Tag Archives: Insulation

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.

Want to Save Money on Energy Bills? Make Your Attic More Energy Efficient

Improving your attic’s energy efficiency goes beyond helping you maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. It can also save you money on cooling and heating costs. If you’re looking to cut down your energy bill, take note of these suggestions to make your attic more energy efficient.

Seal Cracks to Reduce Air Leaks in the Attic

Foam sprayAttic air leaks are holes, cracks, and other weak points where air can go in and out of your house. Ignoring this problem can promote the escape of cool air during the summer and heated air in the winter. This forces your HVAC unit to work harder, which increases your energy bill. On top of that, leaks in the attic may serve as starting points for significant water damage.

If you come across a leak in your attic, seal them as soon as possible. You’ll usually find leaks in the following areas:

  • Attic Hatch
  • Doors and Windows
  • Duct Chaseways or Furnace Flue
  • Recessed Light
  • Open Soffit
  • Plumbing Vents
  • Wiring Holes

If you’re still having difficulty finding attic leaks, check out the floor plan of your home and use it to locate possible air leak spots.

Install Attic Fans

Attic ventilation fans are an excellent choice for regulating the temperature of your house. They cool a hot attic by drawing hot air out of the area and bring colder air from the gable and soffit vents. If you’re going to install these fans, make sure that your attic does not have any leaks. If your attic has holes, these fans could draw conditioned air out of your house.

Ventilate the Attic

A house attic with insulationVenting the attic helps regulate seasonal temperatures inside the attic while letting you maintain a consistent temperature in your home with the help of your HVAC system. A properly ventilated attic enables outdoor air flow into the attic during winter. While it may look strange to allow cold air to enter your house in the winter, a cold attic can minimize the risk of melting the snow on the roof. Melted snow could refreeze in gutter systems, damage the roof, and result in interior water damage.

Additionally, a well-ventilated attic provides an escape route for warm air. When hot air stays in the attic, it can heat the roof shingles and raise the risk of roof damage. On top of that, trapped humid and hot air could cause the accumulation of moisture and result in the growth of mildew or mold.

Make Sure Your Attic Has Sufficient Insulation

Insulation is one of the best ways to enhance the energy efficiency of your attic. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, insulation can help you save up to 20 percent on your home’s cooling and heating costs. If your attic is in need of insulation, don’t hesitate to turn to A+ Insulation. We have experienced insulation professionals who perform efficient and diligent attic insulation work. Count on us to do the job correctly and on time. We want you and your family to enjoy lower utility bills and a comfortable and consistent temperature inside your home.

Contact us today.

Batt or Blown-in: Which Type of Insulation Suits Your Home?

Insulation brings year-round comfort and lowers your energy bills. If you haven’t insulated your home yet, you can start with your attic, the easiest place to add insulation. But first, you have to figure out which type best suits your home and your budget.

Our budget-friendly attic insulation services in Kansas include batt insulation and blown-in insulation. These are two of the best options, and here’s how they differ from one another.

What’s the Difference?

Batt Insulation in Walls PictureBatt insulation comes in the forms of batts or rolls made of flexible fibers or what we commonly know as fiberglass. The latter is the most common insulation material, made from tiny pieces of glass fiber.

This type of insulation works best for areas with open or little spaces for insulation, like the space between wall studs, joists, and beams. A great example of these is cathedral ceilings.

Blown-in insulation, however, refers to the process of covering attic floors, or filling stud or joist activities, with any loose material with good insulating R-value.

Irregularly shaped spaces like attics work well with blown-in insulation. It can fit around the existing features of your home. It will only take an hour or two for a specialist like ours to blow a thick blanket of loose insulation across the space with a hose running up through the attic hatch.

Installation Costs and Insulation R-Values

The cost of installing batt insulation depends on your home’s location, the required amount of labor, plus the ancillary supplies. A standard insulation project needs almost 535 square feet of insulation. The cost averages about $145 to $200. The cost of labor for a complete installation averages between $170 to $420, including supplies, like fasteners, cutters, and tape.

The cost of batt insulation begins at around $0.12 to $0.16 per square foot. You need this much for a three-and-a-half-inch barrier of the said insulation that provides a value of R-11.

For blown-in insulation, it typically costs about $874 to $1,892. Adding insulation for 1,000 square feet of attic space will need materials costing up to $500 to $1,000.

For this type of insulation, every inch of loose fill cellulose provides a value of R-3.2 to 3.8. Loose fill fiberglass, on the other hand, has an R-value of R-2.2 to 2.7 per inch.

The benefits of both types of insulation are enough to help lower your energy costs. If you’re still uncertain about which type of insulation to install, you can ask us for guidance. Our team of experts can help you decide which insulation best fits your attic.

Attic Insulation by the Pros

A+ Insulation specializes in insulation. We’ve lowered the energy bills of more than 10,000 satisfied customers.  We’ve gained so many loyal customers over the years because we make sure to deliver the best experience possible, from evaluation to installation to price.

Our team has the training and certification, ensuring we provide the highest standards in every installation. Leave the job up to us and experience the diligent, efficient work of our insulation professionals.

Contact us today and schedule an appointment.

Can Spray Foam or Blow-In-Blanket Insulation Work for Your Home?

Man installing insulationInsulating your home offers many benefits. Two types of insulation, however, stand out among others because of the advantages you can experience from them. These include the blow-in-blanket system (BIBS) and the spray foam insulation, both of which A+ Insulation installs.

The Good News on Blow-In-Blanket System

Blow-in-blanket systems in Kansas City work because of the extremes in weather conditions. BIBS falls under fiberglass insulation, which is the type of insulation known to provide better thermal efficiency. In addition to thermal efficiency, what other pros can you expect from BIBS?

  • It blows in easily
  • It fills the space completely
  • It lasts for a very long time

Blow-in insulation can fit even in small gaps of the tiniest size, and it’s not that hard to install. You can also dwell on the safety of your home with a naturally fire resistant blow-in blanket system. For its bonus points, BIBS insulation can reduce noise, prevent the growth of mold or mildew, and remains pest resistant.

The use of fiberglass insulation prevents the leak of any chemical odor. The excellent thermal performance of the blow-in-blanket system gives your home the energy efficiency it needs while reducing energy costs, so you can save more money.

Building insulationSpray Foam Insulation and Its Perks

In all our years as insulation installers, we’ve found that 30 percent of your home’s energy can escape through walls, roof, and floors. This is due to air leaking from these areas. Spray foam insulation can prevent this from happening, helping you save on your energy bill at the same time.

Similar to the blow-in-blanket insulation, spray foam insulation fills and seals every crack. Spray foam, as flexible sealant insulation, makes continuous air barriers in different areas. Polyurethane spray foam expands up to 100 times its original size to seal every gap in walls, ceilings, and crawlspaces for total insulation.

R-Values and the Effects of BIBS and Spray Foam Insulation

You also need to consider R-value when installing a type of insulation. Kansas, according to the Department of Energy, falls under Zone 4, which needs R-5 insulation sheathing beneath a new siding.

Remember, R-value heavily relies on the installation of the insulation.  Blown-in blanket systems, when installed by skilled experts, achieve the correct density and R-values. You can depend on BIBS to fill in existing finished areas, particularly irregularly shaped areas. It can also fill in the crevices around obstructions.

Spray foam also can cover up finished areas and seal gaps in irregularly shaped areas. You can apply this using a small spray container or in larger quantities as a pressure sprayed product.

The Finest Insulation for Your Convenience

Go to A+ Insulation and expect the best insulation for your household. Whatever type of insulation you choose, we’ll know what to do. We have technicians who can add the right insulation in the right amounts in the best places to provide you the best comfort you deserve.

With our experience in the industry, we can help you save energy, time, and money. Call us to schedule an appointment.

Why Do You Need to Re-insulate Your Home?

Insulation being addedNo building codes for insulation minimums existed before 1980. With the many changes in the standards for insulation over the years, you still need to check your home’s insulation even if you had the property built after 1980. The standard insulation then may not meet the code today.

At A+ Insulation, we believe that insulating your home provides superior comfort. But re-insulation offers more than indoor comfort.

What You Get from Re-Insulating Your Home

Proper insulation provides thermal resistance around your home. You’ll stay cool during summer and warm during winter with the right type of insulation. Also, you don’t have to worry about heat loss or gain affecting your indoor comfort and your utility bills when you have adequate insulation.

It’s the most cost-effective way to boost the energy-efficiency of your home. Proper insulation helps you save up to 20 percent in energy bills, or up to 10 percent of your heating and cooling costs every year. One of the best ways to save further on your bill is to add insulation to the attic. The ideal R-value for this part of your home is R-38; colder climates would need an insulation level of R-49. You’ll need varying R-values throughout different parts of your home, from the walls down to the flooring.

Reduced energy also means you lower your greenhouse gas emissions, allowing you to contribute to eco-friendly efforts.

Signs Indicating Your Home Needs Re-Insulation

Apart from the age of your property, you can consider multiple factors first before you decide on re-insulating your home. These include your home’s location and its dimensions, the climate, your energy consumption, and your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC).

Here are some questions to consider before calling your insulation provider:

  • Does your home offer the comfort you need from the climate in your location?
  • Does your home get too hot in the summer?
  • Does your home become too cold in the winter?
  • Do your energy bills come higher than you expected?
  • Do some rooms on the same floor in your home have a different temperature than the others?
  • Does your upper floor become hotter in the summer but colder in the winter?
  • Do you use extra portable blankets, portable heaters, and wear an additional layer of clothing in the winter?
  • Do you turn your fans on and sleep without blankets in the summer?
  • Do you consider buying a new window A/C unit, a new furnace, or new windows for the sake of comfort?
  • Do outside noises such as lawn mowers, barking dogs, or traffic bother you even inside your home?

If you answered “yes” to all, or most, of the questions, then your home definitely needs re-insulation.

Dependable Insulation Contractor in Kansas City

Whether it’s an attic or wall insulation, we know what to do. We know the importance of getting the job done right. Our trained and certified technicians will add the right insulation in the right places to help you stay comfortable all year round. With our guidance, we’ll also help you save on energy bills.

Call us today and schedule an appointment.

2 Types of Spray Foam Insulation: What Makes Them Different From Each Other?

Room undergoing renovationSpray foam insulation is one of the most popular types of insulation for homes and commercial buildings. Starting off in liquid form, spray foam is applied to tight spaces where it expands up to 60 times its original liquid volume.

This method of application allows for the even distribution of spray foam insulation to be inside walls and ceilings. This also makes for an ideal method for filling in hard-to-reach places like air ducts and crawl spaces. As the foam expands, it dries and becomes solid insulation.

According to the Department of Energy, spray polyurethane foam insulation (SPF) is 50% more effective at insulating buildings, compared with traditional insulation products. In addition to this, SPF is also versatile and easy-to-install, making it the more cost and energy efficient choice for insulation material.

Spray foam insulation can be categorized into two types: light density open-cell and medium density closed-cell. Both types have their own unique advantages and are the most commonly used variants of insulation in commercial buildings and homes.

Remember, though, that spray foam insulation contractors in Kansas City stress that it’s always best to consult with a professional service provider before applying spray foam insulation to your structure.

Light-Density Open-Cell Spray Foam (ocSPF)

Commonly known as half-pound foam, light-density open-cell SPF, or ocSPF, is semi-rigid foam with a sponge-like appearance. During installation, this SPF expands in such a way that it creates small, open cells that are filled with carbon dioxide. Because it expands during application, ocSPF can fit most cracks and crevices. This product sticks to irregular surfaces to form an air sealing insulation.

OcSPF also has the unique advantage of being pliable. Over time, buildings can contract and expand depending on the weather. Because of its flexibility, ocSPF twists and adjusts with every contraction and expansion, minimizing the need for reinstallation.

Although it can’t block vapors, ocSPF is effective at acting as an air and sound barrier. Because of these traits, ocSPF is usually recommended for interior walls and most indoor applications.

Medium-Density Closed-Cell Spray Foam (ccSPF)

Foam sprayMedium-density closed-cell foam insulation, or ccSPF, is often referred to as two pound (2 lb) foam, due to it being heavier than open-cell spray foam. CcSPF is more rigid than ocSPF, and it comes with a higher Long-Term Thermal Resistance (LTTR) value.

Because of its rigidity and weight, ccSPF can act as both a vapor barrier and an air barrier, making it more efficient than ocSPF. CcSPF also has the unique advantage of adding to the structural strength of walls and ceilings.

When choosing insulation materials and installers, always go for a professional company with trained professionals and OSHA 30 certification. Quality insulation can help lower energy costs and protect structures from weather damage. With over a decade of providing insulation services in Kansas City, A+ Insulation has the tools and the know-how to effectively install insulation for both homes and commercial buildings. Contact us today and our in-house team of experts will help find the most appropriate solution to your insulation needs.

Long-Term Planning: Insulation During Spring Reduces Cooling Costs in Summer

Insulation installationResidents of Kansas City always look forward to springtime. The fresh air is a welcome delight after months of chilly days and bundled up nights. The locals gear up for festival season, St. Patrick’s Day, and the Brookside Art Annual which are all citywide celebrations that pump up people of all ages. Of course, the spring season also brings back the Kansas City Royals, our boys in blue, to the baseball park.

As much time as KC locals spend outdoors, however, it also pays to be more attentive to what goes on at home during the transition season from the coldest to the warmest days of the year. When you plan your springtime activities, include home renovations and preventive maintenance on your list. The changing weather affects the utilities that keep you comfortable all year round despite the weather, after all.

Having said that, maybe it is time to install or replace the attic insulation in your Kansas home this spring.

Why Is Attic Insulation Important?

Many homes in the local community do not have attic insulation. This is unfortunate, considering how attic insulation serves as a consistent source of comfort for the household. It keeps heated air inside during winter and keeps the home cool during summer. In other words, it keeps your family warm during cold days and helps regulate indoor temperature on humid ones.

Moreover, attic insulation is a wise decision because it helps homeowners save on energy bills. Our team has actually seen first-hand how attic insulation helps cut down energy costs at home, especially during the warmest months of the year when people tend to turn up the AC.

Heat travels through the ceiling and may escape or enter the home through gaps or leaks in your attic. So, if the attic has proper insulation, then it will make the home more energy efficient in addition to making it more comfortable for the household.

But of course, for optimal energy saving, you need the help of a professional to ensure the even distribution of the insulation. Alternatively, if you already have attic insulation, a professional can check insulation levels to determine whether you need a more effective replacement.

Professional attic insulation also addresses other problems such as leaky roofing, fire hazards, and limited ventilation.

Why is Spring a Great Time for Attic Insulation?

Attic insulationSpring is a great time to install or replace attic insulation. Your household may have exhausted the HVAC system throughout the winter, so now’s a great time to let it recover and direct your attention to the insulation. Furthermore, spring installation also prepares you for the warm, humid weather that summer is sure to bring. This way, you wouldn’t spend so much on home cooling costs in the future.

Keep in mind, though, that the level of insulation your attic should have depends on your location as well as on what product you use for it. But generally speaking, homes in the KC metro may have insulation of at least R-49, which is approximately 18.5 inches deep, to effectively reduce energy costs.

At A+ Insulation, we offer various solutions for attic insulation in Kansas City. You may choose among InsulSafe SP, cellulose, spray foam, and batted insulation. Call our office, today, for a free no-obligation evaluation before summer comes along.

Insulating Your 1960 Home? Best Types of Insulation for Old Homes

Balcony of an old homeWarm, cozy, and full of character, you love your 1960 home.

As much as you love your decades-old abode, however, it tends to get drafty. In winter, the cold draft can get so bad that you’re beginning to see adverse effects on the health and comfort of your family. On days when it’s extra cold, moreover, your heating system has to work harder, costing you more in maintenance and replacement expenses down the road.

If you’re tired of putting up with drafty air and compromising your comfort, your most viable option is adding insulation. Insulating an old home not only makes the space more livable and energy-efficient but also helps preserve the house’s beauty and historical significance. If you decide on selling the home in the future, up-to-date insulation can give you a strong selling point.

Things to Consider Before Installing Insulation

While there are many benefits to adding insulation to old houses, it’s not exactly an easy task. If your home was built before the 1960s, chances are, there is very little insulation to none at all. Before the energy crisis happened in the 1970s, energy was cheap and abundant that it was more cost-effective to heat homes than to insulate them.

Today, it has become more cost-effective to insulate a home. There are myriad options as far as materials are concerned. Experts agree that among these materials, batts and blow-in cellulose are the easiest to retrofit into an old home. Many insulation contractors also prefer installing spray foam insulation, as this works well in regulating air flow, controlling moisture, and insulating while maintaining a high R-value (the material’s capacity to resist heat flow).

Depending on your home’s age, potentially dangerous products may have been used in the installation. A professional insulation contractor should be able to detect urea formaldehyde or asbestos, as the presence of these materials may entail remediation.

Where Do You Add Insulation?

Insulation being addedIt’s often easiest to add insulation to the attic area. If your attic is unfinished and unconditioned like many old homes, adding batt insulation to the underside of the roof is a smart move.

If the home has a basement or crawl space, you may also opt to insulate the floors of the living space above. Insulation contractors prefer to do this by installing batts into the floor joists’ stud bays.

Onboarding experts to assess the entire home should be your first step. A pro can accurately evaluate the scope of insulation, the severity of air leakage, as well as your options for re-insulation. They can also give advice or two in the areas of the home that will provide the most payback when insulated.

When in need of experienced professionals who can help you add insulation to an old home, turn to A+ Insulation. We have been the authority in batt, cellulose, spray foam and blanket insulation in Kansas City since 2004. We are prepared to add insulation to any part of the home from the walls to the attic, basement, and more.

Talk to one of our consultants about the most viable options for your home. Call us at 913-281-2250 or fill out our form today.

Why You Should Hire an Insulation Contractor Instead of a General Contractor

Insulation contractor fixing thermal insulationOne of the things homeowners can do to save on expenses each month is to install insulation. Homeowners can hire general contractors to do this, but the results may not be as they desire.

Hence, when you need someone to take care of your insulation requirements, it is best to hire a professional insulation contractor instead of just a general contractor. The following reasons should convince you to get the right contractor for your insulation job.

General Contractors Do Not Specialize in Insulation

You’ve likely heard the phrase “jack of all trades, master of none.” It is how one can describe general contractors. Many homeowners love hiring general contractors because these people know a bit about every aspect of home improvement, repair, and maintenance.

The problem with general contractors, however, is that they do not specialize in any one skill. As such, they are often a poor choice in tackling crucial jobs like insulation. Insulation contractors in Kansas City, on the other hand, specialize in insulation and can solve any issues related to it.

Insulation Contractors Are Familiar with Important Techniques

Many companies that primarily work with insulation have accredited and certified professional energy contractors. These organizations commit their operations to installing insulation correctly. Moreover, they are knowledgeable about vapor retardants, air infiltration, ventilation, and other critical insulation-related techniques. This knowledge is necessary for projects revolving specifically around insulation.

Removing Old Insulation Safely Prevents Health Problems

Insulation Contractor replacing insulationsA primary concern in padding insulation is determining and understanding the type of insulating material. Contractors who lack the qualifications to handle toxic insulation materials, such as asbestos, can cause homeowners and other occupants of the property to get sick. Thus, it is best to hire insulation contractors, as they are qualified to handle hazardous insulation materials.

Insulation Contractors Know the Various Types of Insulation

Various types of insulation exist, and a general contractor who does not have an adequate background on insulation may think that they are all the same. Each type of insulation, however, has its advantages and disadvantages. So, hire certified insulation contractors instead. They can walk you through the differences and benefits of each type of insulation.

Homeowners Can Maximize Rebates

Some homeowners may be qualified to receive certain rebates from the government, such as federal tax credits for consumer energy efficiency. Professional insulation contractors working exclusively on insulation will know the types of insulation that may be eligible for a rebate from the government.

If you are looking for a certified and qualified insulation contractor in Kansas, don’t hesitate to turn to A+ Insulation. We have been insulating residential and commercial properties since 2004. Whether your property needs blow in blanket insulation, spray foam insulation, batted wall insulation, attic insulation, or other types, we make sure to add the right amount of insulation to give you the most protection from high-energy costs and the elements.

Moreover, you can rest assured knowing that our team of insulation technicians will arrive on schedule and work efficiently to complete the project to your satisfaction.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Prepping the Upstairs: Ensuring a Winter-Ready Attic

A lot of preparations need to be done in anticipation of the winter months, including decorating homes, checking heating and cooling systems, and fortifying doors and windows. With the to-do list growing longer as the festivities draw near, homeowners might overlook preparations for one area of the house: the attic.

The little space upstairs that stores unused items and keeps ventilation in check plays a big role during the cold weather. It would be unwise to skip the winterizing measures for it. The problems in the attic could spoil the family’s holidays, after all.

Install or Inspect Existing Insulation

The attic plays a key role in maintaining a cozy home temperature. Without an adequate insulation installation, warm air inside the home will rise and escape through the roof. This will force the heating system to work harder and the energy bill to spike. If your attic is not insulated, now is the best time to call an expert in blown insulation in Kansas City.

It pays to have an expert check an already-insulated attic, too. Fluctuating temperatures, high-energy bills, and ice dams may indicate that the house is under-insulated.

Check for Pest Infestations

Some people might not visit their attic frequently, and, as a result, might not notice that pests have infested part of their living space and are damaging the attic. Rodents, for instance, could gnaw through containers and insulation material.

Pests could also put the family’s health at risk. Homeowners should look for signs of an infestation, like dead animals, fur or feathers, droppings, plant materials, nests, strange odors, and holes in the structure. Whether you can confirm the presence of pests or not, call a professional for help.

Plug the Holes

In relation to preventing pests, homeowners should make sure that critters have no more entryways by sealing off the holes. Other than barring pests from the attic, plugging cracks and crevices prevent warm air from escaping. Moreover, people should ensure that the attic door is tightly sealed to keep the warm air contained in the main living area.

For a stress-free holiday, trust us to keep your home warm and cozy. Get in touch with us today and learn about our extensive list of insulating services.