Did Heating Bills Drain Your Wallet This Winter?

Posted on March 16, 2011 within

You may have an energy leak you don’t even know about!??

If heating your home drained your wallet this winter, you’re probably looking for ways to lower your utility bills (especially before you need to pay to cool your home all summer)! Although there are many factors that determine the energy-efficiency of your home, one of them may be a hidden energy leak in your walls that you don’t even know about! If your home has this leak, it’s bleeding energy and costing you money every day!

First, Let’s Look at the Cause:
The Wooden Studs in Your Home’s Walls!??
During the winter, heat inside your home is trying to escape to the cooler outdoors. It goes through the sides of your home, bypassing the batt insulation (pink stuff) in the wall cavity and escaping across the wooden studs. This process is called thermal bridging. You may be wondering how bad the leak actually is, so picture this: 25% of your home’s wall surface is made of studs, so that’s like having one entire wall of your home with NO INSULATION!

The photo on the right clearly shows a home where thermal bridging is occurring. You can see warm yellow lines where the wooden studs are, and the red air leak at the top of the wall.?

So, What’s the Solution?
Add Insulation to the Outside of Your Home!
The United States Department of Energy recommends adding thermal insulation under new siding to break the thermal bridge. ?Unfortunately, yesterday’s siding products weren’t designed to insulate. You can tell by this chart that most siding products do not offer much R-value. R-value is the recognized numerical measure of the ability of an insulation product to restrict the flow of heat, and therefore, to reduce energy costs.??

Thankfully, one siding product on the market today combines insulation and siding together in one step, and it’s called Fullback? Insulated Siding. The?Fullback? system has an R-value of 2.0-3.5, depending on the product profile. That’s 300-600% greater insulating ability than fiber cement and conventional vinyl siding.?

The photo on the right is the exact same house after Fullback was installed. As you can see, the wall is now a much cooler blue/green color, indicating that the thermal bridge through the wall has been broken. (Interestingly enough, the home also had new energy-efficient windows installed, and there’s barely a noticeable difference!).

Because every home is different, we recommend having a certified Energy Rater do an energy evaluation of your home to give you an accurate estimate of how much energy Fullback? Insulated Siding can save you.

If you would like to see more about this topic, click here to watch Matt Fox explain thermal bridging and display the energy-efficiency of Insulated Siding using a hot box!

If?you’re considering increasing?your home’s energy-efficiency while replacing your siding, remember that now until the end of 2011, Fullback? Siding Insulation qualifies for the tax credit up to $500!

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