Ouch! My energy bills are too high

OUCH!!! This is what Vivian exclaimed every time she got the energy bill. But then she did nothing about it ….till one day she finally decided she had to do something about it. She had heard all about energy conservation, energy saving tips for homes, but cared less. She was too busy working and wanted to have a comfortable home with all amenities. She never thought that all the little things she did at home to save energy, would make a difference.

Right away she decided to make the behavioral changes needed, like turning off the lights, TVs, music players etc. when she did not need them.  She also unplugged the chargers and other appliances after tuning them off. Instead of putting her computer on screen saver mode, she put it in sleep mode. The more she read about energy saving tips; she made changes in her habits, convinced she had the power to save energy at home.

While all this was good, she realized that she had to look in to other aspects and take the whole house approach to make that substantial cut in the energy bill. Taking advice from her friend and reading about it on the internet, she scheduled for a home energy audit. Vivian was surprised to hear what the auditor had to say. The auditor inspected her home thoroughly for insulation, air leakages through windows, ducts, and roofs and even checked her appliances. He analyzed her energy bills and explained how much of energy was lost from her home because of all these almost invisible problems. He then suggested some cost-effective upgrades she should do to cut down the energy bills.

Being convinced that the investment she made will pay off in the long run, she followed the suggestions of the auditor. She replaced her old refrigerator with a new energy efficient model. She also installed a programmable thermostat and put up compact fluorescent bulbs.

She couldn’t do all the up gradation immediately for lack of funds, when voila, she discovered about the low interest loan available through a program supported by the Energy Department. She then decided to replace her windows with new energy efficient ones. With her friend’s recommendation, she contacted Champion. After taking the necessary measurements, the installation crew arrived, removed the old windows and fixed the new ones. Not only did the windows add style to her home, there was more light in her home. She felt her home warmer and comfortable in winter.

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She also washed clothes in the washing machine only when it was full load. She cut down on the hot water usage for washing and dishwashing. She air dried the dishes to cut down on energy usage. She lowered the thermostat setting on the water heater to 1200 F. She called for the maintenance of the air conditioner, furnace and the heat pump.

It’s more than a year since Vivian made all these changes in her home. Of course she continues following all those energy saving tips more as a habit now. She shares her experience with everybody and encourages them to be energy savers. She is happy that her energy bills have come down and that her investment is paying off. She feels more responsible for the environment and is serious about conserving it. To top it all, she also gets Federal tax credits and state incentives as she buys only energy efficient products.

Like Vivian why don’t you take the step to make changes in your habits and your home? Don’t wait for tomorrow …..START TODAY.

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How to Choose the Right Roof for Your House

Nothing is as important as choosing the right roof for your house, whether you are building a new house or putting a new roof on your existing house. Improper roofing can cause you great inconvenience and the cost of maintenance of may go through the roof. Of course there is no point in hitting the roof once the job is done. So it makes sense to research and explore all options carefully before making the choice.

What you choose depends mostly on the style of your house, climate and the cost of the roofing. In the present day market, there are many options like asphalt, wood and composite shingles, slate, concrete and clay tiles. Whatever you choose, ensure that the roofing system will result in an energy efficient home. Here are some things to consider while choosing the right roof.

Material: The material you choose will depend on the climate and the style of your home and will in turn; determine the cost of your roofing.

Roof integrated flat plate collectors on house in Denmark.

  • Asphalt Shingles are the most popular and widely used roofing material. It is made of woven fiber glass and covered with asphalt coating which is waterproof. This is further coated with ceramic sand-like granules to protect the roofing from the harmful ultra violet rays. They are of two types-standard type and the laminated ones with a textured appearance, and  match with most of the architectural styles. Available in variety of colors and styles, these can have a guarantee of up to 30 yrs. They can be installed with minimum skill and are the least expensive of all materials.
  • Wood has been used since olden days and is still is a good option, especially for traditional style homes. There are two types available in this – machine cut shingles or hand-split shakes. Lasting for about 25 yrs, these are quite expensive.
  • Slate is one of the toughest and most durable roofing materials requiring almost no maintenance. It is waterproof, noncombustible and lasts a very long time. It is also available in a wide range of colors but expensive.
  • Composite Shingles roofing is one of the modern methods which can give you the look of tile, slate or wood without spending much on the maintenance and installation. They are polybased, and are light weight and can last even up to 50 yrs.
  • Clay and Concrete tiles are also very durable and add beauty to the roofing.
  • Metal roofs are made of steel, aluminium or copper. They are light weight, durable, energy efficient and capable of protecting your home from wind, rain, hail etc. They also help prevent fire from spreading during forest fires. Unlike the old day corrugated panels, they are now available in a wide range of styles to suit any architectural style.

Roofing system: While the material and the style you choose will add beauty to your home, you need to consider the roofing system as a whole. A good roofing system will have proper leak barriers to prevent any leakages that can be caused by extreme weather. It should incorporate proper attic ventilation to remove excess heat and moisture from the attic to ensure energy efficiency. Improper ventilation can damage the shingles, the siding and even the interiors of the home. Mildew growth on the walls can be pose a health risk to the residents. It should have roof deck protection, so that the roofing is able to withstand extreme weather conditions. Champion provides roofing systems including all these features to ensure safety, durability, protection and beauty. This also makes your home energy efficient, saving a lot on the energy bills.

Finally be sure to buy the whole roofing system from one manufacturer and get it installed from them. And then, let the roof you choose be the last roof. At least you don’t have to worry about the roof over your head.