Monthly Archives: May 2017

Make Your Home Energy Efficient This Summer

Home Energy Bill SavingsAir conditioning season can be brutal on your budget. Energy bills soar and it makes you start to question everything about your home. Is your air conditioner losing efficiency? Does your home need more insulation? Should you invest in new, energy-efficient windows? The team at A+ took a look at all of your options.

Look at Investment Vs. Savings

It’s a struggle to know which decision is the right one. At A+ Insulation, we see homeowners struggle with energy issues year round, especially when the temperatures soar or dip into the extremes. Naturally, we’d like to sell you some insulation. That is our business, after all. But when looking at high energy bills, many homeowners consider the energy savings before making a decision to purchase, but it’s the investment cost that you should be looking at. Let us break it down for you.

The Top Three Ways to Significantly Reduce Your Energy Bills

If you want to significantly reduce your energy bills, you have three main choices:

  • New Replacement Windows
  • New, High-Efficiency Air Conditioner
  • Add Insulation  

Let’s look at savings vs. investment with numbers we found on the internet:

Install New Replacement Windows

Windows are a source of 25% of a home’s heat loss.

SavingsAccording to the Energy Star website, installing ENERGY STAR qualified windows lowers energy bills. For a typical home, save: $126$465 a year when replacing single-pane windows. $27$111 a year when replacing double-pane, clear glass replacement windows.

Investment – According to Houselogic, the range for energy-efficient window pricing varies greatly, but Energy Star-qualified windows start around $120 for a 36-inch-by-72-inch, single-hung window and can go up to 10 times that. With labor, you’re looking at about $270 to $800+ per window.

Conclusion – Savings up to $465/yr vs. Minimum Investment $2,700 (for 10 windows).

Install a New Energy-Efficient Air Conditioner

Heating and cooling costs account for about half of your home’s energy expenses.

Savings – Using the Lennox energy savings calculator, and using Kansas as our geographic point,  if you replaced your old (10 SEER) air conditioner with an energy efficient (15 SEER) air conditioner, you would save 33% on your home cooling bills

($375 over a 5-year period) which calculates to $75/yr.

Investment – According to HomeAdvisor, 2017 prices for new air conditioners range from $1,900 to $5,100.

Conclusion – Savings up to $75/yr vs. Minimum Investment $1,900.

Install Attic Insulation

Roughly 25% of a home’s heat seeps out through the attic and roof.

Savings – According to House Logic, adding insulation (based on boosting the amount of attic insulation from R-11 to R-49) can lower heating and cooling costs by as much as $600/yr.

Investment – Using the same source, depending on the type of materials you choose, figure on paying about $1,500 to insulate an 800-square-foot attic, which pays back your investment in three years.

Conclusion – Savings up to $600/yr vs. Minimum Investment $1,500.

Savings Vs. Investment Makes It Clear – Insulation Is the Smart Choice

So the bottom line is, if you’re looking for energy savings, but you’re not ready to drop thousands on a new heating and cooling system or new replacement windows, adding insulation is the obvious choice. Insulation is the lowest monetary investment that yields that greatest energy savings.  

If you’d like to save about $600 a year on your energy bills and be more comfortable in your home, give A+ Insulation a call at (913) 281-2250 or (816) 268-7511 or contact us online to schedule your insulation installation appointment.

Which Home Improvement Has the Fastest ROI?

ROI on Insulation

There are a lot of ways you can improve your home, from security, to energy savings, to remodeling, but one improvement will pay you back the fastest. Adding or upgrading your insulation has a fast turn around when it comes to return on your investment.

Since insulation is responsible for up to 70% of the total heat gain and loss in your home, the proper type, amount, and installation of insulation can make a huge difference in your savings in the long term. Adding attic and wall insulation can pay for itself in just two years based on the typical amount of energy savings you’ll experience. In just a couple of years, you can save an average of $1,000 in energy savings.

Nine Out of Ten Homes in the U.S. Are Under-Insulated

According to NAIMA (North American Insulation Manufacturers Association), 90% of the homes in the U.S. are under-insulated. What do you think the chances are that your home is properly insulated? Probably not good. Simply adding insulation in the right places will not only save you money in reduced energy bills, but it will add to your resale value when and if you do sell your home.

The Insulation Standards Are Changing

Insulation standards are not what they were a few years ago. In 2015, cities and towns within the Kansas City metro are raised the R-Value that your insulation has to meet. (R-Value is the capacity of your insulation to resist heat flow.) This means new homes, or homes for sale, need to have insulation with acceptable R-Values. Why wait until you sell your house to upgrade. You can do it now and reap the benefits (and ROI) in energy savings and comfort.

Related Read: What You Need to Know about Building Codes When Selling Your Home

Where to Insulate First to Get the Best ROI

Insulating your home is a great way to save on heating costs throughout the winter months and cooling costs in the summer. We always suggest that you schedule an energy evaluation to pinpoint the areas where your home is losing the most energy. As a savvy homeowner, you want to be sure that you’re insulating the areas that will yield the greatest return on your investment. While every home will differ somewhat on the areas that most need increased insulation, this guide will help you determine what sections of your home will save you the most money by adding insulation.

       1. Start in the Attic

  • Attic insulation is one of the most important types to have in a Midwestern home. You know that the warm air produced by your furnace is rising straight up. If your attic isn’t well-insulated, that also means that the heat is escaping straight out! Adding insulation to your attic can increase your energy savings by $120 per year or more in cold climates.

       2. Check the Walls

  • A great deal of heat is lost through your exterior walls, especially if it’s been awhile since your insulation was updated. You don’t want to tear out all of your existing walls to replace the insulation, which is why minimally-invasive tactics that inject insulation into the walls is the best way to go. Annually, this could save you as much as $300.

Related Read: 6 Great Reasons to Insulate Your Home

       3. Don’t Forget the Floors

  • Insulating your floors, especially if they’ve been previously left without insulation, has a similar return to insulating your walls. This is doubly true if you have unused space in other floors of your home that you don’t want to heat all winter (like an unfinished basement). Annual savings? As much as $300.

       4. Save By Insulating Crawl Spaces

  • Crawl spaces beneath your home are necessary to access areas that would normally be impossible to reach. Unfortunately, it’s also a great way to lose a lot of your heat. Insulating your crawl spaces could save you around $200 per year.

Related Read: We Don’t Just Talk the Insulation Talk, We Walk the Walk

     5. The Basement Needs Insulation

  • If there’s nothing between the floor of your basement and the ground, there’s a good chance that you’re steadily losing heat through that space. Instead of letting your heat leach away, add a layer of insulation in your basement! Each year, you can save as much as $300 on this process.

Remodeling Is a Great Time to Upgrade Your Insulation!

Remodeling 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? It’s 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 three 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.

Whether you are remodeling or just want to make your home more energy efficient, call A+ Insulation at (913) 648-9290 or (816) 268-7511 or contact us online to increase the value of your home with new insulation.