Year: 2018

How to Avoid Storm Scams

It happens far too often when an area is hit by a severe storm – unscrupulous contractors come to town. Con artists often show up at a homeowner’s door after a disaster, offer an array of services and often require a hefty down payment. These fly-by-night operators set up temporary offices so they can move on quickly when authorities start looking for them.

Here are some tips to avoid home repair scams:

  • Get the name and address of the company that the person claims to represent.
  • Get all details of the offer in writing and review it carefully. Be sure you understand everything in the contract and make sure it includes any verbal promises.
  • Determine how long the company has been in business and call organizations with which the contractor is affiliated (such as area trade associations) to determine the firm’s legitimacy.
  • Ask for references and contact each one.
  • Remember any legitimate company that wants your business will be willing to allow you time to do your homework. Don’t fall prey to high pressure tactics such as: This is the only chance you’ll have.

Homeowners should be especially skeptical if the company:

  • Comes to your door unsolicited.
  • Uses high pressure sales tactics.
  • Requests full payment before completing the work.
  • Provides a post office box without a street address or phone number.
  • Promises to begin and complete the work more quickly and cheaply than any other company.
  • Says they just finished work on your neighbor’s house and have just enough materials to do repair work on yours. They might say they can give you a better bargain if you let them do the work today since they have the supplies now.

Local trade organizations are great sources for homeowners seeking a professional, trustworthy contractor. If you’re looking for a qualified local insulation contractor, contact Allweather Insulation.

Smart Home Technology Benefits Your Home and Wallet

Smart home technology may be unfamiliar to you. Through apps or a centralized unit in your home, you can control many of your home’s systems. There are many benefits to using smart home technology such as managing home security, adjusting home lighting and turning off your appliances. One significant benefit of smart home technology is reduced energy consumption.

Smart home technology isn’t as expensive or confusing as you might think. Here are some benefits of using smart home technology and some tools you may consider for your home:

Energy and Cost Savings
Smart home technology can turn off power to appliances and home systems when they are not in use (i.e., during the work or school day when your home is empty). By delivering power to key systems and appliances only when necessary, energy bills will decrease. This can reduce home energy consumption and save on monthly energy bills – savings you can notice as soon as your first energy bill.

Convenience
Have you ever left your house and wondered if you’ve adjusted the thermostat or turned off the lights? Smart home technology lets you know what’s happening in your home at any time. There’s no reason to run home to adjust the temperature or check the lights. Simply open your smart home app and find your answers.

Comfort
Home automation can make your home more comfortable. Through the touch of a button you can turn on interior lights, adjust your heating system and more to ensure your home is at your desired comfort level the moment you walk in the door.

Adding smart home technology can have many benefits! Consider upgrading your home and learn more about the benefits!

Five Summer Energy Tips

Have uncomfortable summer temperatures taken a toll on your energy bills? If summer heat has taken the fun out of your summer – and money out of your wallet – here are five things you can do to ease the pinch:

  • Run Ceiling Fans. Keep your ceiling fans running to circulate conditioned air. This can also increase comfort by keeping the air moving in the home.
  • Seal Air Leaks. All homes have air leaks as a result of the construction process. Air leaks allow conditioned inside air to escape, causing your cooling system to run more often. Having your home air sealed by a qualified contractor will help ensure the job is done right the first time.
  • Run Bath Fans. Running your bath fan after showers will help remove warm, humid air. By adding a timer to your bath fan, you can schedule it to run on a daily basis to continually move stale, warm air out of the house.
  • Adjust Your Thermostat. If your home has a programmable thermostat, check it. Can you turn it up a degree or two during the day? Increasing the temperature in your home during the day when there are fewer people at home can provide some relief in your energy bills.
  • Increase Attic Insulation. Many homes don’t have enough attic insulation. Even newer homes may have attic insulation that does not meet current codes. Contact a qualified contractor to have insulation added to your attic. Increasing your attic insulation can save up to 30% on your energy bills!

If summer temperatures have made your home uncomfortable, it’s time to do something about it. If you’d like us to check your attic insulation level or talk with you about air sealing, give us a call to schedule your free estimate.

Three Reasons to Upgrade Your Attic Insulation

When a homeowner thinks of upgrading their insulation, the first area of the home that comes to mind is the attic. This might seem like a common place to insulate – but do you really know why it matters? Here are three reasons to upgrade your attic insulation and seal attic air leaks:

 

  1. A home breathes, meaning there is a natural flow of air that occurs. This airflow starts at the ground, and moves up toward the sky and through the attic. Adding insulation and sealing air leaks in the attic prevents warm or cool air from leaving your home and saves on energy costs.
  2. Just as air flows out of your home, air naturally flows in to create balanced pressure. Insulating your attic and sealing attic air leaks can prevent unconditioned air from coming into your home. This means your HVAC system can work less to maintain your home’s interior temperature.
  3. Heating and cooling costs are a significant part of your monthly energy bills. One estimate indicates heating and cooling systems can account for 50-70 percent of the energy used in an average home. Taking steps to improve your home’s energy efficiency keeps your energy bills low and reduces wear and tear on your HVAC system.

Adding insulation to your attic is one of the most cost effective ways to save money on your energy bills each month. Wondering if your home could benefit from additional attic insulation? Contact us for a free estimate.

How Spray Foam Helps Increase the Benefits of Air Sealing

The process of air sealing reduces the amount of air that transfers through your home. Air sealing is an important energy saving step that helps control energy costs, reduces drafts, helps keep out pests and allergens, and increases the overall air quality in your home.

Air can leak through cracks and openings around a building envelope. Air leaks allow conditioned inside air to escape your home and unconditioned air to enter. For many years air leaks were believed to allow adequate and proper home ventilation. Building science has proved uncontrolled air leaks can cause too much or too little air to enter or leave your home, resulting in poor indoor air quality.

Spray foam insulation is a one-step solution to insulate and seal air leaks. Spray foam insulation is applied as a liquid and expands to completely fill a cavity. When it expands, it naturally seals air leaks while adding R-value. Spray foam insulation can also increase building strength which can be beneficial during strong winds.

Interested in learning more about spray foam and getting an estimate for your next project? Contact us today and learn more.

Beat Florida Heat – Insulate!

Home insulation is often associated with northern climates and cold weather. The thermal barrier that insulation creates is just as important in southern climates and warm weather. If your Florida home is not properly insulated, your comfort and your wallet will suffer.

During hot Florida weather the sun heats the surface of your roof. This in turn heats the air inside your attic. While this is happening, your home’s cooling system is working to manage your home’s indoor temperature. In an attempt to create balance, hot attic air moves into your home’s living space.

This same situation applies to wall insulation. When exterior walls are heated by the hot Florida sun, the temperature inside the wall cavity increases. This warm air will attempt to create a balance by moving into your home’s living space. Adding wall insulation helps reduce this heat transfer to keep your home comfortable.

When a home is properly insulated and air sealed, warm air stays out of your living space. This means your cooling system runs less often, reducing your monthly energy bills. Let’s not forget – upgrading insulation will keep your home comfortable all year. This one investment will pay you back month after month!

Not sure if your insulation is doing its job? Contact our office. We are happy to answer your questions and schedule a free estimate.

The Importance of New Home Air Sealing

Are you finalizing a plan for new home construction or remodeling an existing home? Don’t overlook air sealing and energy efficiency. Taking time today to effectively insulate and air seal your new home or remodeling project will save money for years to come.

Investing in air sealing and other energy efficiency measures has a huge payoff for homeowners and builders:

  • Better indoor air quality. When a home is not air sealed, pollutants, moisture and pollen can enter through penetration points in the home’s envelope. Sealing air leaks helps keep pollutants out of the home – especially important for people who suffer from asthma and/or allergies.
  • It’s easiest to air seal an open cavity. It is much easier to seal air leaks during construction when walls and other cavities are open. Adding air sealing as part of the construction process can reduce headaches later. Why put off air sealing when it can be done today?
  • A more comfortable home. Sealing air leaks helps increase comfort inside the home. This creates peace of mind for homeowners and happier customers for builders.
  • Higher home values. Energy efficient homes sell at a premium. This premium can be as much as 4% above the national average. Investment in air sealing and other energy upgrades benefits a homeowner when it’s time to sell, and saves the homeowner money on monthly energy bills while they own the home.
  • Credits and financing. Investment in energy efficient measures can qualify for financial assistance through tax credits or rebates and through energy-efficient financing (including an energy efficient mortgage/EEM). Check with your lender for more information.

If you’re interested in adding air sealing to your next project, contact our office. Our team is happy to answer questions and recommend a course of action for your project.

Why Home Ventilation Matters

Ventilation Exhaust FanToday’s homes are built using a variety of green building techniques. These methods create tighter, more efficient homes that can save homeowners money on energy bills. Tight building envelopes also keep air impurities inside the home including any chemicals used in cleaning products, paint, building materials and more. This combination makes a strong case for a proper home ventilation system to maintain your home’s air quality and energy efficiency.

Many factors influence the appropriate type of ventilation for a home including local code requirements, building size and types of appliances. Here are three of the most common ventilation systems:

  • Exhaust Only – Exhaust-only systems use an exhaust fan, typically placed in a kitchen or bathroom, to remove stale inside air and moisture. They often run on a timer so they can work throughout the day. This type of system relies on the home’s natural air leaks to allow outside air to enter. Exhaust-only systems do not properly manage the influx of outside air.
  • Supply Only – A supply-only system includes a fan that brings fresh air into the home and uses the home’s natural air leaks to allow inside air to escape. A filter can be added to the intake to trap pollen and other air pollutants before they enter the home. A dehumidifier can be added inside the home to control humidity levels. Supply-only systems bring in outside air but do not effectively manage removal of inside air.
  • Balanced – A balanced system includes both exhaust and supply, controlling ventilation at both ends. This system includes separate fans to manage air supply and air exhaust. Overall, this is a better ventilation system because it provides qualities of both exhaust-only and supply-only systems. However, it may be more costly to run.

Does your home have a ventilation system? Do you have questions about your home’s air sealing and ventilation? Contact us with any questions.

Attic Insulation: Good, Better and Best

Blown-in insulation being installed in an atticWhen it comes home insulation, the first area that usually comes to mind is the attic. Airflow in buildings moves from ground to sky, naturally pulling conditioned indoor air up and out of the structure. By keeping conditioned air inside your home you can also reduce wear and tear on your heating system and help keep energy bills in line.

There are three common methods used to insulate attics – blown-in fiberglass, blown-in fiberglass with air sealing, and spray foam insulation. Here’s what you need to know about each:

Blown-in Fiberglass

Insulating attics with blown-in fiberglass insulation is a quick and easy way to add R-value. This is a basic method of attic insulation and a cost-effective option to upgrade attics in existing homes or insulate attics in new homes.

Blown-in Fiberglass with Air Sealing

Combining blown-in fiberglass insulation with air sealing dramatically increases a home’s energy efficiency. This method helps keep conditioned air inside the home and adds R-value. In an existing home, attic insulation is removed and penetration points around the attic floor are sealed. After air sealing is complete, a fresh blanket of blown-in fiberglass insulation is installed. In a new home, penetration points around the attic floor are sealed before blown-in insulation is installed.

Spray Foam Insulation

Installing spray foam insulation in the attic of a new or existing home provides optimal energy protection. In an existing home, insulation is removed from the attic and spray foam is installed along the roofline. In a new home, spray foam insulation is installed along the roofline as part of the construction process.

Proper attic insulation combined with air sealing is one of the most cost-effective ways to save money on energy bills.

Wondering if your home could benefit from additional attic insulation? Ready to discuss insulation for your new home project? Contact our office today!

Three Steps to Choose the Right Insulation Contractor

Contractor meeting with homeownerThere are many decisions to make if you are beginning a remodeling project or building a new home. The most important decision can be choosing the right contractor for your job. It can be challenging to be sure you choose the best contractor. How do you know the company is reputable and will be there to handle a problem that could occur down the road? Can you trust them to show up on the scheduled work day?

Don’t let hiring an insulation contractor become overwhelming. Here are some tips to help ensure you’re making the right choice:

  • License and insurance. A professional insulation contractor will be properly licensed and insured to work on your home or project. You should ask for proof if you have any doubt.
  • Experience. There are insulation contractors in any market that have limited experience. They may be new to the business or don’t have experience working on your type of project. Ask about your insulation contractor’s experience, in particular on your type of project. You can also check references and work history.
  • Customer focus. A professional insulation contractor will return your calls in a timely manner, answer your questions and fully explain your project estimate. If you are not comfortable with the initial service you receive, bring it to the contractor’s attention or look for a replacement.

Allweather Insulation has extensive insulation experience, is properly licensed and insured, and cares about providing great customer service. To schedule a free estimate for your insulation project, contact our office.