New technology in roofing, insulation and home comfort units has made it possible to keep indoor temperatures at optimal levels without breaking the bank. When the technology in all three of these is combined, energy costs reach their lowest mark. After you take these steps, remain confident that you’ve done everything in your power to optimize the energy efficiency of your home.
Note: Steps #1 and #2 are meant for people building a new home from the ground up. Although these steps can be completed in an existing home, costs are often higher if performed after the home is built. Step #3 is for new home builders as well as existing homeowners.
Step #1: Have Your Roofing Contractor Install Energy-Saving Shingles
These are the shingles responsible for green roofing, also known as reflective roofing. Unlike standard shingles that absorb heat from the sun, shingles that use energy-saving technology reflect it. The granules used in them have a higher degree of reflectance than the granules used in standard shingles. This technology keeps attics cooler and, consequently, keeps hot air from disturbing the temperature of lower home levels.
In addition to installing energy-saving shingles, most green roofing also involves radiant barrier plywood. The only difference between this and regular plywood is an aluminum facing on one side. When radiant barrier plywood forms a roof’s foundation, the aluminum facing joins forces with the reflective shingles to add a hard line of defense.
Step #2: Have Your Insulation Contractor Install Cellulose Insulation – NOT Fiberglass
To gauge the effectiveness of insulation, there’s something called the “R-Value” system. This system determines insulation’s ability to keep “outdoor air out and indoor air in.” Cellulose has an R-value of 3.6 to 3.8 per inch while fiberglass has a value of 2.2 to 2.6. The only reason contractors still use fiberglass is because it’s easier to transport and handle.
With an R-value over one point higher than fiberglass, cellulose insulation is what your contractor should be installing throughout your new home.
Step #3: Invest in an Energy Efficient Air Conditioner and Heater ( Installed by Mountain Air)
Although new heating and cooling equipment is more expensive, you can save over $1,000 each year on energy costs depending on the size of your home. In addition, the government gives out rebates of over $200 to homeowners who invest in energy efficient cooling and heating systems.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and air conditioning accounts for 56% of the energy used in typical U.S. homes, which is why it makes sense to invest in new home comfort technology. When an energy efficient system is combined with the roofing and insulation mentioned in Step #1 and #2, you have the greatest opportunity to maximize your home’s energy efficiency.