Five Ways to Prepare Your Home for Winter

Winter is here again! If you’ve neglected making energy upgrades to your home, get ready for the same issues you faced last year…

Prepare Home For WinterWinter is here again! If you’ve neglected making energy upgrades to your home, get ready for the same issues you faced last year. Winter weather problems can include equipment malfunction, pest infiltration, indoor air quality issues, not to mention high energy bills.

It’s not too late to get your home ready for winter! Energy improvements will make your home more comfortable today and all year long! Here are five ways to get your home ready for winter:

Seal Air Leaks
Air sealing is one of the least expensive and most effective ways to reduce energy loss and keep energy bills low. Air leaks around a home can waste approximately 10 to 15 percent of the money a homeowner spends on heating bills. Sealing air leaks around doors, windows, recessed lights, ductwork, chimney chases and more will keep conditioned air inside your home and reduce wear and tear on your heating system.

Upgrade Attic Insulation
After air sealing, adding a layer of blown-in fiberglass insulation to your attic can further reduce your energy bills and help keep your home comfortable. Even if your home is newer, it may not be adequately insulated based on today’s building codes. (Unsure if your attic is properly insulated? Our staff can help!)

Insulate and Seal Your Crawl Space
Crawl spaces are naturally cool and damp. Because they are in direct contact with the main floor of your house, the condition within your crawl space can affect your home’s comfort level. As your home breathes from ground to sky, this cool and damp air is drawn into your home’s interior through tiny penetration points around your floor. This can lower the internal temperature of your home and drive up your heating bills.

Check Your Furnace
Confirming your furnace is in good working order can ensure that it’s working as efficiently as possible and can uncover any problems that could cause a midwinter breakdown. Don’t forget to change your furnace filter! Regularly changing the filter can help your furnace run more efficiently and reduce dust in your home.

Upgrade to LED Bulbs
Have you taken inventory of your home’s light bulbs? Investing in LED bulbs pays off quickly! Upgrading to LED bulbs can reduce your energy bills, especially during winter’s shorter days when lights are on more than any other time of year.

Investing in these improvements will pay off in energy savings and a more comfortable home all year long. Have questions about air sealing, insulating, your crawl space or anything above? Contact our office – our team can help!

The Two Best Energy Investments for Your Home

If you would like to increase your home’s energy efficiency, we recommend investing in two key projects…

Air Sealing and Insulating in Baltimore, MD If you would like to increase your home’s energy efficiency, we recommend investing in two key projects – insulation/air sealing your home and your home’s heating/cooling system.

Since the home is one contained unit, each system directly affects the other system. By taking a whole house approach to energy efficiency, the homeowner can experience a greater improvement in efficiency and comfort. And upgrading two systems can qualify the homeowner for rebates and other incentives.

Home energy improvements start with a home evaluation. A contractor will inspect the interior and exterior of the home to determine where energy improvements are needed.

Each home is different and recommendations can vary. However, there are some recommendations that a contractor will frequently make:

Air Sealing and Insulating
Leaks around a home allow conditioned air to escape and unconditioned outside air to enter. Leaks are often found in attics and around the perimeter of the basement. Sealing air leaks can reduce wear on your home’s heating and cooling system and help maintain your home’s internal temperature. If your attic doesn’t have adequate insulation, your contractor will likely recommend adding insulation.

Upgrading HVAC Equipment
If your heating and cooling system is more than 10 years old your contractor may recommend replacing it with a new, more efficient model. According to ENERGY STAR, when installed correctly high-efficiency heating and cooling units can save the homeowner up to 10% on annual utility bills. In addition, installing and properly using a programmable thermostat can save the homeowner up to $180 per year on heating and cooling costs.

Controlling the air that enters and exits the home and conditioning it with efficient equipment are two key steps to increase your home’s efficiency. By addressing both improvements you’ll see greater energy savings and enjoy a more comfortable home. Contact us for a free air sealing and insulation estimate today.

Insulating and Air Sealing Cantilevers

Air Sealing CantileversCantilevers are areas that protrude beyond your home’s foundation or lower supporting wall (e.g., upper floor bump out, bay window, room over a porch, etc.). The thin construction material found in cantilevers creates an ideal space for unconditioned outside air to infiltrate the home, and for conditioned inside air to escape.

Cantilevered spaces in homes create distinct energy challenges for homeowners. Unless special consideration is given to these unique construction features and their insulation requirements, you may suffer from cold temperatures and high energy bills.

Oftentimes, cantilevers are not air sealed and insulated. If the builder does insulate this space, the installation of an air barrier is many times overlooked. Why does this space need both insulation and an air barrier? The space below a cantilever is shallow which does not allow it to meet local codes for R-value. Installation of a proper air barrier and insulation will prevent air infiltration by creating a thermal barrier.

Please contact our office with questions about insulating and air sealing cantilevered spaces in your home.

Attic Insulation Options: Good, Better and Best

Blown-in Fiberglass Insulation in Baltimore, MD

When it comes to home insulation, the first area that comes to mind is the attic. Airflow in buildings moves from ground to sky, naturally pulling conditioned indoor air up and out of a structure. Proper attic insulation helps keep conditioned air inside your home and helps keep your home comfortable. To help you choose the best attic insulation option for your new home, we’ve rated three popular methods:

Good: Blown-in Fiberglass
Adding blown-in fiberglass insulation to a new attic is a quick and easy way to increases R-value. This basic method of attic insulation is a cost-effective option.

Better: Blown-in Fiberglass with Air Sealing
Insulating and sealing air leaks dramatically improves the energy efficiency of a new home. The first step is to seal penetration points around the attic floor. After air sealing is complete, a blanket of blown-in fiberglass insulation is installed. This method helps keep conditioned air inside the home and adds R-value.

Best: Spray Foam Insulation
Installing spray foam insulation in the attic of a new home provides optimal energy protection. Spray foam is installed along the roofline to create a thermal barrier along the attic ceiling and seal any air leaks. This application provides the best energy benefits available in one easy step.

Adding insulation to your attic is one of the most cost-effective ways to save money on your energy bills each month. Wondering which insulation method is right for your new home project? Have questions on one of the methods or other insulation options for a new home? Contact our office today!