Have you ever considered going green? Many companies have opted to go green for the incentives from the federal government. These incentives all boil down to one simple bonus: money. The government doesn’t only offer money to businesses for going green, however. There are several programs in place to reimburse you for money spent on weatherizing your home. The federal government isn’t the only body of power to offer money back either. State and local governments also offer incentives for going green in your own home.
Spray foam insulation is installed in a process that does not harm the environment. When applied, spray foam expands rapidly and creates a powerful seal that is unmatched by conventional insulation methods. With such a strong seal, cool air is kept inside longer, meaning that your air conditioner will run less often. Most homes stand to increase efficiency in this fashion by 30%-40%. Such a large increase in efficiency can slash your energy bills, sometimes by half or more.
An energy audit by Star Spray Foam Systems will tell you what areas of your home are losing the most air and how to improve those areas. How much you stand to increase efficiency, and even an estimate of how much you may be able to save each month on your energy bill, are also included in the summary. These numbers are accurate depictions made by professionals in the field of building science. In Louisiana, with this audit, and installation of the spray foam, most homes qualify for a local bonus of $2,000 through the HERO program, in addition to the state and federal programs. Star Spray Foam Systems will even handle all of the paperwork for your rebates.
According to the Department of Energy, the average savings per year from weatherizing your home are almost $1,000. With $1,000 saved per year, $2,000 more from HERO, and a few variable amounts back from the federal government, your bank account will start to look a little greener as well. So if you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint, or just save a lot of money every month, spray foam insulation is the best first step.
Posted by Green Tips Comments Off
Apr 10, 2012 @ 03:04
Installing an effective house insulation system is one of the best ways to save on energy consumption expenses while providing comfortable living conditions for the family. In this time of economic uncertainty, significantly lowering the home’s energy consumption will surely bring greater economic and environmental benefits in the long run. There are different types of home insulation system, one of which is spray foam insulation.
Most homeowners would agree that this is a time of economic and environmental uncertainty – prices of commodities are going up while most people are out of work and cash-strapped and carbon dioxide emissions are rising, posing a risk to health. A wise homeowner knows how to balance the two with the choice of the insulation process for their home.
It is necessary to have home energy audits to determine how effective your current insulation system and find out what steps to take to make improvements. Home energy auditing also ensures that the areas that need air sealing are accurately identified as this is a requirement prior to house insulation. Hiring a qualified home energy audit services company is the first step. Aside from considering the cost of insulation, it is also imperative that you consider how you can save on your energy bills in the long run.
Aside from being eco-friendly, spray foam insulation is a guaranteed to be the best solution to lower your energy consumption. There are a lot of benefits to get from this insulation process. For one, you save on energy bills by as much as 60% that is a considerable amount of savings during a time when most homeowners are in deep financial difficulty. Cracks are properly filled so air doesn’t flow out of the house, saving you tons of energy.
It is noteworthy to mention that you stand to get tax credits from the IRS for installing energy efficient materials in the home. Likewise, utility companies offer rebates.
Its health benefits are significant since it effectively fills in cracks and holes, thus harmful toxins, pollen, and air dust are kept away from the air your family breathes. It is also good at preventing and controlling moisture.
The benefits of foam insulation are not strictly confined to energy and health concerns. This also acts as an excellent sound barrier, hence outside noises and disturbances are minimized and you maintain your privacy. It also ensures that your home is protected as it strengthens the home’s structure.
It is good for the environment because aside from being energy efficient and doesn’t emit harmful carbon dioxide. It is permanent, meaning no repairs will have to be done in the future, therefore no waste materials will be dumped to the environment.
Once energy audits for your home determine that your house needs to replacement or improve insulation, it is imperative that a reliable and reputable house insulation company is tapped to do the job. While you will find a lot of do-it-yourself insulation process, this should still be done by the experts.
It is not yet too late to improve on your home’s insulation system by installing spray foam insulation. If you are looking for a professional spray foam insulation provider in New Orleans, visit www.ecostarfoam.com for more information or call (504)383-3261.
Posted by Green Tips Comments Off
Jan 12, 2012 @ 12:01
Saving Energy: The Big Picture
I first want to thank you for taking the time to read this “Green Tip” newsletter. Since my realization that energy costs will continue to soar and home ownership is becoming more and more difficult to achieve, I have set out on a mission to learn as much as I can about
ways to save energy and pass it along each month with a simple tip of advice that most of you will be able to accomplish with very little effort. Look for a tip each month and I promise by years end, you will feel the difference in your home and see the difference in your check book. Should you have any questions regarding this green tip or want additional advice, please contact me and I can provide the facts that are necessary to achieve an energy efficient home.
CFLs vs. Incandescent bulbs (Costs vs. Efficiency)
Making your home more energy efficient without a game plan is like
taking a trip without a road map: you’ll eventually reach your
destination, but it will take you longer, be more of a hassle and cost
you more. Let’s talk about smarter lighting in your home or business:
CFLs(compact fluorescent bulbs) vs. Incandesent bulbs: the problem
with standard incandescent bulbs is that most of the energy consumed
to light the bulb, (over 80%), goes into creating heat , not light and
this does more to the home in a negative way than any benefit from the
light itself. The exact opposite of the whole energy efficiency game
plan! A CFL bulb will run on 15 watts of electricity compared to 60
watts for an incandescent bulb and will produce 60% more light and 95%
less heat. While the cost of CFLs are higher, you have to consider the
life span of the investment not only in costs of the bulb but also in
CFL average costs: $2.50 with annual operating costs of $12 or $14.50. Incandescent average costs: $0.75 with annual operating costs of $48 or $48.75
As you can see, a CFL will pay for itself in approximately 500 hours or (about 4 months if used 4 hours a day)
Other tips with lighting are:
- Dim the lights
- 3-way fixtures
- Reduce watts per bulb (ex: 40-60 watt compared to 75-100)
- Warm white over cool white
Please visit our website at www.ecostarfoam.com for more energy saving tips and listing of services or feel free to contact me on my personal cell number at 504-383-3261 for a free, no obligation energy audit.
The issue on proper and sufficient house insulation is often put aside by most homeowners. This is because they lack the knowledge necessary to making a decision that could potentially reduce the energy wasted by up to 60%. Efforts to educate appear to be quite futile as homeowners still ask the same questions over and over again.
Do I really need insulation in my home?
Before you add insulation to your home, the first thing you need to do is to determine whether you need one. The least scenario you would want is to have a home that is too insulated because that’s going to make your home too stuffy. A professional should be able to determine the state of your house insulation; whether or not you need to add more, where you need more insulation and a few other problems.
But to get an idea of your insulation’s state, you can perform a quick test yourself. You simply need to turn off your home’s power before removing and outlet cover then using a flashlight, peep into the inside of the outlet. This should give you an idea of how thick your insulation is in that area. You would also need to pull out a small amount of the current insulation in order to determine what it is.
Depending on your type of house insulation as well as your current location, you need to have the right R-value in your home. Generally, loose fibers like fiberglass, rock wool and cellulose, you need an R-value that runs from 2.5 to 3.7 by depth. For light weight granules, you need an R-value of 2.7 by depth and for batts, an R-value of 3.2 per depth should be enough.
What are the common places where Insulation problems are noted?
Your attic, basement and walls and floors directly adjacent to any heated space should be regularly checked for insulation problems. The structures of these areas are usually exposed so you can easily check and measure the depth of your house insulation here.
If you need additional insulation on your walls, it would be best to schedule it with the addition of a new siding or if you intend to finish unfinished spaces like a basement or an extra room. This is because correcting the issue on lacking insulation along these areas would mean that you would have to open up your wall in order to get the job done.
What are the types of insulation that I can have installed at home?
The most common types of insulation that you can add yourself are fiberglass, plastic fibers, natural fibers, mineral wool, plastic films, and cardboards – just to name a few. But do know that these materials have limited life spans so they would need to be checked every other year and replaced if the need arises. So that means you would have to go through the same processes very often.
On the other hand, spray foam insulation is done only once for the life of your home. When properly maintained, areas that have spray foam insulation could last for 50 years. To switch to spray foam insulation, you would need to contact a certified local contractor.
The state of your house insulation determines the amount of money you save from you energy bills. By checking on the state of your insulation regularly and having the right choice of material, you begin to truly enjoy the convenience of having a healthier home.
For superior house insulation and home energy auditing services in New Orleans, one of the top companies to go to is New Orleans Spray Foam Insulation. Talk to a professional from this firm now by calling 504-383-3261 or visiting EcoStarfoam.com.
Home insulation has many benefits. For one, it is cost effective. At the same time, you get to help the environment by saving energy. In other words, it is a guilt-free way of adding comfort to your home. As far as the general cost for insulation is concerned, there are a couple of things that you should know about.
Naturally, warm air flows toward space that is cooler. When you insulate your home, this process no longer happens. Insulation slows down the flow of hot air from indoors to outdoors during winter. Then it slows down the flow of hot air from outdoors to indoors during summer. This is the main reason why an effective insulation can reduce a huge amount of cooling and heating costs.
The cost for home insulation is generally based on the materials used and contractors. Before you begin setting up a budget, you have to first consider the level of R-value or thermal resistance that you need for a particular space. Know that a material with good insulation capacity has higher R-value.
Aside from the quality, there are other variables to consider when it comes to determining the cost of insulation. For instance, if you are planning to hire a contractor for the project, you will have to consider the labor cost. Most contractors charge based on the standards that you are expecting as well as the climate and size of the area.
On the other hand, there are do-it-yourself materials available in the market. Prices for these materials vary. Although technically, you may be able to save a considerable amount of money should you decide to do it yourself. However, a contractor may be more knowledgeable when it comes to this type of project. If you do not know anything about installing insulation, then you better get a professional to do it for you. Mistakes in installation may cause problems in the long run.
Aside from the cost, you should also think about other things that should be included in the project. For one, you may want to weatherize your home. Understand that there is no point in insulating if there are leaks and unsealed areas in your home.
Before you invest on the project, you should also consider the structure of your home. Installing insulation is only recommended to houses that have no prior insulation. At the same time, it should be added if the floor, attic, and wall cavities will be exposed due to a remodeling project in your home.
If you are thinking about getting discounts, there are a number of utility companies that offer programs or rebates. These programs help encourage homeowners to use effective insulation. Not only does this project help you save up money. It also helps the community by minimizing the energy consumption in your area. In a way, you are helping preserve the environment.
There are many major manufacturers that provide environmentally-safe methods and materials for your home insulation project. The best part is they help save the general cost for insulation. At the same time, you can check out contractor referrals to make sure you get quality service.
For expert solutions, talk to a professional at Star Spray Foam Insulation through calling (504) 383-3261 or visit EcoStarfoam.com.
There are many benefits that can be had in learning how to install insulation in your own home. For one, you can do it yourself. This means you do not have to hire someone and spend cash for the installation. Paying a professional can be expensive.
You can also fix minor problems instantly without spending extra cash or time for someone to do the job. In other words, it is more practical and it is not rocket science either. You will learn how to install insulation in your home by following these basic steps.
Before anything else, there are basic categories in this process that you should know about. First, there’s the installation type. This involves rolls, blow-in, batts, and so on. The other is the application surface. This includes floors, ceilings, walls, and the list continues. Finally, there are certain special considerations that do not belong in the first two categories. This involves installing on areas around common obstructions such as different electrical devices, pipes, wirings, and more.
There are various forms of insulation. Among these forms are blankets, rolls, blow-ins and batts. Each of these forms is very versatile. However, each one has a unique set of applications. The type of insulation product you choose should depend on the project. This means you may use one particular product or use a combination of these different forms. That is why it is important that you become familiar with the different forms of insulation before you start out on your project.
For example, blow-ins can be used in various applications. However, it is best used for attics with areas that are hard to reach since a blowing machine can fill these far areas. Rolls, on the other hand, can be used for any areas in the home. However, this form of insulation is best used to cover unobstructed areas such as the crawl spaces and the attic. Batts are pre-cut panels that are available in different R-values, widths, and lengths. As its name suggests, blankets come in rolls usually 70 feet long. Other specialty products come in rolls reaching 100 feet long.
Basically, insulations are needed to create thermal atmosphere in a home. However, each surface has different properties and each of these properties require a particular form of insulation. The main structural elements of a home include ceilings, walls, and floors. Each has its own installation and insulation requirements.
In installing your insulation, it is best to consider the application surface so that you can make sure you are investing money on the right areas of the house.
In a recent study from the Energy Saving Trust (EST), most of the heat from a typical home are lost through certain areas in the home. In practical terms, this means more bills to pay and more energy wasted. In other words, insulation is the most efficient method when it comes to saving energy in your home. It helps keep in the heat during winter and out during summer.
You can consult EcoStarfoam for insulation services. If you want to enjoy more benefits from insulating your home, then hire an experienced professional who can do this task for you at lower costs. check EcoStarfoam.com or call 504-383-3261.
The greatest benefit that you can obtain from attic insulation is the fact that it helps reduce your energy consumption and hence, reduce your electric bills. The attic is considered to be one of the places in a home that is easiest to insulate.
If you are planning to add insulation into your home, there are a couple of things that you have to consider first. For one, you have to think about whether or not you are adding insulation to a new home construction or to an existing house. At the same time, you have to be cautious enough in disturbing a particular insulation. There are certain products that are meant to be touched by professionals only since it can have a harmful effect on one’s health. For instance, vermiculite insulation contains asbestos that is dangerous to one’s health.
Attic Insulation – Techniques
There are different forms of insulation. Among the most common ones that are used in the attic are batt and loose-fill insulation. As far as cost is concerned, these forms vary. Generally though, loose-fill type of insulation is often cheaper compared to batt. At the same time, loose-fill usually has better coverage than batt, if installed properly.
The following are some simple techniques for insulating your attic.
1.)Know that most of the insulation techniques do not have the capacity to block airflow. That is why you have to focus on certain areas and make sure you seal the area securely.
2.)Cover and seal openings depending on the gap. For smaller gaps, using a long life caulk is the best solution. On the other hand, using foam board insulation is the best solution for larger gaps.
3.)Installing metal flashing or blocking is also required to maintain or meet the requirements for fire-safety clearance.
4.)See to it that your insulation does not clog soffit vents. These vents are necessary to allow attic ventilation.
5.)Always keep track of your attic ceiling. Check for water mark or stains since these are signs of leaks.
In some cases, homeowners wish to upgrade their attic insulation since the old one may not be working at its optimum performance. An upgrade may be worthy of the investment since it can save your home’s energy efficiency for the rest of the year.
Most of the time, cost depends on the quality or type of materials needed. There are many materials that a homeowner can choose from. For instance, cellulose fibre and fibreglass are among the most common materials for attic insulation.
Since there are plenty of materials to choose from, it is important to consider the area where you will be installing the insulation. There are different surface areas that you have to think about in installing insulation into your home. For instance, there is a difference between insulating walls and insulating attics. In some cases, you may need to use blow-ins for attic insulation especially in areas that are hard to reach. At the same time, the difference in the surface areas demands different qualities from the materials used.
Insulating your home does not only reduce your heating and air conditioning needs but also help save the environment by reducing the amount of green house released. While this is true, the production process of some insulation is actually not 100% environmentally friendly. For instance, production of fiberglass which is a commonly used insulation material can cause respiratory infection and even cancer. Moreover, while this material is fire resistant, it actually releases toxic substances when burned.
If you are looking for more environmentally friendly insulation materials, here are several new “green” insulation technologies being developed.
- Cellulose Fiber
One of the most commonly used insulation materials today is cellulose fiber insulation. This material, usually made from old or recycled cardboard, newspaper and other paper products, is sprayed into the attic of the home. Because cellulose fiber is made from paper products, this insulation is considered 100% environmentally friendly. In addition, it may also be treated with fire retardant and a product that deters rats, mice, and other vermin nesting in your attic. Cellulose insulation is also a great sound deadening material, making it ideal for bedrooms. With all these benefits, it is no wonder why cellulose fiber is one of the most preferred insulation materials today. The only drawback to using this product is that it is more expensive than other insulation products.
Sheep’s wool provides the best insulating properties. Another advantage of using wool is that it is sustainable and naturally resistant to fire. This material is ideal in wetter climates because it has natural moisture resistant properties. The production process of this type of insulation material also uses the least amount of energy and no adhesive have to be used to prepare it for insulation. The only drawback to using this material is that it is expensive.
Soy insulation for the roof is one of the new additions to the “green” insulation technologies. Made from soybean oil, soy insulation is usually sprayed on the roof. Once sprayed, it expands like foam and covers cracks and airspaces, and then hardens, providing quality insulating properties. The best thing about soy is that it is long lasting. It lasts as long as the building into which it is sprayed.
- Recycled Cotton
Recycled cotton is another environmentally friendly material for insulation. In fact, people now recycle their old clothes for roof insulation. Apart from reducing your energy consumption, recycled cotton also makes great sound deadening material. This material can be treated with fire retardant as well.
While insulation generally helps reduce your home’s energy consumption, the use of 100% green materials for this purpose optimizes the benefits that you can enjoy from it. Not only does it help reduce your energy consumption, environmentally friendly products like soy, cotton, wool and cellulose fiber are always safe to use and have in your home. Unlike fiberglass, these materials do not emit toxic substances when burned. They are also long lasting, in addition to the fact that they make really good and quality insulation. These are just some of the reasons why many people are now opting for these materials for their home.
You can consult EcoStarfoam for insulation services. If you want to enjoy more benefits from insulating your home, then hire an experienced professional who can do this task for you at lower costs. Check EcoStarfoam. com or call 504-383-3261.
Roof insulation protects the roof from harsh weather elements, such as rain, snow or wind, for the purpose of controlling the temperature within your home. Basically, roof insulation is done to prevent these elements from affecting the temperature inside your home, thus helping you minimize your energy consumption.
Roof insulation is recommended for people living in areas that experience four seasons each year. By insulating your roof, you can experience the following benefits:
- Comfort- Insulators can trap warmer temperature inside the house, thus creating a tepid environment within the house despite the drop of the temperature outside your dwelling.
- Saving/energy efficient- As a domino effect of trapping warmer temperature, there’s no need for temperature regulator devices within the house so it will entail savings from electric bill and appliance procurement.
- Noise resistant- Houses with installed insulators are more peaceful as it not only traps temperature but also noises from outside.
There are three types roof insulation, and these are fiberglass insulation, cellulose fiber insulation, foam insulation. Fiberglass insulation requires the use and installation of fiberglass in rolls and sheets. Meanwhile cellulose fiber insulation requires use of recycled paper treated with fire retardant while foam spray insulation requires use of foam spray usually applied in the undersides of the roof and fills the gap in and between the tiles. While all these methods protect the roof from damage caused by rain, wind or snow, and traps cold air inside a home during the summer months and warmth during winter, spray foam insulation is preferred by many because it is more efficient and offers long term benefits.
Foam Spray Insulation for the Roof
Foam spray insulation is considered the most efficient insulation methods for the roof for it protects the roof from harsh outdoor elements such as wind, rain and snow, as well as pests and moisture.
This type of insulation works well for the roof because it covers the entire roof with no gaps, making the roof astonishingly air tight as compared to other materials. The best thing about this insulating procedure for the roof is that it does not alter the look of your roof, thus you won’t have to spend more money for reconstructing your roof or house just to properly seal it. With foam insulation, the foam is only applied beneath the roofing material to seal the room so that cool air from your air-conditioning unit does not leak out during the summer months and cool air from the outside during winter cannot get into your home. This way, you can save a lot of money with this roof insulation method in the long run. Aside from this benefit, you will also enjoy tax incentives, depending on your state, for availing this environmentally friendly procedure.
Aside from the economic benefits it offers, this roof insulation method also prevents moisture that can facilitate growth of molds inside your house. This keeps you and your family safe from health risks that molds can cause.
Technology ushered in a plethora of things that make people’s live easier. The things which were once unthought-of such as thermal imaging technology are now slowly becoming household names due to their relevance in the day to day lives of almost all individuals. Thermography, as another term for thermal imaging, is widely used in military operations because it provides the armed forces with vision even in extremely dark places. But the use of this technology is no longer confined within military activities alone as it has been applied in house or building maintenance, too.
Thermal Imaging in Home Energy Auditing
This technology is now also being used in home energy auditing, an essential method necessary before insulating a home. Aided by thermal imaging cameras, service providers can now determine the areas where heat transfer is unbridled or where air leaks are severe so that necessary actions such as insulation can be employed. This device displays images represented by temperature and detects infrared radiation which is emitted by almost all objects. As radiation increases relative to the temperature, warmer objects are highly visible compared with cooler ones. So determining which area needs the immediate attention is done in no time.
With the help of thermal imaging, it is easy to locate or determine which part of your house needs insulation. In fact, thermal imaging is even still necessary even after roof insulation or attic insulation. With the help of this technology, you can determine whether your house is properly insulated or not.
In addition to determining which part of your house has holes or where air leaks, this tool is also used alongside a moisture meter to determine presence of moisture or water ingress without the need to cause any damage to the building and before it becomes visible to the human eye. With this tool, you can prevent growth of molds inside your home, which can pose threat to you and your family’s health. Of course, using thermal imaging, you can also prevent molds or moisture to cause further damage to your house.
Thermal imaging is a very efficient and accurate method, thus you are assured that you won’t be spending money for insulation that you do not need. The home energy auditing process can also be made faster with thermal imaging. In fact, using this tool, an auditor can complete home energy auditing in a few hours. Thus, when selecting an energy auditing firm, make sure that they use thermal imaging as this method assures you accurate evaluation.
Proper evaluation of your home is an essential step to proper insulation. When evaluation and insulation are done properly, you are not only assured of savings on your energy bills but also a more efficient moisture management, and better thermal comfort.
For superior house insulation and home energy auditing services in New Orleans, one of the top companies to go to is New Orleans Spray Foam Insulation. Talk to a professional from this firm now by calling 504-383-3261 or visiting EcoStarfoam.com.