HOME DESIGN ELEMENTS MAY INCREASE YOUR UTILITY BILLS

While exposed beams and window walls can add to a home’s overall unique character, these design features may be costing you the homeowner on your utility bill.  These design elements waste energy:
Exposed Beams
Living in a building where there's a half inch thick piece of wood between you and outside comes at a cost to your utility bill and to your comfort as well.  That wood was never meant to see light of day. Heat always wants to travel to where it's cooler so if it's cooler inside your building where you have no insulation between your rafters and the roof, the heat or cold is just going to pass right through.
Exposed Brick 
Exposed brick is really wonderful, but brick is also not a great insulator in and of itself.  You can put your hand up to an exterior wall in the middle of winter and feel cold if it's just a layer of brick.  Consider this:  building codes today call for insulation levels of R-19 (the R-value refers to a material's thermal resistance) or higher on exterior walls, according to the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association.  Even in a house that's three bricks thick we're lucky if we're at R-3.  It's no wonder that inside that brick room it doesn't feel much different from the outside!

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