are high tech, and very thin.  Best of all they use very little energy.  At the same time you can use LED down light fixtures vs. incandescent.  They look great and do not heat up like incandescent lights.  There is a company we can recommend just over the bridge above Philly called CPD Lighting. You can check out their site here...

Another area that is fun is of course the bathroom, but before we give you any ideas we need permission from your wife first!

No matter what you decide, remember, design and energy efficiency do not have to be an either or with todays great selection of LED and other energy efficient lighting options available.

 

 

 

NJ Homeowers Should Consider an Energy Audit

Home energy savings for NJ citizens of Cape May, Atlantic City, Absecon, Mays Landing and all of South Jersey!

So you’ve chosen to have a home energy audit. You need to know if the attic insulation requires updating, is the total house insulation adequate, may want to you switch to a tankless water heater, how effective are your cooling and heating systems. All these issues and even more will be addressed at a thorough home energy audit. However what precisely takes place throughout one of these check-ups? Exactly what can you expect?

First, the house energy service provider might ask you to describe your concerns whether it’s a particularly breezy space or questions of building quality. The core of an expert home energy audit, however, includes 3 major stages: assessment, diagnosis, and prescribed. Let’s take each individually.

The examination stage begins with the auditor taking the accurate dimensions of your house and notes of your home’s construction. It continues with the specialist visually checking all areas of your home: the attic and its insulation and ductwork; the basement (and/or crawl space) and the heating, cooling, and water heater there, in addition to basement insulation and air leakage. In the home, the auditor will check all windows and doors, appliances, insulation and lighting. Cautious notes are taken throughout this inventory stage to guarantee no information are left out from the final report.

Now it’s time to diagnose troubles with testing. Don’t be amazed by the devices you could see including a blower door, an infrared camera, duct blaster, and gas security monitors. The blower door measures air infiltration into the house.

This is a powerful fan that mounts, briefly, into the frame of an outside door. The fan pulls air out of the house, lowering the air pressure inside. The greater outside atmospheric pressure then streams in with all unsealed fractures and openings. The auditor then utilizes an infrared thermal imaging camera to determine and detect air leakages in the building envelope.

The duct blaster determines the quantity of air leakage through the HVAC ductwork. Essentially a smaller version of the blower door, the duct blaster makes use of a fan linked directly to the duct system, while all various other registers are sealed off, to measure the leakage of the system by means of pressurization of the ducts.

Final but exceptionally vital testing includes the safe operation of gas appliances. Described as Combustion Appliance Zone (CAZ) screening, it is included dimensions around gas heating systems, water heaters, ovens, and various other gas-burning home appliances. It also consists of checking all gas supply lines for leakages.

In the prescription phase, the energy auditor provides the resident with a comprehensive and detailed report with problems recognized and quantitive details supporting their suggestions. And those suggestions need to be prioritized so that execution in the appropriate order perks the homeowner by compounding cost savings and financial investment.

A clearer understanding of the home energy audit procedure helps residents see not only the advantages of saving energy but also the course to accomplishing that goal. To establish a Residential Energy Audit in Southern NJ, we suggest calling The Insulation Group. You can examine them out right here.

Biggest Source of Energy Loss and What You Can Do About It

In South Jersey we have to deal with both high heat and humidity and extreme cold. Improving your homes energy efficiency is going to pay for it self very quickly.

The greatest source of energy loss, whether it is cool or warm air, is through the cracks and spaces in your doors, windows, ceilings, and floors. Many community organizations, utility companies, or heating and cooling companies offer complimentary or low cost energy audits to help you identify- and rectify the areas of your home that are energy inefficient. You can solve some of your heating and cooling problems and lower your utility costs by beginning with either a professional or a “Do it Yourself” energy audit.

Begin by closing all your windows and doors. Turn off all your ventilation and fans. Travel from room to room with a lit candle or stick of incense and see where there is some “movement “of air and smoke. These are the spots that are not sealed correctly and your warm or cool air is escaping. Take a close look at your indoor windowsills, as well. If they are very dirty, your windows are not sealed tightly enough.

You can, of course, replace all your doors and windows. If you choose this option, make sure they are installed properly. Poorly or incorrectly, installed doors and windows are a leading cause of energy loss. If you need a less expensive alternative, your local hardware store can provide you with inexpensive clear plastics sheets to cover your windows for the winter. This will help keep your warm air inside and the cold air outside.

Correctly sealing and then insulating your ducts can save your as much as 17% in your home energy costs. Duct mastic and aerosol sealant are inexpensive ways toe effectively seal your ducts and they are readily available at your local hardware store. Contrary to popular belief, duct tape is not designed for sealing air ducts and vents.
Use weather-strips to fill in any cracks around the borders of your doors and windows.

You can use caulk to seal small cracks and expanding foam to seal larger ones. Both caulk and sealing foam is available at your local hardware store. Adding heavy drapes or blinds to your windows also act as a physical barrier. If you have bare floors, consider adding rugs to keep your heat in your home, and add more insulation to the ceiling of your basement. Finally, you can make sure your flues for chimneys and fireplaces are closed.

If your furnace and heating system is older than 15 years, needs constant repairs, or you find your home is heated unevenly, it may be time to replace your furnace or heating system. Professional heating and air conditioning companies in you local area can help you find the right heating system. Today’s energy efficient systems offer not only environmental benefits, but also economic benefits.

Energy star rated furnaces are 15% more efficient than older, standard furnaces and Energy Star boilers offer a 5% increase in energy efficiency and cost savings. While home weatherizing can offer substantial savings, sometimes you’ll need to explore a bigger, more long term investment.