Monthly Archives: October 2018

The Best Types of Insulation, Health-Wise

Insulation is a broad product category that encompasses a variety of materials. These include cellulose, fiberglass, foam, and board, just to name a few.

Insulation is vital to give your home the comfort you need all year round. It also helps you reduce your energy bills. Thus, it is crucial for you to consider the best material for your needs, so your health and comfort – and that of your family – will not be compromised.

From a Health Standpoint: The Best Types of Insulation

Energy Efficiency for All (EEFA) released a 2018 report that assessed the health impacts of the different types of materials used in insulation projects. The organization studied insulation systems of low-income housing in the US.

Insulation Materials with Low Health Hazards

EEFA ranked cork board insulation as the “healthiest” type of insulation. The material is free from any hazardous content. However, it can be quite expensive and is not widely available. You can, then, opt for fiberglass insulation, instead.

Fiberglass insulation is the most common type of insulation in the US and is relatively cheaper than cork board insulation. Additionally, as the EEFA report indicates, look for fiberglass insulation that does not contain formaldehyde and halogenated flame retardant, or, only contains minimal levels of these substances. When inhaled in high levels, these chemicals can cause respiratory problems.

But, according to an epidemiology study conducted by the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA), there is no causal association between fiber exposure and cancer or pulmonary diseases. In addition, NAIMA stated that with proper practice, fiberglass is safe to manufacture, fabricate, and install.

So, if you want to apply a blown-in blanket (BIBS) fiberglass insulation in your Kansas City home, we can do it for you. Our BIBS insulation is fire-resistant and provides better coverage.

In addition, based on the study of EEFA, here are the most recommended types of insulation with low health hazards:

  • Expanded Cork Board
  • Loose-Fill Fiberglass
  • Dense-Pack Fiberglass
  • Spray-Applied Fiberglass
  • Fiberglass Batts or Blankets

On the other hand, EEFA suggests that use of insulation materials like mineral wool boards and expanded polystyrene should be kept to a minimum.

How to Choose the Best Insulation Material

Based on the discussion above, you should avoid insulation products that contain formaldehyde-based binders. The US Environmental Protection Agency has classified formaldehyde as a possible human carcinogen. Prolonged exposure to formaldehyde is toxic and can be a risk factor for respiratory problems.

Alternatively, if you are installing board insulation, make sure you use mechanical installation methods. You can ask your service provider to go for fasteners or screws instead of using large amounts of adhesives that are flammable and can even cause skin irritation.

Insulation makes your house more comfortable and can help improve indoor air quality. But, if you have made a poor choice regarding the type of insulation you need for your home, it can lead to performance and health concerns. In the long run, incorrect insulation can only cost you more money.

To avoid making this mistake, contact us today for a free evaluation. Our team of insulation experts can give you A+ advice and services for your insulation needs in Kansas City.

5 Parts of Your Home You Should Insulate Before Winter Comes

Now that we’re a few months away from the cold season, it is important to think of ways to protect your home and keep your family comfortable during winter. Here at A+ Insulation, we’ve come up with a list of the areas of your home that may need insulation before temperatures start to drop.

1. Attic

Often, winter is the season of skyrocketing utility bills, as we try to keep every room in our home at a warm, comfortable temperature. But you can help ensure home comfort without increasing your energy bills by having a properly insulated attic space. Inspect your attic, and look for cracks and gaps where blown insulation may not have settled correctly. Schedule attic insulation services in Kansas to address any problems you may discover.

With proper attic insulation, you keep heat out of the attic and in the rooms and living areas of your home. Plus by keeping your attic cooler, you’ll likely prevent ice dams from forming on your roof during winter, wreaking damage later on.

2. Garage

A garage that isn’t properly insulated allows heat to freely flow in and out of your house throughout the year, costing you money. Of course, the energy waste is much higher during winter. So, remember to include your garage on your pre-cold season insulation checklist. Otherwise, expect increasing energy bills and cold air creeping in every time you enter your garage.

If you insulate your garage, one of your priorities should be the wall that the area shares with your home. This is the place where most of the heat transfer occurs between your house and the garage. Also, don’t forget about the garage door. It functions as a large, thin exterior wall with many joints that create spaces where air can freely flow.

3. Exterior Walls

It is likely that your exterior walls are already insulated, but there’s no guarantee that the insulation is sufficient. The most crucial part of wall insulation is achieving a continuous fit with no gaps. For instance, keeping layers of batted insulation seamless is tricky as there are pipes, electrical outlets, and windows to work around; as a result, there may be gaps in your wall that will require sealing and insulating.

4. Crawlspaces

Crawlspaces are easy to ignore as you don’t see these parts of your home every day. But when insulated, these spaces play an important role in keeping your home warm and toasty during winter. Call an insulation service company to make sure your upper and lower crawlspaces have enough protection against cold temperatures.

5. Other Places Where Insulation is Old or Damaged

Pests, mold, and moisture can damage insulation, especially if the insulating materials have endured a lot of tough winters. So, while the temperature is still warm, schedule an inspection to see if you have old or damaged insulation in your home that needs replacement.

The harsh, cold weather is coming, so now’s the time to make sure your floors, walls, and the rest of your home will stay warm, comfortable, and dry over the winter season. Give us a call today to get started.

Choosing the Safest Insulation Type from a Health Perspective

Insulation is essential for any home. Despite this, many homeowners still take insulation for granted and miss out on the benefits that come with it. In fact, earlier research from the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) found that nearly 90% of US homes­ were under-insulated. Fluctuating temperatures, high energy bills, and water leaks in the attic are common signs of an under-insulated home.

Moreover, a modern home doesn’t necessarily mean it’s well-insulated. The amount of insulation home builders install may not be enough to maintain comfortable temperatures throughout the year, even if it’s up to code.

A+ Insulation can help you figure out where you may need to improve your insulation with a free home energy audit. We’ll help you get your home insulated adequately so that you can save money not just energy bills but on medical bills, as well.

How Insulation Improves Health

You may have heard of the benefits of insulation, such as how it prevents moisture condensation and improves temperature. What you may not hear as often is how these benefits help improve your health.

Even the distribution of indoor temperature reduces thermal stress and the adverse health effects of fluctuating temperatures like migraines, headaches, and joint pain. Regulated temperatures and the lack of condensation also improve the indoor air quality and lower the risk of mold growth.

Mold spores are one of the common reasons behind allergic reactions. Having a well-insulated and mold-free home reduces allergy symptoms and asthma flare-ups.

Recommended Insulation for Better Health

Proper insulation, regardless of what materials are used, already offers many with health benefits. However, a report from Energy Efficiency for All found that certain types of insulation are better for your health than others.

Corkboard is the report’s number one insulation type from a health perspective. Although the material is free of hazardous content, it is one of the most expensive and least available of insulation materials. The report recommends instead fiberglass and cellulose insulation materials for both cost-efficiency, availability, and health benefits.

Fiberglass Insulation

Fiberglass is one of the most popular types of insulation. It’s made of melted inorganic materials like sand or molten glass. The types of fiberglass insulation included in the report are:

  • Loose-fill fiberglass
  • Dense-pack fiberglass
  • Spray-applied fiberglass
  • Fiberglass batts or blankets (kraft-faced, unfaced, and polypropylene-scrim-kraft faced)

Cellulose

Cellulose insulation is commonly made from recycled newspapers and other recycled paper products. The fiberized paper is treated with mineral borate to make it fire- and insect-resistant. The list included the following cellulose insulation types:

  • Cellulose or cotton batts and blankets
  • Loose-fill cellulose
  • Dense-pack cellulose
  • Wet-blown cellulose

Parts of the Home to Insulate

Experts recommend that homeowners insulate their homes from the roof down to the foundation. Attic spaces, exterior walls, and floors above crawl spaces or unheated garages are prime spots for insulation. You can also maximize the health and energy benefits by undergoing a home energy audit. The audit results provide you with a more comprehensive list of places to fix and insulate.

Contact us today to schedule a free home energy audit for a more comfortable and healthier home environment.