Monthly Archives: March 2016

Remodeling? One Thing Most Homeowners Forget to Update!

Remodeling Insulation PictureRemodeling your home brings exciting visual changes for sure, but did you know that it’s also one of the best times to update your insulation? Considering that 90% of homes are under-insulated, this is the perfect opportunity to add more insulation while attic roofs and wall studs are open and exposed. The insulation pros at A+ Insulation have some great tips for insulating during a remodeling project. There are two basic areas to consider; the walls and the attic.

Insulating the Walls During a Remodel

If you’re replacing drywall or building new walls, make sure you get the insulation right. Remove all old, wet, or compressed insulation. While you have this opportunity, it’s best to install new insulation so you know it’s all fresh (no mold here) and meets the recommended R-value.

Fiberglass batts or rolls are usually the easiest for homeowners to install. Spray foam will give you even better insulating results, as it expands to fill in any nooks and crannies and seals as it dries forming a vapor barrier. Though spray foam costs more as it is not a DIY kind of product, it will yield the best R-value.

Attic Remodel Tips for Insulation

Attic insulation is critical to keeping your home comfortable especially in the winter months since heat rises and escapes through the roof. Your choice of insulation will depend on the roof framing system.

If the roof is framed with rafters, and the floor space is open, and you can lay insulation batts between the horizontal joists. If the floor is finished, focus on adding insulation to the ceiling of your attic, between the sloped rafters. If you plan to finish a living area in the attic, use paper-faced fiberglass batts in the rafter space, with the paper side facing downward.

If you have roof trusses, blown-in cellulose fiber works well because cutting and laying fiberglass batts in a trussed attic can be labor intensive and tedious. Blown-in insulation creates a uniform blanket of insulation, and it can get into smaller spaces as well. Just make sure that insulation doesn’t block soffit vents or cover heat-producing lights.

Many times, the homeowners start their project only to find their insulation is thicker than the depth of the rafters. To keep the insulation flush with the ends of the rafters so drywall can be added later, furring (attaching strips of wood to add depth to the space between the roof and the rafters to match the depth of the batted insulation) may be necessary. To insulate without furring the rafters, you can install regular batts in the existing rafter spaces, and then add a layer of rigid foam board insulation over the rafters for added R-value. Drywall can be installed on top of the boards for a finished attic.

Add Exterior Insulation with New Siding

If you are adding new siding as part of your remodel, make sure it’s insulated. You can buy insulated vinyl siding that comes with rigid foam attached to the back for additional insulation. It’s a great way to add another layer of thermal protection to your home that’s offered by many different manufacturers.

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

Remodeling is a great opportunity to upgrade your insulation for years of comfort and energy savings. If you have questions about your remodeling project and insulation, give A+ Insulation a call at (913) 281-2250 or (816) 268-7511 and we’ll be happy to help.

DIY Insulation Inspections – A Homeowner’s Guide

Insulation Inspection PicA home that is not properly insulated will not only feel drafty, but it will also have some pretty hefty heating and cooling bills. If you suspect your home is under insulated, it may behoove you to do your own homeowner insulation inspection. There are several areas that are fairly easy to inspect. The insulation pros at A+ Insulation will walk you through the basics so that you can do your own insulation inspection.

From the Top: Inspect Your Attic

The attic is hands down the most important place in your home to ensure you have adequate insulation. In the winter, warm air rises and can escape through a poorly insulated or sealed attic at alarming rates.

Homes can lose as much as 20% of their energy through a poorly insulated attic.

Considering that the average U.S. family spends almost $2,000 a year on heating and cooling bills, that 20% is about $400 that could be in your bank account instead. When inspecting, you want to make sure that there is plenty of insulation in your attic. If you can see the ceiling joists, you don’t have enough insulation or your old insulation has settled over time. Attics should have at least 12 inches of insulation, but 15-20 inches is even better.

Do you know the R-value of the insulation in your attic? The R-value will let you know exactly how well insulated your attic is. The higher the R-Value, the more effective it is at blocking heat. In the Midwest, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends an R-value of between R-38 and R-60.

Make sure that the entrance to your attic is well-sealed without any gaps. Put weather-stripping on the edges of your attic door/hatch to keep more of your heated air down in your home. Don’t forget to check the inside of the attic door/hatch, to ensure it is well-insulated, too. Many homeowners overlook this and heat escapes right through it!

Wall to Wall Insulated Comfort

Most homeowners know the walls of their home should be insulated, but don’t know how to ensure their walls are effectively insulated. Wall cavities should be filled to capacity. It’s hard to tell just by looking, but you can remove an outlet and peek behind it. Here in Kansas City, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends insulation with a value between R-13 and R-15 for walls and cavities. For a wall evaluation, it’s best to call a home insulation expert like A+ Insulation and get an assessment. We can use an infrared camera to get a good look at the amount of insulation behind your walls.

Another approach is to look for spots in your home where there is exposed insulation. Check that insulation for an R-rating, then check with your local hardware store to make sure that this is the right type of insulation for your area. If you find that it’s inadequate, there are spray-in insulation solutions that work well to up your home’s insulation, without a huge remodeling project.

Related Read: 3 Reasons to Hire a Professional Insulation Company and Avoid DIY

Consider a Home Energy Evaluation

If you do nothing else, consider calling an insulation professional to provide you with a home energy evaluation. They will be able to tell you where you can make the changes that will affect your bills the most. Adding insulation usually pays off in 5-6 years, so don’t put it off. The sooner you do it, the sooner you’ll start saving on energy bills!

Give A+ Insulation a call today for a free home energy evaluation to find out where your home is wasting your money. Call (913) 281-2250 or (816) 268-7511.