Any homeowner will tell you the repairs, maintenance and upgrades are never-ending. They spend a lot of time and money on finding the perfect appliances and furniture, beautifying any yard space if they have it, keeping up on outward appearances. All of this is not for the sole purpose of having a beautiful home but to continue increasing the value of the home for possible resale or loan warranty.
Rarely do you hear the phrase “I got this beautiful new insulation for my home” maybe because it’s not glamorous? Home insulation, however, should be a huge topic of discussion, especially these days when cars and homes are being made energy efficient and classified as such.
Money lost through poor insulation.
Home insulation from open-blow cellulose attic insulation, dense-pack cellulose wall insulation to air sealing and general weatherization is all geared towards maximizing control on the flow of heat through your home. It keeps heat in during the winter and hot air out during the summer, acting as a barrier.
Today’s home buyers are not only looking for good value for money but unless their job is to fix one up and make a profit, most people want a home that needs as little work done as possible. This includes insulation. When a new home has been built with complete insulation or an older property has been properly fitted with the optimal amount of insulation this is an added feature that will most certainly be included on the seller’s listing thus adding more value due to its demand. Not only that but complete home insulation plays a huge role in lowering the cost of monthly energy bills thus saving money for the current and potential homeowner. According to a survey held by the National Association of Home Builders, energy efficiency is the second highest influence purchase decisions, after community safety.
Residents of New England for example, are all too familiar with the impact of four seasons, most notably winter.Having insulation installed on an older home can be a pretty hefty cost. However, residents of Massachusetts, not long after beginning research will quickly learn about “Mass Save”. Mass Save is in partnership with a number of natural gas, electric utilities, and energy efficiency service providers to bring rebates, incentives, training and information to communities all across Massachusetts encouraging homes and businesses to upgrade their energy efficiency. If you are Massachusetts resident, you might be eligible to receive a zero-interest loan from a Mass Save program.
One such company in partnership with Mass Save is Energy Protectors. They reach clients from Boston, to Fitchburg to Leominster down to Worcester County across to Framingham who are optimizing their homes and businesses to increase property value and/or lower their monthly energy costs. Energy Protectors offer a no-cost home energy audit to determine where and how much heat you are losing. Their infrared imaging allows them to physically see where you are losing energy and not surprisingly, it is usually the worst around doors and windows. This is where their expertise in air sealing, attic insulation, exterior wall insulation come into play. After completion of the agreed to installations, they perform another test.So, if you’re looking to insulate your home in Boston, Leominster or New England in general, contact Energy Protectors or Mass Save now for a consultation and be proud to show off this new feature of your home.
Exterior Wall Insulation
Insulation is often one of the most overlooked aspects of a house but is potentially the most crucial. Insulation is what helps keep the heat out in the summer yet keeps it in during the winter months. Many people forget about it or take it for granted, perhaps it is something to do with the phrase ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ However, it is not something to be taken for granted and with winter fast approaching now is the best time to get your MA home insulated properly.
Without proper insulation, you could be losing up to 80% of your heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer – think of that in terms of money, up to 80% of your heating bill could be wasted! The main purpose of good insulation is to create a barrier between the external world and the interior of your home. Exterior walls make up the largest portion of your home which is connected to the outside world, and therefore one of the most important places to get properly insulated.
Exterior wall insulation cross section
Insulating is a quick and straightforward process, however, it is one that should be completed by an experienced insulator, using the correct tools. Exterior walls are usually filled with spray foam insulation due to the ease of which it can be installed. This spray foam will seal any cracks and voids throughout your house, making sure that air isn’t getting out or getting in unnecessarily. This type of insulation will also help to create a more consistent temperature within your home, without the need for air condition or central heating.
Spray foam insulation can also reduce moisture in the home, meaning areas which are prone to condensation could become less of a problem. This is especially useful in old MA homes which can become damp and often have problems with mold and mildew. Many of these places which are prone to condensation such as bathrooms, utility rooms, and laundry rooms have exterior walls and often come with air ducts or vents built in. This is a problem because the walls around vents or air ducts often aren’t insulated properly meaning this is a hotspot for air to get in or to escape.
Getting proper insulation around any problem areas is especially important to consider. Problem areas can include air ducts and vents, windows, and doors. Because these parts of the house are designed to let air in or out, contractors don’t always fully insulate these areas which are fundamental mistakes. Even though these parts of the house are designed to let the outside in, it doesn’t mean the area around them shouldn’t be properly insulated. In fact, because these areas are already fairly exposed to the elements, the insulation around them should be even better. Make sure you look for a qualified insulator who can do an assessment of your house and decide what kind of insulation you will need.
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 getting 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.