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Home Insulation 101

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Home Insulation is a crucial element for all new home or new home additions and for green building projects. Insulation is also imperative in Massachusetts to keep your home warm in winter and cool in the summer. Proper home insulation is imperative in keep home heating and cooling bills low.

Insulation blocks heat transfer, and in some cases, sound transfer.

The R-value is used to measure the insulation's resistance to heat flow. Therefore, the higher the R-value, the better the insulation is at blocking heat transfer.

Insulation can improve a home's energy efficiency by either keeping heat in or out, depending on the season.

For the best in energy efficiency in any season, the Department of Energy recommends insulating attic spaces, ducts in unconditioned spaces, cathedral ceilings, exterior walls, floors above unheated garages, and foundations.

To improve the energy efficiency in your home, or if you are building a new home or home addition, contact Custom Insulation.

Raise the Resale Value of your Home with Insulation

Joseph Coupal - Monday, January 23, 2012

What features in a new house will affect its resale value? The curb appeal and the new kitchen surely will. But, as the cost of heating and cooling continues to rise, your home’s insulation and the quality of that installation could be a compelling factor.

Insulation slows the passage of heat through your walls and roof and so reducing the amount of energy needed for heating and cooling. In winter the insulation helps to keep the heat from seeping out; in summer it keeps the heat out.

Blown-in cellulose insulation has a high recycled content, and relatively little energy is used in its manufacture. Blown in insulation is the top choice of many builders for standard wood-frame home construction.

Fiberglass batt insulation is more widely used than cellulose to insulate walls, but it must be installed correctly. When it is not, the insulation is seriously compromised. The problem lies in the fact that fiberglass batts must be carefully cut to fit tightly around plumbing pipes, wiring, boxes for outlets and light switches, and any other irregularity in the outside wall. When there are gaps, heat passes easily through the wall. This is why it is best to have batt insulation installed by insulation professionals.

There is also a less common type of fiberglass called spray foam insulation because it completely fills the space between the wood studs, leaving no gaps. It contains about 25% recycled material and costs less than batt insulation.

Your home has more winter heat loss through your roof than through your walls, and you’ll need more insulation in your attic area under the roof than in the exterior walls below. The extra insulation will also cover summer heat gain, it is not uncommon to have summer temperatures in an attic exceed 140 to 150 degrees F. Because it’s faster to install blown-in type insulation into an attic cavity, most home builders use it.
 
For information on what type of insulation will be best to increase the value of your home, contact Custom Insulation.

Original Article - Washington Post

Prevent Ice Dams

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, December 01, 2011

Ice dams are a result of too much heat loss from your home. Did you or someone you know struggle with ice dams last winter? Don’t go through this winter what you went through last year; there is an easy fix, to prevent ice dams, really.

Proper insulation and roof ventilation can stop ice dams from forming, prevent damage and lower energy bills. Ice dams form when melted snow refreezes at the roof edges. They look pretty on the neighbor’s house, but how do you stop them?

Three things are constant in ice dam formation: snow, heat to melt the snow and cold which refreezes the melted snow into ice. Ice dams can form with any amount of snowfall, even just 1 or 2 inches, if the roof is poorly insulated, and the snow is followed by days of freezing temperatures. It is true that deeper snow and cold temperatures increase the likelihood and size of ice dams. As snow on the upper part of the roof melts the water runs down the roof under the snow and refreezes into ice at the roof’s edge creating an ice dam. Additional melted snow pools against the dam and eventually leaks into your house through the roof or trim.

The snow melts along the top of the roof, and not at the bottom of the roof because of heat loss from your living space. The top of the roof is right above where you live. Poorly insulated homes lose heat out of the top of the roof, thus causing the snow to melt.

The solution: insulate your home to prevent heat loss. Insulation stops the flow of heat from the house to the roof keeping your roof cold. Houses in Massachusetts should have ceiling insulation of at least R-38, about 12 inches of blanket insulation or cellulose insulation. Contact Custom Insulation Specialties for information on how to more properly insulate  your existing home.




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