Home Insulation – DIY or Pro?

New England residents are all too familiar with the impact of the four seasons, most notably winter.  Each year they see the common sights of salt mounds,  signs searching for truck drivers with snow plows, weather forecasters predicting the possible blizzards ahead.  They’re preparing the not-so-long forgotten winter boots, hats, scarves, gloves and down jackets.  Another winter busting method folks are taking care of is their home insulation.

After a grueling winter when the last of the snow has finally melted and the Red Sox are in Spring training, Spring cleaners are also assessing any damage caused to their home from the heavy weighted piles of snow and sheets of ice underneath.  They’re also going through finances in preparation for tax season hoping for a nice refund to finally get the house properly prepped for what will inevitably be another cruel winter.  Prepped by revamping their home insulation.

Home insulation, in case you’re unclear, is not just for winter.  It acts as a barrier to prevent heat from getting out in winter but it also helps keep the heat from DIY insulation, air sealing, and weatherizationgetting in during the summer. Much like an insulated drink container that can keep hot and cold beverages at optimum temperature.

Homeowners quickly learn how to make simple repairs and updates around the home lest they spend more money than they would like on professional help.  Home insulation, though many have tried, is one of those big ones that can and should be done right, with the help of energy efficiency experts.   A quick trip to the hardware store leaves you feeling a little dumbfounded with R-value differentials, flame retardant grades, water-resistant levels, not to mention cellulose, fiberglass, foam spray.  Before you can even think about what materials you need and at what level you first have to perform a complete evaluation of your entire home. If you’re going to insulate your home, you might as well get the whole hog, right?

Review your current insulation as there might be old materials in need of replacement. This includes insulation in your attic, walls, crawlspace, basement ceiling, the insulation around pipes to name a few. Be mindful of old materials as there may be harmful substances such as fiberglass, mold, mildew, animal infestations etc.  The eave vents in your attic might benefit from baffle insulation. Then there are the seals around lights, vents and windows and doors. All this on top of keeping up with current building and energy efficiency codes.  Cutting corners on this might have negative effects on the value of your property.

If you have the time to the research, or already have the know-how. And you have the correct tools for each job plus the finances required to make all the product purchases then, by all means, have at it.

For the rest of us, we’ll be sticking with the professionals.  If you live in the New England area, or more specifically Massachusetts, you might be happy to learn about a state incentive program called “Mass Save”.  Mass Save collaborates with gas and electricity providers and energy efficiency experts to provide services across the state for homeowners looking to make improvements to their property.  They offer incentives, rebates, and information, discounted services to qualifying applicants and more.

One of the Mass Save partners is Energy Protectors. If you can’t wrap your head around open-blow cellulose attic insulation, dense-pack cellulose wall insulation, air sealing or home weatherization in general, let the people at Energy Protectors handle it for you. They have helped people from Boston, to Framingham, to Worcester, to Fitchburg not only improve the control of heat in their homes but also cut costs on their energy bills.  The offer a no-cost home evaluation service to gauge just how much your home needs.  Once work has been completed, they perform the tests again to see the difference.

So, to sum up, a simple online search for example like “insulate my home in Boston” can lead you to someone who can get the job done efficiently, effectively and at a lower cost to you that can also save you money from month to month.  A “how to” search can lead you down a long, arduous, costly road that might end up hurting your home’s worth. I know which one I would choose.

The Importance of Good Insulation

The Importance of Good Insulation

If you are looking at your energy bills, you may be wondering what you can do in order to save money. You may have tried a lot of things, but you may not have thought about the insulation in your home. By getting an energy assessment like the one offered by Mass Save, you are going to find ways to reduce your energy costs. Insulation is an amazing investment that will not only save you money but it will also help increase the value of your home. However, the quality of insulation is going to make the biggest difference in your home.

The fact is that not all insulation is created equal. Insulation is rated by its R-value, which is a measurement that lets you know the quality of insulation you are using. The best insulation available is the insulation with the highest R-value. This value shows the insulation that it provides and its blocking capacity. The different R-values can be seen in the different materials that the insulation is made from. There are other factors that determine the R-value of the insulation, such as where the insulation is installed, the quality of the installation, and the thickness of the insulation. High-quality insulation means nothing if it was not properly installed as this can create areas where the heat or cold air can escape from the space. By visiting the Department of Energy website or by following the recommendation of the Mass Save assessment expert, you can find out what the minimum R-value that you need is.

Infrared insulation

There are a few different types of insulation that you can look at to improve the energy costs in your home. One option is wall insulation, which has a couple of different options depending on the wall type that you have in your home. If you have a gap in between the outer and inner leaf, you can get cavity wall insulation where the insulation is inserted through holes that were drilled into the wall. (These are filled in afterward by cement). If not, you can get solid wall insulation. There is also a warm loft or cold loft types of insulation installation for the roof. There is also floor insulation, door insulation, and window insulation.

Insulation is crucial for temperature control in the home. When you have the proper insulation in the space, you are going to have a more energy efficient home that is comfortable all year long. There are some important things to consider when you are debating about adding insulation to the space. Walls without proper insulation can allow a house to lose around 30 or 40 percent of its heat. A poorly insulated roof can allow for about 25 percent of heat loss in the home. Windows and doors without proper insulation can cause heat loss of around 20 percent. Consider this next time that you notice an incredibly high energy bill that you may worry about being able to afford. Good insulation can make all of the difference in the world.

 

Insulation vs. Air Barriers

Insulation vs. Air Barriers

When you are talking about materials used to create your home, you may hear the terms “air barrier” and “insulation” without fully understanding either of these terms. These are two things that are vastly different from each other, meaning that understanding what they mean is important to ensuring that your home is as energy efficient as possible. Here, you are going to learn all about both of these options so you can make an informed decision on which products are used in your home.

Insulation typically refers to what is known as continuous insulation, where there are layers of insulation that continue throughout the rest of the building. These are here to cover structural things like the framing. It will cover the highly conductive areas, which will prevent a direct short circuit from the outside through to the other side of the structure. The insulation is what is responsible for allowing the energy to transfer through the building as well as inside and outside of the building. Reducing the energy transfer between the empty space. Good insulation is responsible for controlling the moisture, heat, and air to increase the energy efficiency of the building. There are different types of insulation out there, so you should do your research to figure out which one will best meet your needs.

Air barrier insulation

An air barrier is something that will restrict the air flow around the building and its foundation. Because they limit the air exfiltration and filtration, air barriers are able to minimize the energy loss that you will experience. These can control the air quality inside of the building and the temperature to ensure that it is energy efficient. These can also be referred to as “air and water vapor resistant barriers”. This refers to the fact that these barriers can also limit the moisture that migrates in and out of the wall. If there is too much moisture within a structure, this can cause a whole slew of problems

 

Air barriers are generally created from a variety of different materials. These materials can include insulating and non-insulating board stock, self-adhered membranes, and fluid-applied materials along with a mechanically-fastened building wrap. There are very strict air permeance requirements for good air barriers. These barriers are installed by continuously wrapping these items around a structure, which creates an air-resistant and protective membrane. Air barriers are sometimes used in the foundation, but they will primarily be used in the walls and the roofs.

Each of these items has their own purposes in the construction world. An expert installer of insulation can let you know which of these options best meets your individual needs for your building. There is a lot of things to consider, so speaking to a professional is going to give you the answers and advice that you need to make such an important decision. Often times, these two concepts are something that many people outside of the industry confuse. However, problems can arise in the home if you use the wrong option.

Cost vs. Value of Insulation

Cost vs. Value of Insulation

When people are considering upgrades to their home, admittedly one of the things that they do not really think about is the insulation in their home. The problem is that this can be a big mistake on the part of the homeowner. There are a lot of homeowners in the country that have insulation that is not sufficient enough for their home. In fact, you should know that getting high-quality insulation in the attic can give you a nearly 117% return on your investment. This means that you can actually get more for your home with high-end insulation. Attic insulation actually gives you the biggest ROI when upgrading your home.

So what makes getting insulation so great for your home? The biggest thing is the energy savings that you will find when upgrading your insulation. The reduction in energy costs is something that will really make homeowners happy. Good insulation means that you get to keep the heat or cold air in your home with less seeping out, which means that you will spend less on heating or cooling your home. As energy costs seem to continually rise, the investment of good insulation certainly seems like the best choice for your space.

How do you know if you have good insulation in your home? Through a program like Mass Save®, you can get a free inspection that will help you to improve the energy efficiency of your home. When you get this type of inspection done, you will often get rebates that you can use towards upgrading the insulation. They will let you know which type of insulation that you currently have while giving you additional options as to ho

w you can upgrade it. There are even tax benefits that you can get from energy-efficient upgrades like insulation, where you can get up to 10% or $500 for your insulation upgrades.

Cost vs Value of Insulation

 

Now you will want to know what you should be looking for in insulation. When looking at insulation, you need to look at the R-value of the insulation. The higher this R-value is the better quality the insulation is. It is especially important to focus your attention on your attic insulation. There is a lot of heat that can be lost from the attic as your warm air is going to go through your cold ceilings. You should also pay close attention to having excellent wall insulation, heating duct insulation, and heating pipe insulation. If each of these areas has great insulation, you will find that your energy bills are going to be much more affordable.

As a homeowner, one of the biggest things that you aim to do is to reduce your bills as much as possible. Things like upgrading your insulation can be a big help when it comes to your monthly bills. If you want to know if you need better insulation for your home, an energy assessment can identify any problem that you may have and they will do it for free when you go through programs like Mass Save.

 

Basement Insulation

Basement Insulation

It really does not matter if you have a finished basement or not, insulation is something that you absolutely want in your basement. There are quite a few reasons as to why this is important, no matter how you use this space. If you do not already have an insulated basement, this is something that you should consider doing as soon as possible. Through this article, you will learn just how important basement insulation really is for your home and why it is such a wise investment.basement insulation

You first should understand just why you need basement insulation in your home. One reason for this is because it can help with moisture problems that can easily arise in these types of spaces. If left to get worse, moisture in the basement can cause mold and mildew issues that not only have a strong odor but can also potentially lead to some health issues. An insulated basement is also very important to ensure that the living areas above the basement are dry and comfortable. The temperature control in a basement that is insulated is much better, which can be crucial in cutting the energy costs for your home.

There are several things that you need to consider if you are going to insulate your basement. First of all, you need to decide on where you are going to insulate the space. You can install insulation on the ceilings as well as on the interior or exterior of your basement walls. Each of these options has their own benefits. Exterior insulation can use fewer materials when compared to interior insulation but it is often a more expensive option. This is because there are additional precautions that are necessary, including something like a drainage system. The benefit with this type of installation is that it is highly effective for reducing the amount of heat that gets lost through the foundation. It can also protect the foundation from stability problems that can occur due to temperature changes. The type of installation that you use will often depend on the specific needs of your home as well as the type of basement you have (finished or unfinished). There are also budget considerations that you will need to look at to decide which option is going to be the best one for you. Materials that are frequently used for basement installations include fiberglass, bubble foil, sprayed foam, and foam board.

If you are considering adding insulation to your basement, hiring a professional to handle this task for you will be your best investment. They can work with you to decide which option is going to work best for your budget and your particular needs. The professional can let you know which products are going to work best and discuss with you the differences between the interior and exterior insulation. Together, you will create a plan that will offer you the best benefits from insulation. Having all of the information to make an informed decision is crucial. It may be cheaper to do a project like this on your own, but it may not be the best idea if you do not know what you are doing. Call or email today!

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