Now is the time when building industry experts urge homeowners to consider home renovations for the year. While thinking about home renovations may be the furthest thing from your mind right now, the recommendation is valid. With temperatures below freezing and furnaces across the country working overtime, winter is an ideal time to assess your home’s energy efficiency.
Homeowners seeking to enhance their home living standard can make smart and informed decisions regarding their home renovation by doing some research first. The right home renovations can help you save money by avoiding additional maintenance costs and headaches in the future. Hiring an energy rater, inspector or appraiser can give you a better sense of the work that should be completed during a renovation, as he or she can make recommendations as to how best to invest your renovation dollars.
Today, most homeowners will choose compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) and energy-rated appliances to create a more energy-efficient home. Investing in energy-efficient windows, doors and high-performance HVAC equipment also contributes signficantly to improving the efficiency and comfort of the home.
However, knowing what is behind the walls of your home will also influence where you should invest your renovation dollars. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration recently forecast that although home heating costs will be lower this winter, homeowners should be concerned about of sources of air leakage around their home, especially within the building walls. Online building industry resource, Green Building Advisor, points out that untreated air leaks are often responsible for up to a third of a building’s energy costs.
To combat the issue of air leakage, homeowners typically choose to caulk or weather-strip their homes. These solutions do provide some relief to air leakage, but you should consider taking more assertive action. A recent study by the Building Science Corporation showed that heat transfer was much lower in a home equipped with spray foam insulation than with other, more traditional insulation materials.
Spray foam insulation, which can help combat air leakage, is gaining popularity among homeowners since it is an energy-efficient material that delivers year-round benefits. Spray foam insulation, like that available from Icynene, delivers consistent R-value protection and air sealing all year round to help keep your home comfortable regardless of the season or climatic region.
Spray foam insulation performs for the life of the property, ensuring that homeowners can enjoy comfortable indoor temperatures all year round without overrunning their heating and cooling equipment. According to Insulationsmart.com, 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 allergy sufferers.