Monthly Archives: February 2016

Cut a Quarter of Your Energy Bills With a Free Home Energy Assessment

Home Energy Audit PictureConsidering that heating and cooling expenses add up to about 50% of your energy bills every year, finding ways to lower those costs could save you quite a bit of money. In fact, according to the U.S. government website, if you follow the recommendations for efficiency upgrades from a home energy audit, you could save from 5% to 30%. Think about your energy bills and then imagine paying up to 30% less!

What Do They Look at in an Energy Audit?

Energy auditors look for many things. Here are the items they pay attention to:

  • Number and location of registers, both delivery and return
  • Check window and doors for condensation
  • Check outlets, fixtures, doors & windows for air leaks
  • Inspect the fireplace
  • Check thermostat type and setting
  • Check walls for framing type and insulation
  • Note and test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Inspect lighting fixtures and recessed lights
  • Look for indoor air problems and lead-based paints

What Is a Blower Door Test?

A blower door test is a before-and-after test to determine the effectiveness of the energy efficiency improvements. This test is great because it locates air leaks by using a special fan to depressurize a house. The average home has enough air leakage to add up to a two-square foot hole. The energy that’s lost would be equal to leaving a medium sized window wide open 24 hours a day every day.

Get Your Home Energy Audit for Free

So what happens next? After the assessment, home energy auditors analyze the results using computer software. An energy audit is the best way to pinpoint problem areas so that they can be fixed. Considering that 90% of homes in the U.S. are under insulated, there’s almost always plenty of room for improvement…and savings.

If you’re serious about saving money on your energy bills, have a home energy audit performed on your home. You might think a home energy audit is too expensive but at A+ Insulation, we offer home energy audits for free! Give us a call and we can help you discover exactly where your home is leaking energy and how to improve its energy efficiency.

Related Read: 90% of Homes in U.S. Are Under-Insulated. Is Yours?

Call us today to schedule your free home energy audit. Call 913-648-9290 or 816-944-3171.

 

 

 

You Can Talk the Talk, But Can You Caulk the Caulk?

Caulking Window PictureMaking your home more energy efficient will save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a year if done properly. Using caulk to seal holes where heat and air escape is a great step toward having a more energy efficient home. Below are several tips from the pros at A+ Insulation for caulking your home.

Related Read: How Much Money Can You Save by Sealing and Insulating Your Home

Get the Right Gun

When using caulk, it’s a good idea to shop around for the right caulking gun. Not all guns are made the same, and you’re going to want to get a heavy-duty gun with a solid metal shaft. This will give you more control over the caulk bead, without damaging the tube.

Temperature Matters

Keep an eye on the temperature outside. With many caulks, temperature affects how easy or difficult they’ll be to use. If the temperature gets too low, caulk becomes hard and nearly impossible to squeeze out of the tube. It’s always a good idea to bring tubes inside to warm up before using them if they have been out in the cold.

Get Your Joints Ready

Whatever you’re going to caulk, make sure the area is cleared of debris and dirt. You’ll want a clean surface for the caulk to adhere to. You can use a knife or compressed air to clear everything out if need be. Just make sure there’s no dirt or dust left behind.

Use Fillers for Large Cracks

Wider joints may require a filler. In all joints that are ¼” wide and ½” deep or more, a filler will help the caulk stay in place instead of sagging into the joint. A filler  is simply a foam tube you push into the crack to take up most of the excess space. Fillers are faster and cheaper than caulk, and they create a better seal when used in larger cracks. Most window and door joints won’t be much larger than ¼ inch.

Cutting the Tube and Caulking the Joint

First, cut the tube at an angle and have the opening slightly smaller than the bead you’ll be using. Place the caulking tube in the gun and squeeze the trigger while running along the joint. If you’re particularly messy with caulk, use masking tape on either end of the joint to avoid smearing the caulk where you don’t want it. Make sure you have the most even bead possible, and don’t be afraid to use your finger to clean up any mess. Just be careful not to hit a nail or get a splinter!

With these techniques, your caulking job will be smooth and effortless, and your home will be more energy efficient.

 

For more help regarding caulking your home, please contact A+ Insulation at (913) 281-2250 or (816) 268-7511. We can perform a free home energy evaluation to help pinpoint the areas that need sealing.

Things You’ll Need to Know before Insulating a Cathedral Ceiling

Insulating a Cathedral Ceiling PictureUnless your home was specially constructed for energy efficiency, you can probably reduce your energy bills by adding more insulation. This is especially true if your home is older, but even adding insulation to a newer home can pay for itself in just a few years. There are some special considerations in each area of your home when it comes to insulation installation. This article from the insulation professionals at A+ Insulation will give you some tips on insulating a cathedral ceiling.

Related Read: 90% of U.S. Homes Are Under-insulated. Is Yours?

Basic Insulation Tips for Cathedral Ceilings

Cathedral ceilings are beautiful, but they must be properly insulated to keep ceiling temperatures closer to room temperatures. To do this, the cathedral ceiling must be built with space between the roof deck and your home’s ceiling for adequate insulation and ventilation. If your cathedral ceiling is built this way, it will have truss joists, scissor truss framing, or sufficiently large rafters. The best way to insulate this type of cathedral design is with batted insulation. For example, cathedral ceilings built with 2×12 rafters have space for standard 10-inch batts and ventilation.

Unvented Cathedral Ceilings or Hot Roof Designs

There is another construction option for cathedral ceilings called unvented, sealed, dense-packed, or hot roof design. The term hot-roof is misleading. The roof is not that much hotter than a normal roof, maybe 1 to 5 degrees hotter in surface temperature. A hot roof is one where the insulation is directly attached to the roof sheathing so there is no ventilation required. Don’t attempt this roof insulation with fiberglass or cellulose insulation; it’s not allowed by building codes.

Two Main Options for Insulation with Hot Roof Design

There are two popular options you can use when it comes to choosing the type of insulation for a hot roof. The first method is foam sprayed in place. The second uses foam board, generally placed on top of the exterior roof sheathing. Where spraying the inside with foam doesn’t require you to redo the roof, insulating with foam board does require that the roof be removed. If you are replacing your roof, that’s the ideal time to add foam board insulation. Otherwise, the spray foam may be your best choice. If you’re unsure about your cathedral ceiling, give A+ Insulation a call and we can come to your home and give you advice about insulating your cathedral ceiling as well as a free quote!

Call A+ Insulation for all of your insulation questions and needs at (913) 281-2250 or (816) 268-7511.

Make sure you know what to look for in an insulation company before you hire one. Click the image below to download a free checklist to help you make an informed choice.


Homeowner Checklist CTA Hor