With more and more people using more and more energy, we're in a high-cost energy cycle that's not going to end soon, if ever. So, it's time to help your customers curb those costs by offering them smart choices when you remodel their homes.
Energy-efficient choices can range from windows and solar glass to insulating sealants, ventilators and fans and even alternative heating sources.
Although some of the solutions may be expensive in the beginning, they'll save money in the long run and be good for the environment.
The Consumer Federation of America recommends 10 ways people can cut their home energy costs. Some of their suggestions are: caulking and weather-stripping all leaky windows, making sure attic vents and ducts are properly sealed, replacing traditional light bulbs and fixtures with compact fluorescents and looking for Energy Star qualified products and appliances. Energy Star products use less energy, help prevent air pollution and reduce energy costs in the home.
To view the complete list and find out more information on energy conservation, visit www.buyenergyefficient.org.
The Horizon Foundation Finishing Systems include the Horizon Insulated System, a two-part insulation and coating combination, and the Horizon Coating System, a coating-only system. These systems provide moisture and thermal protection to the exposed foundation between the grade line and sill plate. Left unfinished, this exposed area can be responsible for as much as 40 percent of the potential energy loss from a home. The system eliminates the need for interior insulation draping, reducing the chance of condensation.
The Hy-Ex exterior, 1400 CFM ventilator produces no more than 60 decibels of ambient white noise and can be wall- or roof-mounted. To create an "architectural" design effect, the curved ventilator ranges just 7 to 9 inches above the surface to which it is attached. The permanently sealed ball bearings require no oiling. In case of thermal overload, the motor shuts off before damage and resets once the shutdown condition is cleared.
Finishes: Copper or bronze in metallic or matte finish; custom colors in powder-coated epoxy enamel
Integrity Windows has enhanced its offering of polygon-shaped windows, expanding the maximum size by more than 60 percent. The windows are now available with a rough opening of up to 49 square feet, with lengths up to 110 inches on the window's longest side. Also available are polygon transoms that fit above all of Integrity's existing swinging and sliding doors, including three-panel doors up to 9 feet. The Low E windows qualify for the Energy Star rating.
Shapes: Octagon, pentagon, rectangle, trapezoid, isosceles and 90-degree triangle
The Reiker Room Conditioner is a heater and ceiling fan in one, distributing heated air throughout a room with no harsh heat or drafts. By mounting a conditioner in each room of a house, you can create a zoned home heating system without the mess or expense of changing the existing heating system. A remote control adjusts the heat, fan and light. The conditioner has a 54-inch blade circumference and provides 150 watts of illumination with only 30 watts of energy.
Colors: Swiss gold, textured white, brushed nickel, aged gold, Flemish pewter and ancient bronze.
ZeroDraft one-component polyurethane foam sealants and two-component polyurethane insulating air sealants are used to seal and insulate hard-to-build areas such as windows, doors, penetrations, parapets and soffits. By sealing cracks, gaps, leaks and holes within the building, ZeroDraft foam sealants help lower energy demand and consumption in all types of buildings, prevent mold and mildew, and improve indoor air quality.
The Tabbi is a miniature surface-mounted linear fluorescent luminaire. A 120-degree rotatable light shield allows it to be used vertically or horizontally. It is especially good for situations where low heat is desired. Measuring 2 inches high and 2¼ inches deep, it uses 11- or 13-watt T2 linear fluorescent lamps with cool operating temperature, providing energy-efficiency and a long operating life.
Available in: White, brushed aluminum and chrome plated
Elk's Cool Color series of colored asphalt shingles feature 3M Cool Roofing Granules and meet Energy Star requirements. The Cool Color series offers earthy hues in both the Prestique line and in the Domain Winslow line (shown) of large-scale, wood-shake look shingles. These highly-reflective granules bounce back the sun's rays and slow heat buildup.
The WhisperGreen series of ceiling-mounted ventilation fans feature an improved DC motor that is at least 75 percent more energy-efficient than the minimum Energy Star requirements, the manufacturer says. The custom vent variable speed control delayed off timer allows the fan to run continuously at a preset lower level (30-110 CFM). The Smart Action Sensor will automatically activate whenever someone enters or leaves the room.
Halo offers the Lazer line-voltage flexible rail track lighting system, which includes 12 feet of flexible track accompanied by five directional halogen lampholders available in blue, amber and white. The energy-efficient line-voltage system requires no additional transformer. Five 50-watt MR16 line-voltage lamps are included.
This high-efficiency 24-inch front-load washer and dryer fit a variety of living spaces. With a compact size of 233/8-inch width, 331/4-inch height and 231/4-inch depth, they can be installed side-by-side, stacked or under-the-counter. Available with 90 feet of venting capability. The Energy Star qualified washer averages 14.2 gallons in the normal cycle and is rated for only 212 kWh annual energy usage.
Hy-Lite's new Solar Block Plus acrylic block has a non-metallic, smoke-colored tint on the exterior half that helps block solar heat gain. Solar Block Plus meets the energy code requirements with a .40 solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) when used in aluminum-framed windows. Window units meet the Energy Star requirements for the southern zone of the United States.
Frame options: Vinyl or aluminum
Woodmaster PLUS is an energy-efficient alternative fuel furnace that burns corn, wood pellets, barley or soy beans. Compatible with most existing heating systems, it can be used as the primary heat source or in conjunction with the existing system. Northwest's fuel comparison study shows an energy cost savings of up to 76 percent depending on the fuel source. Available with a side bin for fuel storage and in a range of colors to match the home's exterior.