Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Insulation or Windows? Where to Invest Your Energy Dollars

When thinking of a home upgrade that will increase energy efficiency, homeowners typically consider two projects: insulation or windows. There is a lot of confusion about which investment provides a better return on investment.

Building envelope

Your home’s envelope consists of the walls, floor and roof. When considering the total square footage of your home’s envelope, windows make up a very a small portion of it. By investing in upgrading the energy efficiency of a home’s attic and walls (more square footage), you’ll be maximizing energy efficiency across a greater portion of your home’s envelope and see a greater energy benefit.

Heat flow
Air inside a home naturally flows from ground to sky. A home loses 70% of energy through the attic and roof – far more than is lost through windows or doors. Upgrading attic insulation keeps the air you’ve paid to heat in your home. Adding air sealing further prevents conditioned air from seeping out around ducts, attics and more.

R-value
R-value is a measure of the amount of heat flow a certain product resists. The higher the R-value, the better it reduces heat flow. The R-value of windows can vary based on the number of panes, air space between panes, etc.

Double pane windows have an R-value of 1.5 to 2. Upgrading insulation to current code would result in attic R-value of R-30 to R-38 in North Carolina. When you consider the difference in R-value and the natural heat flow in a home, it’s easy to see how a fresh blanket of insulation is a great investment.

Cost
When looking at bottom line, the choice is clear. According to Home Advisor the average cost to upgrade windows in the Charlotte area is $4,526. The same report shows the average cost to upgrade insulation in the Charlotte area is $1,124.*

Ready to add insulation to your attic? Contact us to schedule your free estimate.

* Project costs can vary.




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PO Box 536
Matthews, NC 28106


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