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21 January 2014
Massachusetts is expecting another stretch of extremely cold weather this week. It is only mid-January and there is a lot of winter left. The arctic blasts we have been getting all winter long this year have made getting a pellet stove insert installed in your home a great idea.
The cold weather has meant that this winter has been a long season of heating costs so far. Pellet stove inserts are growing in popularity. That’s because they can be the main heating source for the whole home.
Pellet fireplace inserts cost typically cost between $1,000 to $3,000. However, they can pay for themselves in no time, especially if you have oil heat. Just the cost factor alone makes pellet stove inserts worth consideration. You’re looking at maybe $5 per day, the cost of heating a house with a bag of pellets. And, pellet inserts are easy to use and easy to maintain.
When it comes to buying the pellets, they’re available by the ton, which will keep your home supplied for quite a while. Additionally, the cost of pellets does not fluctuate which makes heating your home easy to budget.
Powerful, efficient and fully automatic heating combines with customizable style options to create the ideal pellet fireplace insert. Winslow pellet inserts deliver inviting, efficient and reliable heat in an attractive design that can be customized to complement your home décor. Ease of use and serviceability are designed right into this pellet insert with convenient features like easy access to components, a unique air wash system for maintaining amazingly clean glass and a self-cleaning burn pot. The heating technology provides the ultimate in precision heating and comfort control. Plus, with fully automatic operation, the Winslow works like a regular furnace, allowing you to set your desired temperature and walk away.
For more information on Winslow pellet inserts, contact Custom Insulation.
13 January 2014
Spray foam insulation is a smart choice in insulating your home. Spray foam insulation not only keeps your home warm, it also protects your home from mold and mildew, as well as insects and pests. Additionally, it is a safe way to insulate your home because it fire resistant.
When moisture gets into your home, mold can grow causing major health problems. Traditionally home insulation cannot keep the water out of your walls, ceilings and floors.
Spray foam insulation works against water because it expands to fill all open spaces causing a seal and it will not chip and crack over time. Water leaking into wall and floor cracks is leading cause of mold in basements. With spray foam insulation, these cracks are filled and sealed.
Cracks in insulation mean air pockets. Insects and pests are attracted to these air pockets. Spray foam insulation fills all the cracks and holes in your foundation walls and basement ceiling. Because all the cracks are sealed, no bugs can find a home in your walls.
Spray foam insulation expands and fills spaces and exactly fills the crevices and cracks around the basement or attic where it is installed.
Another advantage of spray foam insulation over traditional home insulation is that it is fire resistant. Having your ceilings, walls and crawl spaces insulated with spray foam protects you and your family from house fires that would traditionally travel through walls. With traditional insulation, not only is it flammable, there are air pockets around it. Spray foam is fire resistant and there are no air pockets to feed the fire.
For more information on spray foam insulation, contact Custom Insulation.
6 January 2014
Newly built homes have fantastic energy efficiency standards. Older homes, in fact most homes that are already built, don’t even come close to meeting those efficiency goals. The simplest way to make you older home significantly more energy efficient is to add insulation. In an existing home, this is easy to do with blown-in insulation in the attic.
Proper home insulation will keep your home warmer during the winter and cooler during the summer. Now with environmental concerns as well as a tightening economy, insulation is a great way to save energy and money. Especially in areas where it is cold like Boston and Worcester, the most effective solution to reduce heating bills is blown-in insulation.
One benefit to adding blown-in insulation is that it is adjustable. You can adjust to the R-value that you need. Add a few inches if you need an R-value of 15 or several inches if you need an R-value of 30. Blown-in insulation also gives your home a tighter seal because it fills all the cracks and crevices in the attic, making it very energy efficient. Blown –in insulation also has less allergens than fiberglass or batt.
Adding insulation to an existing home will have an initial cash outlay, however it will pay for itself over time. With lower energy costs and a warmer home, using blown-in insulation makes the most sense. For more information, contact Custom Insulation.
31 December 2013
Remodeled homes definitely have their appeal, but more and more, homes with energy efficient and environmentally friendly features are becoming a priority for prospective buyers. Home insulation can increase the desirability of your home.
According to the National Association of REALTORS 2012 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, nearly nine out of 10 recent home buyers said that heating and cooling costs were somewhat or very important when considering a home for purchase.
Realtors know that consumer demand for greener homes has grown considerably over the past several years. Going green has proven to be more than a trend; many people now seek out this way of living and want homes and communities that are more resource efficient and sensitive to the environment. As energy savings and green building features are becoming more important to buyers, sellers and businesses, it comes as no surprise that consumers are placing a higher value on properties with those features.
Homes with the right home insulation have lower energy costs. Simple math shows how a higher energy efficiency rating offers homeowners the opportunity to save more money in heating and cooling costs alone.
NAR data shows how features directly affecting monthly energy costs are important to buyers. 39% of survey respondents reported that a home’s heating and cooling costs were very important when considering a home for purchase.
Regionally, buyers in the north and south placed a greater importance on heating and cooling costs, most likely due to the more extreme temperatures in these areas of the country. Nearly 60 percent of buyers who bought homes built in 2011 said heating and cooling costs were very important.
As energy costs continue to rise, look for those numbers to increase right along with them.
While new construction features like lot design, preparation and development are fairly set in stone in an existing home, there are many options when it comes to energy efficiency (improvements that will make the home less expensive to operate and more comfortable to live in), home insulation, water efficiency and indoor air quality.
While replacing HVAC or adding insulation may not be on the same level as a new kitchen or bathroom when it comes to appearances, they are definitely a smart way to use your remodeling budget. Not only will energy-efficient improvements start paying you back immediately, they will also make your home more comfortable no matter what season it is.
23 December 2013
Hello Friends of Custom Insulation
Christmas is here and the New Year starts next week. We will all be turning our thoughts to blessings, family, and presents! But a winter storm is sweeping the US and Mother Nature is not in the holiday spirit. As always, your friends at Custom Insulation will be there to help you (or anyone you discover) who needs new or additional home insulation in Boston and Worcester and the surrounding areas.
It is our sincere wish that this holiday blog post finds you all comfortably warm and surrounded by family. To all of our loyal customers, we simply pass along our most sincere best wishes and thanks for partnering with us for yet another year. We work hard to earn your continued trust and we want you to know that we do not take your trust for granted. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you, your family, and to all you hold dear.
17 December 2013
Heating a home is one of the largest household costs, and the best way of reducing this cost is with a better insulated home.
Shrinkthatfootprint.com claims that it is possible to have such a well insulated home against heat loss or gains that only the sun, our bodies, a few simple appliances, and a basic heat recovery system would be enough to provide all the necessary heat for a comfortable existence. Basically, if the insulation is good enough then you need never worry about heating bills.
A Leaky House – is the most poorly insulated example. It consists of solid walls, an uninsulated floor, single glazed windows, and lots of drafts. In order to combat the high level of heat loss the leaky house needs to generate quite a bit of heat to remain at a comfortable temperature.
A Modern House – is the typical new build house that many people own. It has insulation between the walls, in the loft and the floor, double glazing windows, and far fewer draughts. This all helps to drastically reduce the energy needed to heat the property.
A Passive House – is the most perfectly insulated home imaginable. All materials used to build it offer good insulation. It has triple glazed windows, and is so air tight that a ventilation system is needed to keep the air fresh. It estimated that most of the heat can actually be generated through a heat recovery system in the ventilation system.
The difference in heating bills for an average sized home in each class has been estimated to be $1,500 a year for the leaky home, $750 a year for the modern home, and just $100 a year for the passive home.
Unfortunately for those living in a poorly insulated houme, cost effective retrofits are difficult to achieve and it is far easier to create a well-insulated house during the construction phase of a new build.
For more information on home insulation in Worcester and Boston, contact Custom Insulation.
9 December 2013
Home insulation; most homes have it. But do they have enough. Winter is here and many communities around Worcester and Boston got their first snow of the season already. The best way to keep your home warm and to keep your heating costs down is to be sure that your home is properly insulated.
Attic insulation – Heat rises, and in an uninsulated home a quarter of the heat is lost through the roof. Insulating your attic is a simple and effective way to reduce the amount of heat leaving your home and lower your heating bills. Many homes already have some attic insulation, but the amount of heat lost and the energy savings gained will directly relate to the current thickness and condition of the insulation. If you live in a home that’s older than 10 years, it is probably time to check on- and add to- your attic insulation.
Floor insulation - Insulating under the floorboards on your ground floor could save you money. Although older properties are more likely to have suspended timber floors these can be insulated with spray foam insulation or blown-in insulation as it performs better between joists as it will take up thermal movement and cut down air movement around the insulation. Newer homes will have a ground floor made of solid concrete. This can be insulated if it needs to be replaced, or can have rigid insulation laid on top.
For more information on adding home insulation, contact Custom Insulation.
Excerpts – Messenger Newspaper
2 December 2013
This lakeside cottage was the first of three identical summer camps built in 1909. It took 2.5 cords of wood and almost 800 gallons of oil to make the mostly uninsulated home livable year-round.
The owner grew up spending summers in this cottage, and didn’t change anything when she moved in year-round 15 years ago. But heating the uninsulated camp house was taking a toll on the house. Her builder suggested that insulation might solve the home’s heat, air, and moisture problems.
Uninsulated walls cavities and huge air pathways that allowed warm air to leak into the attic and led to moisture problems in the walls and roof were identified.
Opportunities were identified to cut the energy use in half by air sealing and adding attic insulation, insulating wall cavities, and basement foundation walls. This created a continuous thermal barrier between the conditioned living space and the exterior.
Fuel use dropped dramatically after adding home insulation, and the propane costs went from $200/month to only $82/month!
For more information on adding home insulation, contact Custom Insulation.
25 November 2013
Winter is quickly coming and it is time to dig out warm coats and turn up the furnaces. That means that higher heating bills aren’t far off either. Heating costs are your largest home energy expense, why not make this the year to increase your insulation.
A well-insulated house is like dressing properly for the weather. A wool sweater will keep you warm if the wind isn’t blowing and it’s not raining. On a windy, rainy day, wearing a nylon shell over your wool sweater helps keep you dry and warm.
A house is similar. On the outside, underneath the brick or siding, there’s an air barrier that does the same thing — it keeps the wind from blowing through. Then there is the insulation (like your sweater) and a vapor barrier that helps keep moisture away from the house structure where it can do damage.
Signs of Insulation Problems
In the winter, cold walls and/or floors, high heating costs, uneven heating levels, mold on walls.
In the summer, uncomfortably hot inside; high cooling costs, ineffective air-conditioning system, mold in basement.
R values are a way of labeling the effectiveness of insulating materials. The higher the R- value the more resistance to the movement of heat.
Installation also plays a large role in its effectiveness. Compressing insulation, leaving air spaces around the insulation and allowing air movement in the insulation all reduce the actual R value of the insulation.
The attic is often the most cost-effective place to add insulation. Usually, a contractor blows bown-in insulation into and over the top of ceiling joists. Batts insulation laid sideways on existing insulation is another solution. The air barrier at the ceiling line must be tight to ensure warm moist air from the house doesn’t get into the cold attic and condense in the winter. Check ceiling light fixtures, the tops of interior walls and pipe penetrations for air leakage. Ensure that soffit venting is not blocked by added insulation; baffles may have to be installed.
Basement walls are unique because they must handle significant moisture flows from both inside and outside the house.
Exterior insulation is the preferred method. Insulate the wall on the outside with rigid insulation suitable for below-grade installations, such as extruded polystyrene or rigid fibreglass. This works well with damp-proofing and foundation drainage as rigid fibreglass acts as a drainage layer, keeping surface and ground water away from the foundation. Basement walls are kept at room temperature, protecting the structure, reducing the risk of interior condensation and increasing comfort.
Interior insulation can also be used. When finishing the basement, batt insulation in stud cavities or extruded polystyrene and strapping on the face of perimeter walls is used. If the basement won’t be finished, then rolls of polyethylene-encapsulated fibreglass over the wall is installed.
Insulate and keep the heat in. For more information, contact Custom Insulation.
18 November 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.
Insulation helps keep your house cool in the summer!