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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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How A Reusable Face Mask with Filter Reduces Waste and COVID-19 Transmission

As businesses, schools, and universities are looking forward to welcoming employees, customers, and students back to their facilities, many of us are faced with the same problem. How can we create a safe environment for everyone, while maintaining the closeness that we’ve all been missing during this time? One of the easiest ways to get this done is to provide a reusable face mask with filter. While the N95 masks of course are being saved for healthcare and front-line workers, washable poly-cotton masks are a great way of providing such security while we’re still in the midst of this COVID-19 crisis.

Limiting Transmission

Many of us have learned that it is possible to be a carrier of the novel coronavirus without even knowing it. When wearing a face mask, you can immensely reduce the chance of transmitting the virus, as well as the likelihood of getting it from another person. This graphic from the Health & Family Welfare Department, Government of Odisha easily illustrates how wearing a face mask can greatly impact your health with regards to contracting the virus.

Limiting Waste

A major positive that has emerged from the virus and stay-at-home orders has been the impact on the environment. Across the world, water and skies are appearing clearer, and the impact of climate pollution has tremendously dropped. We can help maintain this by continuing to reduce the amount of waste piled onto the earth. Having a washable face mask let’s you continue this work by not only keeping you safe and aiding your health, but allowing for reuse time and time again with a simple wash. The ability to wash your face mask also saves money that would be used on purchasing disposable masks that have to be discarded after every use.

While we are all excited to resume the human interactions we’ve missed due to COVID-19, we can’t stress enough the importance of doing so responsibly. Using a washable, reusable face mask with filter gets us started on the track to doing just that.

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Benefits of Q-Lon Door Seal Installation

Q-Lon Door Kits
Q-Lon Door Kits

The door of a home is where we let in and welcome family and friends. Unfortunately, it’s also where we let in air leaks, insects and moisture. Unlike loved ones, these can come into the home through doors even when they’re closed. The older the home, the more likely it is that you have a door (or a few) that could benefit from being properly sealed. Installing a q-lon door seal is a quick and cost-effective way to solve these problems, save energy, and ultimately lower energy bills.

Passing the Test

The simplest way to check for air leaks is to look at the door during daylight hours. If you see sunlight peeking through the door, it needs to be sealed. If you notice moisture at the door when it rains, it needs to be sealed. If by chance, you catch an insect trying to sneak into the home, the door needs to be sealed.

Sealing Gaps

Q-lon is designed specifically to be used on the top and sides of doors. It seals gaps that measure up to 1/2″ in size. If your air leak is smaller, no worries. A q-lon door seal can be cut to fit smaller doors and seal smaller spaces. It is made up of polyethylene-clad urethane foam, and contains a special backing for use on specific door types. The exact one you’ll need depends on what the door you’re sealing is made up of:

  • Metal doors – Use the aluminum q-lon weatherstrip.
  • Wood doors – Use the wooden q-lon weatherstrip.
  • Vinyl – Use the vinyl (PVC) q-lon weathertrip. This is the most commonly used type for residential doors.

Comfort and Savings

If you left the oven door open while baking, it would take considerably longer to reach the right temperature. The same concept can be applied to all doors. When inside air leaks out, and outside air comes in, regulating the temperature becomes increasingly difficult. Installing a q-lon door seal gives you back some of that control. It does so without you having to spend hundreds, or even over a thousand, on a replacement door. The material is industrial-grade, strong enough to seal gaps for years, and costs under $13 a piece. Installing this weatherstrip lets you start realizing savings without having to reach into your savings to get it done.

Narrow Q-Lon Door Weatherstripping Kit with Vinyl Carrier - Brown DS060-BR-N
Narrow Q-Lon Door Weatherstripping Kit with Vinyl Carrier – Brown DS060-BR-N

Q-Lon Door Kit with Vinyl Carrier Door Weatherstripping White
Q-Lon Door Kit with Vinyl Carrier Door Weatherstripping White

Q-Lon Door Kit with Aluminum Carrier Door Weatherstripping Brown
Q-Lon Door Kit with Aluminum Carrier Brown

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Cost Effective and Easy to Install Weatherization Options

To prevent cold air from entering your home during winter, and hot air from flowing in during summer, you need to close up the gaps in your windows to create a tight seal.

Not only will your home feel more comfortable, you will also lower your monthly energy costs with these inexpensive window weatherization tools.

Rope Caulk

Caulking is a method of weatherstripping that targets the crack, gap, hole, or opening that allows air to seep through. Basically it’s like sticking silly putty in the exposed area to seal it off. However, rope caulk provides a better stick, can weatherproof windows in any weather condition, and blends in with your decor. rope tape

Installation:

  • Clean, clean, clean the area where caulk will be used.
  • Peel of a lay of the rope caulk “beads” and divide it based on how much you need.
  • Press to seal.

Foam Tape

Foam tape is used to seal windows that slide or swing. It sticks to the edges or bottoms of windows to prevent air leakage when windows are closed.

Installation: Foam tape is easy to install and at less than $3 it is an inexpensive weatherization solution.foam tape

  • First, clean and dry the area  where the tape will be applied. If the area is dirty, wet, and/or cold, the tape won’t stick properly or it will easily loose its stickiness factor. It must be more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cut the amount of foam tape needed based on the length of window sides/bottom.
  • Remove the adhesive backing then press the tape into place to cover the area in need of sealing.

Shrink and Seal Window Kit

If you have scissors, a blow dryer, and $4 you can easily weatherproof windows with a Shrink and Seal Window kit. This kit will seal the whole window from the inside and increase the R-value, or insulating power, of the window by as much as 90%.

Installation: window kit

  • Again, you need to clean and dry the area before applying any sealing. You should also clean the insides of windows because you won’t be able to clean that area again until you remove the shrink film.
  • Cut the amount of shrink film needed. Cut enough film to cover the entire window (including some of the frame area).
  • Remove the backing from one side of the two-sided tape and stick it to the top, bottom, and sides of the window. After installing the tape, remove the adhesive backing from the other side.
  • Apply the shrink film around the window, gently stretching it as you work your way from one corner of the window to the other.
  • With the blow dryer on the highest setting, slowly move the dryer across the film to tighten it over the window. Don’t stand too close to the window while doing this, otherwise you’ll melt the shrink film.
  • Trim any film that’s left over.

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5 Reasons to Buy Energy Saving Kits from Conservation Mart

energybloggraphicConservation Mart is a minority, certified woman-owned business and thanks to our extensive product line and unsurpassed service, we’ve had the honor of supplying an impressive lineup of well-respected organizations. Through serving thousands of customers, we have built a substantial knowledge base of how to realize energy and water savings. We truly enjoy working with organizations to help them find just the right products for their customers. Here are five reasons why Conservation Mart is your best choice for energy saving kits:

1. Experience – Conservation Mart have been assembling Energy, Water, and Weatherization Kits since 2009 and have had the honor to serve hundreds of customers such as Utilities, Water Departments, Weatherization Agencies, and Corporations.

2. Customization – We have both energy and water kit assortments based on items that customers have ordered as well the ability  to do custom kits.

3. Packaging – We offer a variety of packaging options such as Ziploc bags, boxes, or canvas bags.

4. Inserts – We can include any inserts that a customer wishes to provide. Most customers opt to provide their logo and contact info which we include in our kit insert. We have also printed bilingual inserts, with English on one side and Spanish on the other side.

5. Include your Logo – We offer a selection of personalized, eco-friendly promotional products. You can have company’s logo printed on many items, such as a shower timer, temperature gauge, water ruler, or LED nightlight.

Our customer service team, located just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, makes your satisfaction our first priority. Call our toll-free number: 1-800-789-8598, and you will be greeted by a live person who will be able to give you a quote and help you build your kits.

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Prevent Air Leaks and Insects in Your Home with Pur Fill Foam

PUR Foam
PUR Foam

For the times when you only need to insulate small areas, like gaps and cracks that bugs and other critters can crawl through, consider using Pur Fill Foam. Pur (short for polyurethane) foam is a low cost, low maintenance solution for insulation.

What is Polyurethane Foam?

Polyurethane is a plastic material that can be manufactured for various purposes, including as: adhesives, furniture cushioning, insulation, and even as the soles of your shoes. This multipurpose material is easy to manipulate, which is why it works as a solution to insulation in both high and low expansion varieties.

Low or High Expansion Foam: Which do I need?
The difference between low and high expansion foam is simply how much area the foam covers.

High expansion foam is used on large cracks and gaps. It can grow, or expand, by 30x when only 1″ of thickness is used.

Low expansion Pur foam differs in that it expands by 10%. For insulating small spaces, the best type of foam to use is low expansion.

Benefits of Low Expansion Foam

The ultimate goal here is to properly insulate the home, but it helps to be able to accomplish this goal with material that offers a bit more. The benefits of using low expansion spray foam include:

The cost
For less than $20 you can purchase a 750 ml (32 ounces) can of this low expansion foam.

Easy installation process
The foam is easy to install and apply. Just load the can of foam into the application gun and spray it into the area you want sealed. For tips on how to use the form, Todol has a number of training videos.

Money saved from insulation
Not only does Pur Fill Foam close up those cracks and gaps, but you’ll shave off 20% from your energy bill with proper insulation. Air leaks create a temperature imbalance in the home, increasing the amount you spend on energy every month.

Where to Install Polyurethane Foam

Air leaks can be anywhere, but there are generally some places that you can always expect to find gaps that need to be sealed.

Attic and Garage
During summer and winter months, the attic and garage often mirror and at times intensify the temperature outside. When looking for open holes in the attic or garage, start with the ceiling and walls.

Basement
Air leaks in the basement can be around air vents, ducts, and other places that lead outside.

Block air leaks and the invasion of bugs, rodents by putting polyurethane foam to good use.

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Attic Stair Covers Save Energy and Improve Air Quality

Most attics are not well insulated, which depending on the time of year, causes them to be either extremely hot or attic stair cover1extremely cold. Attic doors are also not generally insulated, which allows for a tremendous amount of energy loss throughout the year. Even the tiniest gap around the attic door perimeter — as small as 1/32 (0.08 cm) — is like leaving a 5-square inch opening or window open all year!

Insulating the attic door with an attic stair cover is a light-weight, simple, and cost-effective way to reduce the amount of unwanted air infiltration from the attic into the home. It also improves indoor air quality by reducing allergen and dust flow from the attic.

The Attic Tent is easy to install. You just need to secure the Attic Tent in place with staples to the surface, and then add a bead of silicone caulk around the seam to create an airtight seal. It  provides an R-value of 6.6 and has been proven to reduce air transfer up to 76%. This means, your Attic Tent will pay for itself in one year, and save you money each year thereafter.

The Battic Door Attic Stair Cover Kit includes the rigid box (stair cover), rubber gasket, a reflective shield and optional R-50 insulation. The stair cover fits between trusses and is available in 3 sizes to fit most pull down ladders.  All kits include durable stair cover and weatherstripping and is easily installed in minutes with no tools. It is made in the USA from recycled materials.

Attic stair covers are an easy, affordable way to save energy and improve the air quality in your home.

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Use Q-Lon Weatherstrip to Prevent Energy Loss from Doors

Q-Lon Weatherstrip
Q-Lon Weatherstrip

A door’s weather seal can wear out over time, causing cold and costly drafts to flow into your home. A simple way to check if your doors have this problem is through a sight test. While the sun is out, if you can see light coming in through the door when it is closed, you definitely have an air leak on your hands.

You could also use a smoke pencil to identify drafts and air leaks.

Installing a q-lon weatherstrip is beneficial for a number of reasons:

  • Seals up to ½” gaps. Sealing air leaks from the door can reduce home energy loss up to 11%.
  • Reduces energy loss eases the burden on the heating/cooling systems, thus lowering bills.
  • Limits unwanted air exchanges in the home and provides more control over home temperatures.
  • Acts as both a sealant and a door stop.
  • Fits standard doors, but can be cut to fit smaller doors.

This type of door weatherstripping is comprised of polyethylene-clad urethane foam that remains flexible through temperatures as low as minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit. The foam is secured to an aluminum (metal/steel) or vinyl (PVC), carrier. The type of carrier that would be ideal for your home depends on the door that the weatherstrip will be installed on:

  • Aluminum: Heavy duty carrier that is ideal for metal or wood doors.
  • Vinyl: Suitable for use on doors that are not metal, steel, or wood.

Weatherproofing doors with a q-lon weatherstrip is an easy, inexpensive way to save on energy costs for your home.

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Spray Foam Insulation from Attic to Crawl Space

spray foamSpray foam insulation saves on energy costs and lowers utility bills. Studies by the US Department of Energy show that 40% of a home’s energy is lost as the result of air infiltration through walls, windows and doorways. Buildings treated with spray foam insulation typically insulate up to 50% more than traditional insulation products.

Closed cell foam insulation is denser than open cell. It has a smaller, more compact cell structure. It is a very good air barrier as well as a water vapor barrier. It is often used in roofing projects or other outdoor applications, but can be used anywhere in the home, from your attic to your crawl space.

When the foam mix is sprayed onto your walls, floors, ceilings, and crawl spaces, the shell of your home becomes protected. This protection blocks heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter, thus preventing dramatic temperatures changes in the home. Correctly installed, insulation delivers comfort and lower energy bills during the hottest and coldest times of the year.

In addition to building temperature and moisture control, spray foam insulation is often used to reduce noise.

For installation tips, please visit the manufacturer’s YouTube video.

 

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DIY Air Conditioner Covers Can Lead to Big Savings

When summer is over, the window air conditioner is a gateway for cold air to come into the home and for warm air to escape. If you prefer to leave your air conditioner in the window, rather than lifting it out and storing it for the winter, you will want a cover that fits snugly over the unit to protect against air leaks.

There are a wide range of creative options like these:

 

air conditioner coversHowever, if you don’t have a lot of time for a big DIY project, you can purchase an attractive fabric window ac cover for less than $15.

Made in the USA, Endraft air conditioner covers are a beige, washable poly/cotton fabric and come with a 100% wind blocking liner, a roll of removable vinyl tape and a set of installation instructions. Endraft is unconditionally guaranteed to stop all cold drafts, dirt, and allergens that blow through idle room air conditioners.

air conditioner cover beige

With its high energy efficient insulating qualities, Endraft replaces non-insulating outdoor covers and can lengthen the life of an air conditioner. Exterior covers used alone cut off air circulation and trap the indoor heat. The heat then collides with the cold outside air and can cause condensation, rust, and damage.

Endraft has been tested by an independent laboratory, CON EDISON, and the LONG ISLAND LIGHTING CO., and its use has been suggested to many utility customers as a major way to reduce overhead. CON EDISON told one large cooperative complex in New York City that if it covered all of its room air conditioners with Endraft, it would save $70,000 per year in heating bills!

This easy and inexpensive DIY weekend project will save you a noticeable amount of energy and money each winter.

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