How to Reduce Your Summer Energy Bills

Posted on August 3, 2011 within

Right now, people all across the United States are dealing with a?intense heat wave. Many areas have been?placed under?excessive heat advisories and warnings, with temperatures reaching?100? and above. During times like these, most people try to stay indoors whenever possible to keep cool and avoid serious health conditions such as heat?exhaustion and heat stroke.

In?weather this hot, your air conditioner must work extremely hard?to keep the inside of your home cool. The harder?your air conditioner?works, the more expensive your energy bills become. Not only is your home surrounded by?heat, but that heat may also be forcing it’s way into your home through a process called “thermal bridging”. In our March 16th post, we discussed how thermal bridging works during the winter, but?in light of the recent heat wave, we now want to explain how?it works in the summer.

First, what is thermal bridging??Thermal bridging is the?movement of heat through the side walls?of your home.?Heat?bypasses the fiberglass batt insulation (pink stuff) in your wall cavity and moves across the wooden studs. Heat always moves towards cold, so during the summer, heat is transferring through?your walls from the warm outside to the cool interior of your home.

How serious is the problem? You may be wondering how bad this energy leak really is, so picture this: 25% of your home’s wall surface is made of studs, so even if you have pink insulation in the cavity, that’s like having one entire wall of your home with NO INSULATION! That huge energy leak?may be?costing you money every day!

What is the solution? When faced with thermal bridging, you really have three options:

  1. Live with the higher energy bills for as long as you own your home
  2. Keep your home warmer and endure a less comfortable indoor environment, but lower your energy bills
  3. Lower your energy bills for?LIFE by adding insulation to your walls

My?personal favorite is #3, and the United States Department of Energy seems to agree with me. They say that “When new siding is to be installed, it’s a good idea to consider adding thermal insulation under new siding.”?Click here to see how much insulation they recommend for your?climate zone.

Installing rigid insulation under new siding?is like?putting a neoprene sleeve on your beverage during the?summer; it keeps heat from the outdoors from getting in and warming up the inside.?This will lowering your energy bills in the summer?as well as?the winter.

The best part is that some insulation products can provide additional benefits, such as termite resistance, increased siding durability, moisture management and much more! So if you are thinking about residing your home and want to beat the heat for years to come, consider adding insulation under your new siding!

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