There are many reasons to get a home energy audit. An audit will help you prepare your home for a weather emergency, and help you know how you can reduce your carbon footprint. Each homeowner may have different reasons. For most families, the savings potential on heating and cooling costs is the biggest motivation. 

Premier Home Solutions provides home energy audits absolutely free once a year to households within 100 miles of Lansing Michigan. 

Why do you need a home energy audit? Here are 10 reasons!

1. Understand How Your Home Can Be More Efficient

The first reason to get a home energy audit is to understand how your home can be more energy efficient. This study, which takes just a couple of hours, looks at where air is entering and exiting your home, where you could use more insulation. It compares your energy bills with other households of similar size and location. When the process is complete, you will have an excellent understanding of where your home is efficient, and where it could use a little help.  

2. See How Much Money You Can Save Each Month

While saving energy is great for our shared environment, likely the number one reason people choose to increase the energy efficiency of their homes is to save money. And the economics can be quite stunning. With energy efficiency improvements, households can save thousands of dollars a year on energy bills in some cases. The best part is, many of these improvements pay for themselves over the lifetime of the homes. A home energy audit can help you understand just how much you can save per year. 

3. They’re Free

PHS Provides home energy audits for everyone’s favorite price: free. These energy audits are absolutely free to you and are no pressure. All we ask is that you give our insulation, weather sealing and other services an honest look. 

4. They Pinpoint Where Your Dollars Go Furthest

Sometimes it can be hard to understand where your limited home improvement dollars may go furthest to save energy and money. Would it make sense to get new windows first? Or maybe insulation would save you more. Perhaps it’s some simple weather sealing. A home energy audit can tell you.

5. They Use Specialized Equipment Not Available to Most DIY’ers

One drawback to home energy audits is they really aren't available to DIY’ers, because they use specialized equipment like infrared cameras and blower doors. But no fear, we have all the equipment, are highly trained, and happy to help you out absolutely for free.

6. Make Your Home More Comfortable

Not only will improving the energy efficiency of your home save money and likely pay for itself in the long run, it will make your home more comfortable. Adding insulation or weather sealing will stop drafts, keep your home heated evenly across rooms, and eliminate cold floors, among other things. Like these other improvements, this all starts with a home energy audit. 

7. Make Your Home Safer

A lesser known benefit of improving energy efficiency— which, as always, starts with a home energy audit— is these improvements make your home safer. Things like insulation are the first line of defense against household pollutants like mold and mildew, and improving the airflow in your home also improves its quality, in many cases significantly. 

8. Increase Your Home’s Resale Value 

One interesting side note of a home energy audit is that knowing exactly how energy efficient your home is can increase its resale value. In numbers— which translate to dollars and cents— you can notify potential buyers that your home is exceptionally energy efficient when compared to others in the neighborhood. 

9. Understand Your Energy Bills

Another little known facet of the home energy audit, is that a technician will go through your energy bills with you as part of the process. With these, we can understand how much energy your home is using on an average monthly basis, and compare it to what it should be with current building standards and other homes in the area. By getting a home energy audit our technicians can help explain what is going on in your bills and compare them to others.

10. Learn About Financial Incentives

Finally, when our technicians visit your home, they will come with the knowledge of any financial incentives that may be available for improving the efficiency of your home. These can be significant, and change often, but our technicians can inform you of what is currently available. We want you to be in the most energy efficient home possible and will inform you of any free money that might be able to help with this goal. 

Call Premier Home Solutions for a Free Home Energy Audit in Southern Michigan

If you think a home energy audit might be right for you, give us a call today. We’ll perform a home energy audit at your earliest convenience and absolutely for free. We’re looking forward to serving you.

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3 Ways To Save Money On Home Energy

 

 

3 Simple Ways to Save Money on Rising Energy Costs

Rising energy costs are affecting people worldwide after the COVID-19 pandemic, and many Americans have struggled to keep up with their monthly expenses. 

One-in-five Americans failed to pay their monthly heating bill in full at least once this past winter.

Nearly 30% of our fellow citizens reduced or went without basic needs such as food and medicine to pay their energy bills in the last year. 

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts continuing increases in energy costs in 2022. 

This trend has forced many Americans to look for ways to conserve energy not only to decrease their environmental impact but to lower their at-home energy costs. 

How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient (With Actionable Steps) 

Luckily, there are ways to save money on rising energy bills by making your home more energy-efficient. 

Before going through the following steps, it is good to review your energy bill. The average electricity consumption is about 1000 kW/month. If yours is higher than this, you have great potential for future savings. 

1. Adjust the Temperature of Your Home 

Minor changes in your thermometer settings can save you money and help improve your home's energy efficiency. 

Here are a few ways to adjust the temperature to reduce at-home energy costs: 

  • Consider the location of your thermostat 
  • Set the thermostat to 68 degrees or lower during the winter 
  • Turn the thermostat to 78 degrees in the summer 
  • Make use of natural sunlight
  • Turn your water heater down to 120 degrees

Consider the location of your thermostat:

Keep your thermostat away from any areas where it may be exposed to extreme temperatures. These sudden temperature changes can trick the thermostat into believing the room is a lot hotter or colder than it is. 

Examples of extreme temperature areas can include: 

  • Near a door that can let in warm or cold air from the outside 
  • Close to windows that cast warm sunshine directly on the thermostat 
  • Outside a bathroom door where the thermostat can be exposed to warm steamy air 
  • Nearby TV sets or lamps, as these devices produce heat that could throw off thermostats sensors

Set the thermostat to 68 degrees or lower during the winter/Turn the thermostat to 78 degrees in the summer:  

Often people like to keep their thermometer at a set temperature to keep their heating and cooling systems from working too hard to get their home to a comfortable temperature. 

However, adjusting the set temperature while not at home can cut back on heating costs in the winter and cooling costs in the summer. 

Homes that are energy efficient will hold a steady temperature for hours longer than homes which are not energy efficient.

Make use of natural sunlight:

Also, natural sunlight can help you keep your home warm in the winter. During the winter months, let the sunlight in to help warm rooms with plenty of windows. 

With proper window coverings such as blackout or UV curtains, blocking out those same windows during the summer can help you keep your home cooler.

If you windows are older, they are likely also not as efficient as modern windows. Premier Home Solutions is your local complete window replacement resource. Our windows were designed in house for maximum energy efficiency, and are Energy Star® certified. This means our window meet the governments highest standards for reducing air loss.

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Turn your water heater down to 120 degrees:

While thinking about temperature control in your house, check on your water heater. Adjusting the tank to 120 degrees is manageable for most homes. This adjustment also helps reduce accidental scalding and can slow the build-up of minerals in your water tank. 

Replace old or damaged insulation

The biggest ally to maintaining your homes temperature is the insulation. If your home is over 5 years old, it might be a good idea to examine the insulation in your home. Fiberglass insulation is not the best choice for todays homes. It was and still is widely used, but it can provide pests with nesting space, and loses its effectiveness if it gets wet.

Spray in cellulose insulation is great for attics that don't have enough insulation to begin with. Cellulose is more environmentally friendly than fiberglass insulation and more economical than other choices. It provides quality insulation in spaces where insulation can be allowed to settle.

Spray foam insulation is the most effective and also the most environmentally friendly option. Available in different types for each unique situation, spray foam can be used to seal air leaks and fill spaces that need insulation where settling would be a problem. It fills any cavity it is applied too and does not settle over time. This type of insulation can be added to attics and even sprayed into existing walls without requiring tearing apart drywall. The noise dampening and water proof nature of spray foam, are bonus qualities that cellulose and fiberglass insulation, do not offer.

2. Stop heated or cooled air from escaping your home

Let's face it, gaps in and around the house is one of the biggest contributors to waisted home energy. Heated or cooled air can escape a home easily through gaps in walls, around windows and other areas you might not think. Critters such as mice and spiders also use these gaps as if they had an open invitation.

The solution is to ensure all areas of your home are properly sealed. We offer a blower door test that allows our technicians to quickly identify where conditioned air is escaping your home. Our team will then create a plan to seal up these leaks for good.

The average home loses enough heated or cooled air through air gaps, it has been compared to leaving a window open year round. You wouldn't throw money out the window. Proper air sealing keeps that money in your pocket, and pays for itself over a few short years.

3. Schedule a Home Energy Audit

If you’ve completed the above steps and still need more ideas on how to increase your home's energy efficiency, then you should consider scheduling a home energy audit. 

Premier Home Solution's home energy audits identify problem areas in your home and allows us to make a plan to fit your budget, and maximize your return on investment.

While there are ways to DIY your home energy audit, it does require a lot of work and is often not as effective unless you are very familiar with the products and techniques the pros use. Scheduling a home energy audit with a professional company can help make sure you don’t miss any potential savings as well.

Plus, our BPI certified home energy auditors, have access to state of the art tools like infrared cameras, gadgets to detect drafts, and other energy issues with your home. Such issues may be caused by poor or damage insulation, out of date windows & doors, or even gaps in your home that allow heated air out and creepy crawly critters in.

According to Energy.gov, you can save an average of 10 - 20% on your annual energy costs if you address common issues found during home energy audits. These improvements Pay for themselves over time!

Schedule your free no obligation home energy consultation today!

Although rising energy costs can seem like an ongoing problem, we can help reduce your costs and upgrade your home's environmental footprint.

For more information and energy-saving resources, contact Premier Home Solutions today. 

 

Sources: 

Energy.gov - Thermostat Savings This Winter

The United States Census Bureau - Household Pulse Survey (housing 4 Week 39) 

U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) - EIA forecasts higher U.S. heating bills this winter

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Michigan Home Insulation

How much Insulation do I need for Michigan Winters?

In the insulation and home energy business, we often hear this question: how much insulation do I need? Living in an environment like Michigan, where January temperatures average in the teens, that goes double for the state: How much insulation do I need for Michigan winters? 

The short answer is, more is better. In general, the more insulation you have the more heat will stay in your home during our long cold winters, and the more money you and your family will save on energy bills. 

This however, is only half of the story. Having the correct type of insulation in the correct place is just as important as having more. For example, if your walls are well insulated but your attic contains too little or the insulation up there is damaged, you can be potentially losing out on thousands of dollars. 

So let’s take a look at some different factors that can affect how much insulation you need, as well as offer some recommendations 

Types of Insulation

As you likely know, there are multiple types of insulation. The most common are batt insulation (the pink stuff that looks like cotton candy), cellulose insulation (that looks like shredded and fluffy cardboard) and spray foam insulation (that looks just how it sounds, and is generally yellow or blue). 

To put it simply, spray foam is the best. Inch for inch. It offers the best insulating properties available on the market today. Almost all newly built homes include spray foam insulation in the walls, and sometimes on the roof deck, because it works the best. It also provides some additional rigidity to the structure of your home. 

There can be drawbacks, though. Creating depth with this type of insulation can be difficult, like in attics. That’s when we use cellulose insulation. This type of insulation is not particularly suited to walls, because it can settle, leaving a gap at the top that is uninsulated. But when laid horizontally, like in an attic, settling is much less of an issue, and it can be sprayed in as deeply as is called for. 

As for fiberglass batt insulation, it’s better than nothing, but only provides the insulation it claims under perfect conditions.  

Location of Insulation

Where your insulation is located is also a factor. Perhaps you have an adequate amount of insulation in your walls, but a less than ideal amount in your attic. One area of concern that is not always understood is floor insulation. 

We know that heat rises, but up to 20 percent of your heat can leave through a crawlspace via the floor. It’s intensely important that your floor is insulated as well, as this can be an area that’s overlooked. 

Same with slab on grade insulation. This is insulation that insulates your foundation and home from the chilling effects of being connected to the ground, another often overlooked area. This type of insulation is rather advanced, but important for an overall energy barrier for your home, especially in cold climates like Michigan. 

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Recommendations For Mid Michigan Homes

So, how much insulation do we need in Michigan? Well, there are a number of heating and cooling zones defined by the Department of Energy. Most of the state is in zone 5, and more northern areas are in zone 6. For our purposes, R-value is a measure of how well an insulation material holds in heat. 

In zone 5, for the attic your insulation should have an r value of 38-60. In the attic this means cellulose insulation should be 16-18 inches deep. 

Walls should have an r value of R 13-21, which depending on the size of your wall cavities can be accomplished through spray foam as well as the addition of insulation sheathing on the outside of the home and under the siding. 

For floors, the recommendation is R 25-30. This is often best accomplished through spray foam. 

Call for a Free Home Energy Audit

If you’d like to know if you have enough insulation in your home, call us today and we will perform an absolutely free home energy audit. We will determine where your home could use more insulation and where it may be performing properly. 

These no-obligation consultations can tell you scientifically if you have gaps in your home’s defense against the heat and cold, and we can tell you exactly if you have enough insulation for Michigan. We perform these audits within approximately 100 miles of Lansing. 

Give us a call to schedule a free home energy audit, and get on the road to saving money on your home heating & cooling bills.

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Home Energy Audit Thermal Image Of A Home

The Tools of the Home Energy Audit

Perhaps you have become familiar with a home energy audit, a scientific assessment of your home’s energy use.  Are you familiar with how they are performed and what tools do they use?

At Premier Home Solutions we aim to offer your family the most accurate information on energy efficiency. We enable you to make an educated decisions on your own home and lifestyle. We believe energy efficiency is one of the most important things you can do for your wallet, as well as the health and comfort of your family. It all starts with a home energy audit.

With spiking home energy prices and more frequent severe weather, now is the time to think about how you can maximize todays low interest rates. Add in the savings on your energy bills plus your families comfort and safety, and getting a free home energy audit simply makes sense. Especially because our residential energy assessments are free and come with no obligation.

So how is a home energy audit performed, what does it consist of, and what are the tools we use?

How is a Home Energy Audit Performed? 

After scheduling your free home energy assessment, a technician will first come to your home at a time that is convenient for you. Our BPI® certified technicians will review your utility bills with you and perform some tests on the home itself.

The most important test is the blower door test. This is a machine that connects to your front or rear door (without leaving any marks or damage of course) and creates an area of lower pressure in the home. This area of lower pressure allows outside air into the cracks of your home’s efficiency defense system so our technician can identify problem areas such as windows, air gaps and the like. A technician will search your home room by room for these energy wasters, which can often be felt on their own. We measured using a special calculator designed for this purpose.

Our technician will also use a special infrared camera to detect areas where energy is escaping that cannot be seen with the naked eye or felt with any unaided means.

When the assessments are done, our technician will go through the results with your family, and come up with a plan to create increased energy efficiency for your home, targeting the areas where you can create the most efficiency and save the most money.

The Tools of the Home Energy Assessment

1. The Blower Door Test 

The blower door is a machine that connects to an existing opening in your home, usually the front or rear door, and uses a large fan to create an area of lower pressure in your home so we can better identify air leaks. Connected to this fan is a calculator designed to identify the total area of air escaping your home. In some cases it can be quite large— 20 square inches or more, just like having a window open all winter. A blower door test is also usually performed on new-build homes to test their efficiency from the start.

 

2. The Infrared Camera

This is a specialized, handheld camera that can sense heat changes in areas of your home. You’ve probably seen in a movie before, where an infrared camera is used to track the heat signature of a person or thing in bright colors. Darker reds signify more heat generation, and colors on the blue spectrum indicate areas of cool or cold.

We use this tool to understand how much heat or cold is escaping from your home that could be kept where you want it with materials and techniques like insulation or better windows.

3. Your Home Energy Bills 

Surprisingly, your home’s energy bills are one of the biggest tools we use. We compare your bill with the size of your household and a few other factors, to see how your home compares to other homes in your area. We will also be able to tell you what you stand to save by getting your home to an ideal state.

4. The Report

With every home energy audit we perform, we provide you with a report of our findings. Our technicians will explain the results, and come up with a plan to create the most energy savings possible. All based on yoru specific situation and budget.  In some cases this could be increased or new insulation, new windows, or weatherization. But we will always let you know how to create the most efficiency for your money, and how to get the most bang for your buck.

 Free Home Energy Audits Within 100 Miles of Lansing

If you would like a home energy audit, absolutely for free, give us a call today and we’ll send a technician out at your earliest convenience. The US Department of Energy suggests homes perform energy audits once a year, and we are happy to provide this service to Michigan homeowners within approximately 100 miles of Lansing.

Give us a call today, and be on your way to energy savings!

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Energy Efficient Home Window

What are the Best Energy Efficient Windows?

Windows are one of the most important parts of your home’s energy efficiency. If your windows are old, don’t seal properly, or contain the outdated efficiency technology and innovations, you are throwing money out of, well, the windows. 

But what constitutes the best energy efficient windows, and where do you find them? Are they costly? And could they save your household money? 

We’ll give you a hint. Premier Home Solutions!

We designed our proprietary system in-house for maximum energy efficiency. Our windows have rated the most efficient on the market by Energy Star®. We offer a large selection of design choices and an industry-leading warranty. 

The Pillars of Energy Efficiency

All energy efficient windows have a number of things in common. The most efficient ones combine these innovations into one total package. 

Double or Triple Pane Design

Glass is a terrible insulator. In fact, it’s a great conductor. That is not ideal for energy efficiency. This can be mitigated by adding multiple panes of glass with an insulating gas between the panels to create a barrier between your home and the outside. All Premier Home Solutions windows are double or triple pane. If your windows are single pane, we always recommend replacing them immediately.    

Inert Gas 

The gas which fills your windows is also important. Standard air is good, but inert gas, such as argon, is better. Inert gasses provide better insulating value than other gases. At Premier Home Solutions we offer argon and air.  

Foam Filled cores

Just like your walls, windows should be filled with foam or other insulation for maximum efficiency. This means the sashes— the vinyl, metal, or wood part around the glass— should be filled with an insulating material. If your sashes are unfilled, you can be losing out on efficiency. All of PHS’s windows come with filled cores.  

Excellent seals 

This almost goes without saying, but if your windows don’t seal properly the rest of the points are moot. Having windows that don’t seal well is like having a leak in a submarine. It will cost you and your family an incredible amount of money literally being thrown out of the window. At PHS, we can test the seals on your windows for free. 

Top Materials 

Of course, the materials from which your windows are made are also important. You don’t want the materials themselves to transmit heat loss, which is why our windows are made aluminum-free and with fusion welded corners. 

Design

Like anything else, design can make or break a project. We’ve specifically designed our windows in-house to be the most energy efficient possible. In fact, our windows have been named most efficient on the market available to US consumers by Energy Star— the nonpartisan governmental rating agency— in 2020. 

Are Energy Efficient Windows Expensive?

Energy efficient windows can often save your household money in reduced energy bills, and often pay for themselves in energy efficiency over the lifetime of the windows. 

It's simple. For a modest investment, you and your family can save money each month on heating and cooling bills due to increased energy efficiency. Over time, that money adds up, and often totals more than households spend on the windows in the first place. As an added bonus, homes are almost always more comfortable in the meantime due to decreased drafts, decreased areas of temperature fluctuation, and are more soundproof. More efficient windows also means a lower carbon footprint.

Because we sell these windows factory direct — that is, we have not only designed them ourselves, but we make them ourselves too — we can sell them without the cost of a middleman. By manufacturing our windows and selling them directly to you, we are able to offer the absolute best in price as well as efficiency. 

Of course, our windows come in a wide variety of colors and styles, with all kinds of choices in hardware color and optional extras like pet-resistant screens and internal mini-blinds. 

Many homeowners are surprised just how reasonably priced these best windows can be. 

How to Get Started on the Path to Energy Efficient Windows? 

If you’d think you need new windows, or would like to see just how efficient your home is, give Premier Home Solutions a call. We’ll perform an absolutely free, absolutely no obligation home energy audit. This audit will tell us where your home is doing well in energy efficiency, and where improvement can be made. Energy efficient windows play a huge role in the efficiency of your home. 

Give us a call today to let us stop your hard earned money from blowing out the window.

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Best Attic Insulation

What Is The Best Attic Insulation?

You probably know that attic insulation is extremely important to stopping heat loss in your home, because warm air rises. In colder climates like Michigan, an uninsulated attic can literally mean allowing all of the warm air your furnace or boiler creates straight out of your roof. That gets expensive very quickly. While insulation in your walls and crawlspace are important as well, insulation in your attic or on your roof deck is essential. 

Insulation works by providing resistance to heat flow. It is akin to putting a blanket on your home, just like you do when sleeping in bed. If you add blankets to your bed on a cold night you don’t have to keep the heat as high. Less heat used means you save money. Insulation lowers your heating and cooling costs much the same way. 

One way to tell if your attic insulation is insufficient is to see if you have icicles hanging from your eaves in winter. Homes with large icicles hanging from their roofs often have less insulation. Why? Because heat rises through the home and out of the roof deck, slowly and subtly melting snow on the roof. The remaining water then drips down and freezes once again to become icicles. 

If you don’t see any icicles on your home that may not mean you do have adequate insulation. In general, more is better here. But if you do have icicles, it is time to consult a professional home energy auditor.

But what is the Best Attic Insulation?

As with most things concerning insulation, that depends on the situation. Generally speaking cellulose attic insulation and spray foam insulation offer the most efficient barriers to heat loss. They are also cost effective.

There are three common types of attic insulation: Fiberglass insulation, cellulose insulation, and spray foam insulation. 

Fiberglass Insulation

You have probably seen fiberglass insulation in batts at the hardware store. It is most often pink and is generally papered on one side with a special material called a vapor barrier. Fiberglass insulation is certainly better than nothing, but is not the ideal choice for attic insulation. 

The problem with fiberglass insulation is it only works under perfect conditions. If its installed improperly, gets disturbed or damp (from leaks in a roof), or the vapor barrier is torn in any place, it rapidly loses efficiency. Fiberglass is extremely hazardous to humans and is prone to disturbance by animals looking for nesting material.

Generally, if homeowners have fiberglass insulation in their attics we suggest replacing it. 

Cellulose Insulation

The second type of insulation available is cellulose insulation. Having rapidly improved over the last few years, cellulose insulation is often the number one choice for attics because it can be mechanically blown in and as deep as possible offering more protection. Just like adding more blankets to the bed. 

Made of recycled paper and treated with a fire resistant chemical, cellulose insulation is extremely cost effective and an excellent choice for attic insulation. While cellulose is great for attics, it is less suited to walls because when stacked vertically it settles, leaving a gap at the top of wall cavities. In attics, where cellulose insulation is inlaid horizontally, this is not an issue. 

Spray Foam Insulation

The last type of insulation is spray foam insulation. Spray foam is the gold standard for quality in insulation. Inch for inch, it generally offers the most insulating value out of any material commonly available to homeowners today. 

Spray foam insulation is becoming more common, and has two important applications for attic insulation. The first is when cellulose is not practical. Depending on the architecture of your home, cellulose just might not make sense. For example, if you have a vaulted ceiling with no attic above it, cellulose won’t be much use and spray foam is the ideal choice. 

Second, when the maximum insulation value is desired, spray foam is the best choice. As an added benefit, spray foam fills all the little gaps and cracks between your studs stopping airflow issues. This is another advantage over cellulose for some homeowners. 

How Do I Know Which Insulation I Need?

It’s best to contact a professional, and we’re here to help. Insulation professionals, like the ones at Premier Home Solutions, can tell you what the best insulation for your unique situation and budget is. 

At your request we will perform a free home energy audit to determine where your home could use more insulation. We use state of the art methods to look at your home and determine the best way to spend your hard-earned dollars to save you the most money. 

And remember, through increased energy efficiency these improvements often pay for themselves. 

If you think you may need more, or a different type, of insulation in your attic or anywhere else in your home, give us a call today. One of our insulation professionals will give you a free consultation at your earliest convenience. 

Give us a call at 517 742 2424 or click on the chat icon in the lower right corner to learn more.

If you would like us to reach out to you at a time that is convenient please fill out the form below and we will be in touch.

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Energy Star Windows

What Does Energy Star Rated Mean, and What Does it Tell You? 

You may have heard the terms “Energy Star rated” or “Energy Star certified” before, perhaps even right here on our website. But what does it mean, and how can it help you?

Energy Star is a program run and founded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Department of Energy (DOE). This program provides information on the energy consumption of products using standardized methods across industries. 

According to the program: 

“ENERGY STAR® is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers and businesses rely on to make well-informed decisions. Thousands of industrial, commercial, utility, state, and local organizations—including nearly 40% of the Fortune 500®—partner with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deliver cost-saving energy efficiency solutions that protect the climate while improving air quality and protecting public health.”

This means Energy Star is a program that rates different types of products and building materials on their energy efficiency. In addition, Energy Star will also often provide dollar ratings to some products. These ratings indicate what the average consumer might expect to pay over a year of average use. When comparing two different televisions, for example, Energy Star often will provide the average yearly cost of running those two televisions. This allows consumers to make more informed choices.

Established in 1992 as a part of the Clean Air Act, a US law, Energy Star tests products in over 75 categories. According to the organization, Energy Star and it’s partners have reduced energy bills for consumers by more than 450 billion dollars and “an average of 800,000 ENERGY STAR certified products were sold every day in 2019, bringing the total to more than 7 billion products sold since 1992.”

What Does it Mean When My Windows and Doors Are Energy Star Rated?

Energy Star certifies much more than televisions and printers. It also provides ratings for building materials like windows, doors, and insulation. For our purposes here at Premier Home Solutions, we’ll be focusing on our windows and doors. 

All of the windows and doors that PHS sells are manufactured in our facility to the strict mandates of the program. We independently certify them with the government because we want consumers to be certain our products are manufactured to the highest energy efficiency standards available. 

Energy Star Windows are, according to the program: 

  1. “Manufactured by an ENERGY STAR partner”.
  2. “Are independently tested, certified, and verified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC)” 
  3. “Have NFRC ratings that meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).”

You can read more about the verification process here.

What Are The Savings Like for Energy Star Products? 

According to the program consumers that switch to Energy Star windows and doors save an average of 12 percent nationwide on heating and cooling bills. 

This translates into real money. For typical Michigan homes replacing single pane windows, Energy Star certified windows save an average of 366$ dollars a year.

This is a total savings of $3,500 over 1o years. In many cases, switching to Energy Star Rated Windows pay for themselves over time. Plus it will provide the home’s occupants with more comfortable home, not to mention reducing the impact on the environment. 

Factory Pricing On Energy Star Windows and Doors?

While all of this technology and engineering might sound costly, here at PHS we can offer you direct factory pricing. We offer a full line of stylish, extremely efficient, Energy Star certified windows and doors.  Because we manufacture our own windows, we cut out the middleman and pass the savings to our customers.

In addition, we offer products that are stylish and fit any home either contemporary or classic. 

If you’re thinking about switching out your windows for the best windows available on the market today, give us a call at (517)742-2424

Blower Door Test

What is a Blower Door Test?

Perhaps you’ve come across the term “blower door” or “blower door test” on our website or elsewhere during the course of your research on energy efficiency and homes. You understand it’s an important part of the process for testing the energy efficiency of buildings, but what is it exactly, and how does it work? 

How Weathertight is Your Home?

One of the biggest factors for energy efficiency in buildings— if not the single largest factor— is how weathertight your home is. For our purposes this means how much air can get into or escape your home from and to the outside. 

The more air able to enter your home the less weathertight your home is, and consequently, the less energy efficient. This inefficiency adds up to money lost over time for your family due to increased heating and cooling bills, in some cases thousands of dollars.  

Think of your home like a boat in the ocean. If there is a leak in the boat, even if it’s a small one, over time the boat will fill up with water and the sailors will have to expend energy bailing out the ship. 

Your house is the same. Over time, if outside air enters your home slowly but consistently your furnace, boiler, or air conditioner must work harder to keep your home at the temperature you want it. The harder your heating and cooling appliances have to work, the more money it costs you. 

A blower door test is the best tool in our toolbox to gauge how much air is entering and exiting your home, down to square inches. 

The Blower Door Test

At the most basic level, the blower door test uses a large fan attached to an exterior door opening to create an area of low pressure in the home, which then allows us to see where and how much outside air is getting inside. 

In practical terms, during the course of one of our free home energy audits, a technician may place a specialized curtain with a fan attached to a computer over your front or back door. 

By using a fan to blow air from inside the home to outside, pressure drops inside the home. As the universe is constantly trying to even itself out, air from ambient atmospheric pressure on the outside will rush into the house any place it can. 

These are gaps we’re looking for. By walking through the house and using an infrared scope, the technician can then determine where this outside air is getting inside.  

In addition, with a specialized computer attached to the fan, we can also determine exactly how much air is entering the home and can then cross check this with local building codes and national guidelines to see where your house falls on a scale of energy efficiency and if improvement is required. 

In some cases the results are stunning. This test is measured in square inches, so for example a house that is allowing 40 square inches of air into the home— not uncommon— is like having a 10” by 4” inch window open all winter long. 

You wouldn’t keep a window open like this, so why suffer many smaller openings that add up to the exact same thing?  

The Results

The test is 100 percent safe for your home, is in no way dirty or particularly disruptive, and will not cause any marks or scuffs on any place in your house. Our technicians are highly trained, experienced and friendly.  

Once the blower door test is complete, along with the rest of our energy efficiency tests, the technician will show you the results. Based on the results we can make suggestions for areas of improvement and where to spend your home improvement dollars for maximum effectiveness. 

Improvement areas can include things like adding insulation, getting new air-tight and efficient windows and doors, or adding weather sealing like foam and other products. Please see our website for a detailed overview of our offerings. 

Our tests are always 100 percent free, contain no obligations to buy anything, and are no pressure. We perform these tests in the hopes you’ll choose us when it’s time to add efficiency to your home. 

Give us a call today to schedule your free home test and be on your way to saving money through energy efficiency. 

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