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Summer Energy Efficiency Tips

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summer grillingAre you trying hard to enjoy summer – but sweating profusely over how much you’re spending on air conditioning? Saving money on your energy bills doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, there are a few simple things you can do today to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of your home.
Try some of these:

1. USE THE GRILL. On the warmest days of summer, keep your kitchen and home cool by using an outdoor grill for your meals instead of the stove or oven. Not only will you reduce strain on your indoor HVAC system, you can turn any day into a backyard party!

2. SWITCH ON THE CEILING FANS. Ceiling fans better circulate the cool air already blowing inside and the slight breeze keeps you cool too. Plus, using fans actually allows you to raise the temperature setting on your thermostat four degrees. This can help lower your electricity bills without sacrificing overall comfort. Bonus tip! Switch on your bathroom fans — they pull heat and humidity from your home which also improves comfort.

3. SEAL AIR LEAKS. Low-cost caulk can be used to seal cracks, openings and other heat penetration points in your home. Air sealing keeps warm air out and conditioned air (air you’ve already paid to cool) inside your home. Need help or have a bigger job than you can handle? Give us a call. We’re air sealing experts.

4. MAINTAIN YOUR HVAC SYSTEM. Having your air conditioner serviced annually can help keep it running efficiently (and help prevent those mid-summer break downs). Check and replace your furnace filter regularly (which also helps keep your home clean), and don’t forget about your programmable thermostat!
Setting your programmable thermostat to a higher setting when you are not at home can save an estimated ten percent on your energy bills annually.

5. SEAL DUCTS. Air loss through ducts can lead to high utility costs. Leaky ducts keep conditioned air from getting to desired rooms in your home, and they force your HVAC system to work harder. Leaky ducts account for nearly 30 percent of an HVAC system’s energy consumption! Sealing those ducts can go a long way toward lowering your electricity bills.

Questioning high utility bills this summer? Contact us today for a free in-home estimate.

EcoLogical Insulates City of Birmingham Tornado Shelter

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monolithic-dome3EcoLogical Insulation had the honor of providing the spray foam insulation for the City of Birmingham’s tornado shelter. A tornado came through a couple years prior and did a lot of damage. Unfortunately, many people didn’t have a safe place to go for shelter. The city built a monolithic dome as a shelter with the hope of saving lives during future storms.

When our team arrived, the dome consisted of a PVC-coated nylon fabric. In order to maintain shape of the dome, the fabric was being continually inflated.  The goal of adding spray foam insulation was to add insulating properties and help create a sound roof structure.

Our team installed Quik Shield 112 xc from SWD Urethane.  This is a 2 pound closed cell foam that is designed to provide a continuous layer of insulation. In addition to its insulating properties, the product also helps with structural integrity.

monolithic-dome2The install process was complex. Our installation technicians installed the product in quarter-inch passes. After the first inch was installed, the shape of the dome was held in place by the foam on the underside of the fabric. A total of three inches of the product was installed.

Do you have a unique project and wonder if spray foam is the answer? Contact us!  

Watch our video of the finished product:

 

 

 

 

 

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Icynene LD-R-50 earns USDA BioPreferred Status

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Icynene LD-R-50 earns USDA BioPreferred Status

ICYNENE LD-R-50™ spray foam insulation has earned the United States Department of Agriculture’s BioPreferred status for use of rapidly renewable materials.  The insulation uses castor oil instead of petroleum based polyols.  Castor oil is a safe natural ingredient that is found in common products such as lip balm.  The castor plant is grown on marginal cropland, is not a food source, and requires little if any irrigation or pesticides.

ICYNENE LD-R-50™ is a spray applied thermal insulation that is also an air barrier system. It insulates and air-seals in one step for maximum energy conservation while minimizing the environmental impact during manufacturing and construction.  All Icynene® spray foam insulation products are 100% water blown and contain no HCFC’s or PBDE’s.

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Cap and Trade – A Hidden Tax Increase that Spray Foam Insulation Can Help Offset

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Cap and Trade – A Hidden Tax Increase that Spray Foam Insulation Can Help Offset

The Obama administration has lofty goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 83% of 2005 levels by 2050.  Congress also supports these ambitious goals.  If the president and the legislative body are unable to enact regulations, the EPA has said that they will take regulation into their own hands.  No one can argue the importance of protecting our environment from carbon emissions; however, proposed cap and trade legislation would tax the polluters who would in turn have to pass along the burden of those taxes to the average consumer like you and me.

 

The cap and trade plan is essentially a carbon emissions tax that would hit electric utilities like the Southern Company that use coal as their primary energy source.  Southern Company currently gets approximately 71% of its energy from coal-fired power plants. This would also affect local electric co-ops who purchase their energy from the Southern Company.   If enacted the taxes would flow through to the consumer, as the utilities fight to remain profitable.  Southern Company recently increased electricity prices in Alabama; and if the cap and trade legislation is enacted, consumers should expect their electricity prices to skyrocket further.

 

Spray foam insulation is one product that can help reduce electricity consumption and therefore indirectly decrease the burden of this potential hidden tax increase.  It is a product that can be used in new construction or existing homes.  There are even tax credits available to put spray foam insulation into existing homes.  Products like ICYNENE LD-R-50™ are environmentally responsible and drastically reduce electrical usage from heating and cooling.

 

Contact EcoLogical Insulation for questions on your next project.

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Green Insulation – Soy What’s it All About

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What is “green”?  With all of the “green” products that we are bombarded with in our daily lives, it has become increasingly difficult to differentiate between what is actually green and what is not.  Spray foam insulation is inherently a green product, because when properly installed it virtually eliminates air infiltration and exfiltration in buildings.  Air infiltration and exfiltration is estimated to cost US homeowners over $13 Billion annually.  A product that eliminates air infiltration and consequently conserves natural resources and reduces our dependence on petroleum definitely qualifies as green in my mind.

You may ask how a product like Icynene® that contains petroleum based ingredients can be considered green?  It is true that some spray foam insulation manufacturers do indeed have petroleum-based products in their B component of the foam, however it is in small amounts.  Does this make it less green?  Sometimes you have to give a little to get a lot in return.  The cumulative savings of the product far outweigh the trivial amount of the petroleum-based ingredients.  The United States Green Building Council agrees, as do most other green building associations.  It reduces consumption, reduces other material use, and Icynene® contains no CFC’s, no HCFC’s, no HFA’s, no formaldehyde, or volatile organic compounds.

In recent years some spray foam manufacturers have proclaimed their product to be more green by replacing the petroleum-based products with soy-based products. The reduction of petroleum-based ingredients is beneficial to the environment, however the cumulative net gain in “greenness” over traditional spray foam like ICYNENE LD-C-50™ (formerly known as Icynene® “Classic”) is minimal. The manufacturers like to make people believe that the entire product is soy based, however this far from the truth.

Spray foam insulation is a 2-component product made up of 50% “A” Component and 50% “B” component.  All manufacturers use a similar “A” component. Most manufacturers have their own proprietary blend of ingredients in their “B” component.  In the “soy based” products only a small percentage of the “B” Component contains soy-based derivatives. If 10% of the “B” component contained soy derivatives, that only equates to 5% of the finished product. The finished product still has to be transported via freight, and it will not perform any better after installation.  Yes, it is a step in the right direction, however it is far from perfect.  Soybeans are in demand as a food product; they require insecticides, irrigation, and fertilization.  Unfortunately they are not using organic soybeans.  Most people could not afford that.  Does it still sound greener?

In the first quarter of this year Icynene introduced ICYNENE LD-R-50™.  The letters stand for Low Density – Renewable – .5 pounds per cubic foot.  ICYNENE LD-R-50™ raises the green bar by replacing the petroleum derivatives with oil derived from Castor Beans.  It is not a food source, requires little if any irrigation, is grown on marginal cropland, and requires little if any fertilization.  Castor oil is a benign ingredient that is used in lip balm.  ICYNENE LD-R-50™also has the highest verifiable agribased content of any spray foam manufacturer.  This was determined by the ICC Evaluation Service and published in their Verifiable Attribute Report. ICYNENE LD-R-50™ now can claim to be the greenest spray foam on the market. Period.  Are the soy-based products green?  Yes.  Are the petroleum-based products green? Yes.  But the greenest of the green is the ICYNENE LD-R-50™!  It also has the Icynene name behind it, which means you can sleep well at night knowing you have the greenest, safest, and most thoroughly tested spray insulation on the market. The Lifetime Warranty doesn’t hurt either.

Contact EcoLogical Insulation for questions on your next project.

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Obama Says Insulation is Sexy Stuff

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A recent Press Release with President Obama turned out to be a great step forward for our company. Obama says, “Insulation Is Sexy Stuff!”

Standing in a Home Depot in Alexandria, Virginia today, President Obama said that home insulation “is sexy.

“I know the idea may not be very glamorous, although I get really excited about it,” Mr. Obama said, “here’s what’s sexy about it:  saving money.”

Mr. Obama said the current lack of efficiency in most homes and buildings is the equivalent of watching “$20 bills just, sort of, floating though the window up into the atmosphere.”

Following his economic speech last Tuesday in which he outlined new ways to spur job creation, Mr. Obama today traveled to Home Depot to focus on one part of that place: home retrofitting as a way to make them more energy efficient and to create jobs.

With insulation and heating products saying “tax credit eligible” in the backdrop, Mr. Obama spoke about how energy efficiency can lead to green jobs.

“Installing new windows and doors, insulation, roofing, ceiling leaks, modernizing heating and cooling equipment — is one of the fastest, easiest and cheapest things we can do to put American back to work while saving money and reducing harmful emissions.”

The President called on Congress to provide new temporary incentives for Americans to make energy-efficiency retrofit investment in their homes.

“And we want them to do it soon,” he added.

With investments made under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, including state and local energy grants – the President said the administration is on pace to upgrade the homes of half a million Americans by this time next year.

“Most of this stuff is going to pay for itself. You put in the insulation, you weatherize your home now, you will make up that money in a year or two years or three years, and then everything after that is just gravy.”

And Mr. Obama joked he might just do a little of his own shopping for Christmas at the home improvement store.

“Seeing how Christmas is just around the corner and we’re at Home Depot, I thought I might knock out some of my holiday shopping. I figure my energy secretary wants a few million energy-efficient light bulbs.   My press secretary wants something that will prevent leaks.”

Contact EcoLogical Insulation for questions on your next project.

EcoLogical Grows to Cover the State of Alabama Including Tuscaloosa, Huntsville and Birmingham

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EcoLogical Grows to Cover the State of Alabama Including Tuscaloosa, Huntsville and Birmingham

EcoLogical Insulation – Press Release For the past several years an Auburn, Alabama based company, EcoLogical Insulation, has been changing the way homes across the southeast are being insulated and kept warm. How? They are using an innovative technique coupled with new, greener, technology known as Icynene.

Unlike other uses of insulation such as fiber glass batts, rock and slag wool, or cotton and denim, Icynene is essentially spray foam that is water blown and open celled which produces a healthier, quieter home experience while reducing home heating cost. Growing to be the number one insulation product, EcoLogical Insulation is making a name for themselves by being the only licensed professionals in Central America.

Right now, EcoLogical Insulation is looking to expand their business further in the state of Alabama by moving into the Birmingham, Huntsville and Tuscaloosa. You don’t have to be building a new home to have access to spray foam. For existing home owners looking to remodel and re-insulate their homes with Icynene for whatever the reasoning; to save utility costs, power, to go greener, or to simply stay warmer, EcoLogical Insulation can do the job you’re looking for.

EcoLogical Insulation employs individuals who have had years of experience with spray foam insulation so that their customers can feel safe and become informed when employees are on site. EcoLogical Insulation are also committed to the environment by being committed to other informational services such ENERGY STAR, Simple Steps, and Earth Easy. Through this commitment EcoLogical Insulation strives to inform the public not only about better Insulation products, but better environmental and sustainable living.

Information Details:

Spray Foam Tuscaloosa

Spray Foam Huntsville

Spray Foam Birmingham