Energy Savings

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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As most parents instruct their children, good energy savings practices begin at home. When we are kids, we're taught to remember to shut off the lights when leaving the room, crank the tabs to keep water from dripping, and make sure nothing's blocking the vents in our rooms and reducing air circulation. But lighting, appliances, and other electrical gadgets account for as little as 10% of the energy used in many homes.

Insulation Adds to Energy Savings
A far more economic way of producing reliable energy savings is to have the proper home insulation. Insulation can both contain heated air and cool air, making it perfect for temperate American climates. And because heating and cooling (collectively referred to as space conditioning) can account for 70% of a home's energy consumption, reducing the energy spent on it can result in drops in your utility bills and drastic energy savings.

Different types of homes in different climates have different insulation needs. The basic types of thermal insulation include blankets, blown-in loose fibers, foam insulation, pressed insulating materials, and reflective insulation. Many types of insulation can be installed without the help of a professional, but for some, such as blown-in fibers or pellets, professional help is generally recommended.

Many modern building materials are also available that are better insulated to save more energy. ICFs, which are insulated concrete forms, are made of foam that becomes permanent once the concrete is poured, adding layers of dense insulation to the exterior walls of houses. ICFs are relatively easy to install and build with, and operate as both thermal insulation and noise-suppressing barriers.


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