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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Save money with an energy audit.
A home energy audit is done to determine methods for reducing energy use, saving money on utility bills, and improving overall comfort in a home. Some of the same methods used by professionals can be duplicated in your own home analysis. Here are some tips on what to look for and how to make any necessary corrections.

  1. Find Air Leaks
    One of the most cost effective changes you can make to conserve energy in your home is sealing air leaks. Common areas to check for leaks are window frames, door frames, and electrical outlets (these are very easy to feel on a cool, windy day). To do a thorough job, be sure to also check recessed can lights, the attic access door, rim joists in the basement, the chimney flue, and where ever wires or pipes enter your home. In most cases some caulk or weather stripping should take care of leaks. For can lights and chimney flues consult a professional for assistance properly and safely sealing these areas.
  2. Check Your Windows
    Check for gaps around your windows, an area where air commonly escapes. There are several ways to do this: shine a flashlight around the edges at night or use a smoke stick (when lit the smoke will drift toward leaks). Another trick: put a piece of paper in the window and then close and lock it – if you can pull the paper out without it tearing that window isn’t creating a tight seal. After leaks are located, seal them with caulk or weather stripping according to manufacturer’s instructions (weather stripping works better for larger gaps).
  3. Look in the Attic
    Inadequate insulation in your attic is a common culprit for heat loss. Standards for attic insulation may have changed since your home was built. Consider adding insulation to your attic for increased energy savings – and don’t forget about sealing air leaks!  ENERGY STAR® estimates that adding insulation and sealing air leaks (which can be done in just one step with spray foam insulation) can save homeowners as much as 10% on their annual energy bills. If you’re looking for insulation help you’ve come to right place – we’re the experts! Contact us for a free estimate.
  4. Unplug it
    Reduce “standby power” in your home. Standby power is power used by electronic devices that are plugged in, but not in use. Even though these devices are not is use, they are still draining energy (ENERGY STAR® estimates five to ten percent of residential energy use can be blamed on standby power). The solution is simple. Unplug it. Or, if that is too inconvenient for TVs or hard-to-reach outlets, use a power strip with an on/off switch.

Have questions on what to do after you find a problem? We can help! Call us today to discuss what you found and for a free estimate. In the meantime, check out this great resource for your own DIY energy audit from our friends at Energy Star.


Monday, May 15, 2017

As homes become more efficient, proper ventilation is increasingly important. Green building techniques and tighter building envelopes require proper air exchange to manage indoor air quality.

Why the increase in air quality problems? Older homes were “naturally” ventilated through uncontrolled air leaks and building products were manufactured without flame retardants and other additives. Today’s building products have more additives and homes are built tight compared to older homes. Tight building envelopes combined with the additives in construction materials require a controlled ventilation system to maintain optimal air quality and a home’s energy efficiency.

There are many factors that influence the type of ventilation system that is appropriate for a home. These can include local code requirements, building size, types of appliances, etc.

The four most common ventilation systems are:

  • Exhaust Only – This type of system uses a small exhaust fan that is commonly placed in a kitchen or bathroom. This is programmed to run either continuously or intermittently to pull out stale air and moisture. These systems are low cost and quite easy to install.
  • Supply Only – A supply only system includes a fan that brings fresh air into the home. The air escape happens through the natural air leaks in the home. A filter can be added to trap pollen and other outdoor air pollutants before they enter the home. A dehumidifier can be added inside the home to control indoor humidity levels.
  • 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 than exhaust only or supply only system.
  • Balanced with Heat Recovery – Like the balanced system, a balanced system with heat recovery will condition the incoming air prior to entering the home. This is a great system for cold climates, preventing cold air from being drawn into the home during winter.

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





Tuesday, April 4, 2017

When winter begins to fade, thoughts of warm days and green grass are welcome. If you suffer from allergies, spring brings many symptoms that can make the season hard to bear.

If you or someone in your home suffers from allergies, air sealing your home is one way to keep pollen, dust and other irritants out of your home (not to mention it can make your home more comfortable).

A home’s envelope has many penetration points that allow air to enter and exit the home. These penetration points can be around things like duct work and chimney chases and exist between building materials (studs, framing, etc.). As a home naturally breathes, outside air is drawn into the home’s interior. This natural process draws outside pollen, dust and other irritants into your home’s inside air. 

Sealing air leaks helps keep outside air (and outside pollutants) out of your home. In addition to reducing interior allergens, air sealing your home has other benefits:
  • More comfortable living environment. Air Infiltration can contribute to problems with moisture, dust, as well as the entry of pests. Sealing air leaks can help control your indoor comfort.
  • Reduced energy bills. Sealing air leaks keeps conditioned air inside your home. This means your HVAC system will do less work to maintain your home’s internal temperature, which can reduce your energy bills
  • A quieter home. Air leaks also allow outside noise to enter your home. Sealing these leaks also keeps out noise, which can result in a quieter home.
Interested in air sealing? Contact or call us today for a free Air Sealing estimate!



Monday, March 13, 2017

Looking to upgrade your home with energy-efficient features? These five ideas will contribute to energy savings in your home.

#1 Exterior Doors   
Choosing the right exterior door for a home should be a carefully thought-out decision. When choosing a door for your home, first consider the doors' energy-performance ratings. This rating scores how well each door preserves the energy in your home by trapping heat or cool air inside.

#2 Insulation  
Insulating and air sealing your existing home is the number one way to reduce energy bills, save money, and reduce your home's carbon footprint. We have the tools (spray foam insulation, air sealing, and crawl space insulation to name a few) to make your home more energy efficient and more comfortable and keep your energy dollars from going out the window.

#3 Exterior Colors
The color of your home can greatly contribute to the heat inside it. A light exterior will help the home stay cooler, while a darker color will better maintain heat.

#4 Cool Roofs
Cool roofs are designed to reflect sunlight and lower roofing temperatures. Cool roofs are made from a type of reflective material within roofing materials such as tiles, shingles, paint or other substances. This energy-saving technique is ideal for houses in warm climates where air conditioning costs are high all year around.

#5 Flooring
The type of flooring you choose to place in your home can also save energy and money. Carpet traps heat and keeps your home warmer during the cold winter months. Choosing the right flooring for your home is an inexpensive way to save on climate-control costs.

Contact Us today for a free in-home estimate to make sure your insulation is doing its job!


What’s this “R” thing all about when it comes to insulation? The "R" in R-value measures an insulation product’s resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater resistance to heat flow and better thermal performance of the insulation.

R-value is important in determining how much insulation is needed in each area of your home (see our chart below). Depending on the area of your home you’re insulating (walls, crawl space, attic, etc.), different R-values are necessary.
Did you know R-value isn’t the most important factor when it comes to heat loss? More important than the R-value of the insulation in your attic, crawl space and walls is the air escaping in those areas through tiny (or sometimes not-so-tiny) penetration points.

Conditioned air (that you are paying to treat) is leaking out of your house from places like under your bathtub where a plumber cut a large hole for the pipes, where wood floor trusses of your house rest on the concrete blocks of your foundation, and an often repeat-offender is around recessed lighting.

If losing heated (or cooled) air isn't bad enough, the escaped air is replaced by unconditioned air from the outside of your house. That means more work for or air conditioner or furnace to bring your house back to your desired temperature. This is where power of spray foam insulation comes in. With this one product, your home is insulated and air sealed. It's a one-two punch in energy efficiency and lower heating and cooling bills for you. Check out this insulation chart to compare R-values across products.

Sound good? Give us a call and we can help with your project.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Spring means warmer weather and sunny days ahead. It’s also the time for winter melting and showers. Having your crawl space in proper condition will help keep water out of your crawl and help maintain the structural integrity of your home.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when checking out your crawl space:

Drainage
One key to keeping water out of your crawl space is to move water away from your foundation. Making sure water properly drains away from your home will give water somewhere to go, rather than having it find a path of its own – into your crawl space.

Cracks
It’s very common for cracks to form on the walls of a crawl space. Sealing these points will help water and pests out of your crawl space.

Insulation

Insulating and conditioning your crawl space helps maintain the temperature of the floors in your home. It also creates additional storage under your home, increasing your home’s usable space. Spray foam insulation is a great product for insulating crawl spaces – in one application it insulates and seals cracks and other penetration points.

With spring moisture on the way, now’s the time to check out your crawl space. Contact our office for your free estimate. Have other crawl space or insulation questions? Give us a call!

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22976 Sussex Avenue
Georgetown, DE 19947

302-752-1080
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