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Celebrate Earth Day with Home Energy Savings

Considerations for DMV & NJ homeowners to save on energy bills with smart investments and easy fixes

Over the past decade – from changing their everyday behaviors to adopting energy efficient appliances – society, and homeowners in particular, have taken a greater interest in reducing their energy use. In fact, as concerns over the environment and climate change continue to take center-stage in national conversations, we have begun to see an acceleration from homeowners in implementing ways to minimize their carbon footprint and energy use.

Luckily for homeowners, being environmentally conscious also comes with the added benefit of saving on their utilities. In honor of Earth Day (April 22nd), we at MLM Home Improvement have compiled a list of considerations for DMV and NJ homeowners to not only cut their home energy use, but their utilities bill as well.

Upgrade your home’s insulation. When thinking of home maintenance, insulation usually is not the first task that homeowners think of. However, insulation plays a key role in lowering your utility bills by retaining heat during the winter and keeping heat out of your home during the summer. Additionally, it can also extend the life of your roof, which as the most important part of your home, is always a plus.

When installing insulation, the most important consideration is the type of material. For easier materials like fiberglass or mineral wool, depending on your DIY skills, this can be accomplished without help from a professional.

While the level of insulation being installed is highly dependent on the area of your house. The attic, walls, floors, basement, and crawlspace are the five main areas usually considered for installation. One way to hit two home maintenance birds with one rock, work with a trusted contractor, backed by a national manufacturer like Owens Corning, that can inspect both your roof and insulation at the same time.

Consider the color of your roof. Between spring and summer are often the most popular months for homeowners to replace their roofs. If you’re planning to replace your roof, it is important to consider what color your shingles should be as the solar reflectance of the color impacts the surface temperature. Similar to how dark colored clothes absorbs sunlight making warmer, a darker colored roof causes more heat to be absorbed – leading to higher utility bills to cool your home in the summer months A light-colored roof, on the other hand, will reflect the sunlight and transfer less to the interior of your home. The shingle color can impact the roof surface temperature by a difference of up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit between black and white shingles.

However, whether the surface temperature of your shingle impacts the temperature inside of your home also highly depend on the amount of insulation there is between the attic and living areas. In the end, if your attic is properly insulated then we suggest picking the color you want for your exterior.

Install a passive ventilation system for your attic. To truly take advantage of energy savings for your home, it is important to utilize proper attic ventilation through insulation and air sealing. Without this, the overall health of your home could experience excessive moisture building which could lead to water damage or mold. Likewise, proper ventilation ensures that the attic does not experience excessive heat which can decrease the life expectancy of the roof.

As we approach Earth Day, we encourage DMV & NJ residents to minimize their home energy use where possible. Not only will this positively protect the environment, but you’ll see a marked difference in your monthly utility bills and even your property’s value will increase. When it comes to reducing our carbon footprint, we’re all in this together and working towards being more conscientious environmental citizens starts with our home.