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Reduce Home Energy Costs - Worcester, MA

13 August 2013

Are you trying to figure out how to save money on home energy costs? Before the winter begins in Worcester, make energy efficient changes to your home. There are many things that you can do.

Consider your windows, doors, insulation, heating and cooling equipment and appliances. All of these things can make a big difference to your home energy costs, and boost your home value at the same time.

Install low-flow showerheads and faucets: Modern faucets use 40% less water. Replacing faucets with models that have a flow rate of less than 2.5 gallons per minute can cut your water usage for showers in half.

Switch to fluorescent light bulbs or light-emitting diodes: They cost a little more, but you can save $50 over the life of just one bulb.  Energy efficient bulbs use about 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last at least six times longer. They also produce about 75% less heat, so it's safer to operate and can cut energy costs associated with home cooling.

Buy ENERGY STAR appliances: The average homeowner annually spends about $2,000 on energy bills, according to ENERGY STAR. Change to appliances that have earned the ENERGY STAR rating, and you can save hundreds of dollars a year in energy costs.

Seal and insulate: Sealing and adding insulation to the shell of your home - its outer walls, ceiling, windows, doors, and floors - is often the most cost effective way to improve energy efficiency and comfort. Adding insulation to your home keeps the warm, heated air in your home and keeps the cold air out of your home. The extra four inches of insulation in the walls, along with the airtight windows, eliminates drafts in the house.

Consider getting rid of the old appliances. Refrigerators built before 1993 can use two to three times more energy than newer models.

For more information on adding insulation to your home to reduce energy costs, contact Custom Insulation.

Excerpts – Leader Telegram

What Type of Home Insulation Should You Choose? Worcester, Boston

5 August 2013

Homeowners are now beginning to think about how they are going to reduce home heating bills this winter. The right amount of home insulation at the right R-value is a great place to start.

Home Insulation is measured by the R-value of the product. The higher the R value the better the insulation will be at preventing heat loss or gain. The R-value depends on the type of insulation you choose and its thickness or density.

If you are insulating an attic space, you want to install as much insulation as possible without letting the insulation come in contact with the underside of the roof's decking. But first you need to select the insulation materials you want to use based on budget, performance and installation styles. You can use fiberglass blanket or  batts, blown-in, spray foam insulation or wet spray cellulose insulation.

Blanket insulation - Knauf EcoBatt® Insulation - EcoBatt Insulation combines sand, one of the world’s most abundant and renewable resources, post-consumer recycled bottle glass and ECOSE Technology to create the next generation of sustainable insulation. Knauf EcoBatt Insulation is cost-effective thermal and acoustical barriers for energy-efficient construction.

Blown-in insulation - Cellulose insulation is blown-into your home by using two holes in every wall bay insuring each bay is 100% full.  Blown-in insulation increases the value of your new buildings and existing homes. It adds a significant sound barrier and moisture control.

Spray Foam Insulation – Your heating and cooling costs are typically reduced by 30-50% when you use spray foam insulation.

Wet Spray Cellulose insulation - Wet Spray Cellulose insulation increases the value of your new buildings and existing homes.  It provides a significant sound barrier and moisture control with a proven energy savings.

For more information on home insulation, contact Custom Insulation.

Do You Need More Home Insulation in Worcester and Boston?

26 July 2013

It’s the season when people worrying about how to cool down their homes without using more AC.  Being comfortable while not increasing utility bills is the challenge.
Will attic insulation help?

Attic insulation could help if you have an older home built before standards for insulation improved. Get on a ladder and stick your head into the attic. Do you see a continuous layer of insulation with no wood peeking out? If you see a lot of lumber, you don’t have enough insulation.

Generally, if insulation was installed more than 20 years ago, its effectiveness may have deteriorated, and it may need improving. If your home was built before 1984, it almost certainly needs more insulation.

R-values measure how effectively insulation resists heat flow into your cooled spaces below. And the recommended values come from building codes and the U.S. Energy Department.

Know what the R-value should be for the space you are insulating Over-insulating an attic or crawl space won’t save you enough money on power bills to make the expense worthwhile. If you think you need more insulation, consult an expert.

If you have concrete-block walls, filling them with spray foam insulation helps can make a big improvement in cooling your house in summer and heating it in winter because many older homes made from these blocks were not insulated at all. Foam insulation can improve the R-value of concrete-block walls by as much as five times. Foam insulation can also make a dramatic difference in older frame-construction houses that have little or no insulation. If you suspect your walls aren’t properly insulated, you need to get a professional assessment.

For more information contact Custom Insulation.

Excerpts - AZCentral.com

Home Insulation Can Help Keep Your Home Cooler – Worcester, Boston

17 July 2013

When the hot weather arrives, homeowners worry about cooling down their homes. Insulation can help, but here is advice on what can help and why:

Attic insulation

Improving attic insulation will work if you have an older home. When you look in your attic you should see is a continuous layer of insulation with no wood peeking out. If a lot of wood is visible, you don’t have enough insulation.

Generally, if your insulation was installed 20 years ago, it has probably deteriorated. If so, it needs redoing or improving. If your home was built before 1984, it almost certainly needs more insulation.

But most attics in homes built more recently were insulated to the recommended rating. The recommended R-value measures how effectively insulation resists heat flow into your cooled spaces.

Over-insulating an attic or crawl space won’t save you enough money on your power bills to make it worth it. If you think you need more insulation, consult a reputable insulation expert.

Insulating walls

Adding insulation to walls can make a big improvement in cooling your house in summer and heating it in winter, particularly if you have an older home built from concrete blocks.

Foam insulation can improve the R-value of concrete block walls by as much as five times. Typically, an older house can go from R-2 or -3 to R-11.

Foam insulation can also be installed in older frame construction houses that have little or no insulation and will make a dramatic difference.

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

Excerpts - GVNEWS

Increase Home Value by Adding a Pellet Stove - Worcester

11 July 2013

Are you remodeling your home or building a new home? If so, consider adding a working hearth or fireplace. Pellet stoves are easy to add because they don’t need an actual brick and mortar chimney. Pellet stoves can be vented out the side of your home from any wall. We know it is July, but at the rush and look at pellet stoves now, while no one else is thinking about the. When it comes time to finally sell your home, you ‘ll find that buyers are interested and will pay more for a working fireplace.

A working fireplace increases your home value, because it is considered a plus to home buyers. But it also decreases heating costs, which makes your home even more attractive to prospective buyers. So, while you may be remodeling your home for your own enjoyment, remember to consider resale value along the way.

Fireplaces and stoves that are fueled by pellets have many advantages. The fuel used to heat  your home is a renewable resource; pellets are easy to use, easy to transport, easy to budget; pellet heat is far less expensive than oil.

If you’re goal is to save on heating bills and to make your home more energy efficient, pellet stoves are a perfect choice. Buyers will agree as well. Pellet stoves can also be set to be used with thermostats, and can be lit with a flick of a switch. When it comes to a burning fire, you can’t get more convenient than that.

No matter what pellet stove you choose, a working fireplace adds atmosphere and ambiance to any home. For more information, contact Custom Insulation in Worcester.

Curb Appeal with Copper Gutters Pays Off - Worcester

2 July 2013

It might seem strange to invest money in a home you’re selling. But enhancing curb appeal on the home you are selling pays off.

Buyers pay more for homes they can move right into. Improving curb appeal, the way your house looks from the street, pays off. For some buyers, curb appeal is so important that they won’t even look at a listing that doesn't have good street presence.

Copper gutters enhance the curb appeal of any home. Looks aren't everything, but when it comes to your home, it sure doesn't hurt to be the nicest home in the neighborhood. And it turns out that the projects that enhance your home's exterior can pay off in unexpected ways.

"Curb appeal is everything - it's not just for looks, especially if you're looking to sell your home," says a real estate agent and managing partner. "A house can be amazing on the inside, but if the exterior is in disrepair, you can turn off a large number of buyers because they don't like the way it looks."

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Curb appeal can also add to your home's safety and energy efficiency. Copper gutters protect your home from water, are a green building material and have virtually no maintenance.

Ensuring that you have the right gutter system means that you will divert rain runoff and prevent soil erosion.

Copper gutters look great and make your home look beautiful.  It is also a curb appeal project that can lessen your home maintenance.

For more information on copper gutters, contact Custom Insulation.

Green Home Improvements Save Money and Increases Resale Value- Attic Insulation, Worcester

24 June 2013

Homeowners planning to sell their homes are being urged to ‘go green’.   Research is saying that making your home more energy efficient can save you money and increase the value of your property when you decide to sell. Heating costs are typically the highest and most variable expenses for homeowners. As a result, homeowners are doing energy saving home renovations.

It is finally hot in Worcester. Instead of turning down the temperature on the AC, there are better ways to keep your house more comfortable during the summer that are easier on your wallet and the environment.

Save money by improving your home’s energy efficiency rating, this could also add more money to your asking price when you decide to sell your home. Buyers want to save money on energy bills. The most common home energy improvements are double glazing, a more efficient boiler, and attic and crawl space insulation.

Adding better or more insulation to your attic and crawl spaces will save you money. If your home does not have enough attic insulation, attic heat is going to be transferred into the house.  Avoid high energy bills by focusing your home improvement efforts to areas where they count.  Increasing attic insulation makes a big difference in the temperature of your home in all seasons, and it will cut your heating costs in the winter.

Upgrade your attic insulation and the insulation in crawl spaces and wall cavities. Heat escaping through the attic may account for half your home’s heat loss. Make sure there’s at least 12” of insulation. Upgraded insulation can even help soundproof and weatherize your house for optimum living quality.

For more information on improving home value with home insulation, contact Custom Insulation.

Adding Insulation Makes Cooling Your Home Easier - Worcester

21 June 2013

We all know the summer months can be tough when you are struggling to keep the house cool. In order to keep your home comfortable in the summer, you need to keep the hot air out and the cool air in. The key to cooling efficiency is to make sure your home is sealed. Typically in homes, there is about 30% air leakage in the house through the duct system and the roof.  This means hot air from the attic and from outdoors is leaking into the living spaces through electric plug sockets, recessed light fixtures, and the like. It also means that cool air is leaking out of your home through the attic and roof. Heating and cooling can use up to 40% of household energy use. Energy prices are set to hit ever-higher levels, so the more efficient your home is, the more attractive it looks and the easier it is to pay the bills in the summer (and winter).

Being aware of your carbon footprint is important too. To keep your house cool in an eco-friendly way follow these steps:

  • Add insulation. Dense insulation, such as foam or blown cellulose, helps keep your home safe from the harsh summer heat. Insulation keeps cool winter in your home and it keeps the hot air out of your home.  Attic insulation protects air from leaking into and out of air ducts as well.
  • Seal any air leaks around electrical sockets, doors, and windows.
  • Increase ventilation by keeping hot air out, and cool air in. On hot days, keep your doors, windows, and shades closed until it’s cooler outside.
  • Having a fan won’t cool the room, but it will circulate air, but only use fans when you are in the room.
  • Provide your house with shade.
  • Install reflective film, sunscreen-fabric curtains, or roller shades for your windows

For more information on better or new home insulation, contact Custom Insulation.

Excerpts - Greenfudge.org

Spray Foam Insulation Saves on Electric Bills - Worcester, MA

12 June 2013

Spray foam insulation provides many benefits, including lower energy costs and it reduces air infiltration into your home, making it more comfortable year round.

Spray foam insulation can be used for insulating walls and attics and on roofs. It air seals around walls, roofs, corners and on other contoured surfaces. Using spray foam insulation makes your home more comfortable by preventing drafts and helps better control indoor temperature.  

The insulation resists heat transfer extremely well, helping keep the home cool during summer and warm in winter. One of spray foam insulation’s greatest benefits is its air-sealing ability blocking air infiltration without cutting insulation. The higher the R-value, and the greater the resistance to air movement, the higher the thermal performance of the insulation system.

Spray foam insulation is most effective at keeping outside air from coming into a house by sealing cracks, seams and joints, which means less energy is needed to heat and cool the home. It is more than just insulation. It acts as a moisture barrier, preventing condensation and water intrusion.  

Sealing gaps with spray foam insulation provides a barrier against exterior pollen and dust, which will improve indoor air quality which is helpful in protecting allergy sufferers. Spray foam insulation also insulates against sound.   

When having SPF installed, work with a professional contractor who can educate you on the installation process. For more information contact Custom Insulation.


No More Clogged Gutters - Worcester, Boston

7 June 2013

If you are building a home you need to decide on a type of gutter system. Every home needs a gutter system. But too often gutters get clogged, causing damage to your landscaping, you home and often allowing water into  places where it is just not allowed. Cleaning clogged gutters involves either a messy, dangerous job or a big yearly bill. No one likes clogged gutters, but they all clog, or do they?

Building a home or replacing a roof as a result of water damage, your home needs a smart, tough gutter system that ensure that water flows into your gutters and that the leaves and debris stay out of them. This can be done with gutter guards. But, when it comes to gutter guards, your home needs a strong, fast draining, and long lasting solution that works. You need The Water Fall Gutter Guard System.

With The Water Fall Gutter Guard System you will finally no longer have the expense nor need to spend the time cleaning your gutters. The Water Fall Gutter Guard System is built to last and keeps your gutter clean.

WaterFall's has a patented design that slides under any shingled roof. It clips firmly to K-style gutters and stays put even in the wind.

Key Features:

  • Innovative "step" design that can handle up to 10 inches of rain per hour
  • Low profile appearance that lasts — no change to the roofline
  • Manufactured from durable vinyl
  • Perfect for 4" and 5" K-style gutters with special adapters for use with 6" K-style gutters too

For more information on The Waterfall Gutter Guard System, contact Custom Insulation.

Insulation helps keep your house cool in the summer!