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Are Ceiling Fans a Good for Energy Efficiency?

Ceiling fans would seem, at first glance, to be a smart tool in the overall mix of your home's energy efficency equipment. But too few know that their real value is when they're blowing on people--and many experts say they're essentially worthless and counterproductive if people aren't present in the home. 

Carl Seville, a Green Building Consultant and expert from Atlanta, wrote a provocatively named post recently: Ceiling Fans are Evil on the Green Building Advisor blog.

Here's a direct quote: "I am not suggesting that we should not use ceiling fans — just that they shouldn’t be on if no one is in the room. If people only use them when necessary and set their thermostat a bit higher, then the extra heat is a small price to pay for the comfort and energy savings."

Air Sealing Where it Counts

The graph below shows which structural air-leaks drive up energy costs the most, allowing you to maximize efforts toward reinforcing your home's building envelope. 

This image comes from http://www.builderonline.com/energy-efficientconstruction/5-penetrations-that-provide-the-most-bang-for-your-air-sealing-buck.aspx 

Energy: Where's it Come From and Where Does it Go?

Posted in: infographic

Ever wonder where our country's energy comes from and goes to? This fascinating map from the Lawrence Livermore Labratory shows in simple graphic terms where we generate energy and how much of it goes to various sectors. One of the fascinating aspects of this is everything you see in gray--"Rejected Energy." What this really means is waste. Particularly in electricity, as much as 2/3 of all the energy created is lost during transmission and via other means before it actually does any work. All the more reason to generate your electricity right at home on your roof. 

Wichita Home Show - 2014

Are you building a new home, shop, or metal building?  Do you have commercial buildings that have a roof leak or are expensive to heat or cool?  If you answered yes to any of the questions above, please come see us at the 60th annual Wichita Home Show, sponsored by Wichita Area Builders Association.

Thursday, February 6th : 1:00 – 9:00 PM

Friday, February 7th : 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Saturday, February 8th: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Sunday, February 9th : 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

We look forward to seeing you there!

Choosing the Best Roof Coating for Your Asphalt Roof

There are several brands of roof coatings on the market and many of these brands have multiple asphalt roof coatings to choose from - How do you know which one to pick? There are several factors to consider: How long has the coating manufacturer’s product successfully been on the market? Can they provide you with credentials and ratings for their products from established roofing organizations? Compare the ingredients listed in the coating you are choosing against other roof coatings.  Arma Coatings of Wichita, Inc has been working with key suppliers of coatings that have been proven in the field on existing roofs.  We only work with the best of the best and do not skimp on materials.

Think You Need New Windows? Not So Fast.

It speaks to the marketing savvy of window manufacturers and installers that, when faced with drafty rooms or high energy bills, most homeowners typically think that the best solution would be new replacement windows. While energy efficient replacement windows will likely lead to improved comfort and lower utility bills, the truth is that there are many far more cost effective solutions to improve your home’s comfort and energy efficiency.

5 Ways a Home Energy Audit Will Improve Your Life.

You may have heard about home energy audits before, but maybe you're not quite sure that you need one. After all, your home is relatively new. It's pretty comfortable most of the time, and your utility bills aren't that bad. Maybe you've switched out your incandescent light bulbs for CFLs, and upgraded to a low flow showerhead, so figure there's not much more you can do. 

Well, there's a lot more to home energy than lightbulbs and solar panels, and a home energy audit is the place to begin. Here are 5 ways that a home energy audit from a certified home energy auditor will likely improve your life -- right away.

Is Your Insulation Working? Find Out with an Energy Audit.

Winter's coming. It's already heating season. So how do you save money on heating costs? You've got to own your heat. Simple as that. You've paid for all that warm air already, so it doesn't make much sense to waste it now.

A simple enough premise - it's the application that gets complicated. We (and most building science experts) strongly recommend air sealing and insulation as high priority measures to make your home use less energy, make you more comfortable, and make the planet happy.

Upgrade Your Refrigerator, Save Money Twice.

One of the biggest energy guzzlers in your home (besides, most likely, your thermal envelope, which lets expensive conditioned air escape through air leaks and poorly insulated walls) is the refrigerator. Upgrading it, believe it or not, can save you a bundle of money in the long run, as long as you don't simply put your old fridge down in the basement and plug it back in. Now, before you balk at the high upfront cost of replacing your fridge, let us explain why we (admittedly, energy-efficiency/penny-pinching geeks) think it's a good idea:

Energy Efficient Landscaping for Cooling Down.

On cold winter days, a ray of sun streaming into your house can be most welcome - a free source of heat. But what about in the summer, when those rays of sun and other, less-evident solar heat, seep into our already too-hot houses and become a costly nuisance? Well, what happens is that you lose money. But using landscaping (namely by planting trees) to shade your home can be a great way to lower energy costs.