Time To Do A Little Spring Cleaning! Summer is on the way.
Spring is a great time to get your home in shape for the summer. It’s temperate, breezy and comfortable weather both for working inside and outside. It’s no wonder we call it “Spring Cleaning”! You should enjoy your spring, but never forget that hot n’ hazy summer is right around the corner, and not so long after that, the cold weather will be setting in and winter will be here before you know it. That makes Spring the ideal time to get your home’s energy management issues under control. This short little checklist will help you figure out what might need to get done before spring gives way to summer. Avoid that hot-weather energy spike – take care of these common issues before they get out of control.
Sealing Your Building Envelope
Your building envelope is the outside of your home. Any exterior wall is considered part of your home’s “Envelope.” Additionally, an opening in that wall is considered part of the envelope. This includes windows, main entryways, patio and Bilco doors and vents. Getting your building envelope sealed can be a pretty big ordeal depending on a number of factors. Your home’s age, location, and regular maintenance all factor into your building envelope’s degradation.
It might be as simple as having the sealant around your windows and doors reapplied, or as complex as having cracked foundation repaired or even repoured. Any repairs done to your building envelope are worth it. In the case of minor issues, repair work will inevitably save you money on your monthly utility bill. Major repairs will not only save you money but will also ensure your home is structurally sound and safe.
Getting Your Roof Checked
Since your roof is technically part of your home, we might have listed it underneath the building envelope category. But your roof is also so much more and does so much more than it deserves its own bullet point. Your roof is not only your home’s most important insulator, it’s also your best defense against the outside. In wetter climates, your roof channels water away from your home’s foundation. It also is a complex network of insulation channels, playing a massively important role in your home’s comfort. However, the integrity of the roof is entirely based on all the shingles working in unison to form a barrier.
Torn shingles are like a cut on your skin. Even a clean cut can become infected when left exposed. What’s worse, is without protection, cuts can become worse! Same for your roof and shingles. A single tear may eventually affect your whole roof. Not only will you find your roof leaking, you’ll find you have to spend more to heat and cool your home. And when moisture saturates the wood, you may even find yourself having to deal with roof collapse. Avoiding this is paramount. If you start seeing wet spots, sagging joists or hearing creaking on your upper floors, contact us immediately, as you might very well be dealing with a serious issue. Even if you’re not, getting your roof checked is a good idea and may end up saving you some money.
Properly Insulating Your Attic
Which leads us to the spaces beneath your roof. Most folks have unfinished “Bonus Spaces” or “Attics.” These areas are typically minimally finished, with exposed insulation, and minimal flooring. These unfinished spaces get sweltering hot in the summer and frigid in the winter. Contrary to popular belief this is a GOOD thing. Ensuring that your bonus spaces (or storage spaces) are properly insulated is a big issue. But it’s not the same kind of insulation you might be used to. Instead of keeping heat in, attic insulation is supposed to make sure that heat (and cool air as well) stays OUT of your attics.
If your storage spaces are improperly insulated, you are likely heating and cooling the spaces that don’t necessarily need it. In the hot summer months and cold winter months, this issue becomes especially costly. Here at Peoples, we use a special E-Shield insulation for attics, which prevents radiant heat (heat from the direct rays of the sun) from penetrating too far into the home, effectively becoming captured in the bonus space of the house.
Cleaning & Sealing Your Chimney
Your chimney is also a part of your building envelope, but not all houses have one. We often times forget that in 2016 chimneys still need an occasional cleaning. But it is important to do, for your home’s safety and health. For one, animals often seek shelter in and around the chimney both in the winter and the summer. If you haven’t used your chimney in a long while, make sure you peek up it to ensure that nothing is nesting or blocking it. Conversely, lots of use followed by a long period of non-use can lead to a soot buildup, which restricts the flow of smoke out of the house. If your chimney becomes too clogged, a chimney sweep may be required to clear it out again.
If you find that you’re not using your chimney, but yourself a chimney balloon. Your chimney’s flu is typically made of metal and serves as a poor insulator. A chimney balloon is thick, and airtight, creating a more effective barrier. This will prevent hot air from entering through the chimney in the summer, and conversely, from leaving in the winter. It’s a cheap and easy solution that could save you a couple bucks in the long run.
For more information on our home consultation: Peoples Products Consultation