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August 31st, 2014

How to make household drafts a thing of the past

With the onset of cooler weather, now is the ideal time for homeowners to consider the efficiency of their heating systems. Drafts, gaps and poor insulation throughout the building envelope can significantly contribute to the efficiency of a home’s heating system, the comfort of occupants and the household budget.

The United States Department of Energy says that household heating and cooling accounts for around 54 percent of the average American’s utility bill. Although some savings can be achieved through proper equipment maintenance and upgrades, the United States Department of Energy explains that an energy efficient furnace alone will not have as great an impact on energy bills as using a whole-house approach.

With heating and cooling taking up a large chunk of the household budget, understanding where your home is hemorrhaging money and how to effectively stop it can make a considerable difference to your comfort and your wallet. Building specialists say that any cold or drafty areas within a home are typically caused by air leaks within the building envelope. Air leaks can make rooms uncomfortable and allow the air to escape, forcing heating equipment to work continually to compensate. According to InsulationSmart.com, floors, walls and ceilings alone can account for up to 31 percent of air leakage in a home.

Consulting a home inspector or home energy rater, who can assess your home from roof to basement; will give you a better sense of where your home is leaking money and what cost-effective measures are available. While stop-gap solutions such as caulking and sealing visible cracks can help alleviate some of the air leakage, a home inspector will make recommendations that consider the whole wall infrastructure. For instance, a home with traditional batt or blown-in insulation is typically less energy efficient than a home with modern insulation material such as spray foam, because of the gaps these traditional insulation types leave behind.

Unlike the traditional insulation materials, spray foam insulation such as Icynene both insulates and air seals the home’s envelope in one step to provide a cost-saving option that not only stops drafts from occurring but reduces energy waste and cuts the monthly heating and cooling bill. Over the long-term, the savings quickly add up.

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. Spray foam insulation can noticeably reduce heating and cooling costs, in some cases by up to 50 percent, easing the strain on the household budget.

Additionally, spray foam insulation helps minimize random airborne moisture and pollutants from entering the home, ideal for allergy sufferers particularly once the cold weather passes and spring arrives. Homeowners can learn the five easy steps of selecting the right insulation for their home on www.icynene.com.


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