Resolve to Insulate

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By Chris Balzer

Welcome 2019!  Another year is upon us and many of us have made New Year’s resolutions. A recent survey showed the top resolutions for 2019 are too; eat healthier, exercise more and save money.  A look back twenty years ago and CNN’s poll showed the top resolutions were; get out of debt, lose weight and develop a healthy habit (quit smoking). It’s not surprising that the top resolutions are similar year after year because they are all great intentions and actually go hand and hand. Let’s look at eating healthier and exercising. Eating healthy can mean cooking more at home, which saves money. Eating healthy also could cause fewer medications or doctor visits, which saves money. The same effect can also be acheived with exercising. Developing a good exercise plan will make you healthier and could cause fewer medications or doctor visits saving you money. My grandmother once said, it is always better to spend money at the grocery store on healthy foods than at a doctor’s office.

Time For Change

Another way to save money which is always on the top of my mind and typically not on most is to increase efficiency and tighten the envelope of our homes. Tightening the envelope is not a phrase from Tom Wolfe’s novel the Right Stuff but a term used to describe a system. The Building envelope is the physical barrier between the exterior and interior environments enclosing a structure (your home).  Generally the building envelope is comprised of a series of components and systems; roof, walls, windows and foundation. These systems protect the interior from the effects of the environment like precipitation, wind, temperature, humidity and ultraviolet radiation. One function of the building envelope is to control these effects between the interior and exterior of the building. When there is missing or compacted insulation or unsealed windows, doors and attic penetrations, your building envelope is comprised wasting energy and comfort. If your home is older than 10 years, you most likely don’t have enough insulation to meet today’s guidelines. Prior insulation code for this area was R-19 (roughly 6.5” of insulation), now the new code is R-30 (roughly 10.5” of insulation). That’s a 61% increase. Why the increase?  Because we know that traditional insulation has trouble keeping our homes comfortable and the only solution was to add more insulation. More states are requiring the use of a Radiant Barrier reflective insulation installed on the attic rafters to lower the attic’s temperature allowing the insulation and the ductwork insulation to perform more efficiently, saving you money and increasing your comfort. Reflective Radiant Barriers reflect 97% of radiant heat in your attic. Another source of energy loss is through attic penetrations. A typical family wastes about a third of its annual heating and cooling budget, roughly $350, on air that leaks into or out of our homes through unintended gaps and cracks. It’s almost like keeping a window open all year round. Properly air sealing these gaps saves money and increases air quality. It’s all about tightening the envelope to increase efficiency and comfort. If one of your resolutions is to save money this year, schedule an inspection to know exactly where your home could improve its envelope.

Happy New Year and may God shower you and your family with favor and blessings and if your path becomes bumpy, may it be speedy and lesson worthy.

Chris Balzer is Founder and President of Emerald Coast Energy Solutions and resides in the Santa Rosa Beach area with his wife and 3 Children.  For more information on how to save money and become energy efficient schedule an inspection by calling (850) 588-2870, visit www.trusteces.com or email wecare@trusteces.com and Beat the Heat.