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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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Basics of Solar Safety

Basics of Solar SafetyTo get all the benefits of solar power, make sure you know some of the basics of solar safety. A solar system installed in your home can substantially reduce dependence on power from the utility grid and cut monthly electric bills drastically. Professionally installed solar systems are mature, proven technology that meets strict electrical and fire codes.

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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.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Unsplash/Pixabay”


Insulation is Important for Summer, Too

Insulation is Important for Summer, TooInsulation does more than keep your home toasty in winter. It provides a thermal barrier, which means it prevents summer’s heat from moving through the walls or attic and into your home. Here is more about that and steps you can take to keep your home cooler all summer long.

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Is Your Home’s Skylight an Energy-Waster?

Is Your Home's Skylight an Energy-Waster? | Team Bob'sSkylights add a luxurious touch to homes by allowing natural light in, but they are also a potential source of energy loss. From poor construction to bad installation, your skylight might be contributing to heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer. Learn more about this here.

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Why It’s Important to Seal Air Leaks in Your Home Envelope

Why It's Important to Seal Air Leaks in Your Home EnvelopeIn an energy-efficient home, the thermal envelope is well sealed in order to keep heat in during winter and to keep heat out in summer. Air leaks indicate breaches in the envelope, and this translates energy loss. Here is more about detecting these leaks and why doing so is worth the effort.

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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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Water Heater Maintenance Tasks Homeowners Can Tackle Themselves

Water Heater Maintenance Tasks Homeowners Can Tackle ThemselvesWater heating appliances use a good deal of energy, second only to keeping your home comfortable with your HVAC system. Routine water heater maintenance gives this hard-working appliance a longer lifetime and cuts your energy costs.

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5 Energy-Efficient Reasons to Buy Matching Indoor and Outdoor Units

5 Energy-Efficient Reasons to Buy Matching Indoor and Outdoor UnitsIt’s rare for both main components of a central air conditioner to fail at the same time. Usually, either the outdoor condenser/compressor gives out or the indoor evaporator coil fails. When this happens, you may be tempted to replace just the failed component to save money. Buying matching indoor and outdoor units is a better choice for the following reasons.

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Proper Duct Maintenance Can Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

Proper Duct Maintenance Can Improve Your Home's Energy EfficiencyThe duct system is a network of tubes connecting the cooling and heating systems to the rooms of your home. If the air ducts are in need of maintenance and repair, the energy used to cool and heat your home is wasted along the way. Read on to learn how professional duct maintenance improves home efficiency.

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