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Weather Proofing Windows on a Budget

weather proof windows

When it comes to weather proofing windows, most people think they have to spend an arm and a leg. But in reality, this can be done on a budget. Whether you’re trying to make your home more energy efficient or just want to keep out drafts from a cold winter night, there are plenty of ways to weather proof your windows without breaking the bank. In this blog, we’ll explore some simple and cost-effective tips for weather proofing windows so that you can enjoy a cozy and comfortable home without spending too much money.

Weather proofing windows with plastic film

If your windows are old and drafty, you can weatherproof them with plastic film. This will help keep the cold air out and the heat in. To install the film, first clean the window surface with soap and water. Then, cut the film to size and attach it to the window frame with double-sided tape. Once the film is in place, use a hair dryer to shrink it so that it’s tight against the window. Finally, caulk around the edges of the film to seal it in place.

Weather proofing windows with sealant

When it comes to weather proofing windows, sealant is one of the best options available. Not only is it relatively inexpensive, but it also does an excellent job of keeping out the elements.

There are a few things to keep in mind when using sealant, however. First, make sure that the surface you’re applying it to is clean and dry. Otherwise, the sealant won’t adhere properly and will eventually peel off.

Second, apply the sealant in a smooth, even layer. If you’re not experienced with using sealant, it might be helpful to practice on a scrap piece of wood or glass first.

Once you’ve applied the sealant, allow it to dry for at least 24 hours before exposing it to the elements. This will give the sealant plenty of time to set and create a strong barrier against the weather.

Weather proofing windows with caulking

Caulking is an important part of weather proofing windows, as it helps to seal up any gaps or cracks that might let in air or moisture, and it’s relatively easy to apply. To install:

First, remove any existing caulk or paint around the window frame.

Then, use a chisel and hammer to open up any cracks or gaps in the frame.

Vacuum out dirt and dust before applying the caulking.

Cut the end of the tube at a 45-degree angle and place it into a caulking gun.

Apply a line of caulk around the entire edge of the window frame, making sure to press down firmly as you go along so that it adheres properly.

Smooth out excess caulk with a wet finger or putty knife as needed.

Allow 24 hours for it to dry completely before painting over it if desired.

Once you’ve applied the caulking, you should also apply some weatherstripping around the edges of the window. This will help to create an additional barrier against drafts and leaks.

Weather proofing windows with an AC Cover

A window ac cover is made of a durable waterproof material that can be easily installed and removed when needed. It helps to keep the rain out and protect your AC unit from the elements. The cover also helps to insulate the air conditioner, keeping it running more efficiently, which can help save you money on energy costs.

When to weather proof your windows

Most people think about weatherproofing their windows in the fall, before the cold winter months set in. But did you know that you can actually save money by weatherproofing your windows in the spring? Before you get started,

Inspect your windows and doors for any cracks or gaps. These can be filled with caulk or weatherstripping.

Check to see if your windows need to be resealed. You can do this yourself with a simple kit.

Make sure that your window screens are in good condition and free of holes. If they’re not, replace them.

Conclusion

Weather proofing windows on a budget can be done with relative ease, as long as you are willing to put in the effort. Start off by doing some research and finding out what materials you need for your specific climate conditions. Then use caulk and weather stripping around your windows to seal up potential air leaks. Finally, add some window insulation film to help keep the heat or cold from entering your home throughout the year. With these tips, you should be well on your way to protecting your windows without breaking the bank!

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5 Things to Know About Spray Foam Insulation

When it comes to insulation, there are many options available on the market. But if you’re looking for an effective and long-lasting solution, spray foam insulation is the way to go. This type of insulation is growing in popularity due to its many benefits, which include its ability to seal tight spaces, its high R-value (which means it’s great at insulating), and its environmental friendliness. If you’re considering spray foam insulation for your home or office, here are five things you should know before making a decision.

What is Spray Foam Insulation?

Spray Foam Insulation
Spray Foam Insulation being installed in attic space

Spray foam insulation is a type of insulating material that is sprayed onto a surface to provide a barrier against heat loss or heat gain. It can be used on both walls and ceilings, and is often used in crawl spaces, basements, and attics as well.

It is made up of two main ingredients: polyurethane and isocyanate. When mixed together, these ingredients work to expand to fill in any voids or cracks in the surface being sprayed. This expansion helps to create an airtight seal that prevents heat from escaping or entering the space.

Spray foam is among the more effective types of insulation, especially when compared to cellulose and fiberglass, as it does not settle over time in the way fiberglass does. Furthermore, spray foam can help make your space more energy efficient, in turn reducing heating and cooling costs.

Additionally, it provides a higher R-value than other types of insulation. The higher R-value makes SPF better at resisting heat flow. This makes it an excellent choice for use in areas where extreme temperatures are common, such as attics and crawlspaces.

The Different Types of Spray Foam Insulation

There are two main types of spray foam insulation you need to know about: closed-cell and open-cell. Closed-cell spray foam is the most common type used in residential and commercial construction. It has a higher R-value per inch than open-cell spray foam, meaning it provides better insulation. It also forms a tight seal against air and moisture, making it ideal for use in areas where leaks or drafts could be a problem.

Open-cell spray foam has a lower R-value per inch than closed-cell spray foam, but it’s also much more permeable. This means that it allows water vapor to pass through more easily, which can be helpful in some situations (like if you’re trying to prevent condensation on cold surfaces). However, it also means that open-cell spray foam is less effective at blocking out unwanted noise and heat transfer.

Low GWP foam is available in both open-cell and closed-cell varieties. Low GWP foam has a reduced global warming potential.

How to Install Spray Foam Insulation

Here are some basics to know when it comes to installation:

1. Choose the Right Location

Consider both the climate and the type of building you’re working with. For example, if you live in a warm climate, you’ll want to avoid installing spray foam insulation in an attic or other enclosed space that could cause the material to overheat and degrade.

2. Prepare the Area

Before mixing and applying foam, it’s important to thoroughly clean and prepare the entire area where you’ll be using the spray foam. This includes removing any dust, debris, or dirt that could prevent the material from adhering properly. Once the area is clean, make sure it’s dry before proceeding.

3. Mix the Foam Insulation Material

Next, it’s time to mix together the components of your spray foam. This typically involves combining a liquid resin with a gas activator, which will start the chemical reaction that causes the material to expand and harden. Be sure to follow all manufacturer instructions when mixing your particular components.

4. Apply the Foam Insulation

Once the insulation material is mixed and ready to go, it’s time for application. This can be done with a traditional sprayer or a handheld spray foam gun. Be sure to work quickly and evenly, as the material will begin expanding almost immediately.

5. Let the Foam Insulation Cure

After the spray foam insulation is applied, it’s important to give it the appropriate amount of time it needs to properly cure before moving on. This typically involves a 24-hour wait for the material to completely harden. Once cured, you can then proceed with any additional steps needed to complete your project, such as cutting.

How Long Does Spray Foam Insulation Last?

When making any sort of adjustments to a home or office space, it is important of course to know how long those adjustment will last. Spray foam insulation is a tremendous insulation type, as it has a very long lifespan, typically lasting usually around 50 years.

How to Buy Spray Foam Insulation

There are a few things you want to keep in mind when shopping for spray foam insulation. First, you’ll need to decide what type of insulation you need. Second, you’ll need to determine how much insulation you need.

Type of insulation:

Closed-cell spray foam has a higher density and is heavier than open-cell spray foam. It is also the more expensive option. Open-cell spray foam on the other hand is less dense and lighter than closed-cell spray foam. It is also more affordable.

How much insulation is necessary?

The amount of insulation you need depends on a number of factors, such as the amount of square footage you want to insulate, the climate you live in and the R-value of the product you choose. Remember, R-value is a measure of thermal resistance.

Conclusion

Spray foam insulation is an excellent option for those looking to add insulation to either a residential or commercial space. It is important to know a few things about SPF insulation before you start, however, including the different types of spray foam insulation, how much it costs, and how long it lasts. With this information in hand, you can make an informed decision about whether or not spray foam insulation is right for your space.

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What is the Difference Between a Tier 1 and Tier 2 Advanced Power Strip?

In the world of power strips, there are two types of advanced power strips. Each has its own set of features and capabilities that make it a good option for different situations in your home. The first type is called a tier 1 advanced power strip, and the second is called a tier 2 advanced power strip. In this article, we’ll explain what these terms mean and how they differ from one another so you can decide which type is right for you!

What is a tier 1 advanced power strip?

A tier 1 advanced power strip is the most basic type of APS. It consists of a single control outlet, usually accompanied by two always-on outlets, and three or more outlets that are automatically switched on or off based on the on/off status of the control device.

These are ideal for use in homes, where they’re plugged into a wall socket next to an appliance like your television or computer monitor. They’re generally inexpensive, so if you need to protect just one device from surges or spikes, this might be the best option to go with.

Tier 1 Advanced Smart Power Strip (APS)
Tier 1 Advanced Smart Power Strip (APS)

What is a tier 2 advanced power strip?

Tier 2 Advanced Power Strips (APS) are more expensive, more powerful, and more durable than their tier 1 counterparts. These devices are designed to handle higher loads while maintaining the same level of safety as Tier 1 Advanced Power Strips. Some tier 2 devices also feature:

  • Remote switch capability so that you can essentially control the power strip from your phone or other mobile device
  • Timer connectivity so that you can automatically turn off anything plugged into one of these power strips after a certain amount of time has elapsed
  • Software and hardware filtering technology that filters out IR interference from non-AV equipment
Tier 2 Advanced Smart Power Strip
Tier 2 Advanced Smart Power Strip

Advanced power strips can help you control your home’s electricity. There are different tiers of APS to consider.

Advanced power strips (APS) are strips of outlets with an extra function: they let you control the flow of electricity to your devices. APS have a number of different tiers and functions, which can help you save money, protect your electronics and protect your home against surges.

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Maximum Safety Fireblock Low Expansion Foam

Insulating your home or building is a top priority whether you’re starting a new project or upgrading an existing structure. Fireblock foam is a low expansion foam that takes this just a step further. In addition to reducing energy loss and costs, it also works to limit the spread of flames, toxic smoke, and harmful gasses.

How Does Fireblock Foam Work?

The foam is designed to expand ever so slightly to properly fill in cracks and gaps in areas where it is required. The expansion alone makes it a much more effective tool for fire blocking than other standard materials. Additionally, the bright orange color provides clear visibility to inspectors as a Type V construction approved fireblock foam. Once bonded, it blocks air from entering the intended space, helping to fend off the free passage of smoke, flames, and other by-products of combustion between floors, rooms, and wall cavities.

fireblock foam

Fireblock foam is a low expansion foam that protects residential and commercial spaces from smoke, flames, and other by-products of combustion between floors, rooms, and wall cavities.

Properly Sealing with Low Expansion Foam

When working with polyurethane foam or other sealants, be sure to wear eye and skin protectants. This includes goggles or protective glasses with shields, nitrile gloves, and protective clothing. Once ready, make sure to apply the foam in a space that is well-ventilated and with certified respiratory protection or a powered air purifying respirator (PAPR). Each manufacturer of polyurethane sealants creates a detailed Safety Data Sheet (SDS) with specifics that should be carefully read before applying foam.

Fireblock foam is typically applied with a foam gun or straw. When applied, it is:

  • Tack-free in approximately five minutes
  • Cuttable in approximately one hour
  • Fully cured in 12-24 hours

To achieve the best results, make sure the foam being used is ICC compliant for fire blocking, and has been tested with modified ASTM-814 and UL-1715. Fireblock foam that meets these requirements withstand the pressure of flames more than twice as long as other competing foams, providing precious additional seconds to a dangerous situation.

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Conservation Kits Provide Instant Savings

As the climate crisis on our planet has become a climate emergency, a lot of us are looking for different ways to improve our carbon footprint. While this may initially seem like a daunting and expensive task, it truly isn’t. There are many small ways to start saving both energy and water around your home or building that won’t break the bank. Conservation kits are prepared with these types of savings in mind, and the items they contain provide instant savings once installed.

Improving Energy Efficiency

According to Time.com, “On average, remote workers have seen a $40-50 monthly increase in their energy costs—or as much as $600 a year.” With energy bills steadily on the rise, employing measures that can produce savings right away is even more pressing. Common items you’ll find in conservation kits include:

  • LED Light Bulbs, which use up to 80% less energy than their incandescent counterparts
  • Closed Cell Foam to limit drafts and heat from entering through doors
  • Outlet Gaskets that block air leaks from outlets
  • Rope caulk to seal air from entering through windows
tidy room filled with furnitures

Help Me Save Water

Each day, the average home in the United States uses approximately 80-100 gallons of water at home. A surprising number, right? When you consider the amount of times we wash our hands and dishes, flush the toilets, and even shower, this number really begins to take shape. Let’s take a step back, and see how we can bring this number down.

  • Low flow aerators reduce the amount (but not the pressure) of water coming from faucets. Their flow rates range from 0.5-2.0 gallons of water per minute.
  • Low flow shower heads follow this same concept, except with the shower. Many of these shower heads are also self-cleaning.
  • A toilet tank bank is placed in the toilet tank to limit the amount of water used per flush.
  • Outdoor water savers allow you to expand water savings outside of the home and into your gardens.

Saving energy and water at home, or in your building, can actually be quite simple. With a few quick installations of items found in conservation kits you can be well on your way to helping the climate and your wallet at the same time.

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Using A Green Loan for Home Efficiency

brown wooden table and chairs

“Creating a green home is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint right where you live, while at the same time placing money right back into your pocket.”

Our homes are responsible for approximately 20 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the US. While some may want to add energy saving upgrades, many have held back because of the costs. Adding energy and water efficiency products to your home or building just got a little bit easier. Using a green loan, you can easily get started on completing those projects that will increase the overall efficiency and savings in your space.

How does a green loan work?

This type of loan can be used to complete major renovations, such as installing tankless water heaters, solar panels and energy efficient doors and windows. Additionally, the funds can also be used to make faster green improvements, including:

  • Low-flow showerheads
  • Low-flow aerators
  • Eco toilets
  • LED lights
  • Adding or updating insulation
  • Programmable thermostats

When searching for products that meet energy and water efficiency requirements, look for the Energy Star and WaterSense labels.

How much can I save?

The products installed and projects completed with a green loan can certainly help lower your utility bills. At the highest level, LEED-certified homes can save an average of 15% on the cost of energy annually. Taking into account that the average family in the United States spends between $2,000-$3,100 on energy and water bills every year, that can equal savings of roughly $300-$465.

Creating a green home is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint right where you live, while at the same time placing money right back into your pocket. Check with your local bank or credit union to find out more information on getting started with one of these loans.

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4 Tools in Energy Efficiency Kits That Also Keep You Warm

Brown Wooden House during Snow

With the changing seasons, a lot of us find ourselves playing the temperature game with the thermostat. This constant battle not only wreaks havoc on the energy usage, but the bills as well. Keep things warm inside, and the chill on the outside with energy efficiency kits. These kits – like a swiss army knife for combating drafts – are packed with supplies that properly insulate doors, windows, and other unintentional air entryways.

Foam Switch Gaskets, Outlet Gaskets, and Child Safety Caps

Unless every outlet is in use all the time (and I hope not, cause phantom energy loss can account for 5% of your home’s energy usage), those tiny slits in the wall are letting outside air slowly creep into your home. Along with outlets, the surrounding area behind the outlet and light switch plates also offer a way in for air. These leaks make the house colder than it should be and can cause energy loss of up to 20%.

Plastic Window Kit

Windows can let air in even when closed, but cold weather also makes them vulnerable to frost build-up and condensation. Plastic window kits, also known as shrink and seal window kits or window insulation kits, are installed over the entire window to provide airtight insulation from outside air. Kits are installed from the inside, and require a hair dryer (or some form of blowing heat) to “shrink and seal” film over the window. This method of insulation works on any type of window, is easy on the budget, and can increase R-Value (insulation level) by up to 90%.

Rope Caulk

Nearly every energy conservation kit features rope caulk, a substance is so easy to install a 5-year old could do it (we’re not kidding, just watch). Rope caulk is primarily used to combat cracks, gaps, and openings of every kind. Simply clean the area being sealed (remove dust, dirt, etc.), peel of the amount needed, and stick it into the open area. I think of it as 2-minute insulation.

The benefits of rope caulk don’t stop at insulation:

  • It’s cheap!
  • It’s durable through most weather conditions, so you don’t have to worry about it cracking during cold months
  • Just as easy as it is to install is how easy it is to remove (and clean up after), making this an easy insulation answer for renters

Door and Window Foam Tape

Foam tape is best used with sliding or swinging doors and windows. The tape blocks outside air by sealing the open space between the edges/side of doors and windows. Foam tape installs easily and is very cost effective.

Putting energy efficiency kits to good use – the gaskets, child safety caps, plastic window kits, rope caulk, and foam tape – will go a long way towards stabilizing the temperature in your home, saving energy and preventing energy loss, and allow you to subtract a few dollars from that energy bill.

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LED Ready T5 Fixture: What it is and How it Saves

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For years, the T5 light fixture has been the source of illumination for gymnasiums, warehouses, industrial, and other commercial buildings. These lights are such a staple in these settings, that they can be easily forgotten or overlooked when efficiency upgrades are being made. When looking to increase building lighting efficiency, the LED ready T5 fixture should be considered at the top of the list. These energy and cost-efficient fixtures make replacement quick, and maintenance simple.

What is an LED Ready T5 Fixture?

While they look just like fluorescent fixtures, LED ready fixtures are designed to specifically house energy saving LED T5 lamps. The name is an indication of just how these fixtures work. They don’t contain a ballast, allowing the light to be installed without bypassing a ballast, or having to spend money on an LED tube that is ballast compatible.

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Time Saving Technology

Along with the time saved during installation, this fixture saves energy by using energy-efficient LED lamps in it. LED lamps are made to last for 50,000 hours on average. That’s more than twice as long as the standard 24,000 a fluorescent is rated. The technology is such that an LED using the same amount of watts as a fluorescent lamp can produce an even higher lumen rating, emitting a brighter light than the fluorescent.

Endless Options

The LED ready T5 fixture provides a smart and simple solution to replacing outdated fluorescent fixtures. There are fixtures that hold from one to eight lamps at a time. The LEDs they house are available in a wide range of color temperatures, wattages, and lumen ratings. The fixtures are also available in high bay and linear, giving you even more options when it comes to creating efficiency in your commercial or industrial space.

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Tier 2 Advanced Power Strip for Advanced Savings

Taking energy efficiency to the next level in your home or business is as simple as plugging an outlet into the wall. The catch: it needs to be the right one. Standard power strips provide power non-stop to all electronics plugged into them. Smart power strips allow for savings by letting you control one or a few outlets, while the power strip controls the rest. A tier 2 advanced power strip takes those savings even further by allowing multiple options for control while providing optimal surge protection for your devices.

We covered the difference between a tier 1 and tier 2 power strip earlier if you want to go into the details. Now, let’s dive into the major benefits of a tier 2 device.

Multiple Sensors

The tier 2 power strip has built-in sensors that detect both motion and infrared (IR) remote control signals. It is equipped with an intelligent algorithm that looks first for IR signals from a remote, and then looks to detect motion if no IR signals are found. Without the presence of either, the adjustable countdown timer is initiated, and powers off devices after that time has passed with no activity present. Additionally, some strips even feature bluetooth technology, allowing for control over devices right from your smartphone.

Surge Protection That’s Fireproof

Advanced power strips come complete with enhanced surge protection in the form of the metal oxide varistors (MOV). These components are designed to dissolve heat much faster than traditional surge protectors. It is also covered by a fireproof ceramic casing. This technology makes it possible to prevent a fire from occurring in the event of a power surge.

Know and Control Energy Usage

The tier 2 power strip communicates and records energy usage data. This includes the history of the energy used by the devices that are plugged into it as well as the real-time data. All of this information can be accessed through a mobile app available for both iOS® and Android® devices. Through the app, users can manage and predict electricity usage and costs, get updated on surge and ground status, sign up for promotions, and complete product registration as well as receive support. In addition, data records are also stored in a raw format, allowing easy access by evaluators and program admins for statistics, installation verification, and tracking.

As technology evolves, the way we use it evolves as well. Using a tier 2 advanced power strip to control the energy consumed by devices is an ideal way to continue to enjoy our tech with the added bonus of energy efficiency.

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Choosing a Double or Single Ended T8 LED Tube

Now that you understand more about ballasts, retrofitting, and the benefits of switching from fluorescent to LED, let’s get into even further detail about LED T8 lights. These lamps come in a few different configurations. The most obvious of which is the single and double-ended tube. Knowing whether you’ll need a double ended T8 LED or a single ended T8 LED tube for your lighting project gets you on the right track to completing the ideal renovation.

What Kind of Lamp is the Single Ended T8 LED Tube?

Single ended tubes receive all of their power from one side. This is the side that contains both the neutral and live pins. It is known as the input end. Many of these types of lamps are direct-wire, and do not require a ballast in order to operate. However, if you are using this lamp in a retrofit, the lampholders will require replacement, and the ballast removed.

What Kind of Lamp is the Double Ended T8 LED?

On the double ended T8 LED, you will find the neutral pins on one end, and the live pins on the other end of the tube. Traditional fluorescent lamps also have this double ended configuration. When replacing fluorescent tubes with LEDs, using the double ended LED lamps can make retrofitting much easier.

If this is your first major lighting project, consider enlisting the assistance of a licensed technician or electrical expert. Once these lamps are installed throughout your building, they are guaranteed to bring energy and dollar savings for years to come.

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