Considering an Energy Audit? Get Informed

Overconsumption of energy is a problem that plagues many homeowners. Wasting energy can hurt homeowners’ bottom lines and the planet. But many homeowners aren’t aware just how much energy their homes are consuming and even wasting. That’s why a home energy audit can be so important.
Considering an Energy Audit? Get Informed
A home energy audit or assessment investigates just how much energy a home consumes so homeowners can make their homes more energy efficient. Audits identify where energy is being wasted and can offer suggestions to fix the problem.

The U.S. Department of Energy advises that the average U.S. household consumes around 90 million btus in a year. Of the energy used in homes, nearly 50 percent goes to heating and cooling. Water heating, appliances, electronics, and lighting account for the remaining consumption. Consumers can save between 5 and 30 percent on home energy bills by getting a home energy audit and making the adjustments advised by auditors.

There are two types of energy audits: professional and do-it-yourself. Professional auditors will go room-to-room to assess a home’s energy use. Typical testing includes thermographic scans and infrared cameras to determine air leakage and insulation; a blower door test, which depressurizes the home and simulates the effect of a 20 mph wind to find air leaks; and watt meter measurements to test energy usage by various devices throughout the house.

Before an auditor comes to the house, homeowners can make a list of any problems or concerns they want to discuss with the auditor. The auditor also may interview the homeowner to learn about how the home normally runs and can analyze energy bills to determine typical energy consumption. Windows, doors, HVAC systems, insulation, fireplaces, and lighting fixtures all may be assessed during a professional audit.

Even though a professional audit is usually the best way to determine where a home is losing energy, homeowners can conduct their own audits to detect and fix problems. Locating and sealing air leaks, addressing inadequate ventilation, checking that insulation levels and vapor barriers are at recommended levels, and inspecting HVAC systems should be part of any DIY audit. If a heating/cooling unit is more than 15 years old, the DOE suggests having it replaced with a newer, energy-efficient unit.

An energy audit can identify areas around a home where improvements can be made to reduce energy consumption and waste. Upgrading to new appliances, replacing light bulbs, sealing drafts, improving insulation, and addressing moisture and water leaks can be good for the environment and help homeowners save money.

American Awnings & Replacement Windows can help you conserve energy in a variety of ways. We offer many Energy Star qualified replacement window solutions, that over time, will pay for themselves in energy savings. We are also the best source for retractable awnings in Shippensburg, Chambersburg, Hagerstown, and surrounding areas. During the warmer months of the year, a retractable awning can help reduce the amount of sun entering your home, thus saving you money in cooling costs. Contact us today to learn more!

Awnings Reduce Energy Cost & Add Value to Your Home

Now more than ever, we have become more conscious and aware of our environmental impact. The push to become more green in regards to energy efficiency has become a top priority for many of us. Retractable awnings are a great way to reduce energy costs in your home while adding significant value.
Awnings Reduce Energy Cost & Add Value to Your Home
Retractable awnings can help reduce home cooling costs significantly, by as much as 25 percent. By deflecting the sun’s rays, a retractable awning helps maintain cooler temperatures in your home and create an outdoor living space shielded from the intensity of the sun. This in turn helps lower your overall energy costs by using less air conditioning and spending less time indoors during those warm summer months.

Another thing to consider when looking to buy a retractable awning for your home is the impact it can have on your indoor furniture, curtains, drapes, and carpeting. By blocking the sun’s harmful rays from infiltrating your home, a retractable awning can help reduce the amount of fading and damage over time to indoor furnishings. This adds value to your home and is a very smart investment to consider.

Retractable awnings can potentially save you thousands in home energy costs, but they also add a level of comfort and aesthetic to your home than can be enjoyed for years to come. Easily turn an outdoor patio or deck into a comfortable outdoor living area for your family and guests to enjoy. Installing a retractable awning is a cost-effective way to add value to your home without investing the time and money into expensive renovation projects.

Contact American Awnings & Replacement Windows today to discuss the best retractable awning solution for your home or business. We service much of Franklin, Cumberland, Dauphin, York & Lancaster counties in Pennsylvania including Chambersburg, Shippensburg, Harrisburg, York, Lancaster, and much more. Call 800-532-9098 today for your free quote!

5 Tips to Make an Older Home More Energy Efficient

While new homes are being built to be more energy efficient than ever before, thanks to a growing green building movement and increasingly strict building codes, the age of existing dwellings continues to present challenges. More than 40 percent of the housing stock in the United States was built before 1969 and simply wouldn’t stand up to today’s standards. Yet, much can be done to help homeowners improve their building envelope to reduce energy use and increase efficiency.
5 Tips to Make an Older Home More Energy Efficient
Improving your home’s energy efficiency can help save money, keep you more comfortable, reduce pollution, and prevent global warming. Try these five simple measures to maximize the energy efficiency of your home:

1. Seal cracks and gaps around your home’s windows, doors, and vents. These can be a considerable source of energy loss, allowing conditioned air to escape and unconditioned air to infiltrate your home, placing stress on your furnace and air conditioner in the process. An easy DIY solution is to caulk around windows, doors, and vents, and install or replace worn weatherstripping. An average home loses up to 30 percent of its energy through air leaks, so sealing your home is a worthwhile exercise.

2. Top up or replace old insulation in your attic. A poorly insulated attic is a primary source of energy loss. Also, over time, some types of insulation can settle and compact, allowing heat to escape through gaps. Experts recommend installing a dimensionally stable batt insulation like a Roxul product called Comfortbatt. Aim for an r-value of at least R-50, or a depth of roughly 16 inches.

3. Insulate basement headers. Uninsulated basement headers are common, especially in older homes. They can act as a gateway for heated air to escape. Fixing the problem is fast and easy. Simply cut Comfortbatt stone wool insulation to fit the cavity and compress into place. Doing this throughout your basement will prevent heat loss and can potentially save hundreds of dollars each year.

4. Switch to LED light bulbs. Some LED light bulbs have a lifespan of up to 10 years, and are 80 to 90 percent more efficient than incandescent bulbs. They are generally more environmentally friendly than CFLs and safer, too, since they produce less heat. The return on investment is excellent, as LED bulbs often pay for themselves through energy savings within the first year.

5. Consider a home energy audit. This will help you identify and target specific problematic areas of energy loss. A professional home energy audit will also provide a list of recommended solutions to help you maximize your energy-efficiency strategy.

How to Find the Right Replacement Windows

Replacing old windows is often a worthwhile investment for homeowners. Energy-efficient windows can prevent heating and cooling loss and keep homes more comfortable throughout the year. Such windows also can improve a home’s resale value, proving a good return on investment for homeowners who want to upgrade their homes before putting them on the market.
How to Find the Right Replacement Windows
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homeowners might find it more cost-effective to replace very old and/or inefficient windows to improve their energy efficiency. Such an upgrade can save homeowners substantial amounts of money on heating and cooling costs.

Window replacement projects can be costly, so it pays to get the job right the first time. Before beginning a window replacement project, homeowners should research which windows will meet their specific needs, learning the subtleties between finishes and features, as well as comparing prices for the windows and installation.

Choose the right time of year
The best time of year to plan window replacement is when the weather will be warm, ideally in the spring or early summer. However, homeowners do not want conditions to be too warm, as each room where new windows will be installed will temporarily be exposed to the elements. Furthermore, caulk adheres better in warmer weather and will dispense easily.

Consider available features
When replacing windows, homeowners may want to install the same style windows they currently have. But the problems that led to the need to replace windows may still exist even when new windows are installed. When replacing windows, consider energy performance ratings based on the locations of the windows in the house. To make sure they make the most educated decision, homeowners can investigate the solar heat gain coefficient, U-factor, visible transmittance and light-to-solar gain. Explanations of these ratings are available at Energy.gov.

Don’t ignore maintenance needs
Maintenance costs involved with cleaning, repairs and painting can add up. When shopping for windows, consider the amount of maintenance they will need. Wood-framed windows may require more upkeep than aluminum, fiberglass or vinyl. Also, consider if certain window types, such as double-hung windows, casement windows, awning windows, or slider windows, would be practical.

Keep home style in mind
A poor match between windows and the style of the home can produce unwanted changes in the appearance of the home. Replacement windows should match the style and appearance desired.

Expect minimal disruption
When homeowners hire professionals who are good at their craft, window replacement projects should not be a terrible inconvenience. According to American Window Products, Inc., seasoned professionals will be able to complete a replacement window upgrade in a short amount of time depending on the size of the home and the number of windows being replaced.

Replacing windows can be a costly task, but one that will provide a more energy efficient home that can help homeowners save money in the long run.

Get Ready for Winter With Replacement Windows

Return on investment, often referred to as “ROI,” varies depending on the project. Frequently, the projects that seem like the best investments don’t bring the greatest rate of return, while those that seem like smaller projects bring substantial returns. Real estate professionals routinely weigh in with their expert advice, and homeowners can couple that advice with Remodeling magazine’s annual “Cost vs. Value Index” to reap the greatest financial impact from their renovations.
Get Ready for Winter With Replacement Windows
In preparation for this upcoming winter, replacement windows are a worthy investment. Angie’s List, a home services review and referral resource, has found that the average ROI of new windows is 77 percent. The cost of installation and energy savings tend to offset at around the 10-year point.

On average, 25% of a home’s heat escapes through its windows. If you notice your furnace constantly running or a cold draft in certain areas of your home, you might consider replacing your current windows with a better fitting, more energy efficient window solution.

At American Awnings, Roofing & Windows, we install and service a huge selection of replacement windows including Bow Style, Bay Style, Vinyl Double Hung, Picture, Slider, Geometric, Casement, Awning, and Garden Windows. We also offer a variety of glass, grid, and color options for you to choose from.

 

Increase Energy Efficiency With a Retractable Awning

A retractable awning from American Awnings & Replacement Windows offers amazing benefits in reducing energy costs while keeping your deck or patio cool and comfortable. Enjoy reduced heat indoors and decrease the amount of sunlight and glare entering your indoor living space. Studies show that a retractable awning can reduce annual energy costs by 17% in moderate climates. This also benefits our environment by reducing the amount of greenhouse gas being dispersed into the atmosphere. Did we also mention the added benefit of saving you money?
Increase Energy Efficiency With a Retractable Awning
Although the warmer months of summer are well behind us in our service areas of Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, and Franklin County, Pennsylvania and Washington County, Maryland, it’s never too early to start thinking about home improvement projects for next year.

At American Awnings & Replacement Windows in Shippensburg, PA, we offer many styles of retractable awnings including Sunrise, Toga, Little Big, Vario-Volant, Sunpitch, and Sunselect Awnings. We offer a vast array of fabrics, patterns, and frame colors to choose from, making it easier than ever to match the existing aesthetic of your outdoor living space.

All of our retractable awnings carry a 10 year common sense warranty backed by our professionally trained staff. We also provide 18 months special financing with 0% interest.