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woman suffering from allergies

Do you or someone you love suffer from asthma or asthma-related attacks?

By News

It’s estimated that 26 million Americans are affected by asthma or asthma-related conditions. It’s proven that these attacks have a direct link to air quality — and air sealing your home can help.

In the lungs of asthma sufferers, swollen airways become extra sensitive when the individual is exposed to asthma triggers such as pollen, smoke, pet dander, dust, mold, chemicals in the air and more. To make things worse, an American Lung Association study indicated too many people in the United States live in areas where the air is unhealthy for them to breathe.

Sealing a home’s air leaks can help improve indoor air quality by lowering the number of asthma triggers that can enter the inside of a home or building.

Spray foam insulation is a great option to both insulate and seal air leaks in one step. In fact, one of the key benefits of spray foam is improved indoor air quality. The material provides an exceptional air seal, works as a thermal barrier (insulator) and helps control moisture issues. This improved air-tightness provides better control of indoor humidity, which reduces mold inside the home. It also dramatically reduces the number of pollutants that can enter the home (pollen, dust, etc.) and allows a home to have proper mechanical ventilation to filter the air and keep the interior air clean.

By reducing these asthma triggers, anyone affected by asthma or other breathing issues will benefit.

Contact us for an air sealing estimate today!

 

exhaust fan

What You Need to Know About Ventilation in New Construction

By News

Ventilation is an important topic is the world of energy-efficient homebuilding. With the increase in green building techniques and tighter building envelopes comes an increased need for proper building ventilation.
New buildings that are airtight have lower energy bills – and can have poor indoor air quality.

Why the increase in air quality problems? Older homes weren’t built as tightly as today’s standards, were ventilated by uncontrolled air leakage and had little or no insulation that was not manufactured with flame retardants and other additives. Tight building envelopes found in today’s construction require controlled mechanical ventilation to maintain optimal air quality.
Which type of ventilation is best? There are a number of factors that influence which system is appropriate including code requirements, the size of the building, combustion appliance type, and budget. Here are four common ventilation system options:

  • Exhaust Only – uses a small exhaust fan placed in a kitchen or bathroom, which runs continuously or intermittently to exhaust stale air and moisture. These systems are inexpensive and easy to install.
  • Supply Only – a fan brings in fresh air and stale air escapes through cracks and air-leakage sites in the home. These systems can include a filter to trap pollen and dust or a dehumidifier to control indoor humidity levels.
  • Balanced – includes separate fans that drive both intake and exhaust airflow, providing a better ventilation system. Allows control of where fresh air comes from and where it is delivered. Typical systems are designed to ventilate living rooms and bedrooms where people spend most of their time.
  • Balanced with Heat Recovery – like this balanced system, this system has an air-to-air heat exchanger so that the outgoing air will precondition the incoming air (an ideal system for colder climates).

 

Have questions about the proper ventilation system for a new construction home or commercial building? Contact us today.

 

Insulation ROI

Attic insulation tops list for home improvement ROI

By News

Insulation ROIFor the second year in a row, Remodeling Magazine ranked “adding attic insulation” as the top “bang for the buck” home improvement project. The report included the 29 top remodeling projects done in a home, ranking average cost against return on investment during resale.

The 2017 Cost vs. Value Report shows adding attic insulation delivers over a 100% return on investment – the only home project that returns more than the project cost. The second-place return on investment project, replacing a front entry door, came in at just over 90% return on investment.

Visit Remodeling Magazine’s report for more information and to see how other projects rank.

fiberglass insulation

How to choose an insulation contractor

By News

IMG_1888When it comes to home improvement projects or building a new home, it’s hard to know you’re choosing the best contractor for your job. How do you know the company is reputable and will be there to handle a problem that could come up down the road? Can you trust them to show up on the day the work is to be performed?

Don’t let the process of hiring an insulation contractor become overwhelming. Here are some tips to help ensure you’re making the right choice:

  • Check their experience. It’s important to know your contractor has experience in residential insulation. In today’s economy, there are many one-man operations that don’t have the experience to properly install your type of project. Check references and work history to be certain you’re choosing a qualified contractor.
  • Building science savvy. A good insulation contractor will have a deep knowledge of building science. They will be able to speak clearly about your home’s overall energy performance and answer questions about topics like air sealing, mechanical ventilation, indoor air quality and more.
  • Insured and licensed. It goes without saying that an insulation contractor should hold the proper insurance and licensing to work on your home. If you have any doubt, ask.
  • Customer-focused. It’s never too early to receive great service. A professional contractor will return your calls in a timely fashion, answer your questions and fully explain your project estimate.

EcoLogical Insulation has extensive insulation experience, is up to date on new insulation technologies, is properly licensed and insured, and cares about providing great customer service. To schedule a free estimate for your insulation project, contact our office.

measuring amount of fiberglass insulation in attic

How to Know if Your Attic Needs More Insulation

By News

measuring-attic-insulationSince building codes change over time and insulation product can settle, your attic may be under insulated. This means you may be spending more money on energy bills than is necessary.

If your attic has less than 11″ of insulation, you may be wasting money on your energy bills. Today’s building codes require 11″ of insulation to ensure your home is properly insulated.

Want to check your attic? Here’s how:

  1. Open the access point to your attic.
  2. Place a ruler in your attic insulation with the 1” mark at the bottom. Want a quicker way to check? If you can see the top of the joists in your attic floor, you need more insulation.
  3. Make a note of insulation depth.
  4. Call us and tell us the results. We’ll schedule a time to double check the depth and provide an estimate to upgrade your insulation.

 

Adding insulation to your attic will increase comfort and reduce your energy bills. Have other questions about energy efficiency? Contact us – we’re happy to help!

nest thermostat

Energy-Saving Technologies for Your Home

By News

nestFrom controlling lights at home through a mobile app to investing in smart appliances that cut down on energy use and costs, the options for decreasing energy use can be overwhelming. Here are a few of today’s new home technologies that can help save big on energy costs.

  1. Smart Thermostats 
    Smart thermostats help cut down on home energy use and heating and cooling costs. Smart thermostats go one step further than traditional programmable thermostats by adjusting your home’s temperature based on your own lifestyle and schedule. They can even integrate with the weather forecast to further customize your home’s temperature. Smart thermostat technology blends energy efficiency and comfort. According to Nest, a smart thermostat brand, the investment can pay for itself over time based on an average 30% reduction in energy bills.
  2. Smart Appliances
    Smart appliances have the ability to communicate the personal habits of electricity consumers back to the energy companies. Why does this matter? This communication can tell your appliances the optimal off-peak hours to perform their functions. This allows you to save money by operating certain functions at a time when energy rates are lower, taking pressure off the energy grid and off your wallet.
  3. smart-stripSmart Power Strips
    Power strips have traditionally been used to expand the number of electrical outlets in your home, but their convenience can encourage homeowners to leave electronics plugged in all the time. When plugged in many devices draw power even when they’re not being used not using them. Printers, DVD players, computers and plasma TVs are all examples of products with standby modes that make them convenient to use but draw a lot of energy even when not in use. Smart power strips work to reduce your “down time” energy draw by shutting down power to products that go into standby mode. This can save a lot of money, especially when considering that down time power consumption in an average home can be anywhere from five to ten percent of a home’s energy use.
  4. Home-Automation Lighting
    It’s been long-encouraged that switching to LED lighting is the way to go in order to cut back on energy usage and costs. Now you can take it a step further by controlling energy-efficient lighting with custom-made hardware that can adjust switches from anywhere.

Looking to save even more? ENERGY STAR estimates a homeowner can save up to 10% on their total annual energy bill by air sealing and insulating.

Contact us to learn more and to schedule your free estimate.

blown-in fiberglass insulation

Three Reasons to Insulate your Attic

By News, Uncategorized

attic-blown-in-insulationIt may seem obvious that your home’s attic needs insulation. But do you really know why it matters? Here are three reasons to upgrade your attic insulation and seal attic air leaks:

  • Heating and cooling costs account for up to 50-70 percent of the energy used in an average home. Taking steps to improve your home’s energy efficiency keeps your energy bills low and reduces wear and tear on your HVAC system.
  • Air naturally moves upward through your house. Adding insulation and sealing air leaks in your attic prevents air you’ve already paid to heat or cool from leaving your home.
  • Insulating and air sealing your attic can prevent unconditioned air from coming into your home. This means your HVAC system has to work less to maintain your home’s interior temperature.

 

Adding insulation to your attic is one of the most cost effective ways to save money on your energy bills each month. Wondering if your home could benefit from additional attic insulation? Contact us for a free estimate.

 

 

Why Spray Foam?

By News

IMG_1799Why Spray Foam?

If you’re not familiar with two-in-one benefits of spray foam insulation, we’re here to help! To understand the benefits of spray foam insulation, think of a foam coffee cup or a foam ice chest. Both products keep heat or cold in, while protecting the exterior from transferring temperature. Foam insulation does the exact same thing.

Foam insulation doesn’t only insulate your home like other insulation products like fiberglass and cellulose insulation –­ it also seals air leaks. Why does this matter? Air sealing prevents air from inside your home from escaping through the cracks and crevices in your home. Leaks are often found around recessed (can) lights, plumbing stacks, electrical wires, attic hatches or doors, around chimneys or flues, and duct chases. When these are sealed conditioned air you’ve already paid for stays in your home.

 

Why Invest in Spray Foam Insulation?

With so many ways homeowners can spend money on their home, why should you invest in spray foam insulation and its air sealing benefits? Here are just a few reasons:

  • Sealing air leaks and adding proper mechanical ventilation to a home can increase your indoor air quality. Air leakage (outside air that enters a house uncontrollably through cracks and openings) is not the same as ventilation. Sealing these leaks and properly ventilating creates healthier indoor air.
  • A home built on a crawl space filled with mold, dust and pests affects your health and the health of your family. Air from your crawl space moves up into your home, bringing those contaminants with it, into the air you breathe.
  • By properly insulating and air sealing, you are keeping energy you have already paid for in your home.
    • AND reducing your home’s heating and cooling needs reduces wear and tear on your HVAC system!

 

Contact us today for a free spray foam estimate!

 

building envelope

New Energy Codes Go Into Effect in October. Are You Ready?

By News

energy-codesAlabama is adopting the 2015 International Residential Code (IRC) with specific Alabama amendments. This code will go into effect October 1, 2016. All homes permitted prior to this date will still be subject to the current 2009 IECC requirements.

Building energy codes are important for several of reasons:

  • Building energy codes save consumers money. A home that does not meet code standards results in wasted energy and high operating costs. Efficient buildings use less energy and put money back into a building owner’s pocket.
  • Building energy codes result in healthier, more comfortable buildings by reducing the amount of outside air that enters the home. This helps occupants breathe healthier air with appropriate levels of humidity. Homes also remain comfortable year-round, resulting in high rates of satisfaction for residents, and often times increased home values.
  • Energy codes boost the local economy. Money saved through lower energy bills can be spent on other goods and services in the local economy.
  • Energy codes reduce foreign energy consumption. Buildings consume 40 percent of the energy used in the United States. Reducing the amount of energy used by buildings reduces our demand for foreign energy.

 

Overview of the 2015 IRC

Although r-values in the 2015 code remain largely unchanged, the tightness of the building envelope and ductwork see significant changes.

  • The 2015 code reduces air changes from seven (7) air changes per hour to five (5) air changes per hour.
  • Ductwork leakage is moving from 12% total leakage to 4% total leakage.
  • Achieving this new standard with traditional fiberglass insulation will require greater attention to detail in framing methods, duct sealing methods, air sealing techniques and more.

 

In addition to the reduced air changes and leakage levels, there is a change in the inspection for air leakage. The visual inspection option for air leakage is no longer valid. With the 2015 codes, all houses will require a blower door test.

Confused about the new codes? Don’t be. We are here to help you navigate the changes and answer any questions. Contact our office with your questions.

Boy suffering from allergies

Suffer from Allergies? Did you know…

By News

Do you or someone you love suffer from asthma or asthma-related attacks?

It’s estimated that 26 million Americans are affected by asthma or asthma-related conditions. It’s proven that these attacks have a direct link to air quality — and air sealing your home can help.

In the lungs of asthma sufferers, swollen airways become extra sensitive when the individual is exposed to asthma triggers such as pollen, smoke, pet dander, dust, mold, chemicals in the air and more. To make things worse, an American Lung Association study indicated too many people in the United States live in areas where the air is unhealthy for them to breathe.

Sealing a home’s air leaks can help improve indoor air quality by lowering the number of asthma triggers that can enter the inside of a home or building.

Spray foam insulation is a great option to both insulate and seal air leaks in one step. In fact, one of the key benefits of spray foam is improved indoor air quality. The material provides an exceptional air seal, works as a thermal barrier (insulator) and helps control moisture issues. This improved air-tightness provides better control of indoor humidity, which reduces mold inside the home. It also dramatically reduces the number of pollutants that can enter the home (pollen, dust, etc.) and allows a home to have proper mechanical ventilation to filter the air and keep the interior air clean.

By reducing these asthma triggers, anyone affected by asthma or other breathing issues will benefit.

Contact us for a free estimate to air seal your home and increase your indoor air quality.