Attic Insulation Contractor - Scott's Remodeling, LLC

Do Energy Efficiency Improvements Really Payoff?

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Every day you probably hear ads about how much you can save by making energy improvements to your home. Whether it’s a new air conditioning unit, double-pane low e windows, insulation, weatherization, radiant barrier, new LED or CFL light bulbs, the list goes on and on.

Yes, we all know that these improvements will save money, but are they a good investment? Here is a quick and easy way to figure out how much to invest in energy savings using the cost of money and return on investments.

Let’s say our home averages $200 per month in utility bills. Given an average home, it is pretty easy to drop a bill by 20% or $40 per month. This is pretty basic stuff like air sealing, switching to a programmable thermostat, installing a radiant barrier, better attic insulation, duct sealing, changing light bulbs and new air filters just to name a few projects.

So, if you could drop your bill by $40 per month it would put an extra $480 in your pocket over the course of a year. It’s not retirement money, but I’m sure you will find something to do with it. If you have a higher bill then the total will be even larger.

This is just like getting an extra $480 bonus at work, but it’s actually BETTER? Why? This is AFTER TAX MONEY. Which means if you were in the 20% tax bracket, you would have to EARN about $575 to end up with $480.

Now the REAL value is $575 per year. Ask yourself “How much would I be willing to invest to get a $575 bonus EVERY year”? Currently, in the investment world a 10% GUARANTEED RETURN is impossible. However, if you were to invest up to $5,750 in energy improvements and generate $575 in savings you would get a 10% return on your investment. In fact, on most homes you could probably get this much savings with less than $3000 worth of improvements which would result in over a 20% return on investment. During a tough economy, this is a SPECTACULAR RATE OF RETURN.

This is why so many people are spending (investing) the money to increase the energy efficiency in their homes.

Finally, all these numbers and assumptions are based on energy rates staying exactly the same. Over the long haul, do you REALLY think rates will stay the same? If rates go up then the payback and return on investment is even greater.

Is it worth it to invest in energy efficiency improvements? Unless you can guarantee at least a 10-20% return on your investments the answer is YES.

The Importance of Ventilation & Insulation

How An Ice Dam Forms

Winter will be here before you know it and that means you need to be prepared for snow and ice and the potentially damaging effects it can have on your residential home.

While the visual effects of an ice dam are undeniably beautiful, the physical effects to your roofing system can be extremely damaging to a roof, gutters, paint, drywall, and your underlying framing structure. This damage can also eventually lead to the growth of dangerous molds.

How An Ice Dam Forms

During the colder months of the year, warm heat from your home rises up into your attic space heating up the roof decking and rooftop shingles above. This WARM rooftop surface melts any accumulated snow and ice resulting in water running down the roof. But this water doesn't merely run all the way off the roof like rain water in warmer months.

During these colder months, once the water reaches the lowest part of the roof that extends beyond the warm attic space, the water freezes because this section of roof is cold. As more and more snow melts near the top of the warmer roof, more water runs down to the ice dam making it larger and more damaging to the stability of your roof structure. This ice dam can also cause water to collect and build up which then can seep through roof materials causing water damage and mold.

Radiant Barrier Reduces Ice Damming:

By installing a radiant barrier to the underside of the roof rafter, any heat within the attic space is reflected back down into the attic/home keeping the roof above the attic space COLD. With a cold roof, you reduce the chance of snow and ice melting creating water runoff, thereby reducing the risk of the formation of damaging ice dams.

Additional benefits of installing a radiant barrier in your attic space include a warmer house during colder months, a cooler house during warmer months (our radiant barrier blocks 97% of the radiant heat from the sun from entering you attic space), and lower monthly utility bills year-round.

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