Five Ways to Prepare Your Home for Winter

Winter is here again! If you’ve neglected making energy upgrades to your home, get ready for the same issues you faced last year…

Winter is here again! If you’ve neglected making energy upgrades to your home, get ready for the same issues you faced last year. Winter weather problems can include equipment malfunction, pest infiltration, indoor air quality issues, not to mention high energy bills.

It’s not too late to get your home ready for winter! Energy improvements will make your home more comfortable today and all year long! Here are five ways to get your home ready for winter:

Seal Air Leaks
Air sealing is one of the least expensive and most effective ways to reduce energy loss and keep energy bills low. Air leaks around a home can waste approximately 10 to 15 percent of the money a homeowner spends on heating bills. Sealing air leaks around doors, windows, recessed lights, ductwork, chimney chases and more will keep conditioned air inside your home and reduce wear and tear on your heating system.

Upgrade Attic Insulation
After air sealing, adding a layer of blown-in fiberglass insulation to your attic can further reduce your energy bills and help keep your home comfortable. Even if your home is newer, it may not be adequately insulated based on today’s building codes. (Unsure if your attic is properly insulated? Our staff can help!)

Insulate and Seal Your Crawl Space
Crawl spaces are naturally cool and damp. Because they are in direct contact with the main floor of your house, the condition within your crawl space can affect your home’s comfort level. As your home breathes from ground to sky, this cool and damp air is drawn into your home’s interior through tiny penetration points around your floor. This can lower the internal temperature of your home and drive up your heating bills.

Check Your Furnace
Confirming your furnace is in good working order can ensure that it’s working as efficiently as possible and can uncover any problems that could cause a midwinter breakdown. Don’t forget to change your furnace filter! Regularly changing the filter can help your furnace run more efficiently and reduce dust in your home.

Upgrade to LED Bulbs
Have you taken inventory of your home’s light bulbs? Investing in LED bulbs pays off quickly! Upgrading to LED bulbs can reduce your energy bills, especially during winter’s shorter days when lights are on more than any other time of year.

Investing in these improvements will pay off in energy savings and a more comfortable home all year long. Have questions about air sealing, insulating, your crawl space or anything above? Contact our office – our team can help!

 

Three Reasons to Seal and Insulate Your Crawl Space Before Winter

Winter is around the corner. Unless you’ve invested this year in home energy improvements, your home will be as inefficient and uncomfortable this winter as it was last winter.

Winter is around the corner. Unless you’ve invested this year in home energy improvements, your home will be as inefficient and uncomfortable this winter as it was last winter.

If your home has a crawl space, sealing and insulating your crawl space can dramatically improve your home’s comfort, reduce energy bills and improve the quality of air inside your home.

Today’s building science proves that what’s beneath your home affects the comfort inside your home. A home’s natural airflow is from bottom to top (from the ground to sky). As your home naturally breathes, air is drawn up from the basement or crawl space, through the living area and out through the attic. This natural airflow means air from a moist crawl space (and everything in the crawl space air) flows up and into your home’s living area.

Here are three reasons to insulate your crawl space before winter:

  1. Improved Air Quality
    Crawl spaces are naturally damp. As your home breathes, air from your crawl space flows into your home’s living space through penetration points around wiring, plumbing holes and more. This means the air in your crawl space is mingling with the air you breathe every day. Not only is this distasteful, it’s unhealthy. Air sealing and insulating your crawl space will improve the air quality and help keep pollutants out of your home.
  2. Lower energy bills
    Does your furnace run more than you’d like during winter? This is a result of your HVAC system heating air from the crawl space that’s mingling with the air that’s already been heated. This means your HVAC system is continually working to maintain your home’s internal temperature. This results in higher energy bills – and more wear and tear on your HVAC system.
  3. A more comfortable home
    An unfinished crawl space affects your home’s everyday comfort. Are your floors cold? Is your main living area significantly cooler than an upper level of your home? Sealing and insulating your crawl space will help. After a short time in an uncomfortable home, you’ll wish you’d invested in upgrading your crawl space insulation.

You may have other questions about your crawl space. We welcome you to contact us to discuss your specific situation. Ready to upgrade the insulation in your crawl space? Contact us to schedule a free crawl space estimate.



Five Ways To Save Energy This Fall

Although energy efficiency is important all year, colder temps and the prospect of an uncomfortable home make energy efficiency a priority for many homeowners.

rake on leaves

Although energy efficiency is important all year, colder temps and the prospect of an uncomfortable home make energy efficiency a priority for many homeowners. As fall temps move in and you are thinking about the energy efficiency of your home, check out these five areas of your home for any necessary upgrades:

  1. INSULATION
    Proper insulation levels can keep you warm and reduce your energy bills. Attics are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to winter energy loss, so prep yours for winter by upgrading your insulation now. And don’t forget about air sealing your attic! Air sealing your attic is an important energy upgrade.
  2. WINDOWS AND DOORS
    Sealing around windows and door frames can help prevent heat from escaping. Sealing around windows and doors is a very inexpensive project and easy to do!
  3. HVAC SYSTEM
    Your HVAC system works all winter. When your heating system is properly maintained, it will run more efficiently, last longer and have fewer problems. Servicing your system now will help make it through any unexpected cold snap.
  4. THE ROOF
    Make sure your roof is in good shape. Inspect for missing and/or loose shingles. Addressing these issues now will help keep winter weather out of your home.
  5. CEILING FANS
    This is so easy – and so many homeowners forget to do this! Change the direction of your ceiling fan to create an upward draft. This redistributes warm air from the ceiling down into your living area (tip: before you do this, dust the blades).

Addressing just these few areas of your home can increase your home’s comfort and decrease your energy bills. Ready to get started at the top of the list by upgrading your insulation? Contact us today for a free insulation estimate.

 

Three Reasons to Insulate Your Attic

When you think of upgrading insulation, attic space is the first thing that comes to mind. Here are three key reasons…

Blown-in fiberglass insulation in atticWhen you think of upgrading insulation, attic space is the first thing that comes to mind. Here are three key reasons to upgrade your attic insulation and seal attic air leaks:
  1. Air movement through a home is from ground to sky (and out through the attic and roof). By adding insulation and sealing air leaks in your attic, you can lower energy costs by preventing conditioned air from escaping your home.
  2. On the flip side, insulating and air sealing your attic can prevent unconditioned outside air from coming into your home. This means your HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain your home’s optimal inside temperature.
  3. Heating and cooling costs can total 50% to 70% of the energy used in an average home. In fact, in late 2016 the Energy Information Administration predicted natural gas users would see a 22% climb in their heating bills over the 2015-2016 heating season. Every day that passes is one more day you are spending too much money on energy bills.

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 today for a free attic insulation estimate.

 

The Two Best Energy Investments for Your Home

If you would like to increase your home’s energy efficiency, we recommend investing in two key projects…

Air sealing wall If you would like to increase your home’s energy efficiency, we recommend investing in two key projects – insulation/air sealing your home and your home’s heating/cooling system.

Since the home is one contained unit, each system directly affects the other system. By taking a whole house approach to energy efficiency, the homeowner can experience a greater improvement in efficiency and comfort. And upgrading two systems can qualify the homeowner for rebates and other incentives.

Home energy improvements start with a home evaluation. A contractor will inspect the interior and exterior of the home to determine where energy improvements are needed.

Each home is different and recommendations can vary. However, there are some recommendations that a contractor will frequently make:

Air Sealing and Insulating
Leaks around a home allow conditioned air to escape and unconditioned outside air to enter. Leaks are often found in attics and around the perimeter of the basement. Sealing air leaks can reduce wear on your home’s heating and cooling system and help maintain your home’s internal temperature. If your attic doesn’t have adequate insulation, your contractor will likely recommend adding insulation.

Upgrading HVAC Equipment
If your heating and cooling system is more than 10 years old your contractor may recommend replacing it with a new, more efficient model. According to ENERGY STAR, when installed correctly high-efficiency heating and cooling units can save the homeowner up to 10% on annual utility bills. In addition, installing and properly using a programmable thermostat can save the homeowner up to $180 per year on heating and cooling costs.

Controlling the air that enters and exits the home and conditioning it with efficient equipment are two key steps to increase your home’s efficiency. By addressing both improvements you’ll see greater energy savings and enjoy a more comfortable home. Contact us for a free air sealing and insulation estimate today.

 

Spring is Around the Corner! Time to Check Your Crawl Space

Spring is coming! That means more sunny days and warmer temperatures. It also means winter melting and spring showers.

Spring is coming! That means more sunny days and warmer temperatures. It also means winter melting and spring showers. Ensuring your crawl space is in proper condition is important to help keep water out and maintain your home’s structural integrity.

When getting your home ready for spring, be sure to keep these things in mind when checking your crawl space:

INSULATION

Properly insulating and conditioning your crawl space can help the floors in your home maintain a consistent temperature. If you choose to insulate your crawl space, consider spray foam insulation. Spray foam insulation insulates and seals cracks and other penetration points in one application. If you choose to completely seal your crawl space (also known as a conditioned crawl space) you could even add storage space to your home’s square footage.

CRACKS

Cracks can commonly form on the walls of a crawl space. You can help keep water and pests out of your crawl space by sealing these points. Installing spray foam can help by insulating and air sealing with one step.

DRAINAGE

Moving water away from your foundation will help keep it out of your crawl space. By ensuring water properly drains away from your home, it will find its own path away from your crawl space. If water pools around your home consider contacting a landscape architect or other professional to address issues with grading around your home.

Spring showers and winter melting will come soon! Now is the time to examine your crawl space. Contact our office to schedule a free estimate. Have other crawl space or insulation questions? Give us a call!

Ready For Spring? Don’t Forget About Your Crawl Space

Spring has most people thinking about sunny days and warm weather. Spring should also have you thinking about your crawl space. With spring melting and rain, your crawl space can become damp and fill with water. Having your crawl space in proper condition will help keep water out of your crawl space and maintain the structural integrity of your home.

There are a few key factors to ensure your crawl space is in good shape this spring:

Drainage
Moving water away from your foundation will help keep water out of your crawl space. Make sure water properly drains away from your home, rather than having it find a path of its own – into your crawl space.

Cracks
It is common for cracks to appear on the walls of your crawl space over time. Sealing cracks in the walls of your crawl space can help minimize water and keep pests out.

Insulation
Insulating your crawl space helps maintain the temperature of the floors in your home and can keep unwanted contaminants out of your home. Contact our office to have your crawl space evaluated and learn the proper insulation method.

Check your crawl space now because spring moisture is on the way! Contact our office to schedule your free estimate. Have other crawl space or insulation questions? Give us a call!

Insulating and Air Sealing Cantilevers

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, 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.

Please contact our office with questions about insulating and air sealing cantilevered spaces in your home.

Tips to Prevent Freezing Pipes

It is well known that our area of the country has been facing cold temperatures! We have been inundated with phone calls…

It is well known that our area of the country has been facing cold temperatures! We have been inundated with phone calls from builders and homeowners who are dealing with frozen pipes. Frozen pipes are an inconvenience and can cause serious damage. When the temperature of a water pipe drops below freezing, water volume in the pipe can expand up to 10%. This causes increased pressure on water pipes and valves, and can cause pipes to burst.

It is important to protect pipes from exposure to cold temperatures. Here are three ways to protect pipes from freezing:

  1. Add insulation to walls that are affected by water pipes. This can include the addition of dense packed fiberglass, spray foam or injection foam insulation to external walls.
  2. Cover exposed pipes in attics or crawl spaces. Foam insulation can protect water pipes from cold temperatures, and it is water resistant which makes it ideal for use on water pipes.
  3. Seal gaps around basement rim joists or seal your crawl space. This will assist in keeping cold air away from pipes. It will also help the main floor of your home retain an ambient temperature.

If your home has frozen water pipes or you want to prevent future damage, contact our office to 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.

STOP! Don’t Replace Your HVAC System Until You Read This!

Have you taken advantage of the current Home Performance with Energy Star (HPwES) rebates?

If not, now is the time to act!

With this great program available now, there’s no better time to save money on monthly energy bills and get a rebate to help offset your upfront investment.

Here is what you need to know:

  1. Rebates are performance-based (the amount of the rebate is based on the energy saved due to the upgrades).
  2. To access available rebates, your home must have a pre-upgrade energy audit performed by a participating contractor. Your out-of-pocket cost under this program is $100. The balance is covered by the utilities.
  3. Current rebates can be up to 75% of the cost of the improvements based on the level of energy improvements, with a maximum rebate of $7500.00.
  4. Rebates are paid for air sealing, insulation, and duct sealing.
  5. Rebates are paid for HVAC replacements ONLY when the replacement is done in combination with air sealing and insulation. DO NOT REPLACE YOUR HVAC SYSTEM WITHOUT TALKING WITH DEVERE INSULATION HOME PERFORMANCE! We will help you get your maximum rebate.

Right now utilities are paying the highest available rates for savings! But this will change soon!

    • Electricity: Utility rebates can range from $.12 – $.18 per MMBTU of savings of KWH.
    • Gas/Oil/Propane: Utility rebates can range $.02 – $.08 per Therm of savings.

      Don’t Wait!! Why waste money on high monthly energy bills when these great rebates are available? Our team will walk you through the process to ensure you earn the highest rebate possible! Call our office at 443-770-1111 today!