How to Make Your Home More Enegry Efficient and Eco Friendly

With the winter looming just around the corner, your home’s energy efficiency starts to weigh heavily not only in terms of being green from the environmental, personal, and social perspective, but it is becoming increasingly important because of very high heating costs.

In this guide I am going to present some fairly easy to implement ideas on how to increase your home’s energy efficiency on a budget.

Home Insulation Ideas

If your home was built before 1970s, then it is very likely that it does not have sufficient levels of insulation, which results in unnecessary heat loss. Many states now offer some very attractive home insulation programs, grants and rebates. For instance, the state of Massachusetts, my home state, provides a 75% tax credits rebate on energy efficient insulation up to $2000.00 in year 2011.

There are many similar programs in other states, and taking advantage of similar energy efficient insulation rebate programs will not only put money back in your pocket, and reduce your heating and cooling costs. But it will also increase the saleability of your home, reduce the chance of your heating pipes bursting in the winter, reduce cold air drafts in your home, and make your home a more comfortable place for you and your family.



Attic Insulation

Going back to older homes built before 1970s, if you happen to live in one, chances are that your loft or attic insulation is not sufficiently insulated and ventilated, which is a common reason for ice dams on the roof in the winter and costly roof, walls, and insulation damages that may not necessarily be covered by homeowners insurance. If you plan on having a new roof installed any time soon, then consider replacing your old roof with an energy efficient metal roofing system, which will help reduce your cooling costs in the summer, and help stop ice dams in the winter.

You can better insulate your attic by locating air leaks, and applying a caulk sealant to stop the unwanted air leaks. You can feel for this air leaks with your hand, or buy a special tool for detecting thermal leaks in your home at your local home improvement store. Another alternative would be having a professional home energy audit performed in your home, which would give you a complete report outlining locations where energy loss due to insufficient insulation and air leaks occurs.



You can then, follow up on recommendations of home energy audit report, and have a contractor insulate and seal poorly insulated, and poorly sealed areas in your house for you, or you could save a bit of money by taking on these inadequacies in your home insulation levels yourself with the help of specialty sealants, and attic insulation bats for your attic.

Having a sufficiently insulated and properly ventilated attic will help prevent ice dams on your roof. Being prepared for cold storms with a properly insulated home can save a ton of money and headaches from having to deal with busted pipes and ice dams damage in the winter. Trust me on this!

Insulating Walls

You can have your walls insulated with a blown in insulation, or you can have more insulation installed if you are planning to install new siding on your house some time in the near future. Obviously, blown insulation is much easier and less costly then, ripping apart your sheet rock to install a cavity wall insulation, but if you are doing a complete remodel of certain rooms in your home, and you are taking off old sheet rock, then you can have your wall cavities insulated during this time. Although, in all honesty ripping off your old sheet rock, or plaster and installing a new one is a messy and expensive way to do it.


Simple way to insulate your windows for the Winter

If you do not quite have the money to replace your old windows with energy efficient ones, then you can install a special film over your old windows, which will help reduce the cold air drafts thereby helping to keep your rooms warmer and saving on money on reduced heating bills.

These are the simple yet effective basic ways to make your home greener and more energy efficient on a budget. If you have already done these and are ready for the next step, then consider replacing your old oil burner with an energy efficient gas heating system. Once again there may be some good rebates available for that when you choose to upgrade your heating system with a 92 to 96% energy efficient gas burner. The cost of gas is less than the cost of oil, and having an energy efficient burner will further reduce your heating costs in the winter. You can also install energy efficient gas-powered hot water burners to reduce the cost of heating water in your home.



More Ideas

You can obtain even more energy efficiency in your home by replacing your lights with energy efficient lighting, and by installing, eco-friendly shower heads in your bathroom.

Metal Roofing Prices

As the environmental awareness continues to grow in America, many homeowners are starting to embrace green building technologies in order to make their homes greener and more energy efficient. Like many other energy efficient green building materials, metal roofing is also continuing to gain popularity and market share, labeled as the most energy efficient roofing material for residential homes.

For most people metal roofing is a high-end remodeling project that provides a beautiful and reliable roofing alternative to conventional asphalt shingles roofing. When homeowners consider getting a new roof for their home, the first thing they focus on is metal roofing prices vs. the cost of installing the conventional roof.

According to the remodeling magazine, a national average price for a new standing-seam metal roof installed on a 30 squares home was around $42,000, while the same roof done with asphalt would cost $22,500. The roofing job included the complete tear-off and the cleanup of the old shingles.

Metal Roof



 

Based on these numbers, metal roofing costs are nearly double of what you would normally pay for the installation of an asphalt shingle roof. Clearly, metal roofs are pricier than their energy inefficient and environmentally unfriendly, petroleum based counterparts. Despite such a drastic difference in roofing costs, metal roofing has been gaining roofing product market share with some very steady momentum, making it one of the fastest growing roofing products in America. So, what is it that makes metal roofing such an attractive option for homeowners?

The answer is in the reliability and longevity that metal roofs have to offer. Modern metal roofs are expected to last for many decades. While an asphalt shingle roof averages less than 20 years of service life, professionally installed metal roofs can last well over 50 years.

Metal roofing has an impeccable track record for longevity and reliability that dates back to the early 19th century when zinc roofs became very popular in Europe. Zinc roofs perform extremely well, lasting in many cases over 100 years. In fact, many zinc metal roofs installed in France in the beginning of the last century are still protecting the rooftops of Paris today.



 

Metal roofing offers many different styles and material options to the building owners. Starting from a zinc and aluminum coated steel roofing, to zinc and copper roofing. Style-wise, metal roofs can be made available in the traditional profiles such as factory stamped metal shingles, metal shakes, and tiles. Modern profiles, such as standing-seam metal roofing, corrugates steel roofing panels, and custom built metal roofing profiles are also available to building owners.

Metal roofs are fully recyclable when it is time to replace them. Many metal roofing systems available on the market today contain over 30 percent of post consumer recycled metal content. Metal roofs are available in great variety of colors, with many profiles approved and rated by the Energy Star and Cool Roof Rating Council. Cool metal roofing can provide energy savings of up to 35% in the summer.

Metal roofing helps homeowners save money, make their home beautiful and more energy efficient, save money on air conditioning costs, and qualify for green building tax credits from the government. When shopping for a new metal roof make sure that You only hire experienced roofing contractors who can show you their work and provide sound advice about metal roofing benefits and good workmanship.