(BPT) - Milder temperatures and longer days mean winter is fast becoming a distant memory. However, environmentally conscious homeowners know that the arrival of warmer weather also means the likelihood of increased air-conditioner use and higher energy bills.
With more green solutions available on the market, homeowners can make informed decisions of how to "green” their home while living comfortably all year long and saving money. Simple and inexpensive changes, such as replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights, can make a noticeable impact on monthly energy usage. Some homeowners also consider installing small roof-mounted, solar hot water systems to minimize their carbon footprint and utility bills.
While these eco-solutions can help homeowners make the transition to living green, one area that homeowners usually do not consider is their home’s envelope – that is the home’s walls, windows, ceiling and floors. The U.S Department of Energy Savers suggests that air leakage from these areas can account for up to 40 percent of the energy lost by your home. When considering the amount of energy lost daily due to air leakage, homeowners are potentially losing thousands of dollars annually on air that is escaping their home.
Although it may not be top-of-mind, homeowners can tackle air leakage several ways. Double glazed windows, originally designed for extreme climates, are an increasingly popular and effective way to help minimize air leakage in a home. The U.S Department of Energy Savers says that air leakage through windows equates to around 10 percent, therefore considering high-performance, low-emissivity, double-glazed windows can help homeowners conserve energy, reduce heating and cooling bills as well as add value to their home, according to InsulationSmart.com.
Another effective consideration is replacing a home’s traditional batt insulation with a high-performance spray foam insulation. Spray foam insulation, such as Icynene, is a valuable solution for homeowners who want to make eco-friendly improvements to their home. Able to perform in all climates, spray foam insulation in a home allows homeowners to use their heating and cooling systems less, and enables them to effectively control their indoor environments.
As a modern insulation solution, spray foam insulation expands rapidly to completely seal a home’s walls, floors and ceilings to prevent air leakage. Insulation experts from Icynene note that quality spray foam insulation can noticeably reduce heating and cooling costs, in some cases by up to 50 percent. Additionally, spray foam insulation helps minimize random airborne moisture and pollutants from entering the home, ideal for anyone currently suffering from seasonal allergies. More information on how spray foam insulation can help homeowners minimize air leakage is available online at www.icynene.com.