H 55° L 50°
Cloudy | 8MPH

Milwaukee/NARI Members Offer Tips for Improved Insulation and Upgraded Appliances - Part 2

July 23, 2013

The Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council, Inc., the area’s leading home improvement and remodeling industry resource for 52 years, offers steps to help reduce a home’s energy costs that also benefit the environment.

Drafty Doors and Windows

Energy dollars can easily escape your house through windows due to warping of wood from moisture and temperature changes. “On drafty windows, use clear plastic and/or weather-strip tape or caulk along the gaps where the glass meets the frame and seal the cracks at the moving sashes,” said Mark Meiling president of ForeSight Home Performance in Wauwatosa. “Cover pulley holes of older double-hung windows with tape or rope caulk. Rope caulk can be placed between and at the upper and lower windows as well,” he added.

There are some simple and inexpensive ways to keep cool air in during the summer and cold air out during the winter. “To reduce air leakage under exterior doors, roll up towels to block the breeze or buy an inexpensive door sweep,” said Meiling. “If the door leaks around the entire frame because it doesn’t sit flat against the door stop, securely fasten aluminum and vinyl bulb or flap weather-stripping to the door stop with the vinyl that presses tight to the door when closed,” he added.

Other low cost measures Meiling identified are sealing leaks at the basement sill plate, around doors and window trim, and gaps in the wall near water pipes. He suggests caulk around windows and doors and added insulation to fill big holes around plumbing fixtures. Inexpensive foam gaskets can be added to electrical outlets for insulation. “Remember, every hole you plug means fewer drafts, a cozier home, and lower heating bills.” Meiling added.

When asked about purchasing new windows, Meiling said, “If you are building a new home, some times it can pay to get high performance windows with sun screens and films. While these windows typically cost more, sometimes the difference can be made up in reduced energy use, as well as the protection they provide for upholstery, wood, and artwork from UV rays,” he added. When shopping for new windows, Meiling suggests you look for the National Fenestration Rating Council label. It means the window's performance is certified.
Roof and Insulation

The low cost measures listed above will reduce energy use a little bit. If you want to save even more money by reducing energy use in a 30 or more year old house, you’ll want to add insulation. But, Meiling cautions, adding insulation can create a wet and moldy attic. “Over the thirty plus years of diagnosing wet attics, homeowners have complained that no amount of energy savings covers the cost of replacing rotted roof decking. And adding attic ventilation does not solve wet attics."

“Our company uses Zonal Pressure Testing with a back-up visual attic crawl through, should target attic pressures not get met,” Meiling said. “The physics of measuring air pressures reliably tells whether the water vapor from the house has been successfully stopped from leaking into the attic.”

Randy Miller, CR, owner of Allrite Home & Remodeling, Inc. in Milwaukee, suggests that before insulation is added, homeowners should have a home energy audit. “The audit utilizes an infrared camera to locate temperature variances to spot gaps where moisture can enter your attic,” said Miller. “Once the audit is done, I suggest looking into organizations that offer rebates for adding insulation,” he added.

According to Miller, homeowners have a variety of insulation types to choose from to make their home’s more energy efficient. “A combination of foam and cellulose blown in insulation works well in attics,” said Miller. “For certain areas of the home, fiber glass works best. As far as recycled materials, manufactures even make insulation from used blue jeans,” he added.

On the roof, there are various additions that can benefit the environment. “Solar reflective shingles look like regular shingles, but can reduce the amount of heat absorbed by the roof and lower the amount of air conditioned needed in the summer,” said Miller. “Another option is to install solar tubes, which allow light to filter from the roof into rooms where there are no windows. This reduces the need for electric lights.”

The Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council was chartered in July 1961, as a Chapter of the National Home Improvement Council. In May of 1982, the National Home Improvement Council merged with the National Remodelers Association to form NARI – the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

The Council’s goals of encouraging ethical conduct, professionalism, and sound business practices in the remodeling industry have led to the remodeling industry’s growth and made NARI a recognized authority in that industry. With over 740 members, the Milwaukee Chapter is the nation’s largest.

For more information or to receive a free copy of an annual membership roster listing all members alphabetically and by category, and the booklet, “Milwaukee/NARI's Remodeling Guide,” call 414- 771-4071 or visit the Council’s website at

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.

Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» Thousands of items on sale at Wauwatosa Public Library in late October 12:33 PM

» Wauwatosa School District to host 'Autism Insights and Strategies' 12:18 PM

» Updated week eight rankings of area prep football teams and players 12:03 PM

» Public invited to name baby giraffe at Milwaukee Co. Zoo 11:28 AM

» Large crowd in Wauwatosa gymnasium discusses coyote attacks, seeks answers Updated:  10/8

» Wauwatosa West girls volleyball team bounces back for victory 10/7

» Wauwatosa East volleyball team wins thriller against Trojans 10/7

» Wauwatosa East soccer team ties second-ranked Cedarburg 10/7

» Wauwatosa West football team blanks Vikings, earns playoff spot 10/7

» Wauwatosa East boys cross country team finished second at the Purgold Invite 10/7

» Wauwatosa East boys volleyball team beats Cedarburg 10/7

» Wauwatosa East, West girls cross-country teams finish third, fourth at Purgold Invitational 10/7

» Wauwatosa West girls tennis finishes second in Woodland Tennis Tournament 10/7

» Public invited to Wauwatosa Village streetscape workshop 10/6

» Bedbugs found in Wauwatosa juvenile court center Updated:  10/6

» Nordstrom Mayfair announces gala, late-night party fundraising events 10/6

» Aurora plans $35 million upgrade to psychiatric hospital in Tosa Updated:  10/2

» Mayfair mall, Susan G. Komen host series of breast cancer events 10/2

» Wauwatosa schools celebrate Walk to School Day on Oct. 7 10/2

» Initial Reaction Podcast: Is Aaron Rodgers really the best QB in football? 10/1

» Wauwatosa West football whips Pius XI in wild scoring affair 9/29

» Tosa West boys split two matches 9/29

» East kickers tie, lose, win during busy week 9/29

» Tosa East girls take third at Bay Invitational 9/29

» East's Potter finishes second at Nikolai Invite 9/29

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss



Hidden Tosa


"Hidden Tosa" is a semi-regular feature where reporters Rory Linnane or Rachel Minske explore the closed down and closed off parts of Wauwatosa.


Local Business Directory