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Let’s Talk Energy Efficiency: Not the Buzzword but the Brass Tacks

What does energy efficiency mean? How does it help? Why does it matter when remodeling your home?

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), energy efficiency delivers a number of benefits, including a reduction in both direct and indirect emissions. Lowering emissions helps us meet energy demand with lower energy use, which is beneficial in the fight against Global Warming. It’s closely related to and impacted by material efficiency, which relates to production chains, lifetime expectancies or the value of the product, and recycling. You can learn details on how this helps in the fight against Global Warming here.

What does this have to do with remodeling your home’s exterior?

• Lower energy needs (and lower bills)
• A lower carbon footprint
• A contribution to material efficiency when choosing companies that work sustainably

I asked one of our in-house experts Kasey Feijo how she saw Marshall contributing to energy efficiency, and here is what she had to say:

“Everyone knows replacing windows and doors can make the biggest impact on energy bills. These openings are beautiful but older windows are most certainly letting in drafts and in some cases moisture. Replacing with new energy efficient products will minimize the air exchange. There’s even a tax credit right now on windows and doors to get up to $1200 back from replacements.”

In addition, proper roofing ventilation, installation, and insulation save home owners money. In New England, this means less heat retention in the summer  reducing output needed to cool a home. While in the harsher months, roofs that are fortified against ice dams and that have barrier protection against leaks in vulnerable areas keep repair needs and costs down, while maintaining the full life expectancy of the shingle.

According to Kasey, “Marshall also saves resources on multi-service projects.” This lends to material efficiency as noted above. “For example,” she tells me, “we reduce the need for dumpsters during a project by pairing installation dates together. This saves a significant amount of gas for the heavy drop off and pick up of these disposal units. We schedule other things similarly, like material drops, hardware stops, and crew arrivals. These details also save our homeowners money because we’re being efficient with accessory materials and with our cost of business.”

“When it comes to siding materials, the low-maintenance options are eco-friendly because reapplication has its own carbon footprint. When considering a wood shingle, think about the needs of repainting, power washing, staging or cranes, waste like paint cans and brushes, the energy expenditure and emissions add up. If, in the lifespan of the product, the output to maintain it requires more than the output to create the maintenance-free option, how do you evaluate which is more efficient?”

Fiber cement siding is also an eco-friendly choice because it’s made of natural materials like limestone and clay. Composite and Vinyl are less so, in the sense of their makeup, but still, as Kasey noted, the durability and lifetime of these options, do help lower an owner’s carbon footprint by minimizing the services needed to maintain them.

With an insulated home, it’s estimated homeowners can save north of 20% on annual energy bills.

As far as the company’s operations go, Marshall is doing its part to minimize their day-to-day output too. “Marshall puts a lot of care into each project,” Kasey reported, “and we try to be thoughtful in our processes to minimize stress and waste while maximizing quality and longevity. We’re a forty-year old company who has embraced the digital world. Our proposals/contracts are digital. We’ve revamped our production process to save thousands of folders and papers per year. We offer several products from local manufacturers. It’s the little things that add up. We do our best to be conscious of that aspect of things and we’re always looking for ways we can improve.”

If you’re interested in learning more about the ways Marshall contributes to the local community, check out their Marshall Cares page here.

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