With the expected rise in energy bills again this winter, Johns Manville (JM), a leading manufacturer of an extensive line of energy-efficient building products, has launched a new online energy-efficiency resource center dedicated to empowering homeowners to make informed decisions about the products that can improve their homes' energy efficiency and the health and comfort of their families.JMHomeowner.comserves as a homeowner's guide to improved home-energy efficiency and healthier indoor-living environments through a series of evaluation tools, product details, industry resources and tips for the "do-it-yourself" homeowner.
Whether building a new home, enhancing a home entertainment system, remodeling a room or simply making energy-efficiency upgrades to lower monthly energy bills, consumers can look to JMHomeowner.com for ways to improve the quality of the air they breathe in their home, enhance energy efficiency and impact acoustical performance in their home.
Launched during nationalEnergy Awareness Monthand developed by Johns Manville in partnership with Denver-basedFaction Media, the site serves as the homeowner's guide to the effective use of insulation as one of the most important factors in the energy-efficiency performance of any home. JMHomeowner.com provides resources and tools for homeowners to secure their home's "thermal envelope" by enclosing heated or cooled living spaces to not only maintain the comfort of their home, but also to help lower energy bills.
The U.S. residential sector is the single largest energy consumer in the world, according to the McKinsey Global Institute. JM's recentEnergy Awareness Month Surveyfound that the majority of the U.S. public does not realize the extent to which their homes use energy for heating, cooling, lighting and appliances. One reason why the U.S. residential sector is the single largest energy consumer in the world is because 46 million, or 65 percent of U.S. homes, are currently under-insulated, according to the Harvard University School of Public Health. In addition, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 40 percent of all air leaks in the average home are in the attic.
"Homeowners have significant opportunities to improve the energy efficiency of their homes, usually through simple upgrades such as adding attic insulation or air sealing a home, which pays back immediately in lower energy bills," said Tim Carey, environmental stewardship manager at Johns Manville. "JMHomeowner.com is a great resource for homeowners to get practical advice on how to maximize their home's energy efficiency and lower their home's operating costs. We're excited to launch the new site, and we'll continue to keep it fresh and updated with practical and timely advice that comes from our team of energy-efficiency experts."
Insulation can play a large role in the consistent comfort of a room while also decreasing energy bills by helping heating and cooling systems maintain a constant temperature. Understanding how insulation works and what kind to use can add to a consistently comfortable indoor environment. Superior insulation provides an effective barrier against weather changes outside the house, can minimize cold spots in the winter, and keeps cooling systems from working harder than necessary in the summer.
JM's Energy Awareness Month Survey also found that 84 percent of respondents have never commissioned a home energy audit, an important assessment of their home's energy-efficiency performance. The site's Home Energy Analysis tool is an energy-efficiency calculator that allows homeowners to evaluate their home's energy efficiency through a step-by-step evaluation of their home's specifications. By answering a series of simple questions, the calculator estimates a home's energy performance and provides the homeowner with a report that includes a series of recommendations to increase energy efficiency. Based on the energy performance, the calculator also estimates an approximate percentage of savings that could be realized by making the recommended efficiency upgrades.
"The Home Energy Analysis is a great first step for homeowners to assess their home's energy efficiency and to learn more about where and how improvements can be made," added Joelle Patten, manager of e-business for Johns Manville. "The tool takes into account several factors, including the climate zone in which a home is located, the year it was built, its square footage, the type of windows in the home and the amount of insulation in the attic. It then provides practical recommendations in the form of a hand-out for homeowners to take to the store with them to help them select the appropriate insulation materials."
The Home Energy Analysis tool is part of the JM Toolbox, which also features tools such as asquare footage calculatorfor determining the appropriate quantity of insulation needed for a home and anR-value(resistance to air) estimator to determine the appropriate R-value for insulation in walls and ceilings in a given home. Homeowners can learn more about the best R-values for their home based on climate and placement of the insulation in the home.
As concern about indoor air quality and environmentally friendly building products grows amongst consumers, Johns Manville provides steps to ensure healthy indoor air quality in homes. Homeowners can install Formaldehyde-free(TM) fiber glass building insulation in walls, ceilings and attics or use insulation products with built-in vapor retarders, which further reduce the possibility of mold and mildew growth that can damage the home and present a potential health concern to the home's residents.
JM remains committed to bringing homeowners products that will keep their families healthy and safe with the first complete line ofFormaldehyde-free(TM)fiber glass building insulation. Johns Manville Formaldehyde-free(TM) fiber glass building insulation helps promote better indoor air quality and healthier indoor environments because it's made without formaldehyde, a toxic air contaminant often found indoors at levels in excess of health-based guidelines and recommendations.
Sound can travel from room to room through the air as well as through solid building materials. The easiest way to make homes quieter is to use sound control insulation in the interior walls. Used in conjunction with the caulking of joints and resilient channels for drywall attachment, the sound of televisions, stereos and ventilation systems can be significantly reduced. Johns Manville fiber glass building insulation products have been shown to significantly reduce interior noise levels, lowering the unwanted transmission of sound from one room to the next.
Noise from fans inside furnace or air conditioning equipment can be transferred through air ducts, as well as general noise transfer from room to room and the sounds of sheet metal ducts expanding and contracting due to temperature changes. Because of the sound-absorbing properties inherent in JM fiber glass duct board, it can help reduce the most common kinds of noise in air ducts.
Site visitors can learn more about the added value of insulation and its important role in keeping homes quiet, comfortable, healthy and energy efficient. Homeowners will find a complete guide to choosing the appropriate insulation and installing it properly and safely.
The site provides detailed information about JM's complete line of Formaldehyde-free fiber glass building insulation products, such as Spider(TM), ComfortTherm®, EasyFit®, MR(TM) Faced Batts and ClimatePro®, as well as traditional faced and unfaced batts and rolls. All of JM's fiber glass building insulation products are made without formaldehyde, and products in North America incorporate an average of 25 percent recycled content.
For homeowners interested in hiring an insulation contractor, JMHomeowner.com also provides acontractor locatorto locate a certified contractor and useful tips forselecting a contractorin their area. The site also directs visitors onwhere to buyJM products and information on finding special products such as Durabase(TM) roofing underlayment, Gorilla Wrap® Housewrap and EnviroAire(TM) Fiber Glass Duct Boards.
Homeowners purchasing materials for energy-efficiency home improvements, such as attic insulation, can still take advantage of atax creditavailable through December 31, 2007. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 allows for a tax credit of up to 10 percent of the cost of materials for certain home improvements, such as installing Energy Star-qualified windows and air conditioners, or installing insulation and air sealing products. The tax credit of up to $500 per household was created in response to record high energy prices.