What is a windbreak?

A windbreak is a row or group of trees, shrubs, or structural elements (e.g. fences) that are used to block and direct the wind. Vegetative windbreaks are used in agriculture to prevent wind erosion or damage to field crops. For homeowners, windbreaks can be used to block harsh winter winds around housing. By planting windbreaks, homeowners can realize a savings in heating bills. The U.S. Department of Energy has more information about Landscape Windbreaks for your home.

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Do I need to insulate and weatherstrip the attic access door?

Yes, if the attic access door is within the living space and can open directly into the attic. Whether in a hot or cold climate, the access door should be treated just like an outside entrance door; it must be insulated and weatherstripped.

During cold and windy weather, heat loss and air leakage through uninsulated and non-weatherstripped ceiling openings is a major source of energy loss (resulting in higher heating costs). During the heat and humidity of the summer, where …

What does the acronym SIR mean?

SIR refers to “Savings to Investment Ratio.” It is basically a calculation of whether a modification to a home will pay for itself in energy savings.  SIR is a most often used by the U.S. Department of Energy Weatherization Assistance program to determine the cost effectiveness and energy savings of applying weatherization measures (e.g. adding additional insulation to the attic).

It is the ratio of the savings generated by the weatherization project to the cost of the project. SIR is …