The Importance of Down Time

May 6, 2014

The Importance of Down Time

If you are driven to succeed in business and love what you do for a living, you may find it difficult to stop and take some down time. I know I do. It has been my mantra that if I am not performing a home inspection, I am working on the business. And, because I love what we do, I find it difficult to “turn it off” and have some down time. Time to do something other than work in my chosen profession.

Although somehow painful at first, I am finding that taking even a few hours off from work re-energizes me and clears my mind. I have learned that taking a few hours off or even a day off brings me focus, concentration and renewed energy to do what I do at my best. I am also betting that there are some health benefits as well.

For me, Sunday has become my day of rest. Years ago, I thought, “not working on Sunday, what a waste of time.” One day I realized, even God rested on the seventh day. Since we are made in His image, we should do the same. We stay busy with full home inspection schedules most of the time, even Saturdays. So Sunday is my down day to spend going to church, being with my family and doing things other than business. Even during the week now, I have learned to take short breaks and do something other than work in our business.

At first, I felt guilty, like I was being lazy. But after a while, I began to see that with small breaks from work, when I return to work I am much more focused and productive. After taking a break, the quantity and quality of work are also improved.

The saying that “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” now rings true. So my advice to you is if you want to improve your business and work, take some down time. Your business, family and health will thank you.

 

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Selman Home Inspections – Our Mission

March 3, 2014

Selman Home Inspections – Our Mission.

We hope you will watch our 1 minute video about the mission of Selman Home Inspections. Serving all of North Texas with the highest quality home inspection services. http://www.selmanhomeinspections.com

 


Child Proofing Your Home

July 29, 2013
Child Proofing Your Home
About 2.5 million children are injured or killed by hazards in the home each year. The good news is that many of these incidents can be prevented by using simple child-safety devices on the market today. Any safety device you buy should be sturdy enough to prevent injury to your child, yet easy for you to use. It’s important to follow installation instructions carefully.
In addition, if you have older children in the house, be sure they re-secure safety devices. Remember, too, that no device is completely childproof; determined youngsters have been known to disable them. You can childproof your home for a fraction of what it would cost to have a professional do it. And safety devices are easy to find. You can buy them at hardware stores, baby equipment shops, supermarkets, drug stores, home and linen stores, and through online and mail-order catalogues.
InterNACHI inspectors like Selman Home Inspection know what to tell clients who are concerned about the safety of their children. Here are some child-safety devices that can help prevent many injuries to young children.
1.  Use safety latches and locks for cabinets and drawers in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas to help prevent poisonings and other injuries. Safety latches and locks on cabinets and drawers can help prevent children from gaining access to medicines and household cleaners, as well as knives and other sharp objects.
Look for safety latches and locks that adults can easily install and use, but that are sturdy enough to withstand pulls and tugs from children. Safety latches are not a guarantee of protection, but they can make it more difficult for children to reach dangerous substances. Even products with child-resistant packaging should be locked away out of reach; this packaging is not childproof.
But, according to Colleen Driscoll, executive director of the International Association for Child Safety (IAFCS), “Installing an ineffective latch on a cabinet is not an answer for helping parents with safety.  It is important to understand parental habits and behavior.  While a latch that loops around cabinet knob covers is not expensive and easy to install, most parents do not consistently re-latch it.”
Parents should be sure to purchase and install safety products that they will actually adapt to and use.
2.  Use safety gates to help prevent falls down stairs and to keep children away from dangerous areas. Look for safety gates that children cannot dislodge easily, but that adults can open and close without difficulty. For the top of stairs, gates that screw into the wall are more secure than “pressure gates.”
New safety gates that meet safety standards display a certification seal from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA). If you have an older safety gate, be sure it doesn’t have “V” shapes that are large enough for a child’s head and neck to fit into.
3.  Use door locks to help prevent children from entering rooms and other areas with possible dangers, including swimming pools.
To prevent access to swimming pools, door locks on safety gates should be placed high, out of reach of young children. Locks should be used in addition to fences and alarms. Sliding glass doors with locks that must be re-secured after each use are often not an effective barrier to pool access.
Door knob covers, while inexpensive and recommended by some, are generally not effective for children who are tall enough to reach the doorknob; a child’s ingenuity and persistence can usually trump the cover’s effectiveness.
4.  Use anti-scald devices for faucets and shower heads, and set your water heater temperature to below 120° F to help prevent burns from hot water. A plumber may need to install these.
5.  Use smoke detectors on every level of your home and near bedrooms to alert you to fires. Smoke detectors are essential safety devices for protection against fire deaths and injuries. Check smoke detectors once a month to make sure they’re working. If detectors are battery-operated, change batteries at least once a year, or consider using 10-year batteries.
6.  Use window guards and safety netting to help prevent falls from windows, balconies, decks and landings. Window guards and safety netting for balconies and decks can help prevent serious falls.  Check these safety devices frequently to make sure they are secure and properly installed and maintained. There should be no more than 4 inches between the bars of the window guard. If you have window guards, be sure at least one window in each room can be easily used for escape in a fire. Window screens are not effective for preventing children from falling out of windows.
7.  Use corner and edge bumpers to help prevent injuries from falls against sharp edges of furniture and fireplaces. Corner and edge bumpers can be used with furniture and fireplace hearths to help prevent injuries from falls, and to soften falls against sharp and rough edges.
Be sure to look for bumpers that stay securely on furniture and hearth edges.
8.  Use receptacle or outlet covers and plates to help prevent children from electrical shock and possible electrocution.
Be sure the outlet protectors cannot be easily removed by children and are large enough so that children cannot choke on them.
9.  Use a carbon monoxide (CO) detector outside bedrooms to help prevent CO poisoning. Consumers should install CO detectors near sleeping areas in their homes. Households that should use CO detectors include those with gas or oil heat or with attached garages.
10.  Cut window blind cords to help prevent children from strangling in blind-cord loops. Window blind cord safety tassels on miniblinds and tension devices on vertical blinds and drapery cords can help prevent deaths and injuries from strangulation in the loops of cords. Inner cord stops can help prevent strangulation in the inner cords of window blinds.
However, the IAFCS’s Ms. Driscoll states, “Cordless is best.  Although not all families are able to replace all products, it is important that parents understand that any corded blind or window treatment can still be a hazard.  Unfortunately, children are still becoming entrapped in dangerous blind cords despite advances in safety in recent years.”
For older miniblinds, cut the cord loop, remove the buckle, and put safety tassels on each cord. Be sure that older vertical blinds and drapery cords have tension or tie-down devices to hold the cords tight. When buying new miniblinds, vertical blinds and draperies, ask for safety features to prevent child strangulation.

11.  Use door stops and door holders to help prevent injuries to fingers and hands. Door stops and door holders on doors and door hinges can help prevent small fingers and hands from being pinched or crushed in doors and door hinges.
Be sure any safety device for doors is easy to use and is not likely to break into small parts, which could be a choking hazard for young children.
12.  Use a cell or cordless phone to make it easier to continuously watch young children, especially when they’re in bathtubs, swimming pools, or other potentially dangerous areas. Cordless phones help you watch your child continuously without leaving the vicinity to answer a phone call. Cordless phones are especially helpful when children are in or near water, whether it’s the bathtub, the swimming pool, or the beach.
In summary, there are a number of different safety devices that can be purchased to ensure the safety of children in the home. Homeowners can ask an InterNACHI inspector about these and other safety measures during their next inspection.  Parents should be sure to do their own consumer research to find the most effective safety devices for their home that are age-appropriate for their children’s protection, as well as affordable and compatible with their household habits and lifestyles.  They can find more information for household safety tips and product recommendations at the IAFCS’s website at http://www.iafcs.org.

Saving Energy – Windows

February 19, 2013
Saving Energy – Windows

Windows can be one of your home’s most attractive features. Windows provide views, daylight, ventilation, and solar heating in the winter. Unfortunately, they can also account for 10% to 25% of your heating bill. During the summer, sunny windows make your air conditioner work two to three times harder. If you live in the Sun Belt, look into new solar control spectrally selective windows, which can cut the cooling load by more than half.

If your home has single-pane windows, as almost half of U.S. homes do, consider replacing them. New double pane windows with high performance glass (e.g., low-e or spectrally selective) are available on the market. In colder climates, select windows that are gas filled with low emissivity (low-e) coatings on the glass to reduce heat loss. In warmer climates, select windows with spectrally selective coatings to reduce heat gain. If you are building anew home, you can offset some of the cost of installing more efficient windows because doing so allows you to buy smaller, less expensive heating and cooling equipment.

If you decide not to replace your windows, the simpler, less costly measures listed below can improve their performance.

 

Cold-Climate Window Tips

* You can use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Remember, the plastic must be sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration.

* Install tight-fitting, insulating window shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing.

* Close your curtains and shades at night; open them during the day.

* Keep windows on the south side ofyour house clean to let in the winter sun.

* Install exterior or interior storm windows; storm windows can reduce heat loss through the windows by 25% to 50%. Storm windows should have weather-stripping at all moveable joints; be made of strong, durable materials; and have interlocking or overlapping joints. Low-e storm windows save even more energy.

* Repair and weatherize your current storm windows, if necessary.

Warm-Climate Window Tips

* Install white window shades, drapes, or blinds to reflect heat away from the house.

* Close curtains on south- and west facing windows during the day.

* Install awnings on south- and west facing windows.

* Apply sun-control or other reflective films on south-facing windows to reduce solar gain.

Long-Term Savings Tip

Installing new, high-performance windows will improve your home’s energy performance. While it may take many years for new windows to pay off in energy savings, the benefits of added comfort and improved aesthetics and functionality may make the investment worth it to you.

Today, many new window technologies are available that are worth considering. Glazing materials (the glass part of the window) now come with a variety of selective coatings and other features; frames are available in aluminum, wood, vinyl, fiberglass, or combinations of these materials. Each type of glazing material and frame has advantages and disadvantages.

Regards,
David Selman, Professional Inspector
david@selmanhomeinspections.com
TREC #10299
WDI #660910
FHA/HUD #F537
Septic #113423
Selman Home Inspections
469-371-3228

Water Heating Energy Saving Tips

February 19, 2013
Water Heating Energy Saving Tips

Water heating is the third largest energy expense in your home.

It typically accounts for about 16% of your utility bill. There are four ways to cut your water heating bills: use less hot water, turn down the thermostat on your water heater, insulate your water heater, or buy a new, more efficient water heater.

A family of four, each showering for 5 minutes a day, uses 700 gallons of water a week; this is enough for a 3-year supply of drinking water for one person. You can cut that amount in half simply by using low flow aerating shower heads and faucets.

Water Heating Tips

* Install aerating, low-flow faucets and shower heads

* Repair leaky faucets promptly; a leaky faucet wastes gallons of water in a short period of time.

* Lower the thermostat on your water heater; water heaters sometimes come from the factory with high temperature settings, but a setting of 120°F provides comfortable hot water for most uses. And, today’s Texas Standards of Practice states that water heated over 120°F is a SAFETY HAZARD

* Take more showers than baths. Bathing uses the most hot water in the average household. You use 15-25 gallons of hot water for a bath, but less than 10 gallons during a 5-minute shower.

* Insulate your electric hot-water storage tank, but be careful not to cover the thermostat. Follow themanufacturer’s recommendations.

* Insulate your natural gas or oil hot water storage tank, but be careful not to cover the water heater’s top, bottom, thermostat, or burner compartment. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations; when in doubt, get professional help.

* Insulate the first 6 feet of the hot and cold water pipes connected to the water heater.

* If you are in the market for a new dishwasher or clothes washer, consider buying an efficient, water-saving model to reduce hot water use. (Or air dry or hand dry dishes)

* Install heat traps on the hot and cold pipes at the water heater to prevent heat loss. Some new water heaters have built-in heat traps.

* Drain a quart of water from your water tank every 3 months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater. The type of water tank you have determines the steps to take, so follow the manufacturer’s advice.

Long-Term Savings Tips

* Buy a new energy-efficient water heater. While it may cost more initially than a standard water heater, the energy savings will continue during the lifetime of the appliance. If your current water heater is electric, consider switching to a natural gas water heater if gas is available.

* Consider installing a drain water waste heat recovery system. A recent DOE study showed energy savings of 25% to about 30% for water heating using such a system.

* Consider demand or tankless water heaters. Researchers have found savings can be as much as 34% compared with a standard electric storage tank water heater.

If you heat water with electricity, have high electric rates, and have an unshaded, south-facing location (such as a roof) on your property, consider installing a solar water heater. The solar units are environmentally friendly and can now be installed on your roof to blend with the architecture of your house. More than 1.5 million homes and businesses in the United States have invested in solar water heating systems, and surveys indicate over 94% of these customers consider the systems a good investment. Solar water heating systems are also good for the environment. Solar water heaters avoid the harmful greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity production. During a 20- year period, one solar water heater can avoid over 50 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. When shopping for a solar water heater, look for systems certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation.

Regards,
David Selman, Professional Inspector
david@selmanhomeinspections.com
TREC #10299
WDI #660910
FHA/HUD #F537
Septic #113423
Selman Home Inspections
469-371-3228

Heating And Cooling

February 4, 2013
Heating And Cooling

Heating and cooling your home uses more energy and drains more energy dollars than any other system in your home. Typically, 61% of your utility bill goes for heating and cooling. What’s more, heating and cooling systems in the United States together emit over a half billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year, adding to global warming. They also generate about 24% of the nation’s sulfur dioxide and 12% of the nitrogen oxides, the chief ingredients in acid rain.

 

No matter what kind of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system you have in your house, you can save money and increase your comfort by properly maintaining and upgrading your equipment. But remember, an energy-efficient furnace alone will not have as great an impact on your energy bills as using the whole-house approach. By combining proper equipment maintenance and upgrades with appropriate insulation, air sealing, and thermostat settings, you can cut your energy bills and your pollution output in half. A home inspection and thermal imaging inspection from Selman Home Inspectioncan help identify areas of energy loss.

 

Heating and Cooling Tips

 

* Set your thermostat as low as is comfortable in the winter and as high as is comfortable in the summer.

 

* Clean or replace filters on furnaces once a month or as needed.

 

* Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed; make sure they’re not blocked by furniture, carpeting,or drapes.

 

* Turn off kitchen, bath, and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes after you are done cooking or bathing; when replacing exhaust fans, consider installing high-efficiency, low-noise models.

 

* During the heating season, keep the draperies and shades on your south facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to enter your home and closed at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

 

* During the cooling season, keep the window coverings closed during the day to prevent solar gain.

 

Long-Term Savings Tips

 

Select energy-efficient products when you buy new heating and cooling equipment. Your contractor should be able to give you energy fact sheets for different types, models, and designs to help you.

 

Ducts

One of the most important systems in your home, though it’s hidden beneath your feet and over your head, may be wasting a lot of your energy dollars.

 

Your home’s duct system, a branching network of tubes in the walls, floors,and ceilings, carries the air from your home’s furnace and central air conditioner to each room. Ducts aremade of sheet metal, fiberglass, or other materials. Unfortunately, many duct systems are poorly insulated or not insulated properly. Ducts that leak heated air into unheated spaces can add hundreds of dollars a year to your heating and cooling bills. Insulating ducts that are in unconditioned spaces is usually very cost effective. If you are buying a new duct system, consider one that comes with insulation already installed. Sealing your ducts to prevent leaks is even more important if the ducts are located in an unconditioned area such as an attic or vented crawl space. If the supply ducts are leaking, heated or cooled air can be forced out unsealed joints and lost.In addition, unconditioned air can be drawn into return ducts through unsealed joints.

 

In the summer, hot attic air can be drawn in, increasing the load on the air conditioner. In the winter, your furnace will have to work longer to keep your house comfortable. Either way, your energy losses cost you money. Minor duct repairs are easy to do, Here are a few simple tips to help with minor duct repairs.

 

Duct Tips

 

* Check your ducts for air leaks. First, look for sections that should be joined but have separated and then look for obvious holes.

 

* If you use tape to seal your ducts, avoid cloth-backed, rubber adhesive duct tape, which tends to fail quickly. Researchers recommend other products to seal ducts: mastic, butyl tape, foil tape, or other heat approved tapes. Look for tape with the Underwriters Laboratories logo.

 

* Remember that insulating ducts in the basement will make the basement colder. If both the ducts and the basement walls are uninsulated, consider insulating both.

 

* Note: Water pipes and drains in unconditioned spaces could freeze and burst in the space if the heat ducts are fully insulated, because there would be no heat source to prevent the space from freezing in cold weather. However, using an electric heating tape wrap on the pipes can prevent this.

 

* If your basement has been converted to a living area, install both supply and return registers in the basement rooms.

 

* Be sure a well-sealed vapor barrier exists on the outside of the insulation on cooling ducts to prevent moisture buildup.

 

* For new construction, consider placing ducts in conditioned space – space that is heated and cooled-instead of runningducts through unconditioned areas like the crawlspace or attic, which is less efficient.

 

Fireplaces

 

When you cozy up next to a crackling fire on a cold winter day, you probably don’t realize that your fireplace is one of the most inefficient heat sources you can possibly use.It literally sends your energy dollars right up the chimney along with volumes of warm air. A roaring fire can exhaust as much as 24,000 cubic feet of air per hour to the outside, which must be replaced by cold air coming into the house from the outside. Your heating system must warm up this air, which is then exhausted through your chimney. If you use your conventional fireplace while your central heating system is on, these tips can help reduce energy losses.

 

Fireplace Tips

 

* If you never use your fireplace,plug and seal the chimney flue.

 

* Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is going. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.

 

* When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window slightly- approximately 1 inch-and close doors leading into the room. Lower the thermostat setting to between 50° and 55°F.

 

* Install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room.

 

* Check the seal on the flue damper and make it as snug as possible.

 

* Add caulking around the fireplace hearth.

 

* Use grates made of C-shaped metal tubes to draw cool room air into the fireplace and circulate warm air back into the room.

 

Natural Gas and Oil Heating Systems

 

If you plan to buy a new heating system, ask your local utility or state energy office for information about the latest technologies available to consumers. They can advise you about more efficient systems on the market today. For example, many newer models incorporate designs for burners and heat exchangers that result in higher efficiencies during operation and reduce heatloss when the equipment is off. Consider a sealed combustion furnace; they are both safer and more efficient.

 

Long-Term Savings Tip

 

Install a new energy-efficient furnace to save money over the long term. Look for the ENERGY STAR and Energy Guide labels.

 

Programmable Thermostats

 

You can save as much as 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills by simply turning your thermostat back 10% to 15% for 8 hours. You can do this automatically without sacrificing comfort by installing an automatic setback or programmablethermostat.

 

Using a programmable thermostat, you can adjust the times youturn on the heating or air-conditioning according to a pre-set schedule. As a result, the equipment doesn’t operate as much when you are asleep or when the house or part of the house is not occupied.

 

Programmable thermostats can store and repeat multiple daily settings (six or more temperature settings a day) that you can manually override without affecting the rest of the daily or weekly program.

Landscaping

 

Landscaping is a natural and beautiful way to keep your home cool in summer and reduce your energy bills. In addition to adding aesthetic value and environmental quality to your home, a well-placed tree, shrub, or vine can deliver effective shade, act as a windbreak, and reduce overall energy bills.

Carefully positioned trees can save up to 25% of a typical household’s energy used for heating and cooling. Computer models from DOE predict that just three trees, properly placed around the house, can save an average household between $100 and $250 in heating and cooling energy costs annually.

Studies conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found summer daytime air temperatures to be 3° to 6°F cooler in tree shaded neighborhoods than in treeless areas.

The energy-conserving landscape strategies you should use for your home depend on the type of climate in which you live.

Refer Your Friends & Clients

We take pride in our work asHome Inspection Pros and strive to deliver the highest standards in quality, integrity, and value. We are dedicated to your real estate transaction and back every report with a more value and support than other Home Inspection Company. Here are a few of the benefits of referringSelman Home Inspections to your clients!

“Accurate Investment Protection You Can Trust”

FHA/HUD # F537
Septic #113423
Termite Tech # 660910

Saving Energy Using Insulation & By Sealing Air Leaks

February 4, 2013
Saving Energy Using Insulation & By Sealing Air Leaks

Checking your home’s insulation is one of the fastest and most cost efficient ways to use a whole house approach to reduce energy waste and make the most of your energy dollars. A good insulating system includes acombination of products and construction techniques that protect a home from outside temperatures-hot and cold, protect it against air leaks, and control moisture. You can increase the comfort of your home while reducing your heating and cooling needs by up to

30% by investing just a few hundred dollars in proper insulation and sealing air leaks.

First, check the insulation in your attic, ceilings, exterior and basement walls, floors, and crawl spaces to see if it meets the levels recommended for your area. Insulation is measured in

R-values-the higher the R-value, the better your walls and roof will resist the transfer of heat. DOE recommends ranges of R-values based on local heating and cooling costs and climate conditions in different areas of the nation. State and local codes in some parts of the country may require lower R-values than the DOE recommendations.

Where to Insulate

 

Adding insulation in the areas shown below may be the best way to improve your home’s energy efficiency.

Crawl space Basement Attic

Walls

Floors

For customized insulation recommendations, visit energysavers.gov and check out the Zip Code Insulation Calculator, which lists the most economic insulation levels for your new or existing home based on your zip code and other basic information about your home.

Although insulation can be made from a variety of materials, it usually comes in four types; each type has different characteristics.

Rolls / Batts or blanketsare flexibleproducts made from mineral fibers, such as fiberglass and rockwool. They are available in widths suited to standard spacing of wall studs and attic or floor joists.

2×4 walls can hold R-13 or R-15 batts; 2×6 walls can have R-19 or R-21 products.

 

Loose-fill insulation is usually made of fiberglass, rock wool, or cellulose comes in shreds, granules,or nodules. These small particles should be blown into spaces using special pneumatic equipment. The blown-in material conforms readily to buildingcavities and attics. Therefore, loose-fill insulation is well suited for places where it is difficult to install other types of insulation.

 

Rigid foam insulation is typically more expensive than fiber insulation. But it’s very effective in buildings with space limitations and where higher R-values are needed. Foam insulation R-values range from R-4 to R-6.5 per inch of thickness (2.54 cm), which is up to 2 times greater than most other insulating materials of the same thickness.

 

Foam-in-place insulation-can be blown into walls and reduces air leakage.

 

Insulation Tips

 

* Consider factors such as your climate, building design, and budget when selecting insulation R-values for your home.

 

* Use higher density insulation, such as rigid foam boards, in cathedral ceilings and on exterior walls.

 

* Ventilation plays a large role in providing moisture control and reducing summer cooling bills. Attic vents can be installed along the entire ceiling cavity to help ensure proper airflow from the soffit to the attic to make a home more comfortable and energy efficient.

 

* Recessed light fixtures can be a major source of heat loss, but you need to be careful how close you place insulation next to a fixture unless it is marked IC-designed for direct insulation contact.

 

Should I Insulate My Home?

 

The answer is probably “yes”if you:

* Havean older home and haven’t added insulation. Only 20% of homes built before 1980 are well insulated.

 

* Are uncomfortably cold in the winter or hot in the summer – adding insulation creates amore uniform temperature and increases comfort.

 

* Build a new home, addition, or install new siding or roofing.

 

* Are paying high energy bills.

 

* Are bothered by noise from outside-insulation muffles sound.

 

Long-Term Savings Tip

 

One of the most cost-effective ways to make your home more comfortable year-round is to add insulation to your attic. Adding insulation to the attic is relatively easy and very cost effective.

 

To find out if you have enough attic insulation, measure the thickness of the insulation. If it is less than R-22 (7 inches of fiber glass or rock wool or 6 inches of cellulose), you could probably benefit by adding more. Most U.S. homes should have between R-22 and R-49 insulation in the attic.

 

If your attic has enough insulation and your home still feels drafty and cold in the winter or too warm in the summer, chances are you need to add insulation to the exterior walls as well. This is a more expensive measure that usually requires a contractor, but it may be worth the cost if you live in a very hot or cold climate.

 

You may also need to add insulation to your crawl space. Either the walls of the crawl space or the floor above the crawl space should be insulated.

 

How Much Insulation Does My Home Need?

 

For insulation recommendations tailored to your home, visit the DOE website at: http://www.energysavers.gov for the Zip Code Insulation Calculator

 

New Construction

 

For new construction or home additions, R-11 to R-28 insulation is recommended for exterior walls depending on location. To meet this recommendation, most homes and additions constructed with 2 in. x 4 in. walls require a combination of wall cavity insulation, such as batts and insulating sheathing or rigid foam boards. If you live in an area with an insulation recommendation that is greater than R-20, you may want to consider building with 2 in.x 6 in. framing instead of 2 in. x 4 in. framing to allow room for thicker wall cavity insulation-R-19 to R-21.

 

Today, new products are on the market that provide both insulation and structural support and shouldbe considered for new home construction or additions. Structural insulated panels, known as SIPS, and masonry products like insulating concreteforms are among these. Some homebuilders are even using an old technique borrowed from the pioneers, building walls using straw bales. Check online at www.energysavers.gov for more information on structural insulation. Radiant barriers (in hot climates), reflective insulation, and foundation insulation should all be considered for new home construction.

 

SealingAirLeaks

 

Warm air leaking into your home during the summer and out of your home during the winter can waste a lot of your energy dollars. One of the quickest dollar-saving tasks you can do is caulk, seal, and weather-strip all seams, cracks, and openings to the outside. You can save 10% or more on your energy bill by reducing the air leaks in your home.

 

Tips for Finding And Sealing Air Leaks

 

First, test your home for air tightness. On a windy day, hold a lit incense stick next to your windows,doors, electrical boxes, plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets, ceiling fixtures, attic hatches, and other locations where there is a possible air path to the outside. If the smoke stream travels horizontally, you have located an air leak that may need caulking, sealing, or weather-stripping.

 

Sources of AirLeaks in Your Home

 

Areas that leak air into and out of your home cost you lots of money:

 

Dropped ceiling

Water heater and furnace flues

Window frames Recessedlight All ducts

Electrical outlets and switches

Attic entrance

Doorframes

Plumbing and utility access

Sill plates

Chimney flashing

Insulation and Sealing Air Leaks

 

* Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows that leak air.

* Caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring penetrates through exterior walls,floors, ceilings, and soffits over cabinets.

* Install rubber gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on exterior walls.

* Look for dirty spots in your insulation, which often indicate holes where air leaks into and out of your house. You can seal the holes by stapling sheets of plastic over the holes and caulking the edges of the plastic.

* Install storm windows over single-pane windows or replace them with double pane windows.

* When the fireplace is not in use, keep the flue damper tightly closed. A chimney is designed specifically for smoke to escape, so until you close it, warm air escapes-24 hours a day!

* For new construction, reduce exterior wall leaks by either installing house wrap, taping the joints of exterior sheathing, or comprehensively caulking and sealing the exterior walls.

How and Where Does the Air Escape? 

 

*Plumbing penetrations 13%

*Windows 10%

*Floors, walls, and ceiling 31%

*Fireplace 14%

*Fans and vents 4%

*Doors 11%

*Ducts 15%

*Electric outlets 2%

Air infiltrates into and out of your home through every hole, nook, and cranny. About one-third of this air infiltrates through openings in your ceilings, walls, and floors.

A home inspection and thermal imaging inspection from Selman Home Inspection can help you identify areas of energy loss as well as moisture leaks and other areas of energy loss.

 

Refer Your Friends & Clients

We take pride in our work asHome Inspection Pros and strive to deliver the highest standards in quality, integrity, and value. We are dedicated to your real estate transaction and back every report with a more value and support than other Home Inspection Company. Here are a few of the benefits of referringSelman Home Inspections to your clients!

“Accurate Investment Protection You Can Trust”

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