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Insulation, Signs You Need to Add More – Worcester, Boston

Joseph Coupal - Monday, September 16, 2013

The average family spends more than $1000 annually on heating and cooling costs. That’s nearly half a home's total energy bill. Unfortunately, a large portion of those expenses are wasted due to poor home insulation.

Getting your home ready for winter and stop the energy waste cycle by taking a closer look at your home insulation. As one of the fastest and most cost-efficient ways to reduce energy waste and lower bills, insulation traps warm air inside a home’s walls to regulate a home’s temperature. But how do you know if your home is properly insulated?

There are telltale signs that can alert any homeowner that it’s time to add to or replace their home insulation -- before the temperature plunges and the energy bill rises.

Homeowner should run through the following checklist to determine whether their home has adequate insulation:

Vintage home:
Prior to consistent building codes, most homes built before 1980 were not insulated. If your home has no materials trapping heat, energy conservation is an uphill battle. Walls, ceilings and floors are the most important areas to add insulation for an immediate, positive impact on a home’s energy usage and bills.

Non-stop furnace: Does your furnace seem to run non-stop in the winter? Adequate insulation leads to less maintenance on your heating system, as it lasts longer, runs less and will require less maintenance for long-term cost savings.

Temperature inconsistency: If you feel cold spots coming from the walls or attic, or one room of your home is drafty and another one warm, you may need to beef up your insulation. The fireplace, walls and attic are prime spots for drafts. Look for insulation that can fit snugly in rafters and other tight areas.

Roof hot spots: If your shingles are exposed after a recent snowfall, chances are these “hot spots” are indicative of warm air escaping. Check your attic for adequate insulation. If you can easily see your floor joists, you should add more.

Mold Growth: Mold in the corners of ceilings could mean your current insulation slumps and holds moisture. If this occurs, it’s time to replace your insulation with one that does not store or transfer moisture and is completely resistant to mold, mildew, rot and bacterial growth.

For more information about properly insulating your home contact Custom Insulation.

Don’t let cool weather take you by surprise. With proper insulation, you can improve the comfort of your home significantly and enjoy energy savings.

Scoop San Diego

Save Money with More Insulation - Worcester, Boston

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, September 03, 2013

When you’re using energy you don’t have to use, you’re wasting money. Or if the air you are heating is heading outside, you are also wasting money.

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), a typical home’s air leakage can account to up to 40% of the energy used for heating and cooling. That translates to a loss of up to 40 cents on every dollar spent heating or cooling the average home.

Homeowners looking to put that money back in their pockets will find that sealing air leaks can significantly reduce energy bills and also make their home more comfortable.

Many air leaks in homes are obvious, such as around windows, doors and electrical outlets. But others like those in attics, around chimneys, crawlspaces and through recessed lighting fixtures, which are often the more significant sources of energy loss in a home, can be more challenging to detect.

Many builders and remodelers recommend a “whole-house” assessment before homeowners start sealing air leaks for energy efficiency. Some contractors can use special diagnostic tools to help pinpoint your home’s actual leakage and make recommendations for sealing the building envelope and ducts, adding insulation if needed.

Along with saving money, an overall growing sensitivity to the environment has added to the momentum behind energy efficiency and helped bring sustainability concerns to the forefront such as the use of renewable building materials and the use of recycled products including insulation made from recycled materials in home building and remodeling, water conservation and reuse, indoor air quality and healthy homes, and even renewable energy sources.

Recent history shows that consumers will choose “green” options or greener homes as long as they are convenient and affordable – especially once they clearly understand the long-term benefits from both a financial and environmental perspective. More and more, we are seeing how simple actions can make a big difference.

For more information on making your home more green with added insulation, contact Custom Insulation.

Adding Insulation can Save Money - Worcester

Joseph Coupal - Monday, August 26, 2013

Does your home need more insulation? Unless your home was constructed with special attention to energy efficiency, adding insulation will probably reduce your utility bills. Many of the existing homes in the US were not insulated to the levels that are used today. On top of this, older homes are likely to use more energy than newer homes, leading to higher heating and air-conditioning bills.
Where and How Much
Adding insulation where you already have some insulation, such as in an attic, will save energy. You can save even greater amounts of energy if you install insulation into places in your home that have never been insulated. Some of the building spaces that should be insulated might include an un-insulated floor over a garage or crawlspace, or a wall that separates a room from the attic.
Unless your home in Worcester and surrounding towns was specially constructed for energy efficiency, you can probably reduce your energy bills by adding more insulation. In fact, many older homes have less insulation than newly built homes.  But adding insulation to a newer home can pay for itself.

For more information on if you could save money by adding insulation to your home, contact Custom Insulation.

Excerpts - DOE

Reduce Home Energy Costs - Worcester, MA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Are you trying to figure out how to save money on home energy costs? Before the winter begins in Worcester, make energy efficient changes to your home. There are many things that you can do.

Consider your windows, doors, insulation, heating and cooling equipment and appliances. All of these things can make a big difference to your home energy costs, and boost your home value at the same time.

Install low-flow showerheads and faucets: Modern faucets use 40% less water. Replacing faucets with models that have a flow rate of less than 2.5 gallons per minute can cut your water usage for showers in half.

Switch to fluorescent light bulbs or light-emitting diodes: They cost a little more, but you can save $50 over the life of just one bulb.  Energy efficient bulbs use about 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last at least six times longer. They also produce about 75% less heat, so it's safer to operate and can cut energy costs associated with home cooling.

Buy ENERGY STAR appliances: The average homeowner annually spends about $2,000 on energy bills, according to ENERGY STAR. Change to appliances that have earned the ENERGY STAR rating, and you can save hundreds of dollars a year in energy costs.

Seal and insulate: Sealing and adding insulation to the shell of your home - its outer walls, ceiling, windows, doors, and floors - is often the most cost effective way to improve energy efficiency and comfort. Adding insulation to your home keeps the warm, heated air in your home and keeps the cold air out of your home. The extra four inches of insulation in the walls, along with the airtight windows, eliminates drafts in the house.

Consider getting rid of the old appliances. Refrigerators built before 1993 can use two to three times more energy than newer models.

For more information on adding insulation to your home to reduce energy costs, contact Custom Insulation.

Excerpts – Leader Telegram

Insulation in Older Homes - Worcerster, Boston

Joseph Coupal - Monday, March 11, 2013

In the older homes around Worcester and Boston, many people wonder where to spend home rehabilitation money. Insulation is a great place to spend money if you want to save money.

The best place for insulation is in the attic floor, not in the walls. Also, if there's a drop stair or a door to the attic, make sure it's insulated and sealed too.

Once that's done, the attic should be properly ventilated. Insulation lets the attic stay near the outside temperature  in the wintertime. The ventilation and insulation let the attic space stay near the outside temperature of the summertime too.

If a historic house needs attic insulation, have a contractor put 1 to 2 inches of expanded foam sheeting down over the old floor, then put half-inch plywood flooring on it and use long screws to join the sandwich to the old attic floor.  The attic itself is then separated from the building envelope.

Around the sills, between floor joists, is another place where it's essential to insulate.  Batt insulation placed there with the shiny metal facing the inside of the basement also act as firebreaks, preventing a fire in the basement of an older balloon-framed house from spreading due to the chimney effect of the tall empty spaces between the studs.

For more information on adding insulation to older or historic homes, contact Custom Insulation.


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