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Custom Insulation Boston Worcester Blog

Copper Gutters - Are They Worth It?

7 July 2011

There is no question that every home needs a gutter system. So paying for gutters is absolutely worth it. But what about copper gutters? They are more expensive, and they are very beautiful, but beyond that, are they actually worth the money?

Low cost gutters, even though they appear to serve the purpose in the short term, are easily damaged and have to be replaced or repaired periodically. Copper rain gutters may be the answer.

Copper has better tensile strength compared to other gutter material. The strength increases as the copper content of the gutters increases. There are plenty of copper roofs that have been intact for centuries. Copper gutters add great value to the aesthetic looks of a house as well.

Aluminum gutters are an alternative to copper. They are not as strong however, and they can be damaged during cleaning. When considering which material gutter to install, long time durability is important.

Copper gutters will oxidize and turn green, and if this is a look you don’t like, they can be treated. While aluminum can be painted to blend with the building architecture, the coating peels off easily and requires a new coat frequently.

A copper gutter is especially right for those homeowners who want to maintain the architectural beauty. Unlike the need to hide aluminum gutters, a copper gutter can actually enhance the beauty of your home. A home is valued not only in terms of its architecture and structure, but also by the accessories that it has. Copper gutters can give you better valuation in the long run in terms of utility and aesthetics.

Homeowners Can Reduce Energy Consumption

5 July 2011

Retrofitting an existing home to be more energy efficient is an effective way to save energy and reduce the cost of homeownership. Retrofitting includes a variety of projects from replacing old light bulbs to installing new insulation. Practical home improvement has become popular among savvy homeowners looking to save.

According to the US Department of Energy, 80 percent of homes built before 1980 were built with insufficient insulation. Old dishwashers waste up to 6,700 gallons of water per year — enough water to run an efficient dishwasher for seven years. Replacing old, single-pane windows can save a homeowner hundreds on energy bills.

Retrofitting an existing home to make it more green and an energy efficient structure is easier than some homeowners might realize. Some tips for homeowners looking to make their home more energy efficient and environmentally friendly are:

Windows — Energy efficient windows are better insulated, allowing a home to stay cooler in summer and warmer in winter. If homeowners are not able to replace their home’s windows, closing cracks and seals with caulk to reduce air leakage is a great alternative.

Insulation — According to the US Department of Energy, more than 50 percent of the energy used is for heating and cooling the air. Energy usage for heating and cooling is high because conditioned air often escapes through poorly insulated walls and attics creating a never-ending cycle of circulating air. Updating a home’s insulation may allow homeowners to retain conditioned air and spend less to keep the home comfortable. Homeowners can receive up to $500 in tax credit for updating insulation in 2011.

•Doors — Old or improperly sealed doors can significantly affect a home’s energy efficiency by allowing conditioned air to easily escape. Installing a new door can provide more effective insulation than older ones.
•Programmable thermostat — The US Department of Energy reports that homeowners can save roughly 10 percent on heating and cooling bills by turning their thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours a day.

Original Article - News Telegram

Various Insulation Efforts are Efficient and Ecofriendly

22 June 2011

The movement toward green technologies has been widely discussed recently, as more companies and consumers have looked for ways to become more ecofriendly.

One such green, energy-saving technology not receiving much fanfare is spray foam insulation, which contractors apply through high-pressure pumps, which then expands within cracks and various crevices to block any areas that air flows through.

Custom Insulation provides this advanced type of insulation as well as bio-based fiberglass batts.

 With three solutions now available, spray foam, blown in and blanket insulation, they have the ability to work with various clients.

There are places where blanket insulation is best, others places where blown in is best and then there are places where they will advise using spray foam. And all three products may even be used on the same house.

The efficiency of the insulation can lead to greater long-term savings. Within three to five years, most home or building owners witness this increased savings.

Benefits of Spray Foam Insulation

14 June 2011

One of best solutions to saving energy in your home is to use Spray Foam Insulation. While it saves energy and keeps your house warm; it protects your home from pest, fungus and molds.

Spray foam insulation keeps residential and commercial building warmer in the winter and cooler during the summer. It does not allow air to escape through cracks and holes thus completely insulating walls and roofs of buildings.

Spray Foam Insulation is environmentally friendly and holds the highest oxygen index and zero fuel contribution compared to other petroleum based insulation products.

Studies have proved that Spray Foam Insulation has helped minimize the cost of cooling and heating by more than thirty to thirty five percent.

Spray Foam Insulation is fire resistant, water proof and rodent and pest proof.

Spray Foam Insulation can be easily applied and it lasts longer than other insulation, adhering to surfaces without falling.

The Proper Insulation will Keep your House Cool

8 June 2011

As the days get warmer you might start dreaming of air conditioning. But, there are some other ways to keep your house more comfortable during hot summer days that are easier on your wallet and the environment.

Attics can reach temperatures over 140 degrees F on hot summer days. If there isn’t much insulation between the ceiling and attic a lot of this heat is going to be transferred into the house.  Increasing attic insulation can make a big difference in the comfort level of a home and will also cut your heating costs in the winter. By adding R40 insulation to a poorly insulated attic the temperature inside the house will drop by 6-8 º F on hot days.

Proper attic ventilation is also important in keeping your house cool and extending the life of your roof. Without it, as the sun goes down your attic won’t cool off as much and will continue to heat your house throughout the night.

The use of spray foam insulation has been rapidly growing as Architects, Builders and Homeowners become aware of the long term energy savings and comfort benefits associated with using spray foam. However, if you have a walk up attic, blanket insulation would be fine to use.

Improving Home Efficiency is Most Important to Homeowners

1 June 2011

Homeowners concerned about high energy bills have put energy conservation home improvements at the top of their must-do list this year. They are looking for green living upgrades that save money without sacrificing space or style.

Because heating costs are typically one of the highest and most variable home expenses, homeowners are considering energy-efficient zone heating options when embarking on home renovation projects.

Overall we have seen an increase in fireplace makeovers in the last few years. Finding and eliminating wasteful drafts and more efficient heating solutions has lead homeowners to install efficient pellet stoves and wood burning inserts that transform inefficient open fireplaces into high performing heating zones.

Wood burning fireplace inserts and pellet stoves are excellent zone heating options for those in the process of building or renovating a new home and who are looking to outfit their homes with advanced heating technology.

Buying an insert or stove is much like buying furniture, you will find a wide-choice of models that match every lifestyle and design. While evaluating the right size, heating capacity and look of your future stove or insert, also consider these three eco-wise tips:

  1. Only evaluate pellet stoves that meet or exceed EPA standards and are currently tax credit qualified.
  2. Look for an eco-friendly seal and a recycled ingredients label that lists the many ways that a manufacturer has gone the extra mile to produce the highest quality and most energy efficient wood stove, possible.
Today is a great time to invest in a wood stove so you can actually keep some green cash in your pocket. The Federal Bio-Mass Tax Credit extension provides a 10 percent tax credit up to $300 for the purchase of a new biomass heating appliance in 2011. This tax credit helps homeowners save on energy costs by utilizing renewable biomass fuels such as wood and wood pellets.

Original article on PR News Wire

Two Home Improvement Projects to Increase the Value of Your Home

25 May 2011

With the difficult conditions and volatility of the real estate market, investing in home improvement projects to keep your home in its best shape will give you the upper hand in a housing market where competition is fierce. For the home seller, there are a couple of tasks that you can take care of to significantly add value to your home.

Focus on the curb appeal
The front of your home is the first thing that can be seen from street. It is important to put effort into updating this part of your home. Assess your property from the street. One great improvement option is the installation of copper gutters.  For your home, only the best will do.  Copper gutters are a popular choice for new and remodeled homes, and they are growing in demand because they look beautiful and they are unique and durable.   But most of all they are also very low maintenance.

Improve your home's energy efficiency

Those home improvement tasks that are focused on improving the energy efficiency of your home will turn in significant gains with reduced energy consumption and lower energy bills. For instance, you can reduce your energy loss and raise the level of comfort in your home by improving the insulation quality of your home.

By improving your home’s insulation, you can also extend the life of your home itself, reducing repair and maintenance costs. To improve home energy efficiency the “thermal envelope” must be improved. This is the barrier to winter heat loss and summer heat gain, which protects and separates the indoor living space from the outdoor climate.  Insulation is the heart of the thermal envelope, so improving insulation is the first step.

2011 Federal Tax Credits For Consumer Energy Efficiency…But For How Long?

17 May 2011

We suppose that by now you all know that our national debt is maxed out and that the politicians of both parties are digging deep to deal with the crisis.  One thing is for certain, Federal Tax Incentives of all kinds are an endangered species so think strongly of capitalizing on them while you still can.

The current tax law allows for a tax CREDIT of 10% of the material cost (up to $500 tax credit) on all types of insulation to include our Blanket Insulation, Blown-In Insulation, and Spray Foam Insulation.   We guarantee that adding Custom Insulation products to your home will save you money in home energy costs. 

We can’t guarantee the duration of Uncle Sam’s energy tax credit. Right now, it does not look long in the offering. Contact us today and we'll blow-in your new insulation before Sam blows away one of the few remaining tax breaks.

Blown In Insulation is Perfect if you do not Want to Take Down Drywall

10 May 2011

There are a lot of people in and around Worcester, Massachusetts who are finally having their home repairs taken care of from this past winter’s ice dam damage. We have found that people who are having their interior ceilings and or walls pulled down and replaced are finding that their insulation is more than lacking. However, who wants to rip down interior ceilings and walls in undamaged rooms, just to replace old and ill fitting insulation? No one!

Blown in insulation is really about the only way to insulate existing, closed-up walls and ceilings. Tthe only other option is to start pulling off siding or rip out interior drywall.

Consider this if you are a DIY and are considering renting a machine. One reality of blown in insulation is that it is an imperfect process. It is not easy get cellulose fibers to pass through a two-inch wide hole and settle uniformly and completely all throughout a wall cavity. Especially in older homes, wall obstructions are everywhere in criss-crossing electrical wires, plaster "keys", blocking, etc.

Those who work with blown in insulation consider it almost an intuitive process. Most insulation technicians are experienced at finding blockages and wires, and know how to work around them. Contact Custom Insulation today to improve your home’s insulation and energy efficiency.

Gutter Cleaning Can Help You Avoid Expensive Home Repairs

3 May 2011

If you think a few leaves and twigs in your gutters are harmless, think again. Regular gutter cleaning is the single most important key to avoiding major and expensive home repairs.

Gutters perform one duty: controlling the water around your home. If debris keeps gutters from doing their job, you can wind up with some serious problems. Here are just a few:

Clogged gutters are the number one cause of basement water problems. When gutters are clogged, roof water overflows and accumulates around the foundation. If this happens, basement leaks can be right around the corner.

Water backing up from clogged gutters will cause moisture damage to the wood fascia around the house. The rotted area will quickly get worse if the leak is not eliminated by cleaning the gutters.

Misdirected and clogged gutter spouts often cause driveways and walks to sag and crack.

Any newly planted flowers, plants, grass or trees can be killed by excess water from clogged gutters. Overflowing gutters can also cause erosion and put an early end to young plantings.

Bugs love moisture. Keeping gutters free of clogs and keeping the soil dry around the foundation perimeter can force bugs to go elsewhere rather than snack on your dampened two-by-four.

Insulation helps keep your house cool in the summer!