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The importance of comfort in energy efficiency 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

An emerging trend in the energy efficiency industry is a greater consideration of human comfort, reported Elizabeth Mayes of the Alliance to Save Energy. Obviously cutting costs is an important goal for improving home energy use, but an equally important goal is to help residents live comfortably.

When many people think of energy efficiency, they may think of turning the heat down and shivering in a sweater. The reality is that organizations dedicated to developing energy efficient technologies are equally dedicated to improving residents' lives.

Designers are taking greater consideration of residents' comfort at the front end, and keeping this in mind when evaluating a builder's performance, noted Brandon Tinianov, Vice President of View. Dave Oberholzer, Vice President at Weatherbug, stated that customers have described his company's thermostats as the "most comfortable," in addition to being energy-efficient.

The industry should be presenting these energy solutions as comfortable ones, wrote Lloyd Alter of Treehugger. Telling residents they will save money is great, but Alter believes professionals should express the improved air quality and overall comfort these green designs offer. He explained, "Tell them that they will be more comfortable, they will breathe better air and will stay comfy when the power goes out, and it resonates." Alter presented the Passive House and Well Standard concepts as examples of green building that focus on residents' comfort. 

At Mercury Excelum, our experts know that energy efficiency is as much about comfortable, healthy living than it is about saving money. That's why we sell quality products that improve your home inside and out. Contact us to learn more about our dedication to helping make homes comfortable and energy-efficient homes. 

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Sparwood, BC builder makes home energy efficiency a top priority 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Sparwood, British Columbia's Jason Szykulski is a builder who has gained a reputation for building energy efficient houses, reported Leah Scheitel of The Free Press. His company, Tailor Built Solutions, provides clients with homes that save them money on their energy bills while remaining comfortable all year long. 

Szykulski feels so strongly about his mission that he's living in one of his energy efficient houses, which he started building in July 2014 and completed in March 2015. He's currently building a home for his latest client, which should be completed in early 2016. His client chose Szykulski because of his energy efficient values. 

Building codes can change, so Szykulski attends regular seminars to learn new styles and stay up to date with new codes. Keeping up to date helps Szykulski learn new technologies and methods for improving energy efficiency at home. 

In addition to new construction, there are many ways older homes can be upgraded to improve energy efficiency. Wooden window frames can warp over time, but vinyl replacement windows can up installed to keep a strong seal for many years. Vinyl and polymer siding can be added to virtually any surface for a strong seal that keeps heat from escaping while long-lasting durability.

Mercury Excelum has been providing the New England region with replacement windows, vinyl siding and other exterior building products since 1953. Our high-quality exterior products offer beauty, comfort and energy efficiency all year long. Contact us to learn more about how we can help make homes more efficient and livable.

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Add value to your home by going green 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Installing replacement windows, a modern heating system, proper ventilation and vinyl siding to improve your home's energy efficiency will help you save money, but will it help you sell it for more? A recent study by the Institute for Market Transformation and the D.C. Department of Energy and Environment shows that yes, it's more likely that buyers will pay a premium for energy efficient homes.

Kenneth Harney of the Washington Post reports that the study compared sales figures for "high performance" energy conserving homes and similar houses without green improvements and found that the green homes were sold at higher prices. These homes were similar in style and location, so the green improvements were the only major difference. The average premium these green houses sold for was 3.46 percent, but the differences ranged from $10,343 to $53,000. Some premiums were as high as 7.7 percent. The demand for green housing continues to grow, either in new construction or retrofitting. 

Harney added that "previous research studies on green price premiums in California and the Pacific Northwest have shown that high-performance houses and solar arrays command more at resale." In some cases, installing solar panels can even net homeowners Solar Renewable Energy Credits, which can serve as an additional income for a few years. 

Mercury Excelum products such as replacement windows, vinyl siding and exterior doors can help a home reach "high performance" status, improving its energy efficiency, comfort and resale value. We've been helping New England contractors and homeowners upgrade their homes since 1953. Contact us for a brochure on all of our high-quality products. 

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Demand for replacement windows growing 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

A combination of last year's brutal winter and the recovering economy has led to an increase in replacement window orders in New England, reported Steve Maas of The Boston Globe. Last year, contractors were overwhelmed by the sudden increase in orders, and had a difficult time making it to clients' homes thanks to the blocked roads. They made it a priority once the snow finally melted. 

Recovery
With home values rising and the economy bouncing back from recession, homeowners are spending more on upgrades. Mass adds, "the demand comes as the construction industry is still recovering from the Great Recession, which forced many firms to lay off workers and some to go out of business". One contractor indicated a 15 percent increase in the number of customers referred over previous years. Another said that last year was his best in 20 years of business, with a 28 percent increase in replacement window orders compared to 2014.

Incentives
With another winter upon them, New England residents are making sure their homes are prepared to save energy and keep them warm this winter. Homeowners are also taking advantage of zero-interest loans available through the Mass Save Heat Loan Program, which provides financing for home energy efficiency upgrades.

At Mercury Excelum, our high-quality replacement windows are enjoyed for their beauty and energy efficiency. We provide a wide range of window types, including bays, casements, rounds, half-rounds and many others. We've been supplying New England contractors with dependable replacement windows for improved comfort and energy efficiency since 1953. Contact us for a catalog of our high-quality products. 

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Vinyl siding improves curb appeal and protects its structure 

Friday, January 1, 2016

The siding of your home is usually the first thing people see. Vinyl siding keeps a home looking new for many years, with minimal work. In addition to presentation, vinyl siding can benefit the inside of the home as well. Frank Pacella of WKBW Buffalo reported on the many benefits that vinyl siding brings to a home. 

Maintenance
Vinyl siding's rugged materials will keep it looking new with minimal maintenance for years. There's no need for painting ever, and it doesn't require all the treatments that other materials would need. It's one of the most durable and long-lasting exterior building products available. 

Protection
Houses with vinyl siding are more secure from the elements. The siding creates a seal around the house, which protects against drafts to help save money and keep you comfortable. It also keeps insects out, and it will never rot like wood. Vinyl window frames keep drafts out while wooden frames warp and allow leaks over time. 

Appearance
In addition to its toughness, vinyl siding is also beautiful. It's a versatile product that works with any style of home, and the variety of colors allows you to customize it to fit your home. Vinyl window frames can also match your home's exterior decor. Since the material is so easy to maintain, your home will look good as new for many years. 

Mercury Excelum has been providing the New England region with beautiful, functional vinyl siding and other exterior building products since 1953. Contact us to learn more about how we can help make homes more efficient and livable.

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