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8 Tips to Keep your Home Cool

House-Cool

Another hot Sacramento summer is just around the corner!  Here are eight easy tips to help keep your home cool this summer:

1. Ensure east and west facing windows are well-shaded or have insulated window treatments, preferably in a light color that will reflect heat.

2. Keep doors, windows and other openings closed during the day to keep maximum heat and humidity outside.

3. Wait until evening to do activities that warm the house like drying clothes, baking or starting the dishwasher.

4. Use fans to keep air moving to be more comfortable at warmer temperatures. Most folks are comfortable between 72 and 78F, but with good airflow, you might be comfortable at 76-80F.

5. Make sure your air conditioner is efficient and appropriate for the space it’s cooling. Also change filters regularly for optimal air flow.

6. Try to reduce activities that add moisture to the air, but try not to use a dehumidifier while the air conditioner is running.  Dehumidifiers actually make an AC unit work harder.

7. Make sure air ducts are sealed and insulated, especially if they run through spaces that are not cooled, like attics or under the house.

8. Shade the outside half of your central AC if possible.  This can improve the unit’s performance by up to 10%.

These are just some tips, but if you’re looking for investing in your home for additional energy savings, call us today for a FREE quote on replacing windows, doors and adding insulation to your attic, a patio cover to your backyard or shutters to keep your cool air in this summer.  Just fill out this form to get started!

Most Popular Sustainable Home Projects?

11215081_951408321583977_2505559627812200931_nIt’s no surprise home improvement projects that boost energy efficiency remain the most popular sustainable improvement you can make to your home!  We know a thing or two about energy efficiency with replacing windows, doors, siding and insulation!  Receiving a FREE quote from us is as easy as filling out this form— let’s start bringing down your energy bills!

Out and about: Our 2015 Show Schedule!

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‘Tis the season!  The early start to the home improvement season!  Okay, okay, we agree with you– home improvement projects are always great year round!

With the holidays behind us, many of us getting an early start on New Year’s resolutions and if you have one that includes replacing windows, doors, siding, shutters, insulation and/or adding a patio cover in the greater Sacramento area– we’re here to help you!

We’ll conveniently be at some of the area’s largest home and garden shows starting this month, so if you’re out and about, look for us– we’d love to see you!

January 23, 24 and 25:  See us at the Northern California Home & Garden Show

February 28, March 1 and 2: See us at the Sacramento Home and Garden Show

March 27, 28 and 29: See us at the Yuba City Spring Home and Garden Show

April 25 and 26: See us at the Nevada County Expo

And if you can’t wait and want a FREE quote now, just fill this out and we’ll get back to you within one business day!

Happy 2015, everyone!

Should You Add Insulation?

Yellow-Trees-Black-Trunks1It’s Fall once more throughout the Sacramento region and with the new season comes cooler weather we must prepare for since Winter is not far behind.  Insulation is something not often thought of but could be a huge savings on energy bills by keeping the cool weather out and warmth inside.

Why Should You Insulate?
Heating and cooling (“space conditioning”) account for 50 to 70% of the energy used in the average American home. About 20% goes for heating water. On the other hand, lighting and appliances and everything else account for only 10 to 30% of the energy used in most residences. It makes good sense to turn lights and appliances off when they are not needed, and you’ll save even more on your energy costs if you reduce the amount of energy needed for heating and cooling.

Unless your home was constructed with special attention to energy efficiency, adding insulation will probably reduce your utility bills. Much of the existing housing stock in the United States is not insulated to the best level. Older homes are likely to use more energy than newer homes, leading to very high heating and air-conditioning bills. Even if you own a new home, adding insulation may save enough money in reduced utility bills to pay for itself within a few years, continue to save you money for as long as you own the home, and increase the resale value of your house.

The Crucial Role of Thermal Insulation
Inadequate insulation and air leakage are leading causes of energy waste in most homes. Insulation saves money and our nation’s limited energy resources. It can also make your house more comfortable by helping to maintain a uniform temperature throughout the house. Walls, ceilings, and floors will be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Insulation can also act as a sound absorber or barrier, keeping noise levels down.

It is possible to add insulation to almost any house. You may be able to do the job yourself if the structural framing is accessible — for instance, in unfinished attics or under the floor over an unheated space. Or, you may prefer to hire an insulation contractor. In either case, it is important to choose and install the insulation correctly.

The amount of energy you conserve will depend on several factors: your local climate; the size, shape, and construction of your house; the living habits of your family; the type and efficiency of the heating and cooling systems; and the fuel you use. Once the energy savings have paid for the installation cost, energy conserved is money saved — and the annual savings will increase if utility rates go up.

Insulation Priorities
It is most important to:

  • Insulate your attic to the recommended level, including the attic door, or hatch cover.
  • Provide the recommended level of insulation under floors above unheated spaces, around walls in a heated basement or unventilated crawl space, and on the edges of slabs-on-grade.
  • Use the recommended levels of insulation for exterior walls for new house construction. When remodeling or re-siding your house, consider using the levels recommended for new construction in your existing walls.

How does insulation work for you?

Heat flows naturally from a warmer to a cooler space. In the winter, this heat flow moves directly from all heated living spaces to adjacent unheated attics, garages, and basements, or to the outdoors; or indirectly through interior ceilings, walls, and floors — wherever there is a difference in temperature. During the cooling season, heat flows from outdoors to the house interior. To maintain comfort, the heat lost in winter must be replaced by your heating system and the heat gained in summer must be removed by your air conditioner. Insulating ceilings, walls, and floors decreases this heat flow by providing an effective resistance to the flow of heat.

Insulation is rated in terms of thermal resistance, called R-value, which indicates the resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness. The R-value of thermal insulation depends on the type of material, its thickness, and density. In calculating the R-value of a multi-layered installation, the R-values of the individual layers are added. Installing more insulation in your home increases R-value and the resistance to heat flow.

The effectiveness of an insulated wall or ceiling also depends on how and where the insulation is installed. For example, insulation which is compressed will not give you its full rated R-value. Also, the overall R-value of a wall or ceiling will be somewhat different from the R-value of the insulation itself because some heat flows around the insulation through the studs and joists. That is, the overall R-value of a wall with insulation between wood studs is less than the R-value of the insulation itself because the wood provides a thermal short-circuit around the insulation. The short-circuiting through metal framing is much greater than that through wood-framed walls; sometimes the metal wall’s overall R-value can be as low as half the insulation’s R-value. With careful design, this short-circuiting can be reduced. More information can be found on the Web about whole-wall R-values.

Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

 

 

Labor Day Weekend

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Labor Day is upon us and the Fall Season will soon follow with the holidays not that far behind.  ‘Tis the season for family and friends to visit!  And so September is the launch of the year’s second busiest home improvement cycle!  We understand you’ll be hosting, we understand you want your home to look its best and though it may be the holidays that inspire you to start these end of the year projects, let’s face it, you’ll benefit year round with the comfort and energy savings on bills as well!

So what exactly do you picture tackling first?

  • Those single pane windows that have been letting the cool air slip out of your house all summer and will soon be letting the warm air slip out this winter?
  • That front door that is the first impression everyone has of your home when they enter and is barely hanging on the hinges?
  • The insulation in your attic that is so thin you imagine if the heat escapes from your body through your head, just how much is escaping through your attic?
  • You’re preparing to say goodbye to your beloved backyard BBQ’s because no matter how many times you’ve considered adding a patio to add outdoor living space to your home, you just haven’t actually pulled the trigger yet.
  • You drive up to your home and see the paint peeling and swear you just paid to have your home painted and yet it’s obviously time for it to be painted again.  You’ve heard that if you have siding installed you’ll never have to paint again and well, maybe it’s finally time for that investment?

Whatever the home improvement project is that you’re thinking (and over-thinking!), NOW is the time to make the phone call to atleast get a quote.  Let us brainstorm with you on which project to take on and which to save for next Spring.  Fill out this form for a FREE quote and let us bring you the comfort and savings you deserve!

Instant Savings with Insulation!

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It’s been a while since we’ve experienced a number of 100+ degree summer days in the Sacramento Valley– and this year we’re experiencing more than our normal share!  There are a number of ways you can better insulate your home such as replacing windows and/or doors, but one instant way to energy savings is through insulation!

Since extending our product line to include insulation early in 2013, we have helped so many customers better protect their home from the summer heat– and in turn, keep the warmth of their home inside in the winter.  That’s instant year round savings!

Check out more on insulation savings on our website here or you can complete this form here and we’ll be more than happy to provide you with a FREE estimate.  Don’t let this Sacramento summer heat get the best of your dollars– protect yourself by protecting your home today!