Home efficiency

Turning Your Home Into a Smart Home

Turning Your Home Into a Smart Home

Have you updated your home to include the newest innovations in smart home technology? There are so many opportunities for homeowners to bring your home into the 21st Century, while simultaneously reducing your ecological footprint.

How to Make Sure Your Home is Well Insulated for Winter

In our last blog, we told you about all the ways going green and adding more energy-efficient features to your home can save you a lot of money. One thing we talked about was insulation, an essential component to regulating the temperature in your home and making sure what you want to stay in, stays in, and what you want to stay out, stays out. With winter on its way, adding to and improving your home’s insulation is not only a fiscally responsible and environmentally friendly move, but will add to your own personal comfort during cold weather, and there are many ways to do it -- many of which you can even implement yourself!

Here are HCC’s top tips for keeping you cozy and warm throughout the fall and winter seasons, and hopefully saving you a buck or two in the process!

DOORS

Sheep Draught Excluder Pattern by Liz Ward

Sheep Draught Excluder Pattern by Liz Ward

  • Change out your screen door to a solid glass window pane.

  • Add draught excluders to all exterior doors: What’s a draught excluder? The concept is actually quite simple; a draught excluder is any “long object that is put against the bottom of a door to stop cold air from entering a room.”

  • Weatherstrip your doors.

WINDOWS

Cellular shades let sunshine in while minimizing the loss of heat

Cellular shades let sunshine in while minimizing the loss of heat

  • Consider double glazing your windows: What is a double glazed window? A double glazed window (or double-paned window) is simply a window with two sheets of glass instead of just one.

  • Use curtains, drapes, or blinds with thermal backing to hold in heat: Curtains with thermal backing contain multiple layers, including a vapor barrier that seals the drape.

  • Implement cellular shades: The upside of cellular shades are that they allow you to let in sunshine while also minimizing the loss of heat at the same time.

  • Reglaze window panes: Glazing is that hardened putty coating on your windows that creates a seal between the glass and the wood, and every now and then, it needs to be redone and replaced.

FLOORS

Covering your hard floor with a cozy rug can help keep your home insulated in the winter/

Covering your hard floor with a cozy rug can help keep your home insulated in the winter/

  • Fill holes and weak points with putty or sealer.

  • Fill the gaps in your floorboards with silicone sealer or get a professional to fit floor insulation beneath the boards.

  • Cover up bare floorboards with carpeting or rugs.


WALLS

APPLIANCES

Covering your hot water tank in a blanket can help keep you both cozy in the winter.

Covering your hot water tank in a blanket can help keep you both cozy in the winter.

  • Wrap your hot water tank in jacket or blanket to keep both of you nice and cozy.

  • Avoid placing furniture directly in front of a radiator.

    • Doing so will obstruct the heat from moving freely about the room and be absorbed into the furniture instead.

OTHER

  • If you have a chimney, consider getting a chimney balloon, which will help prevent you from losing heat this way.

    • This device works by being placed inside the chimney hole, then being inflated until all inside air is completely trapped and prevented from escaping. Just be sure to remove it before you start a fire!

  • Shut up unused rooms to trap cold or unheated air in that space and minimize how hard your heater needs to work to heat your home.

For more ideas or information on how to make your home as insulated and energy efficient as possible, we encourage you to contact High Caliber Construction at (928) 526 - 2156 or fill out our online form to tell us more about your project here.

5 Ways Energy Efficient Home Features Can Save You Money

Home Efficiency Diagram


There are plenty of compelling reasons to go green and start working harder to reduce your carbon footprint and lead a more eco-friendly lifestyle, but one that you may not be aware of or haven’t really considered is how being more energy efficient could actually be a fiscally responsible move too, potentially saving you hundreds to thousands of dollars each year. Yes, some energy-saving steps and products can seem like a greater investment at first, but most will more than pay for themselves in the long-run.

A good place to start is in the home. There are many opportunities to make your home more energy efficient, from small steps like replacing your incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent or LED ones -- which could save you about 50 dollars per year alone -- to much bigger, large-scale changes like remodeling or adding features to your home that help you to use less energy, or just building your next home from scratch and making it as green as possible.

Here are just a few ways to make your home more energy-efficient, and why doing so will save you money.

  1. Improving your home’s insulation.

    This one should be obvious. When your home is better insulated, it helps reduce costs for things like heating and cooling because the heat or cold (depending on the season) you want to keep out stays out, and the air you want to stay in, stays in. It can also help lower the possibility of things like damage-causing water leaks and other weather-related phenomena that could end up costing you more money, too. According to Energy Star, making these small changes could save you up 200 dollars a year in heating and cooling costs.

    A few ways to improve your home’s insulation include simple projects you could do yourself like weatherstripping your doors or a basic attic air-seal and fiberglass insulation job.

  2. Changing out your appliances for more energy efficient ones.

    This could involve installing low-flow fixtures in your kitchen or bathroom (potentially reducing your current water use by up to 60 percent and drastically lowering your water bill) or buying Energy Star certified appliances like a washer and dryer.




  3. Modifying your windows -- or adding new ones.

    There are a range of steps you can take to make your windows more energy efficient, from curtains and windows -- that will help to further insulate your home against outside light and temperature, and keep heat and cool air in -- to adding low-emissivity coatings on your windows or installing skylights, which can reduce your heating, cooling, and lighting costs as well. Adding low-emissivity coatings has the potential to curtail energy loss by 30-50 percent alone. By adding certified windows, doors, and skylights, Energy Star estimates that a homeowner could reduce their energy bill by 15 percent.

  4. Using renewable (and increasingly inexpensive) energy sources like solar energy to your advantage.

    There are lots of things to take into consideration before investing in something like solar panels, which even at falling costs, can be quite expensive -- like where you live (and what your weather is like), whether your state offers financial incentives for installing solar panels like tax credits, and whether the structure and location of your roof is optimal for hosting solar panels. However, in such a sun-saturated state like Arizona, it’s worth at least considering.

  5. Research and seek out incentives for building green.

    There are other financial reasons for building green, including opportunities, both locally and federally, to receive incentives such as tax credits, fee reductions and waivers, grants, or revolving loan funds. Depending on where you live and the nature of your project, you may also be eligible for technical or marketing assistance.

    Not only has adding energy-efficient features will save you money on your housing expenses during the period in which you are actually living in it, research has shown that it could help you make more money should you ever decide to sell it. A 2016 article from NerdWallet found that adding energy-efficient upgrades to your home has the potential to increase the value of your home anywhere from 2 to 6 percent depending on where you live.

solar-panels-on-house-flagstaff.jpg

To find out more information about how High Caliber Construction can help you save money by adding energy efficient features to your home, please contact us at (928) 526 - 2156 or fill out our online form to tell us more about your project here.
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