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The Beginner’s Guide to Making the Home More Energy Efficient

Making your home more energy efficient is easier than it sounds. All you need is a bit of careful planning, access to the right equipment (nothing too fancy!) and you’ll be able to save on your energy bills. It’s good for the planet and for your pocket. A win-win. So what exactly does it take to make a home more energy efficient?

Let’s deep dive into the following proven and tested strategies that you should know about.

Conduct an Energy Audit

First things first: you have to identify areas in your home that are wasting too much energy and need improvement. This is done by an energy audit. You could forego this huge step and buy an expensive

new cooling or heating system, but a simple energy audit will save you money years into the future and may even raise the value of your home.

Most energy audits are performed for a nominal fee and never break the bank.  They will provide you with an in-depth analysis of your home’s energy systems and how they work together. They will use equipment such as infrared cameras, surface thermometers, and blower doors to find inefficiencies that may not be obvious to the untrained eye. Finally, they will give you their recommendations for cost-effective improvements that are aligned with comfort and safety.

Weatherize Your Home

You can weatherize your home and save your heating bills considerably. Here’s a quick rundown of the main culprits that make your heating and cooling equipment less efficient:

Door sweeps: Did you know that tiny gaps around your door lets in as much air inside as an open window? You don’t need an energy auditor to tell you that this will waste your energy. You can easily fix this problem by using a door sweep – they’re easy and cheap.

Door and Window Weatherproofing: Another affordable weatherproofing method is to seal your windows and doors. How can you tell that you need weatherproofing? Simple, if you can insert your fingernail into the gap between the window frame and window, you need weatherproofing. Our favorite solution is to use weather-stripping. This neat and handy tool prevents heat loss, mold, and also improves air quality. It can also keep the creepy crawlies out of your house.

Sealing Gaps and Cracks: Make sure to seal any gaps and cracks around your windows. This is also easy to do with caulk and foam sealants. These items will improve home insulation and is an essential step in home weatherization.

Use Google’s Nest Thermostat

Tap into the energy savings made only possible by Internet of Things (IoT) technology with Google’s very own Nest Thermostat. This thermostat allows you to monitor and control your HVAC systems using just an app. Nest basically gives you a visual bird’s eye view of your energy processes. It also lets you set custom temperature at different times on different days.

It uses motion sensing and your phone’s location to check if you’ve left your hose and automatically set the home to Eco temperature so you’re not wasting time when you’re not there.

To top it all off, Nest gives you details on your energy savings. It’s relatively easy to set up and use.

Get in touch with us today to learn how you can maximize savings in your

Categories News

New Years Resolution – DIY Home Maintenance

Winter can be a great time to cozy up at home. However, your inner handyman may feel restless after being cooped up indoors for an extended period of time. Luckily, there are several different home maintenance activities you can do to keep yourself busy.

Let’s look at some simple types of maintenance you can carry out on your own.

Protect Your Pipes From Freezing

It’s not uncommon for unprotected pipes to freeze over in the winter. In addition to disrupting the flow of water through taps, a frozen pipe may also burst due to ice expansion. You can prevent this from happening by insulating your pipes properly.

There are many different ways to insulate a pipe. This includes:

  • Placing pipe sleeves over them.
  • Wrapping pipe wrapping around exposed pipes.
  • Placing faucet covers over exposed spigots outdoors.

Check Your Roof

The roof of your home plays the important role of keeping it safe from the outdoor elements. Before winter sets in, it is important to inspect your roof and look for any vulnerable spots that could lead to problems. Any broken or missing shingle may lead to snow entering your attic or heat escaping your home. These should be replaced as soon as possible.

Clear Your Gutters

You should also inspect your roof gutters and ensure they are clear. A clogged gutter may lead to water building up and freezing inside. This may then prevent melted snow water from draining off your roof and ending up in the wrong places.

Clean Your Chimney

If your home has a fireplace, you should remember to clean your chimney regularly. This will help your wood fires burn more efficiently, and also allow smoke to escape more easily.

Many people get their chimney cleaned professionally, but you can do it yourself by setting up a drop cloth or tarp around your fireplace, and brushing the chimney chute with chimney brushes.

Tree Maintenance

If you have many trees around your home, you should try and clear any dead limbs that may fall and damage your property. This is a common occurrence during winter storms, so make sure to identify any trees that may pose a problem. You can also use this opportunity to pretty up your trees and decorate them with outdoor lights before Christmas.

Fixing Window Leaks

Winter is also a great time to identify any window leaks. A cold draft blowing through a tiny space around your window should be easy to spot. Unless you encounter a major hole or crack somewhere, you should be able fix up these leaks by applying some caulking around the window frame.

As you can see, there are plenty of winter maintenance activities to keep yourself busy with this season. So let your inner handyman loose and start fixing up your home.

Categories News

Save More with Insulation and Which Spaces Require Insulation?

Winter is just around the corner, so homeowners should pay close attention to their home’s insulation. Having good insulation in your crawlspace, basement, windows, and doors is crucial for many reasons. Let’s look at the importance of insulation in homes.

Which Spaces Require Insulation?

Insulation exists in many different parts of your home. There is insulation present in your walls, crawl space, and basement. Then there are insulated windows that feature multiple panes of glass, as a means to slow down heat loss.

Doors can also feature built-in insulation to reduce heat loss through them. However, some heat loss may still occur through gaps between the door and its frame if it isn’t installed properly.

The primary purpose of insulation is to reduce heat loss in your home during the winter time. However, the efficiency of this insulation may vary depending on what type it is, and where it is installed.

Attic Insulation

Any warm air in your home will have a natural tendency to rise upwards. This means a significant percentage of heat loss occurs through your attic. You can reduce your heating bill by up to 25% by installing the right attic insulation. Blown-in insulation is especially well-suited for this purpose as it can be added to confined spaces and on top of pre-existing attic insulation.

Crawl Space and Basement Insulation

Heat loss through floors can be a persistent problem for homeowners. This is often due to poor crawl space insulation. Tennessee homeowners can save up to 15% on their heating bill by replacing their existing crawl space and basement insulation with high-quality insulation from Blue Star Construction.

Windows

Insulated windows can also help you save money on your heating bill. Our Energy Star certified windows are specially designed to reduce heat loss through window panes. You can boost the insulation benefits of these windows by having them installed by our experts.

Doors

Air leaks between doors and their frames are responsible for a significant amount of heat loss in homes. We can correct this problem by replacing your door with a better-insulated one. Our experts can also ensure air leaks between the door and its frame are eliminated during the installation process.

Don’t wait until the middle of winter for your home improvement. Johnson City residents should call 423-202-4709 for top-notch home improvement. Tennessee winters can be made a lot more comfortable with the help of Blue Star Construction.

Categories News

Insulate Your Home Before the Federal Energy Tax Credit Expires

All homeowners should be aware of the benefits of insulation. The right kind of insulation can help your home retain internal heat during the wintertime and keep your heating bill on the low end. If you complete your insulation installations before December 31st, you may be eligible for federal energy tax credits.

The Benefit of Energy Efficient Insulation, Doors, and Windows

Insulation is a property feature that homeowners often overlook. When you purchase a new home, you may not pay much attention to the insulation in the walls, doors, or windows until wintertime rolls around.

This is when you may notice heat escaping each room much faster than it should, or cool air entering sealed spaces from outside. In response, you may turn your thermostat up. However, this usually leads to higher heating bills.

This is a problem that homeowners with poor insulation deal with each year. At a certain point, it becomes more economical to invest in new insulation, rather than deal with high heating bills.

Why You Should Invest in Insulation Now

Homeowners can claim a special federal energy tax credit by installing energy-efficient insulation and windows in their homes. This tax credit covers 10% of the cost of the item, with a $500 cap for insulation, and a $200 cap for windows. However, this tax credit offer expires on December 31st. So homeowners should invest in new insulation and windows as quickly as possible.

Our Products and Services

Blue Star Construction offers blown-in insulation installation services. This style of insulation is delivered through a hose and can be applied to confined spaces. It can also be added to the insulation already present in your home. This dense filling keeps your home warm, and also functions as a great sound barrier.

We also offer energy-efficient windows that offer the pristine clarity of ordinary windows, but with enhanced insulative properties.

Homeowners can also find insulated doors among our selection of products. A significant percentage of heat loss in homes occurs through doors. Our energy-efficient doors can help close the insulation gaps that contribute to this heat loss.

Why Choose Blue Star Construction?

If you are seeking services related to home improvement, Johnson City residents can’t go wrong by choosing Blue Star Construction. We undertake each project with a level of care and efficiency that is rare in home improvement. Tennessee homeowners can get in touch with us at 423-202-4709.

Categories News

Make the Most of This Holiday Season: Build Custom-Built Decks for Your Home

“We Need to Make Every Single Thing Accessible to Every Single Person with a Disability” – Stevie Wonder

The holiday season is a joyous time to spend with your friends, family, and loved ones. It is also a time to be thankful, exchange gifts, and give more to others. Parties, parades, holiday music, and bright lights can rejuvenate you after a tough year due to the ongoing pandemic, but you have to think about others around you, especially ones that are disabled.

Holidays often signal an intense time of distress for the disabled. If your friend Brad stopped coming to your deck party after the fateful accident that rendered him paraplegic, it’s likely that he doesn’t want to ask anyone for help to move his wheelchair to the deck.

The value of providing easy access to handicapped family members and friends to outdoor living extensions is underestimated. Not many people know about the sense of liberation and empowerment that disabled people feel — when they are finally able to go to a place that wasn’t accessible before. In addition, spending time on a deck is also beneficial for their health. Therefore, if you would like to accommodate handicapped guests, Blue Star Construction can ensure that you get accessible decks. But, how do I go about doing that? For starters, build a deck with ramp.

What Is a Ramp?

A ramp is an inclined plan that facilitates people with wheelchairs to access buildings. They serve as a substitute for stairs.

Usually, people with wheelchairs find it tremendously hard to climb stairs. It is nearly impossible to go over a platform due to its upward slope. This physical inability stings; they feel depressed over their inability to go over the ramp. Blue Star Construction can help you resolve these concerns and uplift the moods of your disabled friends and family members with wheelchair ramps.

Benefits of Deck with Ramps?

A deck with ramp can provide the following benefits.

  • A ramp offers convenience in terms of navigation. This can especially come in handy in doorways with high door thresholds.
  • Houses with ramp allow the disabled individuals to feel independent. They can enter any area on their home without having a caretaker or family member accompanying them all the time.
  • Ramps make it easy for wheelchair users to access the outdoors. They can bask in sunshine, enjoy fresh air, and take part in outdoor activities that had been cruelly made inaccessible due to their injury.
  • Thanks to ramps, wheelchair users can run errands with ease. Daily tasks like checking the mailbox and go for grocery shopping, can be smoothly performed alone.

Final Thoughts

The benefits of building a deck with a ramp are endless. With the holiday season approaching, Blue Star Construction can aid you when it matters the most. We will lend assistance with decks and ramps during holidays, so you can have a terrific time with your friends and family. If you live in Johnson City or Tennessee, send a message our way to ensure the comfort of your loved ones with custom-built decks for your home.