(BPT) - If high heating bills left you cold and bitter this winter, then now is the time to think about how high your monthly cooling bills could be this summer. Air conditioning accounts for approximately 19 percent of all household electricity consumption and emits nearly two tons of carbon dioxide annually. This hurts your household budget and also has a significant impact on the environment.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, two-thirds of American households have an air conditioner which adds up to more than $11 billion in usage every year. Air leakage from a home’s walls, ceilings, windows and floors can account for up to 40 percent of a home’s energy loss.
Air leakage, along with poor heating and cooling performance, are among the top causes of energy inefficiency in most homes. Air leakage forces your air conditioner to work overtime by cooling the warm air that enters your home through leaks. This increases the amount of energy you use as well as the cost of your utility bill at the end of the month.
The good news is that now is an ideal time to transform your home into a model of energy efficiency. There are a number of ways that homeowners can address these problems. Caulking and weather-stripping around windows and doors are quick, low cost solutions. Also, investing in high performance solutions can address these problems effectively and add significant value to your property. Low-emissivity, double-glazed windows, originally designed for extreme climates, are a popular and effective way to conserve energy and minimize air leakage.
Another effective solution that offers immediate and long-term cost savings is replacing a home’s traditional fibrous insulation with high-performance spray foam insulation. Spray foam insulation, such as Icynene, is a wise investment for homeowners who want to make energy efficient improvements to their home. Spray foam insulation allows homeowners in any climate to reduce their use of air conditioning during the summer and heating during the winter. This modern insulation material helps effectively control a home’s indoor environment allowing you and your family to stay cool all summer long. It can also help minimize the entry of pollens and allergens into your home, making it ideal for allergy sufferers.
Spray foam insulation expands rapidly to completely seal a home’s walls, floors and ceilings to prevent air leakage. Experts from Icynene note that installing spray foam insulation can noticeably reduce monthly cooling and heating costs, in some cases by up to 50 percent. More information about how spray foam insulation can help homeowners minimize air leakage and reduce energy bills is available online at www.icynene.com.