Saturday, April 23, 2011

Energy Saving Home Improvements in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Top 10 Best South Carolina Energy Savings Home Improvements

These are the Top Home Improvements that you can make in South Carolina, whether it be Myrtle Beach SC or Columbia SC.  What this list is based off of is cost vs. return on investment, because many Energy Saving Home Improvements are espensive to install, and paybacks vary from product to product.  Keep in mind these are only my opinions, however I have been working in the "Green" product industry for quite a few years now, and this is based on feedback I have recieved from thousands of customers.  As the cost of oil rises, the cost of Energy is going to go up, so it is a good time to consider lowering your home or office's energy consumption, to offset rising energy cost.  The company I listed in my last blog, Retro-Solutions Roofing and Insulation Contractors of Myrtle Beach, SC, offer a variety of Energy Saving products, and if your willing to pay for the newer technology, you can actually reduce your energy bill to nothing.  This is not something they recommend because most of these new "green" or energy saving products are still new technology, and very expensive to purchase and install.  Hopefully this will explain why even some of the products I list may not be the best energy saving product, just the most affordable option for most South Carolinians.

  1. Spray Foam Insulation - As you can tell from the title of my blog, I am biased on this one, however in the matter of 3-5 years,  you'll be praising yourself for making this investment as it saves 33% more then my second rated energy saving home improvement.  You will have then, in 3-5 years, seen how much you saved, as most homes had fiberglass insulation to begin with.  Last but not least is why this is my number 1 energy saving home improvement, is that it is a lifetime product, and never has to be redone.  The more efficient "building envelope" created by SPF, improves overall performance of your HVAC system, thus reducing energy consumption by the most expensive appliance in your home.  New HVAC technologies have decreased the consumption many heating and air conditioning units use, but so have the other energy consuming products in your home as well.  Insulation and HVAC technolgy go together, however being an insulation guy myself, I rank insulation higher then replacing a functioning HVAC unit, due to price and installation cost.
  2. Fiberglass Insulation - The reason why I have put Fiberglass Insulation as number 2 on this list, is because it can be done by the homeowner, thus making it a very cheap energy saving home improvement.  New insulation will show energy saving results immediately, and improve comfortability, however over time these energy savings will deplete as the insulation settles and looses R-Value.  If your looking for short term energy savings and not looking to stay in your home or business for more than 5 years, then this is probably the best energy saving home improvement you can do. 
  3. Metal Roofs - Metal Roofs have now been recognized as "Energy Star" products and are generally not too more expensive then traditional architectural or 3 tab shingles.  Metal Roofs provide Reflectivity, thus reducing the overall temperature of your attic.  Even though the metal gets very hot, it reflects the heat, thus reducing the temperature of the undersurface, whereas traditional shingles absorb heat, and often radiate heat.  Metal Roofing combined with Spray Foam Insulated rafters in SC or NC is the ultimate energy saving combo, based on cost and ease of installations.  The drawback is not everyone needs a new roofs, and roofs last a long time, but it is definitely a great option if your in the market for a new roof.
  4. Energy Monitoring Systems - Energy Monitoring Systems are an affordable solution for most any homeowners or building owners.  Most commercial real estate and major corporations when to Energy Monitoring Systems a decade or so ago as standards in there stores or buildings.  These energy monitoring systems could help them regulate energy consumption in there stores, thus reducing expenses for the company.  These systems are now becoming more affordable to the average home owner and many people are starting to take advantage of these systems.  Quick, easy installation, and you can find out how much energy that red light on the dvd player is actually consuming, and you might be shocked to find out how much energy usage goes into some of the things around you have plugged in that you never use. Retro-Solutions Insulatioin Company below provides these services and have been given very positive feedback from customers.
  5. Solar Energy - Though number one in what solar energy can do for how much power you need from the power company, the installation and cost of materials for solar energy are still too expensive for the average homeowner.  If you can afford a solar powered home or business, and looking to stay in your home or business for a long time, then this is definitely the best energy saving investment you can make in South Carolina.  As you know we get lots of sunshine, so these systems really produce to capacity.  One positive move in the solar energy sector, is the operation of more expensive appliances in the homes, like solar powered water heaters and lighting.  You will definitely see a decrease in your homes energy bill with these simple products, but the energy savings don't add up to the products listed above.
  6. Alternative Insulations (i.e. loose fill, cellulose, paper, etc.) - I am grouping all of these together because they provide about the same amount of energy savings as each other, and they are also higher priced then traditional fiberglass insulation.  These new insulations do have better R-Value and Energy Savings as traditional fiberglass, however there small in comparison to what spray foam insulation saves, and the more inexpensive fiberglass is the better choice if your not willing to invest the extra money in spray foam insulation.  The one major advantage these "green" insulation products offer, is installation does not release potentional harmful vapors that you get from the curing process of spray foam insulation.  I suggest to most customers to rent a hotel room for a couple days just to make sure all vapors are cleared.  After the curing process, SPF is completely safe, and very enviromentally friendly.
  7. More Energy Efficient HVAC Systems - If your heat or a/c is about to go out in South Carolina, then this would be your number one option because going thru a hot SC summer, especially Myrtle Beach, without a/c would be miserable.  Also if your building or have already insulated and looking to upgrade to a new HVAC system, you should definitely look into some of the new energy efficient systems HVAC contractors have to offer.  Very Energy Efficient, Quiet, and compatable with spray foam insulation systems.  Ductworking has also developed in the past few years, improving HVAC efficiencies dramatically as well.  These are long term investments, and often very expensive to purchase and install, and many homeowners recognize the importance of maintenance of there HVAC systems, and the great service HVAC contractors have provided in recent years due to increased competition.
  8. New or Updated Interior Appliances - Most of you reading this blog have been into Sears, Lowe's, or Home Depot looking for Home Improvement ideas and see the huge selection of appliances they carry.  These stores are operating on profits, so they wouldn't put all those appliances out there if they didn't sell, and the reason they sell is because they can increase energy savings tremendously.  In addition to offering energy savings, you can also change the look of your kitchen or home as well when buying appliances, thus making it a more appealing option to many homeowners.  Energy Monitorying Systems like listed above, can identify poor performing appliances, and let you know when to buy new.
  9. Energy Star Rated Lightbulbs - If  your like me, then you like to have the lights on so you can see what your doing day or night, so they're on the most part of the day.  This is one of the most inexpensive ways to save energy, as installation is easy, and the price of lightbulbs is inexpensive as well.  This is also something that is quick today, and can start saving you on energy instantly. 
  10. Changing Your Habits - Little things like cutting the lights off, closing the door, cutting the temperature a degree lower or higher in the winter or summer, and you can see savings on your energy bill as well.  I rank this number 10 because it is free and a good habit to get into if your into saving energy for the planet as a whole.  The reason it is listed last on my list is because of the new energy efficient products coming out also have timers and use less energy staying on, then starting them up. 
For anybody reading this blog, I hope it has been helpful, as I have been in the "green" product or energy saving industry, long before it was affordable alternatives to the average consumer.  Now that technology has improved, and cost of installation for most of these products have came down tremendously, it offers homeowners and business owners alike many different ways to cut energy cost in South Carolina.  These top 10 Energy Saving Home Improvements can save you not only in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and North Carolina, but across all of the United States.  Climate and temperature can change these ratings, however this is personal experience that I have had with feedback interviews from former customers.  If your looking to make some energy saving home improvements in the South Carolina area, then call 706-951-0158 for some more information on saving energy in the Carolinas.  Also, be sure to check out Retro-Solutions new webpage, and they have free estimates for most of the products I have listed above.