As energy costs become less manageable, homeowners look to the new energy-efficient technology for innovative ways to save on utilities. Not only are these recent breakthroughs cutting expenses, but they are also homes more comfortable to live in.
Insulation is Essential
Insulation has been part of our culture since the 1930s, and is still the most effective way to conserve energy. Older homes with inadequate insulation typically failed at preventing wasteful losses. R-value, which measures the insulation’s resistance to heat flow is the most important factor in evaluating its efficiency and long-term cost effectiveness. Although, concrete is the most reliable form of insulation, it is part of the foundation walls and difficult to add to existing homes. Otherwise, closed-cell spray foam, which has high R-value and prevents air and moisture from passing through, is the best alternative when installed by professionals.
Throwing Money Out the Window
Converting to energy efficient windows can have a substantial impact on the way airflow is regulated inside the home. If too much cool air is lost during the summer and warm air during the winter, utility cost can become extremely difficult to manage. In fact, 30-percent of heat and air escapes through most traditional home windows. By reducing air leakage, specialized windows prevent expensive losses and keep the inside of your home cooler through warmer periods in the year. In the winter, low-emissivity and double/triple pane glass prevent conduction (movement of heat directly though the pane) and convection (where heat escapes as it moves toward the floor) from pushing heat through the windows. As a result, cooling systems inside the home don’t have to work as hard, and you save money in the process.
Starting from the Bottom
Radiant flooring systems use heating coils that work, underneath the floor, to push thermal energy upward through your body. This way, less energy is wasted circulating warm air around each room. In the past, heaters have not been effective in warming lower areas of the house. By starting from the floor, radiant heaters keep ensure your feet are kept warm, greatly increasing comfort.