Category Archives: Replacemet Windows

Emerging Technologies for Energy Savings

emerging technologies

In 2016, as told by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the energy produced in the United States was about equal to the amount consumed by residential and commercial sectors. Per person, total U.S. energy consumption was approximately 301 million Btus., although energy consumption varies depending on the climate where we live and the types and numbers of energy consuming devices we use (EIA, 2016). For example, residents of the Southwest states such as Arizona, California and New Mexico, often use the most energy to cool their homes during the summer.

In recent years, however, using energy more efficiently has become an important priority for residents, businesses, and governmental agencies alike. In fact, many states have adopted policies to encourage energy efficiency; Washington included. Homeowners are making energy efficient improvements by installing ENERGY STAR certified equipment and insulation with high R-values. New technologies designed for energy savings are also beginning to emerge. Here are just two of the emerging technologies we can look forward to soon, but in the meantime, there are many things you can do save energy.

Smart Windows

First there were smartphones, then came smart speakers, and now smart windows. Researchers at Princeton University have developed a futuristic smart window that has the potential to reduce energy costs by up to 40 percent. According to Science Daily, “the self-powered smart window controls the amount of visible light and infrared heat into the building, while the new type of solar cell uses near-UV light to power the window.” The technology promises to be inexpensive and easy to apply to existing windows. Researchers hope that once installed, users will be able to control the amount of sunlight entering their homes, and thereby improving energy efficiency, comfort and privacy via an app.

R25 Insulating Materials

Insulation can greatly reduce your heating and cooling costs. Other advantages include absorbing emitted sounds and controlling humidity. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Building Technologies Office (BTO) is developing two-inch thick polyisocyanurate board insulation with modified atmosphere insulation (MAI) cores that have an R-value of 25 (R12/inch). According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “these panels have the potential to pay for themselves from energy savings within 10 years, while saving more than one percent of all of the energy used in the U.S. today.” This insulation would be beneficial for both residential and commercial applications.

5 Simple Ways to Soundproof Your Home

soundproof

Because we all deserve a little peace and quiet.

Noise – there is no escaping it. Whether it is the result of noisy neighbors above you, music blaring, an airplane passing overhead or honking cars outside, there is nothing more irritating to the senses than unwanted noise. Unwanted noise that can have far reaching consequences according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In fact, any unwanted noise that our ears haven’t been trained to filter out can mess with our sleep, add to our stress, infringe on our privacy, and generally compromise our quality of life. Fortunately, there are a number of soundproofing initiatives you can take alleviate the problem, which don’t require you to go through the expense of remodeling your home.

Here are 5 simple ways to soundproof your home:

#1. Add Insulation

Adding insulation is one of the most effective ways to keep unwanted noise out. Good candidates for additional insulation include the ceilings, walls and attic. Blown-in cellulose is an effective sound insulator. Made from recycled paper or denim, it contains no VOCs, is fire-resistant and environmentally friendly, too. Rigid foam board insulation is another good choice.

#2. Upgrade Your Windows

In terms of blocking sound, the windows in your home probably aren’t cutting it; especially if you’re still rocking single pane glass. Your monthly heating and cooling costs may also be higher than they should be. Replacing old, inefficient windows with double pane offers much more in the way of energy efficiency and noise reduction, without paying a premium for triple pane windows.

#3. Apply Weatherstripping

There are many low-cost ways to soundproof your home. One of the easiest: weatherstripping each window and door in your home. Weatherstrip all points where sash meets jambs, headers and sills, using adhesive-backed high-density foam tape. Fill tiny cracks or gaps with an acoustical caulk sealant. Replacing hollow-core entry doors with solid-core will also help quiet outside noise.

#4. Hang Sound-absorbing Curtains

The same materials used to decorate your home can help absorb a great deal of sound, as well as stop the transmission of outdoor sounds, and keep the sun out of your rooms. Look for tightly-woven, heavy materials such as velvets, embroidered brocade and wools or blackout curtains with built-in liners. To maximize the sound reduction, make sure they cover the wall above and below your window too.

#5. Try – Duct Wrap

Your plumbing also contributes to noise. Water running through pipes is unavoidable, but by insulating those pipes, you can cut associated sounds in half. The same is true for air ducts. Apply duct wrap to all joints before wrapping them with insulation. Use foil-backed insulation with a minimum R-value (thermal resistance rating) of 6. You can also apply this combo to your home’s water heater.

New Windows

Replacement Windows

replacement windows

Should I replace my home’s windows?

The decision to replace the windows in your home is a big one.  How do you know if it’s really necessary?  With time and use, windows wear out.  They can become less energy efficient and begin to break down structurally.  There are a few definite signs that will let you know if it is time for replacement windows.

 

New Windows1.  Windows Become Drafty

All windows will let a little bit of air into and out of your home, but you should not be able to detect a draft.  If you can, then the windows are letting too much air through.  Over many years of use windows can become warped or the frames can become loose which would allow too much air to pass through.  If this happens your heating and cooling system will have to work harder to keep your indoor temperature at a comfortable level.  That will cause your energy bills to be higher, which is a sure sign that the windows need to be replaced.  Weather stripping is a temporary remedy for this problem, but since sealants expand and contract, the leaks will not be sealed for very long.

2.  Difficulty Opening and Closing the Windows

This sign is a pretty obvious one.  Clearly, if you cannot open or close your windows they are no longer useful and ne to be replaced.  Wooden windows can warp and cause them not to go up and down.  Metal windows, when not properly painted can rot or rust, which can also cause them not to operate properly as well.  Double hung and triple hung windows utilize a balance system that allows them to move up and down.  If this malfunctions the windows might suddenly slam shut, which is hazardous.

3.   Condensation Between Panes on Double or Triple Paned WindowsWindows

If there is condensation, fog or even white calcium deposits between the panes of glass in triple or double paned windows, it is a sign that the seal between them may have been broken.  This means that the glass is no longer insulating against the outdoor temperatures.  In cases like this, the windows, or at least the panes of glass must be replaced.

Thermostat 4.  High Heating and Cooling Costs

If your heating and cooling costs are high, old and inefficient windows may be the cause.  If the windows in your home are very old they are probably not energy efficient.  In the long run, replacing the old windows with new, energy efficient windows will save you enough money on your utility bills to pay for themselves.

If you would like to find out if your windows should be replaced call Carrig and Dancer at (253) 584-7707 or visit our website here: http://www.carriganddancerinsulation.com/ .

 

If you would like to read the original article that inspired this blog post click here.