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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.

Proper Insulation Makes your Home Comfortable While you Save Money

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, April 03, 2012

In your home wall colors, floor coverings and furnishings often change over time. Routine maintenance is also necessary. If your home was built before 1980, when it comes to the comfort and value of your home, insulation plays a key role.

According to the US Department of Energy, only 20% of houses built before 1980 are considered well insulated. In fact, many of these homes have no insulation at all.

Heat is a form of energy - it always seeks a cooler area - flowing outward in winter and inward in summer. By reducing heat flow in a properly insulated home, less energy is used to heat and cool the home.

Insulation works all year long to provide a barrier that slows down the natural transfer of heat. Insulation keeps temperatures consistent in all areas of the house.

When you spend money on things to make your home look better, new siding or new furniture, you know that none of these things will pay you back. Foam Insulation is permanent. It never needs to be done again and you will enjoy the benefits of greater comfort all year long. Plus, you will see savings on your monthly energy bills. Insulation doesn't take long to pay you back.
 
Spray foam insulation is a safe, easy and clean way to insulate your home. In most cases it's injected from the exterior of your home like ‘shaving cream' and hardens after several minutes. It provides a sealed thermal envelope that locks out moisture to prevent mold, mildew and bacteria growth. It contributes to the overall comfort and health of your home.

When you insulate your home correctly, it's one of the lowest cost options for improving both comfort and energy efficiency. On average, newly insulated home thermostats can adjusted between 3-4 degrees (down in the winter, up in the summer) while enjoying a more comfortable and consistent temperature throughout.

According to the DOE, when it comes to maximizing energy efficiency, inadequate insulation is a leading cause of home energy waste because it forces even the most efficient heating and cooling systems to work harder and consume more energy. The savings from improving your home's insulation will add up all year long since the DOE estimates that between 50%-70% of the energy used in an average US home is consumed by heating and cooling systems.

Want more information on spray foam insulation? Contact Custom Insulation Company in Worcester.

NWI Times

New Insulation in Your Home in 2011 - Use the Federal Tax Credit

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Don’t forget as you do your taxes that the IRS is offering home owners a Federal Tax Credit for qualified home energy improvements. If you recently added new insulation to your home, you may qualify.

Here are the details of the tax credit for putting new insulation in your home.

The Non-business Energy Property Credit Homeowners who install energy-efficient home improvements may qualify for this credit. The 2011 credit is 10% of the cost of qualified energy-efficient improvements, up to $500. Qualifying improvements include adding insulation, energy-efficient exterior windows and doors and certain roofs. The cost of installing these items does not count. You can also claim a credit including installation costs, for certain high-efficiency heating and air conditioning systems, water heaters and stoves that burn biomass fuel. The credit has a lifetime limit of $500. Qualifying improvements must have been placed into service in the taxpayer’s principal residence located in the US before Jan. 1, 2012.

Get Comfortable with Insulation

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Homeowners spend a lot of time and money making their homes comfortable. But you need to put some of that effort into what's behind the walls, or you’ll miss out on all the comfort and savings.

Proper insulation decreases the heat flow and helps you keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Good insulation can improve indoor air quality, protect your home from winter damage, and save you money.

  • Indoor air quality - Moisture can build up in your walls, causing the interior to slowly rot. Not all insulation can prevent mold, however. Spray foam insulation forms an air barrier, which protects your walls against moisture.          
  • Protection from ice dams in winter - In winter, as warm air from your home comes in contact with the inside edge of your roof, snow melts on that section. As it slowly trickles down, it refreezes, causing ice to build up. Water can then leak into your home, causing damage.
  • Saving money - Air leakage can run up your energy bills significantly. Making sure you close air leaks with weather stripping, caulking and insulation helps reduce your heating and cooling bills. The U.S. Department of Energy says that floors, walls and ceilings account for 31% of the air leakage in most homes.
        
There are a number of different insulation types to choose from. They all have an R-value, and the higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation.

Spray foam insulation has great long-term benefits.  The others may have a cheaper up-front cost, but in the long run, spray foam protects better, lasts longer, and can reduce your energy bill by up to half as much as with older insulations.

For more information on spray foam insulation for your home, contact Custom Insulation.

Market Watch

Testimonial to New Insulation

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, February 28, 2012

At Custom Insulation, this is some feedback we received from a customer who purchased a wood burning stove from us, and had their second floor bedroom ceiling insulation replaced.

“I have an antique home, and last winter we got ice dams. During the repair process, I the attic insulation replaced in my bedroom ceiling. The difference in the warmth of my home throughout the winter was very noticeable. I realize that this was a more mild winter, but cold is cold, and you still have to heat your home.

We use our wood burning stove primarily to heat our home, and with increased and better insulation in the second floor ceiling, the oil heat barely ever came on - all winter long.  The upstairs of our home used to be very cold throughout the winter and very hot throughout the summer. I can’t wait to see what happens this summer. I suspect that it will be so much cooler and enjoyable.
 
The difference in my oil heating bill was outrageous, in fact we have not used an entire tank! The difference was so great, that this spring I am going to have the rest of the upstairs and attic insulation replaced.”

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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