Improve the Energy Savings & Comfort of an Older Home

Improve the Energy Savings & Comfort of an Older Home

There are so many great things about owning an older home. From unique design to charm and character, an older home can get you a great living experience at a lower-than-expected price.   Of course, there are some drawbacks. One of these is that the home isn’t updated with the latest insulation, windows, and other elements that help reduce energy costs. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to improve the situation.   The first step is to make sure your home isn’t registered as a landmark or historic property. If it is, there will be limits to what you can do – be sure to follow the rules.   Here’s what you can do to improve the energy savings and comfort of your older home!   Fill the Gaps One of the biggest energy thieves in an older home is gaps between walls and windows, as well as in the floor, roof, and attic.   Simply using sealant strips can help fill the gaps in your floorboards without changing the character of your room. They’re inexpensive and easy to use. Once they are in place you won’t even be able to see them – but you’ll feel the difference in temperature and you’ll also see the energy savings.   For gaps around windows, you can use caulking or weather stripping. If you can’t replace old windows – or can’t afford to – try using a window kit where you put a plastic seal over windows. It can increase a window’s R-value up to 90%!   Get an HVAC Tune-Up Even if your older home’s HVAC is functioning fine,...
Where Does Heat Escape Your House? (It’s Not Where You Think!)

Where Does Heat Escape Your House? (It’s Not Where You Think!)

If you had to do your own audit of where energy was escaping your home, where would you start? If you’re like a lot of Little Rock homeowners, you’d probably look at doors and windows. Many people think that gaps around doors and windows are the biggest energy wasters. They certainly are a concern, but what if I told you that it wasn’t the biggest concern? So what is the biggest problem when it comes energy savings? Read on to find out!   How Much Air Escapes Through Windows? Because we can see through them to the outside, and we open and close our windows frequently, we often think that windows are a major energy savings concern. Perhaps we want to choose thicker windows, double-paned options, or simply focus on sealing drafts and leaks around the windows. There’s nothing wrong with those efforts! However, they only save a small portion of your energy loss. Most sources say that homes lose 10% of their energy through windows. So yes, definitely work on drafts and windows. Here’s a guide that will help you find and plug air leaks. But other things make a bigger difference.   Second-Most Energy Loss: The Attic Ah, of course, the attic! Everyone knows a lot of their heated and cooled air escapes when their attic isn’t well-insulated. 25% of your energy loss goes through an uninsulated roof and attic. Consider getting an energy audit to find the problems you’re having upstairs. This is especially important in the winter – heat rises, so a poorly insulated attic can be a major concern! Don’t assume that reinsulating will...
How an Energy Audit Promotes Energy Savings

How an Energy Audit Promotes Energy Savings

It’s important to save money when you own your home. You never know what will pop up that needs to be addressed. However, it can be hard to find simple cost savings. Fortunately, energy savings are a great source of financial help. When you reduce the energy you need to heat and cool your home, you win – not only financially, but in terms of comfort as well! How do you find these savings? Simple – by having an energy audit of your home. Here’s what an audit is and how it can save you money!   What is an Energy Audit? Very simply, an energy audit helps you understand how much energy you’re currently using and what measures you can take to become more energy efficient. While you can try to do one yourself, a professional energy audit is often better at spotting the real culprits of energy overuse. Professionals already know what to look for, so they can work through your home much more quickly.   What to Expect During an Audit There are two kinds of assessments, the visual-only Home Energy Survey and the General Energy Audit, which includes doing tests with diagnostic equipment. The Home Energy Survey takes about an hour to complete and includes an overview of doors, windows, insulation, and ducts, along with your heating and cooling equipment. The assessor will also look at your appliances, lighting, and visible moisture, health, and safety issues. They will also review your energy bills to find opportunities for energy savings. The General Energy Audit includes the above but also includes diagnostic tests such as a blower...
Is Your Insulation Increasing Your Cooling Costs?

Is Your Insulation Increasing Your Cooling Costs?

So things are heating up at home and you need a way to keep cool and stop your power bill from skyrocketing. Well, insulation is a good place to start. Keeping the heat out is much more cost effective than constantly cooling new hot air from outside. The reason your cooling bill can get so out of hand is more often than not an installation problem. Not only will bad insulation cause your AC to work longer it will have to work harder. Two problems come from increased used and strain on your system. One is the much higher energy usage resulting in peak usage premiums from your energy provider. The other problem is the extra strain often causes breakdowns of your unit that also result in extra cost. Keep in mind, all insulation is not created equal, and it can settle and lose its effectiveness over time. If your home is more than a few years old your insulation could have settled and lost some of its effectiveness if a cheap product was used. Or if the builder only insulated to the minimum requirement you may be able to save big by updating and improving your insulation. Let’s look at some of the options. Blown or sprayed insulation? There are different kinds of blown insulation, and different methods for spraying it into your attics, down your walls, and under your floor. Okay, so you’re probably wondering what the difference is right? Well, let’s start with blown insulation. Blown insulation refers to blowing an insulation product into areas such as floors, your home’s walls, your attic, and other gaps...
11 things you can do to increase energy savings for the summer

11 things you can do to increase energy savings for the summer

Energy savings is at the top of the list of summer goals for most people. Here are a few tips to help you beat the heat and keep your electric bill down this year. Set your air conditioner thermostat as high as comfortably possible. We recommend 78ºF or higher when you’re home. Use a smart thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature. Resist the urge to turn your thermostat down too far. Lowering the temperature does not speed up how fast your home cools down. Experiment with the temperature and find the highest setting you can comfortably use.   Make sure you have your unit serviced regularly. A properly functioning air conditioner can greatly reduce the amount of energy used to operate a unit. If you are using your air conditioner daily consider changing your filters monthly instead of every three months. A clean filter will allow air to flow more easily, causing your unit to work more efficiently.   During the day close your blinds and block any source of outside heat. At night open up your home while it’s cool. This is a very basic, yet extremely cost effective way to increase your energy savings.   Use Window, ceiling and whole-house fans to stay comfortable. They cool a room down by circulating the air and creating a breeze. Whole-house fans pull cooler air from outside in, and push the hot air in the attic out, causing your home to cool down. Both traditional fans and whole-house fans use much less energy than running an air conditioner.   Keep your indoor heet down. Turn off any lights you don’t...
How To Make a Room Feel More Cozy

How To Make a Room Feel More Cozy

The team at Reeves Insulation, LLC knows a thing or two about how to properly insulate a building to keep the interior temperature comfortable. The R Value inside the walls isn’t the only thing that makes a room feel cozy and comfortable. Here are a few tips on how you can make your room look as cosy as it feels. 1. Use Layers. Layering things like the light sources in the room, the rugs, and any textured decor will give your room a cozy feel to it. To layer lighting try and give your room more than just one source of light. Keep the lighting at eye level and at varying degrees of usefulness. Fairy lights are a charming way to add a delicate layer of light to a room. A lamp is the perfect way to create a cozy, functional reading space. A fireplace might be the most cozy element any room can have. It gives off warm lighting and functions as a heat source during cold winter months, which could help if the R value in your home is not up to par. What is R Value you ask? Go here to see what it’s all about, and how R value can affect your home.  2. Texture. Texture brings charm and cozyness to a room the same way layers do. Fill the room with throws, pillows, wallpaper, decor and more. The best and easiest way to add texture to a room? Throws. If the room feels like it needs something simple to make it more cozy, add a throw somewhere. Add several throws, depending on the size and functionality...