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Save Money on Home Heating – Worcester, Boston

Joseph Coupal - Monday, November 18, 2013

The cold weather is here, the nights are much colder than they were just a few weeks ago. As you get your home ready for the cold weather, you can also be sure to reduce your home's energy consumption and save on heating bills along the way.

The following tips can make your home more energy efficient and help you get the most from your home heating dollars.

Check your attic insulation. If you don’t have enough insulation in the attic, your heat (and your money) is literally going through the roof. You should have at least 7 inches of the currently recommended minimum R-value, but you could opt for up to R-50 for better protection against energy loss.

Seal ductwork. Making sure your ducts are sealed will prevent heated air from leaking out as it makes its way from the furnace to the rooms in your home.

Save on heating water. Cover your water storage tank with an insulated blanket and lower the thermostat setting by 10 or 20 degrees to reduce your water heater’s energy consumption. Wrap any exposed hot water piping with inexpensive foam pipe insulation. If your storage tank unit is getting older, replace it with an on-demand heater, and you can save the cost of keeping gallons of hot water ready and waiting.

Stop air leaks. You’ll increase your home heating savings when you prevent cold air from entering and warm air from escaping. Easy ways to do this include adding weatherstripping around exterior doors, caulking around windows, and closing your fireplace damper and/or installing a chimney balloon. Be sure to check for air leaks wherever heated and unheated spaces meet, such as the garage and attic.

For information on home insulation, contact Custom Insulation.

The Courier

Adding Insulation Keeps Your Home Warmer – Worcester, Boston

Joseph Coupal - Monday, November 04, 2013

If your heating system runs constantly or your home is drafty in the winter or hot in the summer, you might have a weatherization problem. Insulating your home and replacing your windows is a worthy consideration. It's an investment upfront, but it's a proven long-term strategy for lowering your heating and cooling costs while improving your home's comfort.

State energy codes set minimum levels of insulation for new homes and remodeled homes. The insulation requirements are based on the cost-effective savings for the region over the life of the home with a specified level of insulation. And those codes have changed over time.

Exactly how much insulation your home needs depends on the cost of the fuel you use to heat it. An economic rule-of-thumb is — the less you pay for heating fuel, the less insulation you need to install.

Homes built during the 1960s and 1970s had little insulation. During those decades, heating fuel was cheap and neither builders nor homeowners could justify investing in insulation. But times have changed. Heating and cooling costs have increased and continue to rise. So today, builders and homeowners alike believe investing in insulation for the long term pays off.

Today, new homes must have R-38 insulation in ceilings (15 to 18 inches of blown-in insulation) and R-30 insulation in the crawl space or basement under floors (a 10-inch thickness). Some new homes are also built to the Energy Star standard, making them more energy efficient all around.

Depending on the construction of your home, its age and how much weatherproofing work previous owners have done, the amount of insulation you need to reach these R-ratings will vary. By measuring what's installed in your attic and under the floor or in the basement ceiling, you may find you simply need to add enough to bring your home up to an R-rating that makes sense for your home's heating system.

For more information on increasing the insulation in your home, contact Custom Insulation.

The Columbian

Insulate Wall Cavities and Crawl Spaces for a Warmer Home – Boston, Worcester

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Too many homes have cavity walls - which means there's a gap in the middle of exterior walls - and filling them with insulation can make your home more energy efficient. This means reduced heating costs, and you'll be making your house 'greener' in the process.

Finding out if your home has cavity walls isn't hard. In general, houses built after 1920 do, and those built before don't. However, you can't tell by the house's age alone.

Look at the brickwork - if the bricks are all long (whole) ones, then the walls have a cavity in the middle, but if the bricks are both long and short ones, there's no cavity because the short ones go through the wall.

Adding wall cavity insulation will produce significant savings on your home heating bills. But the walls need to be in good condition and not exposed to driving rain, and the cavity must be at least 5cm deep.

Homes less than 10 years old should already have cavity wall insulation. If you're not sure about yours, contact an insulation specialist.

Keep in mind this is not a DIY job. A insulation specialist should add the insulation. They'll do this by making small holes in the external walls, blowing insulation material into the walls and then filling the holes. As long as all the external walls are accessible, the job should only take a few hours, depending on the size of your house.

Insulating homes with solid exterior walls (usually brick or stone) is more expensive, but the savings are greater.

For more information on adding insulation to wall cavities and crawl spaces, contact Custom Insulation.

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