October is Energy Awareness Month – The Perfect Time to Increase Energy Efficiency in the Home
With the colder temperatures of winter fast approaching, October — the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Awareness Month — is an ideal time for homeowners to take steps to prepare for a more energy-efficient heating season. October leaves us with only two short months left to take advantage of federal tax credits for energy-conserving home improvements. These enhancements can also benefit homeowners by reducing their utility and maintenance costs, increasing occupant comfort and making a smaller environmental footprint.
Increasing energy efficiency can be as simple as using electrical appliances and light fixtures more conservatively or as involved as a large home improvement project. As a leading building products manufacturer, CertainTeed Corporation offers the following tips to help homeowners increase comfort and reduce utility costs, as well as qualify for up to $500 in tax credits.
• Conduct an energy audit. Home energy audits are an important first step, as they help locate areas where energy-conserving changes are most needed. The audit should be conducted by a professional that is certified through the Residential Energy Services Network (ResNet). You can search for a ResNet certified energy auditor in your area at www.resnet.us.
• Add insulation to reduce heating costs and increase comfort. If you can see the tops of the ceiling joists when you look in your attic, then it is wise to add more insulation to attain the recommended R-value for your home’s specific geographic area. This will help the home retain more warmth during colder months, consequently increasing occupant comfort and reducing heating costs. CertainTeed offers a wide array of insulation products, including fiberglass batts, blow-in insulation and spray foam insulation to meet the specific needs of your home. For more information on the minimum levels of insulation in your area, additional state and local rebates and incentives, and an estimate of your potential savings, visit www.certainteed.com/itools.
• Don’t overlook the foundation. The EnergyEdge® system from CertainTeed provides increased comfort and a new way to reduce energy bills. When the system is installed on the exposed slab edge of the home, homeowners can save 10 percent or more in heating costs.
• Increase energy efficiency on your rooftop. Photovoltaic roofs can generate electricity by harnessing solar energy from the sun’s rays. The EnerGen™ photovoltaic roofing system features thin-film solar laminates that seamlessly integrate with traditional asphalt roofing shingles, creating a streamlined, visually appealing appearance.
• Install insulated siding. One of the best ways to impede the loss of heated air through exterior walls is to install insulated siding, such as CedarBoards™ Insulated Siding, which feature a custom-contoured foam insulation backing.
• Turn off appliances when not in use. Be sure to turn off and unplug appliances around the house, such as televisions and computers, when leaving a room and unplug coffee makers, toasters and other appliances when not in use. Plug home electronics into power strips and turn off the power strip when the equipment is not in use.
• Revisit your lighting options. For significant energy savings, replace standard incandescent light bulbs throughout the home with ENERGY STAR certified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), which use up to 75 percent less energy. Energy savings can be taken a step further by replacing standard light bulbs with light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. Though more expensive upfront than CFLs, LED bulbs use only 2-17 watts of electricity, last up to 10 times as long, and are more durable than CFLs.
For more energy saver tips for the home or information on federal tax incentives for energy conservation, visit www.energysavers.org or www.certainteed.com/energytaxcredit. Images, product samples and industry comments are available upon request. To speak to an expert, contact Mike Loughery of CertainTeed Corporation at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-341-7328.
Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa., has helped shape the building products industry for more than 100 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the firm’s slogan “Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed,” quickly inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed® is North America’s leading brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, fence, decking, railing, trim, foundations, pipe, insulation, gypsum, ceilings and access covers.
A subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building products company, CertainTeed and its affiliates have more than 6,000 employees and more than 65 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. Recognized as a 2009 and 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CertainTeed earned the 2011 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award, the highest level of recognition for outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. The group had total sales of approximately $3 billion in 2010.