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Category Archives: Energy-Efficiency
When to Replace the Vinyl Siding on Your Home
Even though replacing your home’s vinyl siding is not on the top of your to-do list, this is definitely something everyone must do at a certain point. After all, the siding is something that cracks, breaks or simply wears out. Eventually, it will begin to leak, which can cause even bigger problems and more expensive, major repairs.
But, how do you know when it’s time to replace the vinyl siding on your home?
There are several signs you should pay attention to if you want to avoid additional expenses. For this purpose, we have made a list of the 10 top signs that indicate that your siding needs attention.
1. High Bills for Cooling and Heating
When you start noticing an increase in cooling or heating bills, the reason for this is very likely to be the vinyl siding. However, make sure to rule out other factors that can cause this, such as:
- A leaking, bad roof
- Lack of insulation on your attic
You can best check if the vinyl siding is the culprit for your ‘through the roof’ bills if you speak to your neighbors. If there are houses with similar structures to yours that have smaller cooling and heating bills, this is an indication that your wall insulation on the home’s exterior is seriously flawed.
2. You Must Frequently Paint Your Home
If your home requires frequent painting, this is a sign of damaged or aged vinyl siding. When your siding is good, it should keep the color and shape for at least eight years. However, if your house needs painting that is more frequent than this, this is an indicator that the existing siding is peeling, chipping or cracking.
3. Visible Signs of Damage
Every once in a while, take the time to perform a visual inspection of your home’s siding. You can even use a screwdriver in the following way:
- look for warped siding or rotting boards
- poke under warped siding and check how solid the layer is
You can also look for cracked or loose siding. Still, do not be alarmed if only a few boards are cracked after a storm. You can always replace one or two bad boards without spending a fortune on the entire siding.
However, always be sure to check underneath layers and see if there is damage you have not noticed.
In the case that large sections of your existing vinyl siding are visibly damaged, this indicates that you must immediately replace your siding.
4. Fungus, Mildew or Mold on the Siding
Any type of growth such as these three points out to the fact that you must replace your siding to avoid bigger costs down the line. Look for mold, fungus or mildew at or near the seams in your home’s siding. If you notice such problems, this means that water is being held inside your walls.
5. Siding is Fading Severely
Color fading is not that grave, but can certainly show you that the vinyl siding ages as everything else does.
Every siding has a life expectancy, even the most expensive ones. Some are formulated to hold color for a longer period, while some colors fade severely after only a few years.
Once you notice that the siding’s color has faded a lot since the installment, considering replacing it with a new one. As the colors age so does the waterproofing and function of your siding.
6. Presence of Bubbles Under the Siding’s Surface
Bubbles under the surface of your home’s vinyl siding are a certain indication that there is water trapped underneath. And we all know that if water gets trapped underneath your siding, there is something wrong with it. After all, keeping moisture away from your walls is one of the main purposes of a siding.
7. Dry Rot Below the Surface
Use the screwdriver to check if your siding has dry rot problems. Checking this before the problem becomes visible is a great option to save some money in the long run since it is usually too late for your siding once the dry rot comes to the surface.
Tap on the siding’s surface with the screwdriver’s handle. This will help you reveal weak dry rot spots, even if they are not visible on the exterior.
8. Holes in the Siding
When you notice even minor holes in your home’s siding, look at this as a cause for concern. Insects can damage your siding and cause holes and if they got through your siding, this can easily be followed by other troubles such as water entering the vinyl siding and walls. If not prevented in time, the repair later can cost you a fortune.
9. Maintenance is to Hard
Maintenance can also be an indicator of when replacing vinyl siding on your home. If you no longer have the time or energy to maintain the siding, consider upgrading to vinyl siding that requires lower maintenance.
10. Higher Resale Value
If you are planning to sell your home and move to a new location, consider changing the aesthetics of the property. Changing your siding comes at an affordable cost when compared to other types of repairs and it is one of the best returns on investment.
Even if you do not want to sell your home, but simply want it to look its best, a new siding is a great way to make the home look better.
There are many reasons why you may want to install a new vinyl siding on your house. Starting from protection from rain, wind, insects, and snow to aesthetics preferences, replacing your siding in time is the best investment you can make. Letting the siding age and get damaged may cost you a fortune later on.
Finally, a word of caution – replacing your siding is not as simple as you may think. For this reason, it is best to hire a professional who will cut and fit the siding by making sure it is windproof and waterproof. This is a job that requires a certain amount of experience.
Are you ready to save money on your home energy bills? Do you want to learn how to improve your home’s curb appeal? You have come to the right place. This article will teach you the top five home improvement projects that every homeowner should do this summer.
With summertime fast approaching, it is time to enjoy the great outdoors. This also means that more friends and family members will be visiting. Because of this, you want a home that is inviting and comfortable as it will be the meeting place for planning picnics or hosting a company barbecue. As the temperatures begin to climb, you will begin to rely more and more on your air conditioner. If your home is not properly sealed, summertime heat can leach its way into your home, causing your air conditioner to work twice as hard to keep you cool. There are many things you can do to help keep your home comfortable and still save money. These home improvement projects are simple. Once they are completed, you will begin reaping the benefits of a beautiful home that is nice and cool.
One of the main causes of energy loss is faulty windows. Approximately one-third of a home’s energy escapes through its windows. Although you can insulate your windows, it may be best to replace your old windows. Replacement windows are a worthwhile investment. These windows come in a variety of styles and designs to help you create the look you want. If you notice an excess amount of mildew or moisture in your home or opening and closing your windows are difficult, it may be time to have your windows replaced.
Once you have had new, replacement windows installed, you will notice a difference in your utility bills and the comfort of your home. Your air conditioner will not need to run as hard to keep your home cool. Double or triple pane windows not only block out heat and keep your air conditioning inside, but they can also reduce the amount of noise coming from the outside. A reputable window company like Stanek Windows will come to your home and determine how much energy you are losing through your old windows.
Adding a Sunroom or a Deck
When you are entertaining in the summer, you want to have a deck for you and your guests to enjoy. But, did you know that it can also save you money on your utility bills? By enclosing your deck using screen or glass, you can maximize your energy savings. With a screened in room, you will be able to enjoy those warm summer nights without fighting with insects. Imagine sitting out on your enclosed deck, enjoying a summer breeze while playing cards without getting bitten or bugs flying into your drink. Sound amazing? Then look into enclosing your deck. Additionally, a screened in room or a sunroom can extend the amount of time you are able to spend outdoors. Let Patio Enclosures show you how you can enjoy three seasons with a screened in porch or all seasons with a sunroom.
Is It Time for a New Front Door or a Storm Door?
When you are considering whether you should replace your entry door or your storm door, you must decide how happy you are with your current front door. Your front door is essential to your home’s safety. Additionally, it helps protect against the elements and is one of the first things that your visitors see. A front door should be made of weather resistant material like metal. The front door should seal properly to keep your air conditioning inside and the heat outside.
If you have a reliable, high-quality front door, protect it using a storm door. Many people are hesitant when it comes to installing a storm door because they believe all storm doors are rattly aluminum coverings that are unattractive. Most homeowners are surprised to learn that manufacturers now offer a number of modern designs that increase the aesthetics of the home. Say goodbye to an aluminum door and say hello to sleep designs that improve your home’s curb appeal.
Insulated Vinyl Siding
Siding can be difficult to install because it can bend and bow as you are installing it. However, insulated siding is one of the best ways to save on summertime cooling bills. Most homeowners think that adding insulation to the walls of their home is all that needs to be done; however, your air conditioning can seep out if every crack is not sealed. Insulated siding provides an additional layer of protection to help keep your home sealed and energy efficient. Additionally, insulated siding comes in a variety of textures and colors, allowing you to do a beautiful home makeover while helping to keep your home comfortable.
Many people do not realize that landscaping a lawn can also help to save energy. A well-designed lawn will draw visitors into your backyard. Couple this with some great shade trees to help keep your home cool. The shade from trees and bushes will help to lower the temperature of your home as well as increase the aesthetics of your home. A beautifully landscaped lawn will include a delicious vegetable garden and fruit trees, beautiful flowerbed and large trees to welcome your guests and provide a cool sanctuary to enjoy the outdoors.
Although landscaping is a lot of work, the rewards make it worthwhile. For best results, plan out your landscape before you dig in. Think carefully about how much work it will take to maintain your landscape during the planning stage. If you have a limited amount of time to dedicate to your gardening, opt for low maintenance plants. This will allow you to reap the benefits of a beautifully landscaped area without the work typically involved with a landscaped lawn.
As you can see, there are several things you can do this summer to help decrease your utility bills and increase the comfort of your home. Start planning out your summertime projects to increase your home’s curb appeal and energy efficiency. These projects will decrease the amount of outside noise and lower your cooling bills. Replacement windows help to keep the sun’s harsh rays and heat out of your home. Adding a screened in porch will allow you to enjoy the gentle breezes of summer. A storm door adds an extra layer of insulation and enhances the security and beauty of your home. Finally, installing new insulated siding and planting shade trees in your lawn will keep your home cool throughout the summer.
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Over time, the appliances and features within your home become inefficient, and they start requiring frequent maintenance and repair. When you embark on a home remodeling plan, it’s important to choose materials and to make decisions that will help you create an energy efficient home. You’ll save money on your utilities after making eco-friendly upgrades, and you’ll also do your part to reduce your home’s carbon footprint and the energy you use each year.
Here are a few projects you’ll want to consider as you upgrade your home, as well as some easy steps you can take to reduce your energy usage each day.
The First Step: Get an Energy Efficiency Audit
Having a professional conduct an energy audit of your home is a terrific way to determine whether your home uses too much energy. It’s also an ideal project to guide your renovations and help you plan your budget. Are your windows in need of replacement or repair? An energy audit will help you make the decision.
According to an article on Forbes:
“Heating alone costs an average of $500 per year, with attic and basement air leaks accounting for up to $70 of this expense. But sealing the house can cost as little as $100, paying back the investment in less than two years. Extra attic insulation can cost $2 per square foot, and pays back within five years in energy savings.”
An energy audit can help you make the best decisions when remodeling your home. If you’re already on board with replacing your windows or getting a new door, it’s important to combine those projects alongside small, energy-efficient upgrades and improvements as part of the overall plan.
Consider: It’s less expensive to hire a contractor once for a big job rather than twice or three times for three smaller jobs.
Some of the Best Energy-Efficient Remodeling Options
The projects you choose for your energy efficient renovations will usually fall into one of three categories:
1. Brand new features and items like windows or a new HVAC system.
2. Upgrades of current features like window repair or sealing attic ducts.
3. Devices that reduce energy waste like programmable thermostats.
After your energy audit is complete, you might find out that features you thought were fine are actually costing you hundreds of dollars a year in wasted energy. Old windows are often one of the first features a homeowner will consider when making a home more energy efficient.
According to an article on U.S. News & World Report:
“Replacing old, leaky windows with higher-efficiency models can also make your home greener.”
If you’re on a particularly tight budget, there are some options for repairing old windows, but your contractor can also help you find brand new windows that are affordable, as well as incredibly energy efficient. New windows have features like special glazes that make them a wise investment.
Understanding window performance and energy performance ratings are great ways to choose new windows for your home. The Department of Energy reveals:
“You can use the energy performance ratings of windows, doors, and skylights to tell you their potential for gaining and losing heat, as well as transmitting sunlight into your home.”
Your contractor is an ideal source for information on window performance, so make sure you utilize his or her knowledge before upgrading your windows.
Simple Energy-Efficient Upgrades
If you’re in the planning stages of a major renovation like window replacement, there are several cost-effective upgrades and changes that are a great investment. Farmers Insurance offers three suggestions for making your home green-friendly and sustainable:
- Install a smart thermostat to control the temperature in your home.
- Use blackout shades or curtains to save energy and protect furniture from sunlight.
- Consider installing skylights to reduce the need for artificial lighting.
Other energy-efficient upgrades and easy fixes you may want to handle during your remodeling project include repairing faucets that drip, installing motion sensors on lights, and checking your dryer vent to make sure it’s not blocked and causing energy waste.
Are You Ready for New Energy-Efficient Windows?
According to the professionals at O’Sullivan Installs:
“Replacing windows can improve a home’s energy efficiency. The majority of all heat lost in homes happens through older windows. Newer windows are designed with energy-efficiency in mind. Improving a home’s energy efficiency means feeling less of a chill during the winter and less heat inside the home during the summer.”
Is your home due for an exterior upgrade? Want to learn more about new windows, or other energy-efficient home renovations? Contact O’Sullivan Installs for a FREE Consultation and download our free guide: “Seven Questions to Ask When Hiring an Exterior Remodeling Contractor in Massachusetts“ for valuable guidance on your home improvement project.