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Massachusetts Rebates For Wood Burning Fireplace Inserts

7 February 2013

Massachusetts is expanding an incentive program to prompt residents to get rid of inefficient wood stoves.

The program has another $800,000 in rebates for the replacement of inefficient wood stoves and wood burning fireplace inserts.

Residents who qualify for the program could receive a voucher of $2,000 to buy lower-polluting newer models that use less wood. Other residents are eligible for a $1,000 rebate on the cleaner-burning stoves.

If you are thinking of replacing your older, inefficient wood stove with a wood burning fireplace insert, contact Custom Insulation for more information on this rebate program.


Buying a Pellet Stove?

31 January 2013

If you bought a pellet stove in 2012, or if you are planning on buying one this year, then you can qualify for the Federal Tax Credit for Pellet Stoves of  up to $300.

Last year’s tax credit has been reinstated for 2013 and is retroactive for 2012. So if you are interested in buying a new pellet stove to cut down on your heating expenses, and it is at least 75% efficient you can receive up to $300 back.

The biomass stove federal tax credit allows for a 10% tax credit up to $300 for stoves bought in 2013 and it is retroactive, so that all eligible stoves purchased in 2012 can also get the credit.

if you are interested in a new pellet stove for  your Worcester home, contact Custom Insulation.

Preventing Winter Freeze Ups and Ice Dams

23 January 2013

Preventing Ice Dams

Keep your attic well ventilated. Cold attics prevent ice accumulation on the roof from melting, resulting in refreezing. This is done by having the right amount of attic insulation.

Keep the attic floor well insulated to minimize the amount of heat rising through hte attic from within the house.

Install ice dam prevention underlayment as part of your roofing system.

Install new or additional insulation in order to prevent heat loss.

Remove ice and snow from roofs with a snow rake.

Preventing Winter Freeze Ups

During winter months, do not turn the thermostat off when leaving your house. Instead, lower the thermostat to a temperature warm enough to keep pipes from freezing, no lower than 55 degrees.

Fit exposed pipes with insulation sleeves or wrapping to slow the heat transfer. Check water hoses for signs of cracks or bubbles. Replace faulty hoses.

Consider installing an electronic leak detection system. When water touches the sensor, the valve closes, protecting everything downstream. Some systems can also alert remote securty monitoring services.

Forced hot water systems should have an appropriate antifreeze mixture.

On very cold days, open cabinet doors under sinks, allowing warm air to circulate around the pipes. Let a slow trickle of water to continually flow from faucets to prevent freezing.

Exterior faucets should be shut off for the winter. Hoses should be disconnected and the valve left open.

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

Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association

Spray Foam Insulation FAQ's

15 January 2013

Does spray foam insulation release any Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)?

Polyurethane foam is not considered to emit VOC's. After curing there should be no emissions. To be sure, check with your foam supplier.

Can it be used to insulate underground water pipes?

Yes! Regional climate changes will be a part of the decision making process. During application, no moisture can be allowed on or in the foam until it has cured.

Should fiberglass insulation be removed before applying spray foam insulation?

Yes! If left in, there will be a problem with ventilation and temperature control. More clearly, the temperature of the attic floor will be different than amidst the fiberglass and the temperature amidst the fiberglass will be different than above the spray foam. The job of the spray foam is to balance temperature and humidity with the environment so condensation is prevented.

Does the surface where it will be applied have to be clean?

Yes! Any oil or dust on the application surface will prevent the spray foam insulation from adhering. A careful vacuuming job covering every nook and cranny will often be adequate.
For applications where the surface is steel (or any other metal) it is even more important for the surface to be free of dust and oil.

Does an attic need to be vented if spray foam insulation on the rafters?

That depends. If you are applying the spray foam to the roof deck and gable walls, then you want everything under that surface to be a part of the temperature conditioned space. Vents in an attic with insulation above it would be a waste of money. If you are applying spray foam to just the attic floor, then the conditioned space is below the attic floor. Vents will be necessary for preventing excess humidity.

There are likely many more questions concerning spray foam insulation. For more insulation contact Custom Insulation.

Ezine Articles

Adding Attic Insulation Saves Energy

12 January 2013

Now that winter is in full swing, you may be tired of paying high energy bills. By installing additional attic insulation you can keep winter heating bills and summer cooling bills down.

Generally, the recommendations for insulation are:

Attic ---------------------------R 38
Wall ---------------------------R 13
Floor --------------------------R 25, Over Unheated Space
Crawl Space Wall -----------R 25
Basement Wall Interior -----R 11

These insulation levels balance the cost of insulating and the return in energy savings.

There are two types of additional insulation that can be installed in your attic: fiberglass batts (blanket insulation) or blown-in insulation, either cellulose or fiberglass.

Blanket insulation or batts gives you a slightly better R value per inch.
Remember the better you home is insulated, the lower your heating bills. Adding insulation will pay for itself through energy savings.

For more information, contact Custom Insulation.

Bob Vila Says, "Insulate the Attic"

27 December 2012

With many professionals forecasting this winter to be colder than last year, homeowners are going to be feeling it when the time comes to pay the utility bills.

When the temperature drops outside, many homeowners rush to increase the temperature inside, which can push energy bills way up. But there are steps you can take that can help you stay warm and toasty during the cold winter months without raising your heating costs.

“There’s a lot of little things you can do to increase the heating efficiency,” says home improvement expert Bob Vila. He has some expert tips to keep your heating bills low and your home warm and safe.

But, his Heating Tip No.3 is to Insulate the Attic
Adding insulation is a project that can save money by preventing warm air from escaping, according to Vila. Experts recommend having at least 12 inches of insulation in your attic.

Blanket insulation without paper is the best money you can spend—you’ll get your money back pretty quick, adds Lipford. “During the summer, it keeps hot air from influencing the cold air and in the winter, prevents hot air from escaping.”

For information on improving your home’s insulation, contact Custom Insulation.

Fox Business

Prevent Ice Dams this Winter

18 December 2012

We have had a lot of rain and ice in the last few days, and it makes us think of ice dams.  Ice dams can be prevented if you control heat loss in your home.

Proper attic insulation can stop ice dams and prevent damage to your roof, while lowering your home heating bills as well. Most people don’t equate poor insulation with ice dams. But ice dams result from snow melting on your roof and then that melted snow freezes. The snow melts as a result of heat loss, heat loss occurs from poor insulation.

It is important to understand that you don’t need lots of snow for ice dams to form.  Ice dams can form with just 1 or 2 inches, if the roof is poorly insulated, and the snow is followed by days of freezing temperatures.

There is an easy solution, add more or better insulation to your home to prevent heat loss. Better attic insulation stops the flow of heat from your house.
Contact Custom Insulation for information on improving attic insulation.

Add Insulation to Older Homes

14 December 2012

If you own an older home, you are probably looking for ways to reduce your heating costs. Adding insulation to your home helps you save money right now. It is also a great way to protect against energy cost increases in the future. As well, a well-insulated energy-efficient home reduces the need for cooling in the warm months. A well-insulated energy-efficient home also reduces the need for cooling in the warm months.

By far the best time to upgrade your home's insulation is when you are doing other renovation work. If you want to replace the siding of your home, it makes more economic sense to indulate while you are upgrading the siding. Fortunately, there are many different options to achieve different levels of energy performance in typical older homes by adding attic insulation, and adding insulation to the walls and foundation and reducing air leakage.

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


Eco-Friendly Insulation Options

4 December 2012

What are some eco-friendly options for insulating an unheated room of my home?

Enclosing a rarely used 3 season room is a great way to add year-round useable square footage to your home. Adding insulation lets you comfortably connect the room to the rest of your home. Foam installation is an effective solution because it's fire-resistant and provides a strong temperature barrier in tight spaces.

Knauf EcoBatt® Insulation doesn’t look like any insulation you’ve ever seen, but that’s because its natural brown color represents a level of sustainability we've never before achieved. EcoBatt Insulation combines sand, post-consumer recycled bottle glass and ECOSE Technology to create the next generation of sustainable insulation.

Another eco-friendly insulation option is cellulose insulation, which is a plant fiber that is typically made from recycled newspapers and contains 855 recycled content. Cellulose spray is considered one of the most environmentally-friendly insulation products available, and it effectively seals against air infiltration and blocks water vapor while containing no formaldehyde, asbestos, mineral fiber, or fiber glass. Cellulose also takes 10 times less energy to produce than fiberglass and does not support mold or fungus growth.

Eco-friendly insulation allows you to rest assured knowing your home is performing at its peak efficiency while becoming a healthier dwelling for you and your family. Consider all environmental aspects of foam and cellulose before investing in insulation.

For more information on eco-friendly insulation options, contact Custom Insulation.

Daily Camera

Save on Winter Heating Bills

27 November 2012

It is snowing in Worcester today, and winter is right around the corner. Are you looking for a few ways to save on winter heating bills? Here are a few suggestions from Custom Insulation.

Proper insulation - This is probably the most important way to keep you home warm this winter. Make sure you have proper insulation in both your attic and between the inside walls. Heat losses can add close to 30 percent to your energy bill too.

Fireplaces and pellet stoves - This is a great source of heat and can warm a room quickly. But, a fireplace damper left open when not in use can let warm air escape and cold air to come in. Close after each use and more importantly, open before using your fireplace.

Energy audits - Your electric company will help you determine a pattern of usage to help you find ways of improving how you use energy.

Air leaks - Drafty windows, doors, and attics will allow air to come in and heat to sneak out. Check the weather stripping around your windows and doors and replace if worn. Next check any unfinished attic space. By sealing air leaks, you can see about 30 percent in energy savings.

Insulation helps keep your house cool in the summer!