Notes from a Remodeling & General Contractor for the Wichita, KS Area
Summer is here in Kansas and while we mostly think of “energy efficiency” as a winter thing, it is something that comes into play year round. Below is a quick guide on terminology and two of the top ways a homeowner can increase the energy efficiency of their home to save money and help the environment.
Quick Guide to Energy Efficiency Terms
First, let’s start off with a couple of quick terms as it can get confusing pretty quickly without knowing what they mean. We wrote an about this with regards with regards to jargon used with replacement windows. A lot of the terms are the same in general when it comes to talking about energy efficiency in the home.
What is R-value?
R-value is a measurement of the resistance to heat flow through a barrier such as a window or insulation. A higher R-value is better at reducing heat transfer and thus more efficient against heat loss.
What is U-factor?
The U-factor (sometimes labeled U-value) is another measurement of how well materials conduct heat. A smaller U-factor is better at reducing heat transfer and thus more efficient against heat loss.
Increase Attic Insulation
One place to start is by checking the level/amount of insulation in your attic. In the Wichita KS area, building codes now requires that attics with loose or batt insulation have an R38 value depending on area in the attic. Generally, this means you need approximately 12” of insulation on the ceiling in the attic area. Adding additional insulation more will increase this R value further. This is a one of the most cost efficient means to add efficiency to your home. The additional insulation helps to better maintain interior temperatures thus less usage of the heating and cooling system which in turn lowers your energy bill.
Replace Old Windows
Typically windows are a major source of heat loss in the winter or increase in the summer. This is especially true in an older home that has aluminum framed windows. While aluminum is cheap and durable, it is also very good at conducting heat in or out of a home. Today newer windows are made of vinyl or composite materials which have a higher resistance to transferring heat. Another reason older windows can result in heat loss is that they are not multiple panes. Double and triple-paned argon gas-filled windows are very common these days. The additional panes and gas help add effective insulating barrier that lets light in but cut down on letting heat in or out. An added benefit of replacing a home’s windows is it is can also give a home a new look and increase curbside appeal.
In the Wichita, KS area and Looking to Increase Your Homes Energy Efficiency?
For those in Wichita, KS and the surrounding area including Hutchinson, Newton, and McPherson, S&A Construction can help with both increasing insulation in your home’s attic or replacing your old windows. Please consider S&A Construction of Wichita KS and give us a call at 316-262-6770 or request a free estimate at any time.
Let us know if you have any questions, other ideas, or comments!