Year: 2018

Insulate & Seal Crawl Space in Charlotte

Winter is around the corner. Unless you’ve invested in home energy improvements this year, your home will be as inefficient and uncomfortable this winter as it was last year. If your home has a crawl space, sealing and insulating your crawl space can dramatically improve your home’s comfort, reduce energy bills and improve the quality of air inside your home.

Today’s building science proves that what’s underneath your home affects the inside comfort. A home’s natural airflow is from bottom to top (floor to ceiling). As your home naturally breathes, air is drawn up from the basement or crawl space, through the living area and out the attic. This natural airflow means air from a moist crawl space (and everything in the crawl space) flows up and into your home’s living area.

Here are three reasons to insulate your crawl space before winter:

  1. Improved air quality
    Crawl spaces are naturally damp. As your home breathes, air from your crawl space flows into your home’s living space through penetration points around wiring, plumbing holes and more. This means the air in your crawl space is mingling with the air you breathe. Not only is this distasteful, it’s unhealthy. Air sealing and insulating your crawl space will improve the air quality and help keep pollutants out of your home.
  2. Lower energy bills
    Does your furnace run more than you’d like during winter? This is a result of your HVAC system heating air from the crawl space that’s mingling with the air that’s already been heated. This means your HVAC system is continually working to maintain your home’s internal temperature. This results in higher energy bills and more wear and tear on your HVAC system.
  3. A more comfortable home
    An unfinished crawl space affects your home’s everyday comfort. Are your floors cold? Is your main living area significantly cooler than the upper level of your home? Sealing and insulating your crawl space will help with these issues. After a short time in an uncomfortable home, you’ll wish you had invested in insulating your crawl space.

You may have other questions about your crawl space. We welcome you to contact us to discuss your specific situation. Ready to upgrade your crawl space? Contact us to schedule a free crawl space estimate.

Four Ways to Prepare Your Home for Winter

Prepare your home for winter with ABS Insulating

Even though we like to hold onto summer as long as possible, winter will arrive in no time. If you are once again waiting for the first cold snap to get your home ready for winter, you will suffer with higher than necessary energy bills. This year, stay ahead of the season and get to work on these four tasks:

  1. Tune Up Your Furnace
    Your home’s heating system will work more efficiently and have a longer life if it’s regularly serviced. Routine servicing can help prevent system problems during the peak heating season.
  2. Check Your Insulation
    A fresh blanket of insulation in your attic adds a thermal layer of protection. Adding insulation to your attic is one of the most cost effective ways to save money on energy bills. Take it a step further by sealing air leaks in your attic floor as well as around doors, windows, electrical outlets and other penetration points around your home.
  3. Maintain Your Rain Gutters
    Fall is the time when leaves, sticks and other debris pile up in your gutters. This debris can cause poor water drainage and harm to your home’s foundation. This is the time of year to add gutter leaf protection and have your rain gutters checked for damage.
  4. Add a Smart Thermostat
    Smart thermostats adjust the temperature of your home based on your family’s schedule and lifestyle. A smart thermostat can help decrease overall home energy use, including heating and cooling costs. According to Nest, a smart thermostat brand, the investment can pay for itself over time based on an average 30% reduction in energy bills.

If your home needs an insulation upgrade, gutter repair or gutter protection, we can help! Contact our office to schedule a free estimate!

 

Grade I Insulation Training in Charlotte

Grade I Fiberglass Insulation training

Proper installation techniques are critical to insulation performance, energy conservation and comfort. As a professional insulation contractor, it’s our responsibility to educate and train our team members – from installers to management – on proper insulation installation methods.

In August 2018 the teams from ABS Insulating and ABS Coastal Insulating participated in Grade I Fiberglass Insulation training. The training was led by Janet Miller, Outreach Manager at Appalachian State University’s Energy Center and in partnership with NAIMA. Training topics included the building science behind what makes Grade I so effective, the fundamentals of building energy codes and delivery of repeatable Grade I installations on every fiberglass insulation installation.

By following Grade I Installation techniques we will help our customers save money by decreasing energy waste and increasing comfort. Trainings were held onsite at our Charlotte and Myrtle Beach locations.

Five Summer Energy Tips

Commercial & Multi Insulation by ABS Insulating

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.

 

Insulation Vs Windows for Better ROI

Insulation or WindowsWhen thinking of a home upgrade that will increase energy efficiency, homeowners typically consider two projects: insulation or windows. There is a lot of confusion about which option provides a better return on investment.

Building envelope

Your home’s envelope consists of the walls, floor and roof. When considering the total square footage of your home’s envelope, windows make up a very a small portion. By upgrading the energy efficiency of your home’s attic and walls, you will be maximizing energy efficiency across a greater portion of your home’s envelope and will see a greater energy benefit.

Air flow
Air inside a home naturally flows from ground to sky. A home loses 70% of energy through the attic and roof – far more than is lost through windows or doors. By upgrading your attic insulation, conditioned air will stay inside your home. Adding air sealing further prevents conditioned air from seeping out around ducts, attics and more.

R-value
R-value is a measure of the amount of heat flow a certain product resists. The higher the R-value, the better it reduces heat flow. The R-value of windows can vary based on the number of panes, air space between panes, etc.

Double pane windows have an R-value of 1.5 to 2. Upgrading insulation to current code would result in attic R-value of R-30 to R-38 in North Carolina. When you consider the difference in R-value and the natural heat flow in a home, it’s easy to see how a fresh blanket of insulation is a great investment.

Cost
When looking at the bottom line, your choice is clear. According to Home Advisor, the average cost to upgrade windows in the Charlotte area is $4,526. The same report shows the average cost to upgrade insulation in the Charlotte area is $1,124.*

Ready to add insulation to your attic? Contact us to schedule your free estimate.

* Project costs can vary.

 

Don’t Lose Your Cool – Add A Radiant Barrier

Radiant barrier system

Keeping your home cool during warm summer months can feel like a full-time job. Adding a radiant barrier to your attic can help reduce summer heat gain and decrease cooling costs. A radiant barrier is an insulation product consisting of material that reflects radiant heat rather than absorbing it.

Radiant energy from the sun is the primary force in causing the roof to heat. Much of this radiant heat is conducted into the attic through the shingles, roof deck and other roofing materials. Heat is trapped inside the attic and raises the temperature of the ducts and attic floor. Although insulation helps manage the temperature inside your home, a radiant barrier reflects heat out of the attic and helps keep the attic cooler than insulation alone.

A radiant barrier is very effective in hot, sunny climates. Some data indicates that adding a radiant barrier to your home can reduce cooling costs up to 10 percent. If you’re adding a cooling system to a new home or upgrading your home’s existing cooling system, a radiant barrier may allow you to install a smaller cooling system.

Learn more about radiant barrier systems by contacting our office at (704) 821-4343! We are happy to discuss your project and the benefits of adding a radiant barrier.

Beat Summer Heat – Insulate!

Summer heat temperatureWhen warm summer weather arrives, most homeowners think about painting, landscaping and other outdoor projects. Upgrading home insulation is one of the last things that come to mind. Although insulation is commonly associated with cold weather, the thermal barrier it creates is just as important during hot summer weather.

When the weather is hot, the sun heats the surface of your roof. This heat transfers to the air inside your attic. At the same time your attic is heating up, your air conditioning system is working overtime to manage the indoor temperature. In an attempt to create a temperature balance, hot attic air moves into your home’s cooled living space. This in turn heats your home’s inside temperature, requiring your cooling system to work even harder.

This same situation applies to wall insulation. When exterior walls are heated by the hot summer 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.

 

Don’t Overlook Rain Gutters! Here’s Why

Rain gutters installed on two story home

Your rain gutter system can make or break your home’s structure. Unfortunately, rain gutters in Charlotte, North Carolina don’t get the attention they deserve. Rain gutters are easy to forget, until a home’s structure is impacted by pooling water, leaks and more.

If your Charlotte, North Carolina rain gutter system isn’t professionally installed or if it needs repairs, your home can be impacted by the following:

  • Roof/attic problems – An improper or damaged gutter system can allow rainwater to back up under shingles. From here, water can leak into the roof and cause a tremendous amount of damage. Uncovering and repairing roof water damage can be a complex and expensive project.  Roof water damage can also require home attic insulation to be replaced.
  • Exterior walls – If a home’s rain gutter system isn’t in proper working order, rainwater can run down the home’s exterior walls. This water can get underneath a home’s siding and into the wall assembly. If a home has brick exterior, rainwater can erode and discolor the brick.
  • Foundation damage – When water is not properly drained from the home it can pool around the home’s foundation. Over time this water will seep into the ground and run down the foundation exterior causing damage including cracks and leaks.
  • Landscape damage – Pooling water can damage your home’s landscaping. It can affect both the landscape structure and the integrity of plants.

The cost to add a proper rain gutter system or repair a current system in Charlotte is a fraction of the cost to repair water damage. Hiring a professional gutter company in Charlotte is the best way to ensure your home is protected from water damage. If you are looking for a rain gutter estimate in Charlotte, North Carolina call ABS Insulating. Our professional gutter installers will provide a free gutter estimate for your home.

3 Reasons to Hire an Insulation Contractor

homeowners working in DIY projects

Many homeowners like to tackle home improvement projects. There are many resources to help homeowners learn how to handle home improvements including retail stores, online videos and more. With so many tools, homeowners may feel confident enough to take on almost any project. When it comes to installing or upgrading home insulation, it’s best to hire a professional insulation contractor.

Here are three reasons why you should hire a professional insulation contractor:

  1. Proper Installation. Without proper installation techniques, insulation will not perform properly. A professional insulation contractor has the experience and training to properly install insulation to maximize performance, attic venting to ensure proper airflow and air sealing to reduce outside air infiltration.
  2. Building Code and Building Science Knowledge. Hiring a professional insulation contractor gives you access to a wide array of knowledge and training. Professional insulation contractors are up to date on local building codes, new insulation technologies and installation methods to be sure your home is properly insulated and as energy efficient as possible.
  3. Safety. A professional insulation contractor conducts proper safety training for its installer team. Proper safety training reduces the risk of workplace injury. A professional insulation contractor is trained to spot other hazards such as wiring including knob and tube issues, installing around other combustible materials and more.

Don’t let the perceived cost savings of DIY insulation cost more in the long run. Hire a professional insulation contractor and have the job done right the first time! Our office provides free estimates. Call our office to schedule your free estimate.