Earth Day is on April 22. Are you ready? Earth Day is all about increasing awareness, and doing things that will make a positive impact on the environment. Several green home improvement projects can do just that now, and for years to come as well. Below are a few examples of how our favorite products double as green home improvements for Earth Day:

Change your HVAC system’s filter

Homeowners often forget this important task. Clean air filters make your HVAC system more efficient, reduce your energy bills, and help to extend the life of your system. Not only should you change the filter on Earth Day, you should plan on changing it at least every three months. This is one of the easiest and cheapest green DIY projects you can do.

Install Energy Efficient Exterior Doors

Therma-Tru doors feature triple pane insulation and solid foam cores, resulting in dramatic energy efficiency improvements. With less heat or cool air escaping your home, your HVAC system won’t have to run as long or as often and your energy bills will go down. Therma-Tru is an Energy Star Partner.

Install HardiePlank Siding

HardiePlank siding is manufactured using environmentally friendly practices such as its Zero to Landfill program and locally sourced raw materials. In addition, HardiePlank siding reduces the need to repaint the siding every few years, resulting in an extended paint cycle and less paint used over the lifetime of your home. Plus, with its 30-year warranty, HardiePlank siding is built to last. It resists flames, moisture, and pests.

Install Energy-Efficient Windows

Did you know that by upgrading single paned windows to Energy Star windows you can save up about $266 per year? That’s according to Energy Star, and the annual savings add up. How is this a green improvement? Again, it comes down to reducing your energy consumption. You can get even greater energy efficiency gains by choosing insulated windows, which typically include low E/argon gas in between the panes.

Install an EnergyWise Radiant Shield

How does saving 25 percent off of your energy bills each month sound? Sounds like a great way to celebrate Earth Day! Installing an EnergyWise Radiant Shield works in winter and summer, reflecting heat back into your home in the winter and deflecting it out of the home in the summer. As a result, you’ll waste less energy heating and cooling your home.

Any of these green home improvement projects would be kind to the environment — and kind to your monthly household budget thanks to lower energy bills.

In theory, DIY home improvement projects sound great: do it yourself and save a lot of money. In reality, you could be making a costly mistake by doing some projects yourself. Below are a few pitfalls to look out for as a homeowner interested in DIY home improvement projects:

Biting off more than you can chew

It’s not unusual for a small project to become a much larger one. For example, you might attempt to install a garden window in your kitchen only to realize that the exterior siding will need to be fixed afterward. Then, as you replace the damaged siding, you realize the new and the old don’t match and you’re faced with a huge DIY siding job you hadn’t planned on. Licensed contractors can anticipate problems like this before quoting the project, and typically have strategies that contain the scope of the project.

Choosing the wrong materials for the task at hand

Your local big box hardware store with its large selection of materials can be overwhelming. It’s easy to buy on impulse or on price, both of which don’t necessarily take more important considerations into mind such as energy efficiency, durability, or resale value. Licensed contractors can recommend the most appropriate materials for your home, style preferences, and resale value.

Installation mistakes

Unless you’re an experienced craftsperson, you’ll likely make a few installation mistakes. Some may be cosmetic and others functional. Meanwhile, some DIY mistakes can be downright dangerous if not fatal. Perhaps you can live with a poorly hung interior door, but you could get seriously injured should you fall from the roof while fixing the roofing or installing rain gutters. Either way, are you willing to take these risks or re-do the work? Instead of hiring a licensed contractor to fix your mistakes, consider avoiding mistakes in the first place by starting with a licensed contractor.

Failure to comply with various regulations

As a homeowner, you probably don’t know about every possible regulation affecting residential home improvement projects. No one expects you to — unless you decide to tackle one of these projects. You may be responsible for pulling permits or ensuring that newly installed windows comply with fire safety regulations. Licensed contractors are well aware of local, state, and federal building codes and regulations affecting residential home improvements.

Each of these pitfalls, and many others, can be avoided by working with a licensed contractor for major renovation projects like window and door upgrades, roofing, and home siding repair.

Winter’s chill means more than just adding an extra layer of clothing and throwing another log on the fire. Your home requires some winter preparation as well. As winter’s chill sets in, prepare your home to stop those avoidable emergencies from happening this season. A few quick upgrades and easy preventative measures around the house can result in fewer problems and less stress during the long and cold winter.

Check Your Windows

Even when your heater is working properly, you might notice that your home feels chilly and poorly insulated windows are often the culprit. Letting cold air seep into your home counteracts the reason you even use your heater, causing it to run around the clock which racks up your energy bills. Upgrading your windows is a smart investment. Not only does it increase the value of your home and decrease your monthly heating bill in the winter, but it’ll also keep the hot air out during the summer, saving you money then as well.

Upgrade Your Door

Likewise, an aging or builder-grade front door might not be able to withstand winter’s chill, which invites cold air to slowly creep into your home. If you think your door is letting that cold air in, it’s time to buy a new front door. New doors, combined with brand new weather stripping can stop almost all outside air from entering the home. Just like new windows, upgraded front doors will save you money year-round with your heating and cooling bills, and bring a great return on investment.

Protect Your Pipes

Frozen pipes spell disaster for any homeowner. When those pipes inevitably burst, your home is powerless to stopping significant water damage. Preventing frozen pipes during the winter is essential and so incredibly easy. When temperatures plummet, wrap accessible pipes in extra towels or blankets to give them an extra layer of protection against the frigid air. On especially chilly nights, don’t forget to leave your faucets slowly dripping overnight to keep water running through the pipes, reducing the risk of freezing.

Keep Your Pets and Plants Safe

If winter’s temperatures are too cold for you, they’re definitely too cold for your pet. Bring your pets inside during the winter, and make sure they’re in a warm room with plenty of water. Remember, an unheated garage might shield your pet from snow and ice, but the temperature could reach dangerous lows for your furry friend. Likewise, bring hanging and potted plants indoors during sub-freezing temperatures, and cover ground plants with even more towels and sheets to protect them from the cold, frost and ice.

Now that 2016 is here and off to a fast start, people are settling in to their New Year’s Resolutions. Maybe you resolved to lose weight, or quit smoking. Or maybe you’d like to learn a new hobby. But maybe your New Year’s Resolutions should be to update and modernize your home. Even if your home is relatively new, there are still changes to make that could save you time or money in 2016. And if you’re thinking about selling your home in the near future, these improvements are often a wise investment and can increase the resale value of your home. Here are four resolutions for your home that can bring it up to date! Read more

Summertime in Texas is infamous for being scorching hot.  So much so, that even the shortest walk outside during the summer in Texas can leave you breaking a sweat.  At the end of each hot day, you eagerly make your way home, in anticipation of being refreshed by cool air the moment you open the door. It seems as though you are beating the heat, but then your electricity bill comes – and needless to say, you feel a bit cheated by the heat.

Here are six ways to beat the Texas heat without breaking your bank this summer.

  1. Switch to energy efficient blinds. Blinds that work to fend off heat and block sunlight are your best bet during scorching hot summer.
  2. Invest in energy efficient windows, such as the Simonton Generations windows offered by Allied Siding and Windows. To see a demonstration of how the Simonton Generations windows keep out the heat, check out this video from Great Day Houston. Using Allied’s easy payment plan, you can get new windows for $5 per month per window.
  3. Switch your ceiling fan to spin counterclockwise. Fans spinning counterclockwise produce a heavier breeze, allowing you to stay cool in hotter months.
  4. Change your sheets to cotton. Fabrics made from natural materials, such as cotton, are the most breathable and help to absorb and disperse perspiration throughout the night, as opposed to synthetic fabrics which do not allow ventilation.
  5. Change your ac filter. This simple fix is often overlooked.  Changing your AC filter in preparation for the summer heat can help AC units more efficiently pump out cool air.
  6. Install a radiant barrier in your attic, such as the Energy Wise Radiant Shield offered by Allied Siding and Windows. Allied even guarantees this product will lower your energy bill by 25% year round.

Radiant ShieldThe idea of using radiant barriers to stop the sun’s heat from entering through the top of the house has been around for more than fifty years. These radiant barriers have become quite popular recently with the green-building movement and they have been certified in recent years as energy-efficient home additions by the Environmental Protection Agency. Radiant barriers are typically made of thin sheets of aluminum, which is a highly reflective metal that serves as a springboard for solar radiation to jump right back into the atmosphere. The aluminum is supported by materials such as craft paper, sheathing plywood, cardboard, mylar webbing, or fiber.

Radiant barriers can be either one or two-sided, and both styles definitely improve a home’s insulation. Homeowners looking for high quality radiant barrier insulation materials will want to use a well-known brand with a very low emissivity rating (the ability to distribute heat and light internally) and a high reflectivity rating (the ability to push back solar radiation as it hits the barrier).

Radiant barrier insulation helps to save home energy costs typically by preventing the descending transfer of solar heat from the roof of a house down to the ceiling, through the walls, and finally to the floors. Other forms of insulation, such as fiberglass batts and air-bubble foam insulation insulate the house by absorbing excess heat from the outside. Radiant barrier insulation acts like a shield, deflecting the burning rays of sunlight from hitting the home and penetrating it. Radiant barriers work best when installed in the uppermost part of the house, reflecting as much as 97% of all solar radiation trying to push into the house. Installing radiant barriers in the outside walls of the house will also help deflect incoming heat caused by solar radiation.

In the southern “sunbelt” states and in tropical countries around the Equator, homeowners who choose to install radiant barrier insulation often experience an impressive reduction in their electricity bills. Radiant barriers may reduce up to 40% of the entire flow of heat into the house, thus reducing stress on your cooling system. With less heat coming in, less energy will be needed to operate the air-conditioning units. Since less energy is used, homeowners experience a substantial savings on energy expenses.

It is certainly easy to understand why radiant barriers are fast becoming preferences in homebuilding, and it is not only because of the safe and environment-friendly energy cost savings; Radiant barrier insulation is lightweight, yet durable, and resistant to moisture, thus preventing mold and mildew from growing in the walls and attic space.

EnergyWise Radiant Shield™ uses the “radiant barrier” technology originally developed by NASA. The cross-woven polyethylene materials, along with an aluminum layer, are used to create a radiant barrier and vapor retarder in residential, commercial, and agricultural buildings. Radiant Shield™ is specifically engineered to include vapor-retarding properties that help reduce condensation that can lead to corrosion and deterioration of metal siding and roofing materials.

Allied Siding and Windows uses only top name industry-leading products, including EnergyWise Radiant Shield™ radiant barrier insulation. If you are looking to reduce your energy costs in a safe and eco-friendly way, call Allied Siding and Windows today at 713-946-3697 for additional information. The professional staff at Allied Siding and Windows uses only high quality products, along with very stringent production practices, to ensure satisfaction for every client. You will be pleased with their top-notch service and their results.

Call Allied Siding & Windows Today!

HOUSTON
(713) 946-3697

AUSTIN
(512) 674-3464

DALLAS
(972) 888-9988

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

During the holiday season more than ever,
our thoughts turn gratefully to those
who have made our success possible.

It is in this spirit that we say,
simply but sincerely…
Thank you and Best Wishes
for the Holiday Season

May your day and that of your loved ones
be filled with joy and happiness!

From your friends at Allied Siding and Windows

HOUSTON
(713) 946-3697

AUSTIN
(512) 674-3464

DALLAS
(972) 888-9988