If you want to choose a renovation project that will benefit you now and later, you might look deeper than the surface of your home. Homeowners more frequently think of the rooms they could add, the square footage they could utilize, the modern appliances they could purchase. However, things like updated plumbing, electricity, and insulation could also be beneficial, though their uses will be less tangible.
Replacing old insulation or installing some where there was none before can be a highly cost and energy efficient decision. As energy prices go up with the cost of gas and oil, homeowners are continually shelling more money out each month for utilities. That's where insulation comes in. It doesn't matter whether your climate is hot or cold, arid or humid, insulation will come in handy as it keeps you cooler during the summer and warmer during the winter.
Insulation is more than just the padding in your walls. It's also your windows, doors, vents, and weather stripping. The U.S. Department of Energy has reported, "Tradition windows contribute as much as 1- percent of the total air escaping from a typical home, while improperly sealed doors can contribute 11 percent."
Don't just leave insulation decisions up to your contractor. He may not be versed in the highest quality or most efficient varieties on the market. Do your research online, visit home improvement stores, talk to experts to find out what the best insulation for your budget might be. For instance, spray foam insulation is a modern insulation solution. The Green Living section of the Milwaukee, WI Journal Sentinel reported, Spray foam insulation combats against air leakage and works well in all type of homes across the country, regardless of the climate." They also said, "Spray foam insulation both air seals and insulates to keep allergens and irritants at bay and eliminates air leakage to keep the conditioned air inside without the HVAC system working overtime to compensate." Another benefit of spray foam is that it lasts as long as the home does without needing replaced or repaired, unless the actual home structure is compromised. Experts in the field report significant reduction to utility bills, as much as 50 percent when a home goes from absolutely no insulation to complete coverage by spray foam.
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What are the engineering and design challenges in creating successful IoT devices? These devices are usually small, resource-constrained electronics designed to sense, collect, send, and/or interpret data. Some of the devices need to be smart enough to act upon data in real time, 24/7. Are the design challenges the same as with embedded systems, but with a little developer- and IT-skills added in? What do engineers need to know? Rick Merritt talks with two experts about the tools and best options for designing IoT devices in 2016. Specifically the guests will discuss sensors, security, and lessons from IoT deployments.