We always want the newest, groundbreaking technology in our phones, computers, and cars. So why not in our homes, too?
With the latest technological advances, our houses are becoming smarter, more comfortable, and more energy-efficient. It seems like every day, companies are coming out with innovative ways to conserve energy while maintaining (or even increasing) comfort levels.
Here at Northeast Home & Energy, we always want to provide our clients with the best possible products and services. That means educating our customers about advancements in home technology, including reflective roofs, advanced window controls, and cutting-edge insulation.
Cutting-Edge Home Tech
Using your roofing material to make your home more energy-efficient isn’t anything new. Solar panels on roofs have been helping people cut energy costs for years. In recent years, they have become more affordable to install and can actually increase your property’s value, but solar panels aren’t the only way to have a multi-purpose roof.
We all know that dark colors absorb light and heat while light colors reflect, so it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to find out that dark roofs — which most people have on their homes — attract and trap heat. They can make your home warmer in the summer, which can increase cooling costs. New cool roofs avoid this by using special pigments to reflect the sun’s rays. These cool roofs don’t absorb as much heat as dark roofs, which means they help keep your home’s temperature lower. In fact, some labs have produced pigments that reflect almost 400% of the sunlight that traditional roofs do!
Windows are very important when it comes to home insulation. Old, thin windows or gaps in window seals can open your home up to unwanted heat, cold, or moisture. Right now, Pella is working with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to create next generation insulated windows. How are these different from current models? Depending on the amount of sun and time of day, microscopic sensors can adjust shading levels. This means these windows can asses outdoor situations and adjust shading & insulation to keep your home comfortable — and your energy bills down.
Pella offers a few different versions of these smart windows which may be better for your home, depending on the climate. They offer windows with multiple panes of glass, which helps with insulation, as well as Low-Emissivity (LOW-E) glass coatings which keeps your home cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and even blocks most UV rays to prevent cosmetic damage and fading.
Insulation might be your first thought when it comes to conserving energy in your home — and for good reason. Many building codes are getting stricter about energy-efficient insulation, and manufacturers are creating innovative insulating products to meet these standards.
In particular, guidelines around insulation’s R-value (a measure of how much a material can resist heat flow) are becoming stricter. Experts in the field predict that soon, an R-value of R-60 will be required for all new construction and all attic insulation.
The R-value requirement for wall insulation will also increase, and building codes will require 5 inches of rigid insulation board on the exterior of a new structure. This is meant to reduce or eliminate “thermal bridging,” which happens when an area between wooden frames conducts heat and lowers R-value. There is also a loss of insulation around the electric outlets. When insulation board is added to the exterior, the insulation is continuous, so there are no gaps.
With these new higher insulation R-value requirements, there will be very little heat needed to heat your house. New energy-efficient windows and insulation will help save money on heating costs and increase the value of your home.
Ready to Have an Energy-Efficient Home?
Labs and manufacturers are always trying to improve products to make homes more comfortable and better for the planet, but you don’t need the newest tech to make your home more energy-efficient. Simply replacing your old windows with a newer, more efficient model or replacing your worn-out roof could make a big difference. For a free consultation to find out how to make your house more efficient, give us a call today!