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Basement Insulation: Why It Matters and Installation Methods

When thinking about insulation, the attic is the first area of a home that comes to mind. Many homeowners never think of the energy lost through an uninsulated or under-insulated basement.

Basements are a major source of energy loss. Basement box sills, located around the perimeter of the basement ceiling where the walls of the home meet the foundation, are the thinnest points in a home’s exterior, allowing outside air to leak into the basement.

Basements are constructed from concrete which easily transfers cold, damp air from the surrounding earth into your basement. This creates a cold basement and the cold air can also affect the temperature of your home’s first floor.

Basements can be successfully insulated with rolled fiberglass insulation with an attached vapor barrier. This product is often (and appropriately) called basement roll. Basement roll is taped to the top of the concrete walls near the box sills and covers the entire concrete wall. If a basement is partially above grade, areas surrounding the windows are insulated with fiberglass batt insulation and covered with drywall. As a final step, box sills are insulated with fiberglass batts or spray foam.

Increase the comfort of your home’s living space with basement insulation.

Contact our office to learn more and schedule your free estimate.

 

Why Insulate Your Crawl Space?

Controlling the moisture in your crawl space is a priority for keeping it dry. Improper drainage can lead to more significant problems including structural damage, infiltration of pests and mold.

Moisture control begins around the exterior of your home and many problems can be avoided here early on. Installing gutters is fairly inexpensive compared to the benefits. Gutters direct the rain water away from your foundation and your crawl space. If you are unable to install gutters, hire a professional to grade the ground around your home so water flows away from the structure.

After external issues have been handled, closely inspect the inside of your crawl space. Dirt floor crawl spaces are a great place for pests to live. This direct exposure to the earth creates moisture that can lead to mold and affect the structure of your home’s foundation.

Insulating and sealing your crawl space can protect your home’s structure and make your interior more comfortable. Our team will insulate the walls of your crawl space with 2-1/2 inch Thermax board or line the floor and walls with basement roll (fiberglass insulation with FSK backing). Following this step, box sills are insulated and with spray foam.

Take care of your crawl space issues now before they create a larger problem with your foundation or your health.

Contact us if you have crawl space issues or questions.

 

 

 

Spring Cleaning? Check Your Attic Insulation!

If you are eager for spring and already in the middle of house projects, there is one task to add to your list: checking your attic. Most attics get little attention. It is important to inspect your attic regularly, especially after a hard winter. Spring is the best time for this activity because any winter weather damage will be easy to spot.

Checking and updating your attic insulation now will ensure your home is protected from summer heat and ready for next winter’s cold temps. Although it’s important for all areas of your home to be insulated, your attic is particularly important; and it’s also an easy place to check. The majority of energy waste occurs through your home’s attic if it’s not properly insulated.

Correctly insulating your attic space will help keep heat where it belongs – in your living space. If your attic has inadequate insulation, blown-in fiberglass can be added on top of existing insulation to create a complete thermal blanket.

Proper ventilation is also an important part of attic insulation and an effective fiberglass insulation attic system. Attic ventilation helps facilitate proper airflow through the attic space. This allows the entire attic system to work effectively, prevents moisture build-up and lets the insulation to do its job.

When inspecting your attic, be sure to check the roof deck for any water damage. This could appear as wet areas on the roof deck or dark areas that have been stained by water.

Now is the time to check and upgrade your attic! Contact our office to schedule your insulation consultation today!

 

The Benefits of Basement Box Sill Insulation

Basement box sills and rim joists are a major source of energy loss. They are located around the perimeter of the basement ceiling where the walls of the home meet the foundation. These areas are some of the thinnest points in a home’s exterior and allow outside air to easily leak into the basement.

Unconditioned outside air enters the home through these areas. They are also convenient entrance points for pests. Spiders, bugs and other creatures can find their way into your home through penetration points left behind around HVAC, electrical and plumbing access points next to the basement ceiling.

Insulating basement box sills and rim joists with spray foam adds R-value and seals air leaks in one step. Hiring a qualified, insured and experienced spray foam contractor will ensure your basement box sills and rim joists are properly insulated and air sealed.

Insulating and air sealing your rim joists and box sills will make your basement (and entire home) more comfortable, reduce pest infestation and help lower your energy bills. Contact us to schedule your free estimate!

 

Two Home Improvements to Increase Energy Efficiency

Because your home is one contained unit, each system directly impacts another system. Your home can be more efficient and more comfortable by taking a whole-house approach to energy efficiency than by looking at systems individually. If you are interested in increasing your home’s energy efficiency, invest in these two home improvement projects – your home’s insulation and your HVAC system.

HVAC SYSTEM

If your heating and cooling system is more than 10 years old, consider replacing it with a new, more efficient model. According to ENERGY STAR, when installed correctly, high efficiency heating and cooling units can save you up to 10% on your annual utility bills. Take this upgrade one step further by installing a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat can save you up to $180 per year on heating and cooling costs when managed properly.

INSULATION

Upgrading your home’s insulation will further reduce your energy bills by keeping conditioned air inside your home. Adding attic insulation creates a thermal barrier to help prevent warm air from escaping during the winter and hot outside air from entering during the summer.

Take your home’s insulation one step further by sealing air leaks. This further prevents conditioned air from escaping around penetration points in your home’s perimeter. If you’re building a new home, consider sealing air leaks before installing insulation.

Controlling the air that enters and exits your home and conditioning it with efficient equipment are two key steps to increase your home’s efficiency. By addressing both improvements you’ll see greater energy savings and enjoy a more comfortable home. Contact us today to schedule an insulation estimate.

 

 

Five Fall Steps to Kick the Winter Chill

Winter temperatures are not far ahead of us! Even though it may be hard to think about winter weather, now is the time to prepare. Getting your home ready for winter weather now will ease the pain of high energy bills and eliminate the headaches that can arise when trying to tackle home projects once the temperature changes. Here are five things you can do now to get ready for cold temps:

Replace Your Thermostat
The popularity of smart thermostats is growing. These thermostats adjust your home’s temperature based on when you are in your home and your overall home use. These automatic adjustments can decrease heating costs. One estimate from smart thermostat developer Nest states the investment in a smart thermostat can pay for itself over time based on an average 30% reduction in energy bills.

Air Seal Your Attic
Your home has a natural updraft that draws inside air up and out through the attic. Penetration points in your attic floor allow conditioned air to easily escape. Sealing attic penetration points such as light fixtures and chimneys keeps conditioned air inside your home, maintains your home’s comfort and reduces wear and tear on your HVAC system. Take air sealing one step further by sealing leaks around electrical outlets, windows, plumbing penetrations and other areas around your home’s envelope.

Add Insulation
Add insulation after sealing attic air leaks. Increasing the insulation level in your attic is a cost effective way to save money on energy bills. Insulation provides a thermal layer that helps keep energy inside your home.

Reverse Ceiling Fans
Changing the direction of your ceiling fans creates an upward draft and redistributes warm air. This is one of the easiest ways to make your home more comfortable during winter and can often be overlooked.

Check Your Heating System
Your home’s heating system will work more efficiently and have a longer life if it’s regularly serviced. Having your furnace serviced now can reduce the risk of a system breakdown during the peak heating season.

Our team can help get your home prepared for winter! Ready to upgrade your insulation and seal air leaks? Contact our office to schedule a free estimate!

Three Reasons to Insulate Your Attic

When you think of upgrading your home’s insulation, your attic may be the first space that comes to mind. Do you really know why it matters? Here are three reasons to upgrade your attic insulation:

  1. Heating and cooling costs can account for 50-70 percent of the energy used in an average home. Taking steps to improve your home’s energy efficiency keeps your energy bills low and reduces wear and tear on your HVAC system.
  2. Air naturally moves upward through your house. Adding insulation helps prevent costly warm or cool air from leaving your home.
  3. Insulation creates a thermal blanket that helps maintain your home’s internal temperature. This means your HVAC system will work less to maintain your home’s interior temperature.

Adding insulation to your attic is one of the most cost effective ways to save money on your energy bills each month. Wondering if your home could benefit from additional attic insulation? Contact us for a free estimate.

Three Crawl Space Problems that Insulation Can Help

Crawl spaces are not considered to be an important part of a home. Oftentimes, crawl spaces are overlooked and attention is given to other areas of the home. Crawl spaces can create problems for your entire home and for your family. Here are a few of the potential problems:

MOISTURE DAMAGE
Drainage and plumbing issues can create significant problems in a crawl space. Moisture damage in crawl spaces may go unnoticed and lead to many other problems. Insulating your crawl space and ensuring proper drainage around your home can help reduce moisture and its associated problems.

PESTS
Crawl spaces are the perfect environment for pests because they are attracted to damp spaces. If your heating ducts leak into your crawl space, this provides warmth during cold months. In addition, wet or damp wood framing provides an excellent food source for termites and other destructive insects. Insulating your crawl space can minimize these factors.

HIGHER ENERGY BILLS
If this is not enough to motivate you to insulate your crawl space, consider the impact on your energy bills. An uninsulated crawl space can lead to cold floors in the winter, uneven temperatures between rooms and high heating and cooling bills.

Insulating your crawl space is a huge opportunity to save energy! You can reduce drafts, eliminate cold floors, keep your home comfortable and save money on your energy bill each month. By insulating your crawl space you are investing in your home, protecting your family’s health and saving money on your energy bills. What are you waiting for? Contact us to schedule your free estimate!

 

It’s Summer! Time to Think About Insulation!

If you see sky-high summer energy costs, we have a lesson for you about home insulation. Insulation isn’t something to think about only during the winter. Your home uses energy year round, whether you’re heating or cooling. Energy loss can occur just as easily during the summer when you’re running your air conditioning system.

To keep energy inside your home, the thermal envelope needs to be conditioned. This is done by ensuring your home’s wall and attic insulation is at the proper R-value and by sealing air leaks. Air leaks carry heated or cooled air away from your targeted area. An air leak as small as your thumb can allow an enormous amount of conditioned air to escape. Sealing air leaks prevents conditioned inside air from escaping and hot, humid outside air from entering.

How do you know if your home needs an energy upgrade?

  • The age of your home can be a factor. Homes built before the mid-1950s have little or no insulation.
  • Pay attention to how often your air conditioning system runs. If the system has been checked and is working properly, your home can benefit from air sealing and upgraded insulation.
  • If your home has hot or cold spots, air may be leaking in from the outside. Air sealing can help.

For a more comprehensive analysis, consider a home energy audit. A home energy audit is like getting a physical for your home. An auditor checks your entire home for energy loss – everything from insulation to duct work, and your HVAC system, water heater and more.

Schedule a free estimate with our experienced insulation team to review your home for energy improvements. Contact our office today with questions or to schedule an estimate.