Look for Sustainable Ways to Keep Cool this Independence Day
This Independence Day weekend, countless Americans will take advantage of warmer weather while celebrating the nation's birthday in their outdoor living spaces with barbeques, firework displays, neighborhood block parties and other outdoor activities. But hot summer days can also mean higher utility bills for homeowners. According to ENERGY STAR, nearly half of the average home's energy bill during the summer is used to cool the home. CertainTeed Corporation, the largest brand of building products in North America, offers the following tips to keep cool this summer while keeping the environment top of mind.
Get a cool roof. It's good advice to wear sunscreen to protect skin against the harmful effects of the sun, but what about a home? Installing roofing products that reflect the sun can act like SPF by significantly lowering a home's cooling costs during the summer and reducing its impact on the environment. Landmark Solaris™ Platinum roofing shingles boast an industry-leading 40 percent solar reflectivity and are offered in an eye-catching color palette with lifetime, limited warranty protection.
Insulate to keep cool. While most homeowners associate insulation with keeping warm in winter, it also plays a major role in maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature during summer months. Adding insulation, such as CertainTeed's InsulSafe® SP to an attic, can make a home cooler and more comfortable in the hot summer sun. The right siding, such as CedarBoards™ insulated siding, can also help boost energy efficiency. Caulk and weather stripping are additional ways to be sure doorways and windows aren't letting the warm air in and the cool air out.
Give the AC a break. There are several things you can do to give your air conditioner a break. Keep the AC filter clean as normal dust build-up can reduce airflow. Keep the sun’s heat out and provide shade for a room with drapes. Open windows in the morning and at night when it’s cool enough outdoors and turn up the thermostat when no one is home.
Let your house soak up the sun. Long, sunny days can actually contribute to energy savings for homes with photovoltaic roofs, which generate electricity by harnessing solar energy from the sun's rays. The Apollo® II Solar Roofing System can be easily integrated into either an existing roof or with the installation of a new roof that combines solar panels and asphalt shingles. Also, the system offers a sleek, streamlined design—so adding solar power doesn’t mean sacrificing curb appeal.
Switch to fans. Rely on fans when possible as they consume far less energy than an air conditioner. A portable room fan or a ceiling fan will circulate the air and create a healthy breeze making it comfortable indoors. As fans create a cooling effect, it is important to remember to turn them off when you leave a room.
Create a sustainable outdoor living space. Updating an outdoor living space for a July 4th party? Make sure to choose sustainable, low-maintenance materials. Most wood fence, deck and railing products require ongoing painting or staining and can rot or warp when exposed to inclement weather. Instead, consider Bufftech® vinyl fence or EverNew® decking and railing that are virtually maintenance-free and can beautifully withstand the elements—leaving homeowners with more time to enjoy it.
Keep it simple. Things as easy as turning off the lights, grilling out instead of cooking indoors and hanging clothing on a drying line can also make a difference. Eliminate these potential heat sources as much as possible to have the coolest home on the block this summer.
Images, product samples and industry comment are available upon request. To speak to an expert, contact Mike Loughery of CertainTeed Corporation at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-341-7328.
Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa., has helped shape the building products industry for more than 100 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the firm's slogan "Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed," quickly inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed® is North America’s leading brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, fence, decking, railing, trim, insulation, gypsum and ceilings
A subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, the world's largest building products company, CertainTeed and its affiliates have more than 5,700 employees and more than 60 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. For five consecutive years, the company has received top honors from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its contributions in protecting the environment and was most recently the recipient of the 2013 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award. The group had total sales of approximately $3.3 billion in 2012. www.certainteed.com