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Blown-in Insulation Prevents Heated Indoor Air from Escaping through the Ceiling and Warming the Roof Sheathing - Boston, Worcester, MA

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, March 05, 2015

During this past snowy winter in Massachusetts, many homes were plagued by ice dams. In order to prevent these ice dams in the future from developing and accumulating on your roof, adequate air sealing and accurate blown-in insulation in Worcester, MA must be done.

Ice dams form when the heated indoor air finds its way to escape through the ceiling thereby warming the roof sheathing and melting the underside of the snow layer found on the exposed surface of the roof. The plummeting and fluctuating temperatures of winter then cause the water that trickles down the roof to freeze. After a while, the ice deposit gets thicker and thicker until it forms an ice dam that can damage the integrity of your roof, siding and your entire home resulting in costly and time-consuming repairs.

If your house suffers from wet ceilings as a result of ice dams, you should call for a custom insulation specialist who understands the causes of ice dams and the effective ways to prevent them from worsening. Hiring an expert can guarantee that air leaks between the warm interior and the attic ceiling are sealed and the ventilation between the top of the insulation and the roof sheathing is improved. They will also determine if adding blown-in cellulose insulation is required or if there is a need to install a rubberized membrane under the roofing.

To find out the right solutions to prevent ice dams in the future, contact Custom Insulation Company, Inc.

Add Insulation and Keep Warm this Winter – Worcester, Boston

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, October 22, 2013

If you're warm to the idea of keeping your house comfy, but cool to the thought of wasting energy dollars, check your home insulation.

Like just about anything else, insulation can deteriorate over time, becoming less efficient at retaining your home's cold air in summer and warm air in winter.

Highly-rated insulation experts told the consumer research team at Angie’s List that two-thirds of U.S. homes are insufficiently insulated. Meanwhile, properly insulating and weather-stripping your home can cut 10% to 20% off your annual energy bills.

Signs of insufficient or ineffective insulation include difficulty keeping your upper floor heated or cooled, or if ice dams form along the roofline. But even if you're not experiencing these problems, it's still a good idea to periodically check your insulation.

Our team recommends that you start in the attic. Insulation blanketing the attic floors prevents heat from escaping as it rises to the attic through the thermal flow process. In general, experts tell our team, if you can see the attic floor joists, you don't have enough insulation.

While it's usually easy for most homeowners to check attic insulation, other areas of the home can be difficult to assess, such as insulation tucked inside walls. In such a case, consider hiring a professional energy auditor, who can use infrared technology to find gaps in insulation.

If a service provider suggests that you add insulation, be sure to ask for a recommended R-value, which indicates the insulating power of a particular product. The higher the R-value, the more powerful the insulation. For most attics, Energy Star - a voluntary energy-savings program of the U.S. government - recommends an R-value of 38, which is about 12 to 15 inches of padding. An R-value of 49 may be recommended for areas with a colder climate.

Do some homework before hiring a company to install insulation:

  • Ask friends, family and neighbors for recommendations, and check reviews on a trusted online site.
  • Get multiple bids. The cost to install insulation throughout an entire house can be several thousand dollars.
  • Ask for and check references, as well as proof of insurance and any required licensing. Check also if the company or its employees are certified by or affiliated with such organizations as the Insulation Contractors Association of America or National Insulation Association.

A federal tax credit for insulation is available through the end of this year. You can receive a tax credit of 10% of the cost of the product, but not installation, up to $500. Other products, such as weather-stripping, may also be eligible for the credit if the product comes with a Manufacturer's Certification Statement.

Weather-stripping is another way to reduce your home's energy costs. It involves applying an adhesive pad or foam along the edges of windows and doors. Pros who offer winterization services can add weather-stripping, but it's also an easy do-it-yourself project.

For more information on  adding home insulation, contact Custom Insulation.

Angie Hicks -

How Much Heat Is Leaking Out of Your Home? – Worcester, Boston

Joseph Coupal - Monday, October 07, 2013

We know we are a home insulation company, but it is important to understand all of the ways your home could be losing heat and wasting energy other than insufficient insulation.
Here are some fun facts to consider as the cold weather approaches.
Guess the answers to all three questions correctly, or even close, and you’ll know that at least you’re not going uninformed into the heating season.

How much of the air leakage in your home can come from small openings: leaks in doors, windows, fireplaces?

Up to 35% percent, or roughly a third.

How much can you save on your energy bill by lowering your thermostat by a single degree when the heat’s on?

3% percent.

What’s the average annual energy expenditure per person in the U.S.?


That’s all according to the U.S. Department of Energy, But informed doesn’t necessarily mean prepared, and taking a quiz online doesn’t mean your house is ready for cold weather. Here are some additional tips for meeting fall and winter weather:

  • Check window seals, and weatherstrip or caulk anywhere the air can get in or where windows are loose.
  • Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans. Clockwise rotation means the warm air near your ceilings gets pushed down into your living spaces. This is particularly important for homes with very high ceilings.
  • If you’re not using your fireplace/chimney, keep your damper closed. Leaving it open is equivalent to leaving a window wide open.
  • Reinsulate the attic. This keeps heat where it should be – where you live – and not where it shouldn’t. in your attic. A too-warm attic can melt the snow and ice on your roof only to have it refreeze in a gutter, which can push water under your eaves and onto your walls.

And don’t forget these outdoor chores:

  • Cut down or prune back branches that have grown out and over your roof before they break and crack off, or blow about in downslope winds, scraping the roof.
  • Add mulch! Organic mulch breaks down and compacts over time, losing its weed-fighting and weather-insulating capabilities. Even gravel mulch can get scattered around.
  • Set a time to clean gutters after the last leaves fall – or even sooner if think they may be clogged.
  • Don’t forget the annual sprinkler-system blowout. If you don’t have an appointment for this, get one now.
  • Finally: Change your furnace filter and get that monster checked out by a pro. Then check the batteries in your smoke detectors.

For information on saving on energy costs and in reinsulating your home, contact Custom Insulation.

Adding Insulation Makes Cooling Your Home Easier - Worcester

Joseph Coupal - Friday, June 21, 2013

We all know the summer months can be tough when you are struggling to keep the house cool. In order to keep your home comfortable in the summer, you need to keep the hot air out and the cool air in. The key to cooling efficiency is to make sure your home is sealed. Typically in homes, there is about 30% air leakage in the house through the duct system and the roof.  This means hot air from the attic and from outdoors is leaking into the living spaces through electric plug sockets, recessed light fixtures, and the like. It also means that cool air is leaking out of your home through the attic and roof. Heating and cooling can use up to 40% of household energy use. Energy prices are set to hit ever-higher levels, so the more efficient your home is, the more attractive it looks and the easier it is to pay the bills in the summer (and winter).

Being aware of your carbon footprint is important too. To keep your house cool in an eco-friendly way follow these steps:

  • Add insulation. Dense insulation, such as foam or blown cellulose, helps keep your home safe from the harsh summer heat. Insulation keeps cool winter in your home and it keeps the hot air out of your home.  Attic insulation protects air from leaking into and out of air ducts as well.
  • Seal any air leaks around electrical sockets, doors, and windows.
  • Increase ventilation by keeping hot air out, and cool air in. On hot days, keep your doors, windows, and shades closed until it’s cooler outside.
  • Having a fan won’t cool the room, but it will circulate air, but only use fans when you are in the room.
  • Provide your house with shade.
  • Install reflective film, sunscreen-fabric curtains, or roller shades for your windows

For more information on better or new home insulation, contact Custom Insulation.

Excerpts -

Icicles? You Need Attic Insulation

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The weekend’s storm brought loads of snow. That snow has resulted in some very beautiful icicles hanging from homes all over Worcester. Who knew that something as pretty as icicles is actually quite telling of issues within your home.
If you have icicles hanging from the roof, then you need better attic insulation. Icicles also means that an ice dam may be forming on the roof. Ice forms when snow melts higher up on the roof then refreezes as it reaches the eave.

The snow on your roof melts as a result of heat loss. You are losing heat through your attic because of poor insulation. You need to stop the heat from you living area from entering your attic. Adding more attic insulation over the ceiling will help greatly. Additionally, you will dramatically reduce your home heating bills.

If you have icicles on your roof, contact Custom Insulation.

Adding Attic Insulation Saves Energy

Joseph Coupal - Saturday, January 12, 2013

Now that winter is in full swing, you may be tired of paying high energy bills. By installing additional attic insulation you can keep winter heating bills and summer cooling bills down.

Generally, the recommendations for insulation are:

Attic ---------------------------R 38
Wall ---------------------------R 13
Floor --------------------------R 25, Over Unheated Space
Crawl Space Wall -----------R 25
Basement Wall Interior -----R 11

These insulation levels balance the cost of insulating and the return in energy savings.

There are two types of additional insulation that can be installed in your attic: fiberglass batts (blanket insulation) or blown-in insulation, either cellulose or fiberglass.

Blanket insulation or batts gives you a slightly better R value per inch.
Remember the better you home is insulated, the lower your heating bills. Adding insulation will pay for itself through energy savings.

For more information, contact Custom Insulation.

Bob Vila Says, "Insulate the Attic"

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, December 27, 2012

With many professionals forecasting this winter to be colder than last year, homeowners are going to be feeling it when the time comes to pay the utility bills.

When the temperature drops outside, many homeowners rush to increase the temperature inside, which can push energy bills way up. But there are steps you can take that can help you stay warm and toasty during the cold winter months without raising your heating costs.

“There’s a lot of little things you can do to increase the heating efficiency,” says home improvement expert Bob Vila. He has some expert tips to keep your heating bills low and your home warm and safe.

But, his Heating Tip No.3 is to Insulate the Attic
Adding insulation is a project that can save money by preventing warm air from escaping, according to Vila. Experts recommend having at least 12 inches of insulation in your attic.

Blanket insulation without paper is the best money you can spend—you’ll get your money back pretty quick, adds Lipford. “During the summer, it keeps hot air from influencing the cold air and in the winter, prevents hot air from escaping.”

For information on improving your home’s insulation, contact Custom Insulation.

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