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Home Envelope/Exterior

Insulation/Thermal Bridging | Architectural | Brown Fields | Siding/Painting | Walls | Windows/Tinting | Doors | Foundations | Exterior Lighting | LEED Certifications | Weatherizing

Insulation/Thermal Bridging
Proper selection of insulation can save energy and enhance indoor air quality. In addition, Federal Tax deductions, and a DTE rebate may apply.

Inadequate insulation and air leakage are leading causes of energy waste. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provides you with a 30% tax credit for insulated walls that are put into service by the end of 2010. This tax credit item is only for existing homes, not new construction, serving as primary residences and it includes ONLY the cost of materials and NOT installation.


Choose firms that specialize in green design services. In the long run, you will save money by starting with a plan designed around green initiatives.


Brown Fields
Qualified real estate companies, services that provide environmental assessments, as well as architects can lead you to incentives for cleaning up and developing Brown Fields … from finding actual sites, to applying for state and federal tax credits, to acquiring LEED points.


Choose siding that contains insulation and paints that are environmentally- friendly.

Choosing no VOC paints and stains will help you avoid low level toxic emissions.


Consider purchasing preform insulated wall systems as well as dry wall that is water resistant and has sound proofing qualities. Use recyclable metal studs and headers.

Ventilate the attic. When the outside temperature surpasses 90 degrees, your attic can easily reach 140 degrees. Adequately-sized vents and/or an attic fan can help keep hot air from building up.


By having windows tinted, you can reduce the solar gain and ultra violet destruction that come from sun light. Tinting windows can also save on air conditioning costs and will reduce fading of furniture, carpeting, and draperies.

Remember, the lower the U-value, the better the insulation. In colder climates, a U-value of 0.35 or below is recommended. These windows have at least double glazing and a low-e coating. To test for air leaks on your own, on a windy day, hold a lit candle next to windows, doors, electrical outlets, or light fixtures. Also, tape clear plastic sheeting to the inside of your window frames if drafts, water condensation, or frost are present.


Install insulated exterior doors to reduce heat loss in the winter and help with cooling in the summer. When selecting doors, think about whether sound proofing is important to you. You may also want to consider using recycled doors.


Look into a new foundation and make sure the process incorporates insulation in the construction of foundation walls for an added cost savings in your energy bills.


Exterior Lighting
Select exterior lights that optimize lighting your property versus generating light pollution and projecting glare onto your neighbors. Ask for assistance in choosing the right lighting for the situation: LED, induction, or T5. Put outside lighting on timers or better yet photo cells or motion detectors to minimize light operation. Motion detectors may not be the right choice where there are animals or blowing tree branches present nearby. The light will trip with the movement, wearing out the bulb and sensor. With these lighting alternatives, you may qualify for DTE rebates or assistance from EPACT 2005 (a federal tax deduction).

Exterior lighting is one of the best places to use CFLs because of their long life. If you live in a cold climate, be sure to buy a lamp with a cold weather ballast since standard CFLs may not work well below 40°F.


LEED Certifications
Get recognized for your green results and receive support in your efforts to improve the environment.


Select a weatherizing company to come and correct all sources of energy loss and maintenance problems. Correcting these issues, big and small, will help you reduce energy use and costs – and by weatherizing, you may qualify for DTE rebates.



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