Monday, September 30, 2013

Why bother? Money, health, comfort.

We know most people don’t think insulation is very sexy. Sexy for most homeowners are things like granite countertops and high-end appliances.  In fact, it is not uncommon for people to spend more money on their front door than on the insulation for their entire house.  So why is so little attention given to this important step in the building process?

What if we told you that insulation is the only product in your home that pays you back for installing it? And that it can increase your home’s comfort?

Because insulation is hidden, many homeowners – either when building a new home or buying an existing home  - don’t think about it.

Proper insulation is critical:

  • Insulation saves money on energy bills. According to ENERGY STAR, homeowners can save 20% of their monthly energy cost (10% of their monthly energy bills) by properly insulating and air sealing their homes. We have customers that have seen even greater savings.
  • Insulation results in better indoor air quality. By insulating and sealing air leaks, you are keeping outdoor pollutants out of your home. This can be especially important for families whose members have breathing and health concerns.
  • Insulation increases comfort. Insulating and sealing air leaks keeps your home more comfortable. Period. Tired of feeling a draft in your home while watching your favorite football game? Insulating and air sealing can help.
  • Other financial incentives.  Depending on your project, you may qualify for other financial incentives from FOCUS on Energy or federal income tax credits.

Our motto holds true: “What you don’t see can make all the difference.”

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Only looking up? Insulation is more than attics.

You have decided to do something about increasing the energy efficiency of your home, but how do you know where to start and what makes the most sense?  There are three main areas to think about when improving the energy efficiency of your home.

The attic is the easiest place to start - according to Energy Star 60% of air leaks are through the attic.  If your attic isn’t adequately insulated and air-sealed, you will get the most bang for your buck from starting with this area.

The other two main areas that many people don’t think of right away:

  • Walls. ENERGY STAR estimates that 15% of a home’s energy loss is through exterior walls. Insulation can be added to exterior walls of existing homes through a process called “drill and fill.” A piece of exterior siding is removed and a small hole is drilled in the exterior wall. Then either fiberglass or cellulose insulation is dense-packed into the wall cavity, the hole is sealed, and the siding replaced.
  • Basement Box Sills. It is estimated that 25% of a home’s heat loss is a result of uninsulated box sills. This is the area of the basement where the outside wall of the home meets the joist of the first floor. The thin layer of siding, plywood and foam in this area isn’t enough to prevent energy loss, cold basements and high energy bills. We recommend adding spray foam insulation to box sills to both insulate and air seal this critical area. Added benefit? Your basement won’t be as cold during the winter, meaning added living space for your home!

Have questions about adding insulation to your home? Contact us (or your own local insulation experts) at any time – we are happy to help!