Declare Energy Independence This Fourth of July Weekend: 5 Tips to a Cooler Summer
A new generation of building products can help reduce energy bills, increase comfort and improve indoor air quality
As record breaking temperatures sweep across the country, CertainTeed, North America’s leading building products manufacturer, shares five tips to a cooler summer:
Cooler roofs mean cooler homes – According to the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC), “A cool roof is one that strongly reflects sunlight and also cools itself by efficiently emitting radiation to its surroundings.” Landmark Solaris® is an ENERGY STAR® qualified line of asphalt shingles that feature advanced roofing granules in rich, authentic colors that reflect solar energy, radiating heat far better than traditional granules. Cutting the amount of heat conducted to the home below can reduce the load placed on the air conditioning system; the CRRC estimates that average energy savings can amount to 15 percent of total cooling costs. And some local utility companies offer a rebate for solar reflective shingles that can put as much as $600 back into a homeowner’s pocket for an average 3,000 square foot roof.
Insulate the attic – Improving attic thermal performance isn’t just for the colder months. Doing so also has a pronounced effect in summer, keeping cool air in, increasing comfort and allowing the air conditioner to run less often. Check insulation levels by popping your head up in the attic. If joists can be seen, or if you feel a drastic difference between the temperature on different floors of the house, there’s a likelihood that more insulation is needed. One of the easiest ways to insulate the attic is with fiber glass blowing insulation like InsulSafe® SP or TrueComfort®, which fills every nook and cranny to provide more complete coverage.
Plant some trees – According to the Arbor Day Foundation, large deciduous trees (maple, oak, elm, birch) planted on the east, west and northwest sides of a house not only provide cooling shade, but also can reduce summer air conditioning costs by up to 35 percent.
Install drywall that actually cleans the air – When it’s hot outside, homes with air conditioning are usually closed up tight to keep in the cool air. This can be a problem: Recent studies by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have shown that air pollution levels – caused in part by volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by paints, furnishings, cleaning products, etc. – can be up to 100 times higher indoors than outdoors. Homeowners planning an addition or redoing interior walls can enjoy improved indoor air quality by using AirRenew® drywall, which features proprietary technology that actively removes formaldehyde, one of the most common VOCs, from the air, and converts it into a safe, inert compound that is trapped within the board.
Move the party outside – Appliances like the stove and dishwasher add heat to the house. Keep cooling costs down by moving the cooking outside. Add a canopy or large patio umbrellas to create a comfortable sanctuary. Products like Bufftech® vinyl fence, with its authentic wood grain look, and EverNew® railing, which is available in low-maintenance vinyl and gorgeous composite styles, can help set the stage to a private oasis.
CertainTeed offers insulation, drywall, siding, roofing, decking, railing, exterior trim and fence product lines, proudly made in the U.S.A. For additional home improvement ideas and inspiration, visit www.certainteed.com.
Images, product samples and industry comments are available upon request. To speak to an expert, contact Vicky Gallagher of CertainTeed Corporation at Victoria.M.Gallagher@Saint-Gobain.com or (610) 893-6002.
Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed, headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania, has helped shape the building products industry for more than 110 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, one of the world's largest and oldest building products companies, CertainTeed and its affiliates have more than 5,700 employees and more than 60 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. The group had total sales of approximately $3.3 billion in 2015. www.certainteed.com