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Insulate and Save

13 November 2012

We may have had some warm weather over the weekend, but now winter is here to stay, which means it’s time to prepare your home for the cold. It may cost some time and money, but winterizing will be worth it in the long run.

If you can keep the heat in your house, it’s going to keep the money in your pocket.

According to the Department of Energy, winterizing can save homeowners as much as 25% on heating costs. In Worcester, it costs quite a bit to heat a house all winter, so 25% can really add up. Ensuring your home has the  proper insulation is well worth the time and money.

Checking attic and crawl spaces for adequate insulation is key. Most heat loss results from heat leaving your home out of the attic and roof.

For help insulating your home, contact Custom Insulation.

Excerpts WHOTV

More Homes are Using Wood Stoves and Pellet Stoves

6 November 2012

Winter officially may officially start on Dec. 21, but those of us in Worcester know that winter weather is already here. For many of us, the cold weather not only marks the unofficial start to the holiday season, it also means high home heating bills are on the way.

It is expected that household expenditures for heating oil will increase 19% this year. If that estimate turns out to be accurate, it will mean households that burn heating oil will face expenditures higher than any previous winter on record.

Part of this increase is due to weather. The actual price increases of heating fuels are also a factor.

This year, the number of households nationwide that heat with wood is expected to reach more than 2.6 million, a 3% increase over last year.

There is a steady increase in the number of homes that use wood burning stoves and inserts as their primary heating source.

Storms and power outages caused by weather have a significant impact on the number of households exploring the use of wood or wood pellet stoves as their primary heating source, along with more people who want to take serious action to reduce their use of fossil fuels.

Wood pellets are easy and safe to store, and neither wood nor wood pellets are impacted by downed power lines or other short-term fuel delivery problems.

Of course, price will always be a factor in driving more use of wood and pellet heat. For information on decreasing your heating bills this winter through wood or pellet stoves, contact Custom Insulation.

Biomass Magazine

Winterize Homes - Fall is the Best Time

30 October 2012

Now is the time to winterize your home and protect your home against freezing pipes.

It is important to make preparations to prevent water damage from frozen and burst pipes before temperatures plunge. The winter can pose many challenges to a homeowner, but one of the biggest and most costly is the risk of frozen pipes. Frozen pipes occur in areas of the home that are not insulated or that are poorly insulated. When ice expands inside pipes, it can crack and burst the pipe, leaving homeowners with a costly plumber bill, and thousands of dollars in damages from water leaking inside the house.

Winterizing is just as important in new homes as it is in older homes where insulation is often poorly done or not done correctly. Older home construction will sometimes include pipes in unprotected locations without insulation, including crawl spaces, and these can be particularly at risk.

Luckily, these problems are preventable by evaluating areas of vulnerability throughout the home. Implementing the following winterization tips now can help avoid headaches later:

  • Search your house for under insulated pipes or non-insulated pipes, especially in unheated areas. Consider wrapping pipes with electric heating tape, but follow manufacturers' instructions carefully to avoid a fire hazard.
  • Seal cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations, especially where cable TV or phone lines enter the house, with caulking to keep cold winds away from pipes
  • Consider wrapping your water heater in an insulation blanket. While not really at danger for freezing, this can lower your heating bills.

For information on better insulating your home, contact Custom Insulation.

Daily Finance

How to Save Money on Heating this Winter

23 October 2012

Heating your home in Worcester this winter doesn’t have to be a big hit on your wallet, there are some simple things you can do to save.

As the weather and leaves start to turn, more people are beginning to think about getting ready for the winter.
National Grid is suggesting a number of things that homeowners can do to keep energy costs down.

Take these measures now while the weather is pleasant instead of waiting for the cold to really arrive.

Weather stripping can be applied around your doors and windows as well as clear films that can go over big doorways or sliding glass doors.

There is also insulation for your pipes as well as an insulation blanket for your hot water tank.

One way to eliminate the loss of heat through the attic is to install fiberglass insulation.

National Grid also advises to change furnace filters every month.

There are a number of things you can do to keep the warm air inside your home during the cold weather months, from weather-stripping to insulation, also if you’ve got a gap or opening near a door or window, you can also spray in some foam right from a can.

For spaces under a door, door sweeps installed at the bottom of a door can keep the drafts out and the warm air in.

If your air conditioners are permanently installed in your windows, cover them up during the cold months.

National Grid also suggests lowering your thermostat to 65 during the day and lowering them more during the night.

For information on all of your insulation needs, contact Custom Insulation.


Better than a Wood Stove

16 October 2012

This winter is predicted to be very cold. Many homeowners have heard of the virtues of adding a fireplace insert or wood stove to their home. But, many homeowners don’t want to deal with wood burning fires. There is a solution.

There are alternatives to heating your home without compromising warmth, comfort and convenience. Pellet stoves are very efficient in keeping entire homes warm even on very cold days.

Pellet stoves look like wood burning stoves. As well as being efficient and using renewable energy, this is where the similarities end. Pellet stoves are actually far more efficient than wood burning stoves. As a result their popularity is increasing.  

Forget about stacking and hauling wood. Pellet stoves are powerful, with fully automatic pellet heat, advanced technical features and customizable style options which all combine to create reliable warmth and timeless beauty.

For more information on  an exceptionally effective and practical way to heat your home with a pellet stove, contact Custom Insulation.

Fireplace Inserts Add Value to Your Home

12 October 2012

If you are remodeling or building a home in the Worcester area, add a fireplace insert. Homebuyers love a working fireplace and they also love efficient heating solutions. A fireplace insert is considered a plus to home buyers, thus increasing the value of your home.

Gas or wood burning fireplaces inserts bring many advantages to your home. Wood inserts is considered a renewable energy source and is a very economical way to heat your home.

Gas fireplace inserts are generally easier to use with less mess and effort. But, whichever fuel source you choose to run your fireplace insert, one thing is certain; working fireplaces add atmosphere and ambiance to any home.

New home buyers love the idea of a working hearth and they make your home more enticing. If you are remodeling for your own enjoyment, a room with a burning fire adds a whole new dimension to entertaining. Contact Custom Insulation for more information.

Pellet Stoves a Green Way to Heat Your Home

5 October 2012

Are you looking for different, more efficient or perhaps greener ways to heat your home? Then think about pellet stoves. This type of stove burns pellets made from wood chips, bark, compacted sawdust and other organic materials. Some of the advantages to using wood-pellet stoves are their heating efficiency; they produce very little waste; they can be installed on any outside wall, even if there is no chimney; and they use inexpensive fuel.

Pellet stoves have an average efficiency rating of 80- to 85%. The pellets are burned completely and they hardly give off any smoke, so they only need a small pipe leading outside. Pellet stoves also produce very little waste. A 40-pound bag of pellets produces less than a cup of ashes. People can use a wood pellet stove for several weeks without having to empty the ashes, keeping maintenance to a minimum. Because they have higher combustion and heating efficiency than a wood stove, less air pollution is being produced.

Custom Insulation can help you choose the best pellet stove for your home. Contact us or stop by!

What Kind of Insulation Should You Choose?

25 September 2012

For new construction, foam insulation is an ideal choice, but in existing homes insulating the underside of the roof's decking with blanket insulation can be a better value.

The existing attic insulation should be removed and a heating/cooling duct should be installed to control and condition the attic space if one does not exist already. There is no out-gassing of the expanding foam insulation.

The R-rating is the resistance to thermal transfer, and the higher the R-rating the better, but the insulation should never touch the underside of the roof's decking. A baffle should be installed between the rafters where the roof's decking is close to the attic's floor to provide airflow from the home's soffit vents and to prevent contact between the blown-in insulation and the decking.
If you choose foam insulation, there is no need for the baffles because all of the decking would be covered.

Custom Insulation recommends you get a few bids to compare; making sure each contractor is licensed and insured. Before hiring a contractor, contact your local Better Business Bureau for information on the contractor's business -- and always get references from the contractor and contact his customers to see if they were satisfied with the work.

Contact Custom Insulation for a quote on insulating your home.

Mercury News

Air Duct Insulation Improves Home Heating Efficiency

18 September 2012

The cooler weather is here, and in fact some of Massachusetts may have frost before the end of the week. It is almost time to turn on your heat. If you are starting to think about heating your home for the winter - HVAC tune-ups, ordering pellets, stacking wood - you may also want to think about insulating air ducts.
Adding insulation makes your home more energy efficient. Energy is usually wasted from your heating systems and as heat escapes from your home out of the attic. Well-maintained heating systems run more efficiently and waste less energy.

Ducts that move air to and from a forced air furnace or heat pump can waste energy. Sealing and insulating these ducts can improve the efficiency of your heating system by as much as 20%. Start with the attic and basement because these are areas where your ducts are often not insulated.

Sealing and insulating air ducts can improve their energy efficiency and keep warm air inside. Insulating your air ducts helps maintain the temperature of the air flowing through them and into your home.

Contact Custom Insulation to improve the air duct insulation in your home.

Pellet Stoves are A Better Way to Heat Your Home

11 September 2012

Cool nights are fast approaching, and heating your home takes energy and reliance on fossil fuels, namely oil and gas.

But there are better and less expensive ways to heat your home. With pellet stoves, you get warmth, comfort and convenience, and all of that is less expensive than traditional heat.  With a pellet stove you can heat your entire home or do zone heating.

To make wood pellets is an economical to process, and pellet stoves are efficient, making pellet stoves a more economical alternative for homeowners. By using wood pellet stoves, we can heat our homes, and become less dependent to fossil fuels and their constantly changing prices.

To heat your home with a pellet stove this winter, contact Custom Insulation.

Insulation helps keep your house cool in the summer!