Tag Archives: Energy Bills

7 Energy Consumption Myths

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Centuries ago, it was believed that if a dog bit a human, you could treat the injury by removing a hair from the dog and holding it against the lesion.  The thought of someone over the age of 5 believing this old wives’ tale these days is quite comical.  However, that doesn’t mean this rumor hasn’t been replaced with seemingly more believable tales.  In the realm of energy efficiency, there are a lot of misconceptions about things you can do to conserve energy.  Allow us to dispel some of the fiction floating around on the internet.

Your Fireplace is a Good Source of Heat: While it’s hard to beat sipping a hot toddy around a crackling fire, doing so will not lower your energy bills.  Every fireplace has a damper that must be opened in order to vent the poisonous gasses that a wood burning fireplace emits.  Having the damper open lets in as much outside air as having a window open does.  This is great for your lungs, but terrible in terms of energy efficiency.  While the room you are in feels nice and toasty, the overall temperature in your home is prone to drop, which for many, means turning up the thermostat.

Plugged in Electronics in Off Mode Don’t Use Power: Wrong!  If something is plugged in, it’s using power, regardless if the on switch is flipped on.  This phenomenon is commonly referred to as “vampire power”.  There is research showing that vampire power is responsible for ¼ of power bills.  Avoid this by unplugging electronics not in use.

Jacking Up Your Thermostat Temperature Heats Your Home Faster: Not so much; once your furnace is running; it is working at its maximum potential.  Cranking the thermostat only makes your furnace run for a greater duration and could even end up making your home excruciatingly hot.

Keeping Vents in Unused Rooms Closed Will Save You Money: Closing off a vent changes how your HVAC system processes air and will most likely result in the system working harder than it should because the balance has been thrown off.

Keeping Electronics on Continuously is Better Than Turning Them On & Off Frequently:  This myth continues today because when the first computers hit the market, a few decades ago, they consumed massive amounts of energy and it was better to keep them running, rather than shut them off after every use.  Today’s electronics are significantly more energy efficient and it’s much more energy efficient to shut them off after each use.

The Use of Fans Can Cool a Hot Room: While fans can be used to cool the skin of an individual in a hot room, running a fan in an unoccupied room will only circulate air, not lower temperature.

An Unheated Garage is the Perfect Spot for a Chest Freezer: This one is easy to believe.  After all, freezers are cold and so are unheated garages.  However, since the temperature of most garages varies wildly season to season, the temperature variation can actually harm your freezer because the motor has to work harder to regulate the temperature.  The ideal placement of a chest freezer is in your home’s lower level because it’s typically the coolest spot in your home.

 

 

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at http://lindusconstruction.com.Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.  

Now Through the End of December, Receive a Free Home Performance Test with a Window or Insulation Estimate.  

The Down Low on Hot Roofs

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Filed under Building a House, ceilings, Construction, Home Maintenance, Hot Roof, Insulation, Lindus Construction, Roofing, Roofing Installation, Spray Foam
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Traditionally in the Midwest, homes are insulated with fiberglass or cellulose insulation.  However, a newer trend being seen in homes is the use of spray foam insulation.  Just as the name implies,
this type of insulation comes in spray cans. It’s a combination of resin and chemicals such as polyurethane & isocyanides.   As the insulation is sprayed, it expands and fills up the entire area it is being applied to.  The term “hot roof” comes in because the spray foam insulation is being affixed directly to the roof sheathing which removes the need for ventilation.

How Do Hot Roofs Differ From Traditional Roofs

Attics typically have an insulated floor and have ventilation.  Air from outside is permitted to come in through the soffits and exit through the top of the roof which creates a cold attic during the winter months.  This method is intended to deter ice dams by keeping the roof cooler. When your attic is filled with spray foam insulation to create a hot roof, your attic’s temperature rises because the thermal envelope is shifted to the underside of your roof because ventilation is not present.

Hot Roofs & Roofing Warranties

Industry studies show that shingle temperature is only raised by a few degrees with a hot roof.  However, these few degrees can lower shingle lifespan by up to 10% and cause shingles to fade.  GAF, North America’s largest manufacturer of residential and commercial roofing, offers a “Golden Pledge” warranty which covers roofing material and labor for 50 years.  This warranty is not pro-rated.  However, those with a hot roof are not eligible for GAF’s highest level of warranty because a hot roof does not have the insulation standards that their asphalt shingles were designed for.  Before moving forward with a hot roof, check with your roofing manufacturer to make sure that doing so will not void your roofing warranty.  Be sure to check with your city to see if they have restrictions on hot roofing before proceeding with your project.

Perks of a Hot Roof

The unit of measurement for insulation is called the “R-Value”. The R-value measures how well insulation is able to resist heat going through it. The bigger the R-value, the better it will insulate your home.  A hot roof contains the highest R-Value because there are no chances for air to leak.  If the attic contains ductwork, it won’t need to be insulated because there is no energy loss.  A hot roof prevents energy loss and can lower your utility bills.

Am I Allowed to Have a Hot Roof? 

In the state of MN, the following cities PROHIBIT Hot Roofs:

  • Apple Valley
  • Delano
  • Eagan
  • Eden Prairie
  • Hopkins
  • Lakeville
  • Maple Grove
  • Plymouth
  • Shakopee
  • Saint Louis Park
  • Woodbury

In the state of MN, the following cities MAY Allow Hot Roofs if Certain Criteria is Met:

  • Bloomington
  • Brooklyn Park
  • Chanhassen
  • Coon Rapids
  • Elk River
  • Minneapolis
  • Richfield
  • Roseville
  • Saint Paul

Tune into AM 830 WCCO on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am hosted by Denny Long and Andy Lindus to ask questions regarding your home improvement projects. Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com to schedule a free in-home estimate for your home improvement needs today!

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Smart Water Consumption at Home

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Did you know that if all the water in the planet fit into a gallon jug, only 1 tablespoon (less than .5%) would be fresh water?  The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that the average American household with 4 occupants uses an average of 400 gallons per day, a majority of which is used indoors.  Smart water consumption saves you on energy bills and also makes for a more sustainable way of life. Below, we’ll offer some easy ways to conserve water without making major lifestyle changes.

Toilets: Your toilet can be responsible for as much as 27% of your home’s daily water consumption.  WaterSense toilets can reduce the amount of water used after each use but up to 80%.  Fix or replace a leaky toilet and conserve up to 200 gallons per day. 

Signs Your Toilet is Leaking:

-It won’t flush unless you hold the handle down to fully empty the tank

-Handle must be fidgeted with to get toilet to stop running

-Toilet makes sounds after being used

-Toilet runs for a long time after a flush

Not all leaks are obvious.  To test whether your toilet is leaking, flush and then remove the tank cover and add a teaspoon of food coloring.  DO NOT flush; wait an hour and then check your toilet bowl for food coloring.  If food coloring is found, it is a signal that a leak is present.  Consult with a reputable plumber about how to remedy the issue.

Faucets: Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth and save up to 200 gallons of water per month.  A faucet continuously dripping can often be fixed with something as simple as replacing a broken washer.  Eliminate the need to run the faucet until the water is cold enough to drink by keeping a pitcher of filtered water in your refrigerator.  Aerators control faucet water flow and screw into the faucet’s spout.  Switching to a low-flow aerator at the end of your faucets allows you to cut back on water usage.

Washing Machine:  Today’s high efficiency washing machines can use half the water that traditional models do.  Wait until you have a full load before you running your washing machine.  A cold load uses less energy than a hot one because the water does not have to be heated.

Shower Heads: Switch to low-flow shower heads to conserve water.

Dishwasher: A full load in the dishwasher will actually use less water than doing the same amount by hand.  Avoid running the dishwasher unless it is full.

Water Heaters: Unlike traditional water heaters, tankless models heat water as you use it.  Depending on the model you select, you can choose to supply only certain faucets or the entire home.

Rainwater Harvesters: Rainwater harvesting is collecting the run-off from a structure in order to store it for later use.  Rain collects in your gutter system that channels the waters flow into downspouts moving it into a storage vessel. There are many different types of rainwater harvesting systems and they range from systems that are as simple as a rain barrel or as detailed as large cisterns that can supply your entire household demand.  They allow you to be in control of your water supply and the collected water can be used in toilets, sprinkler systems, swimming pools and washing machines. It can also be used wash your car, pet, or water plants.

Sprinkler System: Double check to make sure your sprinkler system is watering your lawn and not your driveway or sidewalk.  Water in the morning or in the evening when water is less likely to evaporate quickly.  Avoid watering when it’s windy out because the water will not end up where you intend it to.  Mulch your landscaping to help it retain water.

 

Tune into AM 830 WCCO on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am hosted by Denny Long and Andy Lindus to ask questions regarding your home improvement projects. Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com to schedule a free in-home estimate.

 

Support Sustainable Living by Installing Environmentally Friendly Lighting Solutions

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Filed under Energy Efficient Homes, Home Construction, Home Maintenance, Home Safety, Lindus Construction, Sustainable Living, VELUX, WCCO Home Improvement Show, Windows
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A green home uses less energy, water, and natural resources; creates less waste; and is healthier for the people living inside.” States the U.S. Green Building Council  

Would you like to save on your energy bills and at the same time enjoy abundant daylight that brings out the natural beauty of your home? Natural sunlight is one of the most effective healing agents that exist by increasing the production of endorphins and serotonin in your brain which is a natural mood booster. Installing a Sun Tunnel in your home will allow you to enjoy this natural resource in a sustainable way.

The VELUX Sun Tunnel skylight is optically engineered to capture light through a high impact dome on the roof. The light rays travel through a highly reflective tunnel, transmitting a pure natural light with no color shift. The diffuser assembly at the ceiling distributes natural light evenly into the room while limiting bright spots and glare.

Places in your home you will benefit from installing a Sun Tunnel

  • Closets
  • Hallways
  • Stairways
  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Laundry Rooms

VELUX, provided to you by Lindus Construction, have been around for the last 65 years and their company was founded on a vision of daylight, fresh air and increasing your quality of life. VELUX is consistently rated the #1 skylight in the industry by builders, remodelers and architects. Quality is a major priority at VELUX which is represented by an industry first 10-year “No Leak” warranty. Installing an ENERGY STAR® qualified VELUX Sun Tunnel today will decrease your carbon footprint by about 7-15% compared to non-qualified products.

Positive effects a Sun Tunnel will add to your home

  • Reduces energy costs, energy consumption and the demand for unsustainable power
  • Makes your interior spaces appear larger
  • Will increase your homes sales appeal
  • Brings the outdoors in
  • Balances the light in the room, reducing glare and transforming living areas into more open, safer spaces

Lindus Construction is proud to offer VELUX Sun Tunnels and Skylights.  Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com to schedule a free in-home estimate today. Tune into AM 830 WCCO on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am hosted by Denny Long and Andy Lindus to ask questions regarding your home improvement projects.

 

 

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