Energy Efficiency

energy-efficient-home-diagramMaking your home more energy-efficient with Western Building Center’s products can help to cut high energy bills and improve comfort. Improving energy efficiency is also the first step for homeowners interested in green remodeling. Western Building Center’s experts can guide you in making your home more efficient — whether you do-it-yourself or hire a local professional.

Check out the Energy Star Program’s interactive Energy Star @ Home program below to learn more! Can’t view Flash? No problem–Energy Star has a text-only version.


Do it Yourself: Greener Living Products:

Featured Products



See more about insulation at our insulation page.

Dow Styrofoam Insulation

Installed in millions of residential and commercial buildings around the world, Dow estimate STYROFOAM™ Brand Insulation products cut energy costs by more than US $10 billion annually.

The total 20 year North American production capacity of Dow insulation products (STYROFOAM™, THERMAX™, GREAT STUFF™ ) when properly installed in buildings could save over 10 trillion pounds of a carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent** during their useful lifetime. This represents a CO2 impact equal to:

  • Planting 5 billion trees
  • Removing 850 million cars from the road for one year.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, energy costs for an average family have increased dramatically since 1998, and home heating and cooling bills are typically the largest monthly payment for families after their mortgage. It’s no wonder, then, that energy is one of the most important issues of our time for homeowners, builders, architects and legislators alike.

BLUE™ Is Better

These thermal images show the effectiveness of continuous exterior insulation. Heat loss shows on a scale from red, the most heat loss, to purple/blue – no heat loss.

 House with oriented strand board (OSB) and R-13 fiberglass batts. A good start, but look at all the thermal shorts.

Home with OSB and R-13 batts, covered with 1/2″ (13 mm) rigid foam insulation.

Think Outside the Stud Cavity

Wood framing and poorly insulated ducts, wiring and plumbing make up over 25 percent of the exterior wall surface area on an average timber-framed home. Since cavity insulation goes between the studs and often around these fixtures, it’s as if an entire side of a square home is left uninsulated.These exposed areas allow heat to escape in cold climates and intrude in warm climates – an energy-draining phenomenon called thermal bridging. Rigid foam insulation – alone or along with batt insulation – is an excellent choice for greatest energy efficiency and moisture control. See the STYROFOAM™ DURAMATE™ below.

Rethinking the 3 Rs

residentIf any of the 3 Rs – repair, remodeling or residing – are in session, about to begin or are in the planning stages, remember these important lessons:

Lesson #1: A repair/remodel project is a great time to spruce up a home’s look and energy efficiency performance at the same time.

Lesson #2: Dow Building Solutions offers an integrated systems approach to home repair/remodel projects – from walls to roofs/ceilings to foundations – that includes enhancing energy efficiency, moisture management and weatherization.

Lesson #3: Improving home energy efficiency is good for the budget and good for the planet.

Insulation, sealant, adhesive and accessory products from Dow add long-term thermal protection, comfort and energy efficiency with less air infiltration and moisture intrusion – for reduced energy use and lower heating and cooling bills. And, even more, an energy-efficient home consumes less fuel and produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

See where insulation fits in the home

See more about insulation at our insulation page.

STYROFOAM™ Brand Square Edge Insulation Extruded Polystyrene

Uses: Subslab Foundation, Roof, Floor, In-wall

dow insulation Styrofoam square edgeSTYROFOAM™ Brand Square Edge Insulation Extruded Polystyrene is a Type IV product with square edges on four sides to help make sure energy efficiency and lower on-site cutting and waste. It offers superior water resistance, long-term thermal performance and high compressive strength in a range of residential and commercial construction applications.

Building Code Compliance

Complies with ASTM C578 Type IV. Meets IBC/IRC requirements for foam plastic insulation. See ESR-2142, BOCA-ES RR 21-02. UL Classified, see Classification Certificate D369. Calif. Std. Reg. # CA T064. Florida Building Code FL 3835.


Uses: Remodeling Wall Sheathing

dow insulation Styrofoam duramate plusSTYROFOAM™ Brand DURAMATE™ Plus Insulation has proprietary extra-tough plastic film on both sides, making it Dow’s strongest extruded polystyrene foam insulated sheathing. The very tough, durable facers help the insulation stand up to the rigors of shipping and reduce damage on the job site. STYROFOAM™ Brand DURAMATE™ Plus Insulation is particularly suitable for residential wall applications where the foam sheathing is fastened to frame walls.

Building Code Compliance

Meets IBC/IRC requirements for foam plastic insulation. See ESR-2142, BOCA-ES RR 21-02, ICBO-ES ER-2257. UL Classified, see Classification Certificate D369. Calif. Std. Reg. # CA T064. Florida Building Code FL 3835.

See our different types of insulation on our Insulation Page.


dow insulation great stuff big_gap_filler_RTGREAT STUFF™ Big Gap Filler Insulating Foam Sealant offers the same benefits as GREAT STUFF™ Gaps & Cracks but fills gaps larger than 1 inch. So it’s great for creating larger weather-tight seals to stop drafts and keep critters out. Plus, like all GREAT STUFF™ products, it’s airtight, paintable, stainable and sand-able. It’s polyurethane-based and perfect for all sorts of materials like wood, drywall, metal, masonry, glass and most plastics.

  • Forms a permanent weather-tight seal to lower drafts and insect infestation
  • Exceptional adhesion to building materials
  • Interior or exterior use
  • Tack free in 6 minutes; Trims in 30 minutes
  • Foam elasticity allows for movement/shifting within a structure
  • Paintable, stainable and sandable
  • Cream colored foam
  • Cures rigid
  • All-direction dispensing
  • UL Classified
  • One 12 oz. can = up to 19 tubes of caulk
  • One 16 oz. can = up to 24 tubes of caulk
  • One 20 oz. can = up to 30 tubes of caulk

Do a Home Air Sealant Audit

See how sealing your home cracks and gaps can save.

Click on the graphic below to view Dow’s interactive home PDF.


FROTH-PAK™ Foam Sealant

FROTH-PAK™ Foam Sealant is a two-component, quick-cure polyurethane foam that fills cavities, penetrations, cracks and expansion joints. FROTH-PAK™ Foam Sealant can also be used as a sealant and void fill in many roofing applications. FROTH-PAK™ is a chemically cured foam, which significantly reduces curing time. FROTH-PAK™ dispenses, expands and becomes tack-free in seconds. It skins over in 30-40 seconds and completely cures in minutes, depending on temperature.

DuPont Tyvek

DuPont’s unique material science prevents air and water coming in but lets water vapor out to keep off rot and mold inside walls.

DuPont™ Tyvek® HomeWrap® is the original house wrap, incorporating unique material science that helps keep air and water out, while letting water vapor escape.

As a result, it can make your building more durable by helping to protect homes against damaging wind and rain that can penetrate the exterior cladding.

Tyvek® HomeWrap® can also cut home energy bills by controlling air flow and water intrusion, which helps insulation work better, allowing the HVAC system to work more efficiently. It’s a house wrap engineered to keep homes cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and dry all year round.

Be sure to check out DuPont’s ThermWrap Insulation for even better insulation results!



DuPont Flashing:

DuPont’s StraightFlash® , FlexWrap NF®  and Flashing Tape®  seal anywhere housewrap can’t reach–around windows and doors, corners, foundations and so on. Complete your home’s sealing with these products.

dupont straightflash


dupont flashing tape

Flashing Tape

dupont flexwrap

FlexWrap® NF

DuPont Building Innovation


How to Install Tyvek®

How to Seal Wall Penetrations with FlexWrap®

Dupont Tyvek® Installation Guide

KB Breathe EZ™ Housewrap

Why BreatheEZ?™

BreatheEZ™ Housewrap is very translucent so both the housewrap installers and exterior siding housewrap installation during construction installers can see the nailing surface.

A high UV rating allows BreatheEZ™ Housewrap to be exposed for up to 9 months. This results in greater flexibility in scheduling window and exterior siding installation. Installed Sales and Sub-Contractors will both benefit from this.

The reduced air infiltration resulting from the use of properly installed BreatheEZ™ Housewrap results in lower energy costs, while the micro-perforations still allow water vapor to escape. The water-resistant properties of BreatheEZ™ Housewrap also make it an ideal drainage plane behind exterior siding products.

BreatheEZ™ Housewrap Brochure

See KB BreatheEZ’s Houswrap Installation Guide

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