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Quick energy fixes or upgrades for new house?

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  • marzolian
    Ever since I was a little kid, studying science in school, I have wondered why people in hot climates have dark roofs. I realize it s more complex than that
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 12, 2009
      Ever since I was a little kid, studying science in school, I have wondered why people in hot climates have dark roofs. I realize it's more complex than that (physics, black body radiation, reflectivity ....) Anyway, I have just moved to a new house and was wondering what I might do to make it more efficient, at low cost. It was built about 7 years ago, has R-30 insulation in the ceiling (supposedly), and double-pane windows. The home inspector said that it's all in good condition.

      But I'm wondering about a few things. Any comments and pointers are welcome:

      1. White roof. Our roof is in fine shape, but I wonder if painting it white would (a) save much energy and (b) still look good. They do it on commercial buildings and save lots of money.

      2. Radiant barrier on the underside of the roof. I saw a presentatation about that years ago, it made sense. Is it cost-effective here?

      3. Saving rainwater - instead of letting it run in the street, use it to water the lawn on dry days. Need a few fittings to the gutters. Where can I find more information?

      4. Any other cheap quick fixes?

      Steven
    • justin@gulfcoastrenewableresources.com
      Steven, You raise a good question about shingled roofs. I have researched it a little bit, and there are paints you can use on asphalt shingles. Here s the
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 12, 2009
        Steven,
         
        You raise a good question about shingled roofs. I have researched it a little bit, and there are paints you can use on asphalt shingles. Here's the catch...simply painting your roof white, won't do much. There is a reflectance value that you will need to ensure good reflectivity...I'd recommend anything over 90%. Painting an existing roof could also void your warranty, so be sure to check on this before making any decision. Another draw back is making sure you don't seal the laps of the shingles. Your roof decking needs breathability, so if you do paint it be sure you roll or spray with a downward motion. 
         
        Radiant barrier is an excellent, cost effective means of keeping your attic cooler and reflecting radiant heat back where it came from.
         
        Rainwater harvesting is an excellent idea. Check out the Texas Manual on Rainwater Harvesting. It is a wonderful resource and can tell you anything you need to know about it. http://www.twdb.state.tx.us/publications/reports/RainwaterHarvestingManual_3rdedition.pdf
         
        Good luck!
         
        Justin Owens
        Gulf Coast Renewable Resources
        (409)766-0208
        www.GulfCoastRenewableResources.com
         
         
         
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: marzolian
        Sent: Thursday, November 12, 2009 12:41 PM
        Subject: [hreg] Quick energy fixes or upgrades for new house?

         

        Ever since I was a little kid, studying science in school, I have wondered why people in hot climates have dark roofs. I realize it's more complex than that (physics, black body radiation, reflectivity ....) Anyway, I have just moved to a new house and was wondering what I might do to make it more efficient, at low cost. It was built about 7 years ago, has R-30 insulation in the ceiling (supposedly) , and double-pane windows. The home inspector said that it's all in good condition.

        But I'm wondering about a few things. Any comments and pointers are welcome:

        1. White roof. Our roof is in fine shape, but I wonder if painting it white would (a) save much energy and (b) still look good. They do it on commercial buildings and save lots of money.

        2. Radiant barrier on the underside of the roof. I saw a presentatation about that years ago, it made sense. Is it cost-effective here?

        3. Saving rainwater - instead of letting it run in the street, use it to water the lawn on dry days. Need a few fittings to the gutters. Where can I find more information?

        4. Any other cheap quick fixes?

        Steven

      • Stephanie Edwards-Musa
        I know a handful of people that when they put up a radiant barrier it actually increased their electric bill so I would talk to a pro about that. Cheapest
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 12, 2009
          I know a handful of people that when they put up a radiant barrier it actually increased their electric bill so I would talk to a pro about that.
           
          Cheapest thing to do is call FreeLightingCorp.com and they will come out to re-weatherstip your doors, perform a blower door test, re caulk your windows, replace lightbulbs, etc. FREE of charge to you.
           
          State mandated program that is not income restricted.  If you are in the Houston area, Centerpoint gets the bill.

          Stephanie Edwards-Musa
          Realtor, Certified EcoBroker
          Mobile:  281-635-9444
          Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors
          www.TurningHoustonGreen.com
          Steph@...


          On Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 12:41 PM, marzolian <marzolian@...> wrote:
           

          Ever since I was a little kid, studying science in school, I have wondered why people in hot climates have dark roofs. I realize it's more complex than that (physics, black body radiation, reflectivity ....) Anyway, I have just moved to a new house and was wondering what I might do to make it more efficient, at low cost. It was built about 7 years ago, has R-30 insulation in the ceiling (supposedly), and double-pane windows. The home inspector said that it's all in good condition.

          But I'm wondering about a few things. Any comments and pointers are welcome:

          1. White roof. Our roof is in fine shape, but I wonder if painting it white would (a) save much energy and (b) still look good. They do it on commercial buildings and save lots of money.

          2. Radiant barrier on the underside of the roof. I saw a presentatation about that years ago, it made sense. Is it cost-effective here?

          3. Saving rainwater - instead of letting it run in the street, use it to water the lawn on dry days. Need a few fittings to the gutters. Where can I find more information?

          4. Any other cheap quick fixes?

          Steven


        • Barbara and Mike McGinity
          We also harvest rain water. We have never put in any extra fittings or gutters, we just brought barrels and placed them where the most run off from the roof
          Message 4 of 4 , Nov 12, 2009
            We also harvest rain water.  We have never put in any extra fittings or gutters, we just brought barrels and placed them where the most run off from the roof is. 

            We bought some from different sites on the internet, and I this past summer I bought a 200 gallon from a place in the hill country, plus I bought one off Craigs List that is 60 gallons.  Added to the two we have, we harvest close to 400 gallons.  You can put rain barrels and Texas in a search engine and come up with different items.

            Barbara McGinity

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "marzolian" <marzolian@...>
            To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Thursday, November 12, 2009 12:41:54 PM GMT -06:00 US/Canada Central
            Subject: [hreg] Quick energy fixes or upgrades for new house?

             

            Ever since I was a little kid, studying science in school, I have wondered why people in hot climates have dark roofs. I realize it's more complex than that (physics, black body radiation, reflectivity ....) Anyway, I have just moved to a new house and was wondering what I might do to make it more efficient, at low cost. It was built about 7 years ago, has R-30 insulation in the ceiling (supposedly), and double-pane windows. The home inspector said that it's all in good condition.

            But I'm wondering about a few things. Any comments and pointers are welcome:

            1. White roof. Our roof is in fine shape, but I wonder if painting it white would (a) save much energy and (b) still look good. They do it on commercial buildings and save lots of money.

            2. Radiant barrier on the underside of the roof. I saw a presentatation about that years ago, it made sense. Is it cost-effective here?

            3. Saving rainwater - instead of letting it run in the street, use it to water the lawn on dry days. Need a few fittings to the gutters. Where can I find more information?

            4. Any other cheap quick fixes?

            Steven

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