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How to Prep for Power Outages

How to Prep for Power OutagesPower outages may occur anytime and anywhere. Outages may result from severe winter weather, nearby construction, accidents or planned outages. The key is to be prepared for the worst when the lights blink off in your home. Read on for tips on how you may prepare for your next power outage.

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Your Attic: Does it Waste Money and Energy?

Your Attic: Does it Waste Money and Energy?A home’s attic space is more prone to heat loss in winter and heat gain in warmer months than any other area of the home. The good news is that much of this can be prevented by ensuring this space is insulated and air-sealed. Here is more about preventing energy loss through the attic.

Air Leaks

Inadequate insulation increases home energy bills, but so do air leaks in the attic. It is most practical to seal air leaks before adding new insulation. Insulation alone is not sufficient for preventing energy loss from air infiltration. Waiting to check for air leaks until after adding insulation means backtracking and extra work.

Common places you’ll discover these leaks are around flues, exhaust fans, electric boxes, recessed lights and plumbing pipes. Sealing materials include flashing, expandable foam and special fire-safe caulk for flues or other hot fixtures.

Poor Insulation

One of the most important insulation terms you should know is R-value. This rating indicates the efficiency of insulation at resisting heat transfer per inch.

In our area of Michigan, the attic recommendation is a minimum of R-49 up to R-60. That means if you use a type of insulation with an R-value of three, insulation should be around 20 inches deep.

Chances are high your insulation is inadequate due to at least one of the following reasons:

  • Low R-value – The original builders or homeowners might have insulated the attic with the minimum amount or even less.
  • Uneven Thickness – Insulation needs to be installed at the right uniform depth. Poor installation or architectural features can sometimes lead to uneven areas of insulation.
  • Damage – Rodents trample it, nest in it and displace it, and high humidity or roof leaks can cause insulation to become soggy.

Solving an attic’s energy loss issues is easiest if you leave it to a professional contractor. If you choose to do it yourself, make sure to wear protective gear and watch your footing to avoid stepping through the ceiling.

For more about saving energy, please contact our experts at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about attics and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.

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Ways to Save Money and Increase Energy Efficiency this Season

Ways to Save Money and Increase Energy Efficiency this SeasonImproving your home’s energy efficiency for winter cuts energy costs without having to sacrifice any comfort. The steps you take to save energy also help lengthen the life of your major appliances and increase home safety.

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Installing Water-Efficient Plumbing Fixtures Can Save You Money

Installing Water-Efficient Plumbing Fixtures Can Save You MoneySaving money on your monthly water expenses starts with water conservation, and the best way to conserve this limited resource is with water-efficient plumbing fixtures. The following is a short list of fixtures and systems you can install to help you reduce your water usage and save money on your utility bills.

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Different Options for Air Sealing Your Home

Different Options for Air Sealing Your HomeOver time, even the most airtight structure will develop leaks where conditioned air seeps out and unconditioned air filters in. The leaks can also allow unwanted humidity and airborne particulates, such as pollen and dust, inside. Furthermore, the unconditioned air that seeps inside will compromise air conditioner and furnace efficiency, driving up utility bills. If this is happening in your home, air sealing is the way to prevent it.

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Consider These Tips to Tackle Hot and Cold Spots in Your Home

Consider These Tips to Tackle Hot and Cold Spots in Your HomeAll those hot and cold spots in your home add up to discomfort, and with a little effort, it’s not hard to identify and correct the problems that cause them. In the best of all worlds, homes would be evenly comfortable, but their design, solar exposure and normal wear often create some challenging conditions.

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Weatherize Existing Windows for Increased Energy Efficiency

Weatherize Existing Windows for Increased Energy EfficiencyYour windows are one of the main causes of heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. This means that they play a significant role in the cost of keeping your home comfortable. If you can afford it, you can replace your windows with more energy efficient ones; however, this isn’t always feasible. One of the best ways to keep your electricity costs down is to weatherize existing windows. Here are some of the ways that this can be done.

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SEER, EER and COP: Good Terms to Know When You A/C Shop

SEER, EER and COP: Good Terms to Know When You A/C ShopWhile you likely relish having a nice and cool place to come home to during the summer, you probably don’t enjoy the increase in energy costs every month. If you’ve been considering purchasing a new A/C, choosing one that is energy efficient can go a long way towards reducing your monthly expenses. To ensure you get the most bang for your buck, it’s vital that you understand what the efficiency rating you see on a different systems means. Get the scoop on SEER, EER and COP so you can make an informed decision that will help you find the an A/C that will keep your home comfortable, while saving you money.

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