Monthly Archives: February 2019

 Insulating Your New Home: The Key to Energy Efficiency

Today, both businesses and consumers are realigning to become more sustainable and energy-efficient. Energy efficiency focuses on minimizing the power required to use certain products and services. Not only does energy efficiency reduce heating and cooling costs, but it also helps the environment by reducing emissions released by power plants.

The average household in the Midwest spends $3,000-3,500 per capita on heating. This translates to fossil fuels burnt and more emissions. If you want to save on energy bills and be environmentally conscious, the first step is to make your home energy efficient by installing insulation. The best time to do this? Right when you’re building your home.

Want to Build an Energy-Efficient Home? Start with Insulation

Insulation for Newly-Constructed Homes

While you’re planning and building your new home, you should follow the required R-value of insulation in Missouri as stated in the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). These are just the minimum requirements, though, and you should aim to exceed them if you’ve set out to make your build more energy efficient. Insulating your home adds to your home’s market value.

A properly insulated home is protected from the elements from top to bottom. It’s easier to ensure this right at the beginning of construction because your insulation options are much more varied compared to retrofitting your walls and attic after you finish building.

With that said, these are the key areas that need insulation installed in your new home for optimal energy efficiency, according to the U.S. Department of Energy:

  • Attic
  • Walls
  • Ceiling
  • Exterior doors and windows
  • The floors (especially above unheated spaces like the garage)
  • Ducts/crawlspace
  • Basement

In structures such as residential homes, there are areas called thermal envelopes. These are the areas listed above, where heat tends to escape. Typically, 15 percent of heat escapes through uninsulated basements and floors. Uninsulated attics, windows, and doors each let out 25 percent of heat, while uninsulated walls let out 35 percent.

With this much heat loss, you’re likely to spend more heating up your home, driving your energy use. By installing installation in these areas, you’re making sure that you optimize your energy efficiency.

Types of Insulation for New Homes

Once you’ve pinpointed the areas that need insulation, it’s time to decide what type of insulation material to install. You have a variety of options, but it’s best to consult your insulation experts to know which type fits specific parts of your home.

Batted Insulation

Batted insulation made from fiberglass materials is perfect for unfinished walls, floors, and ceilings. Batted fiberglass insulation has a broad range of R-values and has excellent acoustical performance.

Sprayed Foam Insulation

Ideal for unfinished attic floors or as an addition to existing finished or irregularly-shaped areas, closed cell spray foam insulation answers your extreme insulation requirements. Spray foam tightly seals all nooks and crannies that would otherwise cause heat loss.

Wet Spray Insulation

A popular and cost-effective alternative to spray foam, wet spray fiber insulation resists mold and has great air-sealing benefits, making it a great insulator for your walls and ceiling.

Blown-in Blanket Insulation

Like spray foam, this type of insulation can fill small, hard-to-reach areas, so it’s perfect for unfinished attic floors.

Insulate Your New Home Properly

Before finishing the construction of your Kansas City home, contact a reputable insulation company. Our team here at A+ Insulation uses the best and latest insulation techniques to give you a power-saving, energy-efficient home.

Contact us today for your insulation needs.

Should You Insulate Your Interior Walls?

Kansas City regularly updates building codes to protect the safety, health, and welfare of local residents. Updates to the code minimize safety hazards at home, especially electricity-related ones. These updates almost always include insulation industry codes. Code updates push homeowners to address insulation issues and replace them when necessary.

Household Possibilities: Is It Time to Insulate Your Interior Walls?

wall-insulation

Admittedly, insulation code updates are not enough to help homeowners decide whether to insulate their interior walls. While this is not exactly common practice, you may have heard of its energy-saving and sound-dampening benefits. So, if you are wondering if insulating your interior walls is a good idea, there are valid reasons for you to consider:

Insulation Makes Your Home More Energy Efficient

Warm during winter, cool during summer — home insulation contributes to your household’s comfort because it helps regulate both hot and cold airflow. Your living space should remain comfortable despite extreme weather and temperature fluctuations. When you opt for interior wall insulation, you use less electricity to regulate room temperatures and might notice lower energy bills in the long run.

nterior wall insulation reduces heat transfer for your storage rooms and unoccupied guest rooms. As a result, the temperature control prevents the framing from expanding and the drywall from cracking. You can save yourself the cost and hassle of fixing this issue, too.

Insulation Reduces Room-to-Room Sound Transfer

Imagine this: you come home after a long day at work and just want to relax in bed — but, you can’t because the rest of the family is watching an extremely loud action film in the movie room next to your bedroom.
Interior wall insulation reduces room-to-room sound transfer, creating a sound barrier that contains inside sounds and mutes unwanted outside noise. Keep in mind, however that sound travels through your interior wall’s wood framing, which means the insulation does not make the place entirely soundproof. But it remains an ideal choice for better sound control.

Insulation Prevents Fire from Spreading Quickly

When you live in a duplex or a townhouse, interior walls called party walls separate your living space from the people next door. In addition to reducing the sound infiltrating into your home, interior wall insulation prevents fire from spreading from the other side of the party wall to yours. Of course, there are fire codes in place that, when observed, help to safeguard your property, but extra measures also matter.  

Maybe it’s Time for Interior Wall Insulation

The best time to add interior wall insulation is during new construction. But who says you cannot add insulation to existing walls even after you’ve been living in your current home for some time? It is better to be safe than sorry and late than never, as they say. Besides, insulation codes are updated regularly.

At A+ Insulation, our certified insulation technicians meet local building mandates and abide by the EPA standards for your safety and peace of mind. We minimize your energy bills, dampen heavy sounds from different rooms, and help protect your family from fire through quality interior wall insulation solutions.

Get in touch with us today for more information. You can also schedule a free, no-obligation home inspection so that we can determine the best type of insulation for your home.

How Does Insulation Affect Your Home’s Comfort and Safety?

Heat can escape from your home through the attic, especially if it doesn’t have enough insulation. Excessive heat loss can result in higher energy bills because your heating system has to work harder to provide enough warmth in your home. Insufficient insulation can also compromise the comfort of your home, during winter or summer.

Does Your Attic Have Enough Insulation and is it Safe?

How to Get Efficient Insulation?

Installing adequate attic insulation can help you enhance the comfort of your home, ensuring you don’t pay too much on your energy bills. Where do you start? With an audit.

Getting an energy audit in your home can determine how much energy you consume. Auditors can also identify the areas of your home where you lose energy the most. 

Why is R-Value Crucial?

R-value is a vital factor that contributes to the effectiveness of your attic insulation. This refers to the resistant ability of an insulation material against heat flow. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) explains insulation with a higher R-value provides better insulation.

Each home may have a different required amount of R-value, depending on the climate in your region, your heating and cooling system, and where you will install the insulation. The age of your home is also a key consideration. 

The DOE categorizes all American regions into different zones to identify how much R-value will suit their climate. Based on its graph, R-values of R38 to R60 can be ideal for attic insulation in Kansas City homes. Knowing the right R-value for your home can guide you in choosing the type of insulation for your attic. 

What is the Risk for Asbestos Exposure?

Asbestos was once an insulation material due to its ability to resist heat and corrosion. Breathing asbestos fibers, however, can lead to the development of asbestos, a chronic lung disease that causes shortness of breath. Other symptoms include:

  • A persistent dry cough
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Loss of appetite with weight loss

If your home has loose-fill attic insulation, you’re likely to be at risk for asbestos exposure. This type of insulation is loosely poured into joist or wall stud cavities, resulting in a great number of loose particles in your home. 

Some vermiculite attic insulation can be a major source of asbestos danger. Vermiculite contaminated with tremolite, an asbestos-like mineral, can pose a danger to health. Houses built before 1990 are more likely to have asbestos-containing attic insulation. It’s because the company that provides the majority of this type of insulation closed in that year. 

Choosing the Right Attic Insulation

Not all loose-fill insulation contains asbestos and can cause health problems. Materials, such as fiberglass, cellulose, and rock wool are safe for insulation with proper application. You may also choose from other types of insulation that fit your attic.

Although there are materials ideal for do-it-yourself projects, working with professionals minimizes the risk of costly mistakes.

Our team at A+ Insulation can provide safe solutions for your insulation needs to enhance the comfort of your home. We can inspect your attic to identify certain issues that need professional help, such as a leaky roof, insufficient attic ventilation, and old wiring that create a fire hazard. Our team knows how to handle insulation problems well to finish the work on time and on budget. 

Contact us today to learn more about our services.