Cantilevers are areas that protrude beyond your home’s foundation or lower supporting wall (e.g., upper floor bump out, bay window, room over a porch, etc.). The thin construction material found in cantilevers creates an ideal space for unconditioned outside air to infiltrate the home, and for conditioned inside air to escape.
Cantilevered spaces in homes create distinct energy challenges for homeowners. Unless special consideration is given to these unique construction features and their insulation requirements, you may suffer from cold temperatures and high energy bills.
Oftentimes, cantilevers are not air sealed and insulated. If the builder does insulate this space, the installation of an air barrier is many times overlooked. Why does this space need both insulation and an air barrier? The space below a cantilever is shallow which does not allow it to meet local codes for R-value. Installation of a proper air barrier and insulation will prevent air infiltration by creating a thermal barrier.
Different types of insulation can be helpful depending on the project. Mineral wool is a great option to insulate commercial and industrial projects. What is mineral wool? Mineral wool insulation is also known as rock wool insulation or slag wool insulation. It is manufactured in batt and loose-fill forms, and can be used to insulate any area of a building. In addition to insulating commercial and industrial projects, mineral wool can be used to insulate residential homes.
Here’s a bit about what makes mineral wool insulation unique:
Mineral wool is manufactured from basalt, a volcanic rock, and is naturally fire retardant. This can be of particular interest in commercial and industrial construction projects.
Mineral wool has high thermal performance. It can withstand temperatures of over 700 degrees, making it ideal for commercial or industrial insulation applications that are exposed to extreme heat.
Mineral wool is naturally very moisture resistant. It retains its insulating qualities even when wet, making it a great option to insulate a space that faces moisture issues.
Everyone knows the basic principles of warm air and cool air – warm air rises, cool air sinks. You can see this in practice when a hot air balloon is filled with heated air and rises. When the air inside the balloon cools, the air becomes dense causing the balloon to lower.
This principle applies to the air inside your home. This results in something called Stack Effect. Here’s how it works and how it affects your home’s performance.
During winter months, indoor air that’s been warmed rises to the upper areas of the house. Due to natural penetration points in the roof of a home (e.g. around electrical penetrations, vents, etc.) this warm air leaks out of the home.
Losing air that you’ve paid to condition affects your wallet – and has an even greater impact. When heated air leaks from the upper level of your home, negative pressure is created in the home. Since air in the home wants to remain in balance, cold outside air is sucked in to the home through penetration points on the lower level (e.g. around windows, electrical outlets, basement box sills, crawl spaces, etc.)
During winter months, warm air inside the home is desired. What do homeowners do? They turn up the HVAC system. This creates a false sense of an efficient home because the heating system overrides any feeling of discomfort.
What about summer? During summer months, stack effect creates a much more uncomfortable living situation.
As the warm inside air rises in a home and escapes through upper level penetration points, warm outside air enters the home through lower penetration points. The home’s HVAC system will run to help cool the air inside the home. Since cool air is dense, the conditioned air will not reach the upper level of the home. This can create an unbearable living situation in the upper level of a home during peak summer months.
The utility rebate program that has been available through Home Performance with Energy Star is changing next month. If you have not yet taken advantage of rebates, please read on.
The rebates will soon shift to focus on electric savings, which in most cases will affect the amount of your rebate.
Here’s are the basics you need to know:
If you have a home heated with natural gas, propane, or oil, the dollar amount of your available rebate WILL BE DECREASING. In order to move your project through the existing program with the higher rebate amount, you will need to ACT QUICKLY. All work through the old program will need to be complete through DeVere Insulation Home Performance by July 15th for us to meet the rebate program deadline for the old rebate program.
If you have an all-electric home, the rebate amounts are going to be fluctuating as well. In some cases they will go down and in others, they will go up. Call DeVere Insulation Home Performance to discuss your options and determine the best timing to do your project to maximize your rebate.
If you plan to replace your current HVAC system AND do air sealing and insulation work, there will now be additional rebates available to you. Call DeVere Insulation Home Performance to discuss. This applies to homes with natural gas heating, electric heating (heat pump), and all homes with central air conditioning.
Are you ready for summer and secretly worrying about your summer energy costs? Many homeowners experience higher than necessary energy bills during summer. Saving money on energy bills and keeping your home comfortable isn’t as hard as you think. There are a few simple things you can do today to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of your home.
Try some of these:
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!
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.
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? Contact us for a free estimate.
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.
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.
For 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 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.
When homeowners get ready for winter, it’s common to think about attic insulation, windows and similar areas that can be affected by cold temps. It’s easy to overlook water pipes -and they can cause immense damage if they freeze and break.
When the temperature of a water pipe drops below freezing, it can quickly become damaged. When water freezes, it can expand up to ten percent in volume. This creates additional pressure on the pipes and valves in the system.
It’s important to keep pipes from being exposed to cold temperatures. Here are some ways to protect pipes from the cold:
Adding insulation to walls that would affect water pipes.
Cover exposed pipes in crawl spaces or attics with insulation sleeves.
Re-route any pipes that are on an outside wall to an inside wall. If this isn’t an option, during cold temps keep cabinet doors open below the sink to allow warm air to reach pipes and keep them from freezing.
Seal cracks or gaps in the foundation or walls that could allow pipes to be exposed to cold air.
Don’t wait for your home to be damaged from frozen pipes. Contact our office and schedule your free estimate. Our team will review your home and make recommendations for ways you can help reduce the risk of your pipes freezing.
With any project, time is money. This statement is even truer when it comes to a commercial construction project. With the scale of a commercial project, each decision becomes even more important – including choosing the right insulation contractor.
Looking to hire a commercial insulator for your next project? Here are a few things to help ensure you’re making the right choice:
Check their experience. Commercial insulation is a specialty. It’s important to know the contractor has experience in commercial insulation. They should confidently answer questions about fire ratings, codes, etc.
Up to date on new technology. A savvy commercial insulation contractor will recommend new technologies for your project that can help improve performance, aesthetics and more. A professional commercial insulation contractor will be up to date on developments in their industry, and be able to recommend new products and install methods to make your project even better.
Insured and licensed. It goes without saying that an insulation contractor should hold the proper insurance and licensing to do commercial work. If you have any doubt, ask.
Large installer base. Don’t wait until scheduling day to find out if your commercial insulation contractor has the bandwidth to complete your install in a timely fashion. Confirm your contractor and adequate number of installers available to handle your project when install day comes.
With summer just winding down, it may be hard to believe winter is on the way! It’s easy to overlook preparing your home for winter – but it can cost you in high energy bills, equipment malfunctions, home pest issues and more. Here are five easy steps to prepare your home for winter.
1. SEAL AIR LEAKS
Air sealing is one of the least expensive and most effective ways to reduce energy loss and keep energy bills lower during winter. A leaky home can waste approximately 10 to 15 percent of a home’s heating dollars. Air leaks are found around doors and windows, penetration points in the attics (can lights, chimney chases, etc.)
2. CHECK AND UPGRADE YOUR ATTIC INSULATION
Many of today’s homes are under insulated when compared to today’s building codes. After sealing air leaks, adding a layer of blown-in fiberglass insulation to your attic space can further reduce your energy bills and help keep your home comfortable.
3. SEAL AND INSULATE YOUR CRAWL SPACE
Crawl spaces can cause a variety of headaches for homeowners. Because they crawl spaces have direct contact with the earth, they become damp. This is a great breeding ground for mold and mildew, and provides an ideal living space for pests.
4. CHECK YOUR HEATING SYSTEM
Now is the time to schedule your routine inspection of your home’s heating system. By confirming it’s in good working order, you’ll know it’s working as efficiently as possible – and you’ll help avoid a mid-winter break down.
And don’t forget to change your air filter! Changing it often throughout the year can help your system run more efficiently – and help reduce dust in your home.
5. CHANGE YOUR LIGHT BULBS
Take a quick inventory of the bulbs throughout your home. Upgrading to LED bulbs can reduce your energy bills. During winter’s shorter days, homeowners have lights on more than any other time of year. The investment in LED bulbs will pay off quickly!