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Silent Signals Your Home’s Energy Efficiency is Lacking

06 February 2021

Our team answers homeowner questions every weekend on WCCO 830 AM from 9:00 am-10:00 am.  Have your most pressing home improvement quandaries addressed by calling or texting 651-989-9226.  Here’s the must-know information our COO, Andy Lindus, shared on 2.6.21.

It can be alarming to find ice formation on your home’s windows.  Many times, when this occurs, homeowners wrongfully assume that the windows have malfunctioned.  Ice formation can signal that a home’s humidity levels are higher than recommended.  As exterior temperatures lower, home humidity levels need to be decreased to less than 40% in order to prevent window condensation and attic mold.  Windows can also be blamed for drafts within a home.  However, the actual culprit can be the stack effect.  When this happens, attic air is pulled downward creating noticeable movement within the home.  The stack effect can also cause heat within the home to rise to the attic, meeting cold surfaces, causing condensation, which leads to frost.  When the frost melts, the integrity of the attic insulation becomes compromised and mold formation quickly ensues.

window condensation

When shopping for new house windows, there are a few pieces of criteria that should be used to evaluate the reliability of the new window.  Homeowners should strive for windows that have superior air infiltration ratings, as this is scientific data that measures the amount of air that is allowed to enter a room.  Solar heat gain is the amount of solar radiation that is emitted through a window that transfers heat into a home.  Installation techniques also play a significant role in the lifespan of the window.  The vast majority of windows that are installed in the Twin Cities are inserts and not full frame replacement. Unless full frame window replacement is used, there is no way to address water or air infiltration.  When it comes to energy efficiency in windows, the fewer moving parts there are, the more energy efficient the window is.  This creates a strong argument for the installation of casement and awning windows, which have the ability to lock tightly.  Infinity® from Marvin fiberglass windows finished with Everwood® are an ideal choice for homeowners that want their appearance of wood, but not the continuous maintenance.  They’re manufactured in Minnesota by a family-owned company that understands how to create a window that can withstand the area’s extreme temperature swings.

Learn More About Everwood® Finish:

If you suspect your home’s energy efficiency is lacking, reputable insulation contractors can perform diagnostic testing to identify energy deficiencies.  Blower doors and infrared imaging guns work particularly well when the home’s interior temperature is significantly different than the exterior temperature.  Don’t wrongfully assume that because your home is newer construction that there aren’t areas for improvement.  If builder grade materials were used, it’s probable that they have reached the end of their lifespan.

FLIR image

Ice formation on your home’s gutters is often a signal that heat loss is taking place.   On open style gutters, make it difficult to see if ice dams are forming on your roof, which can damage to the shingles,  cause the gutters to pull away from the home, and allow water to enter the interior of your home.  On closed style gutters, like LeafGuard®, icicles will hang off the gutters because the system is designed to be able to only take in liquid water.  LeafGuard® Brand gutters are accompanied with a lifetime ice damage warranty.  If the gutters misshapen or separate themselves from your home, the installing contractor will correct the situation free of charge.

Listen to the Entire Show Here: 

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