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When it comes to energy efficiency, adding insulation is the most affordable upgrade that can be done to a 2-story home. With good insulation, there will be an immediate return on the money spent. A high performance energy efficient heating system is also very important. Energy efficient heating and good insulation work hand in hand by paying the homeowner back hundreds of dollars a year, along with the home being much more comfortable to live in. Lifetime aluminum metal roofing should rank very high on the priority list for an energy efficient home; certainly among the top three upgrades. The product itself is made from a very high percentage of post consumer aluminum. It is also considered to be among the most long lasting sustainable roofs that can be put on a home.There are aluminum roofs that are well over 100 years old in the USA. These roofs have very high reflectivity, which equates to high energy savings during the summer months or in the south where air conditioning is needed. These energy star rated roofs can save as much as 30% on energy as it relates to cooling costs. With proper insulation, energy efficient heating, and metal roofing, the home will have optimum energy efficiency and continue to remain at the most comfortable temperature based on the given seasons.
The first thing to reduce energy is to see where it is being wasted.
An energy audit with blower door test and infared camera is the best place to start.
The list of upgrades range from adding insulation, to replacing HVAC systems and everything in beteen, such as new windows and doors to installing smart theromstats. But because each home is different and has different needs the only way to be sure your upgrades are right for your home is to start with an energy audit.
A New Construction window includes nailing fins used to fasten the window in place and to flash it, helping to make it airtight and waterproof. This usually requires installation of new interior woodwork, and sometimes touch-up painting of the interior drywall. It also can require removal of the siding around the window, or new wide trim installation, depending on circumstances.
A replacement window fits inside of the current window frame, leaving the original exterior & interior window frame & trim in place. This is a quicker and less expensive method of replacing windows. But it can also leave existing problems in place. IE, if there is air leakage between the existing window jamb and rough opening, a replacement window will not solve it. If there is rotted wood, the rotted wood often gets covered by aluminum cladding but is not necessarily removed/repaired.
There are some good companies who do a good job of replacement winodws and I'm not putting down the good ones. There are also some really bad ones, who sell throw-away window products that are a good stop-gap measure. IE, replace 2 worst windows while you wait to replace the entire house full of windows and do new siding and energy improvements all at once.
For this reason, my company almost always installs New Construction windows and usually does so at the same time as a whole-house improvement with better insulation, air sealing, and new siding-soffit-fascia as well. It's the best practice if its what your home needs and you can afford to do it right. I suggest saving up to do it right, even if you need to live with a deteriorating product a little longer. It's better for your home in the long run, and better for our nation's housing stock as well!
The photos below show before, during, and after-- a new construction window, without installing new siding.
Showing some rough-construction photos too of the type of damage that we often discover and fix. How we install peel-n-stick flashing to make a window replacement be "as-good" as a new home construction. If we're replacing the siding, we can literally do so. WIthout replacing siding, we're limited to the amount of surface we have exposed.
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