Sustainable Building

Flagstaff Renovations and Additions: Energy-Efficiency Updates

HOME REMODELING for EFFICIENCY and LIVABILITY

Many residential remodeling projects offer an opportunity to improve the efficiency and livability of an existing space, as well as creating additional space and updated looks.  A well insulated, energy efficient room is a comfortable one that feels better and costs less to heat and cool.  Here in Flagstaff, many of these efficiency standards are also a requirement, due to the impact efficient windows and building methods have on your long-term energy use.  Anywhere we see an opportunity to improve upon the efficiency of your home, you can count on us to make recommendations that will bring value and comfort to your space.

FOAM INSULATION

We are impressed with what foam can do for your home.  When you think of “spray-foam,” we hope you don’t think of plastic and harmful or toxic chemicals.  Today’s foam is made of all natural soy and is completely green, and actually much cleaner than traditional insulation.  Spray foam applications fill in all of the tiny gaps and holes in your walls, around electrical fixtures and in tough attic spaces.  Ask us about it!

WINDOW INSTALLATION

Window upgrades are one of the most important investments in your home remodeling budget and one of the most important selections for energy efficiency. Window selection will include a basic understanding of a few terms used for efficiency ratings.

U-Factor

U-factor is the value of heat transfer (the lower the number, the better the materials is regarding the insulation factor)  the formula is complicated, but recently the international energy code insulation requirements were adopted in Northern Arizona.  Some areas in the valley still sell very leaky poorly insulated windows.  Our county is ahead of the curve, and yes it did raise the price of new construction.
– All windows need to be Low-E, with a .35 U-factor (wood and vinyl windows)
– Wood and Metal window frames, sliding doors, need a U-factor of .45 max.
– Skylights are a .60 max U-factor

Most windows and glazing sold here in Northern Arizona now meet this requirement, but if someone chooses to purchase cheaper windows in the valley and install them in their Flagstaff home, they won’t meet this code.  Homeowners can do it, but we don’t know of any contractors who do, particularly if they don’t meet code.  Our inspectors ask us to keep the window stickers on all new glazing until the final inspection  (just to keep everyone honest).