Make your home comfortable this winter
Do you want to make your home comfortable this winter? I purchased an older home, built in 1975, a few months ago. The location is perfect and the layout is functional for what we need as a family right now. However, the house was not energy-efficient at all when we moved in. It was also not comfortable. The first step was to replace the heating and cooling system. This was needed as the existing unit was at the end of life. The new unit is very efficient and is able to keep up with demand. I did let the HVAC company, Excel Heating and Cooling, know that I would properly insulate the attic and basement so the unit is sized appropriately to avoid short cycling. The first couple of warm months in the house were not a problem with the heating and cooling system keeping the upstairs comfortable and the downstairs is naturally cool. As cooler days set in the downstairs was not maintaining temperature as we had not corrected the insulation issues.
So, near the end of October the insulation truck from Elite Insulation showed up. The first step was to remove the existing blown in insulation from the attic. They essentially vacuumed out the dirt and fiberglass. The insulation was black in places showing how much air was moving through the insulation. You see insulation does not work with air moving through it. You need an air tight envelope to and solid insulation to provide a comfortable space.
Once the existing insulation – or rather dirt collection system – was removed, the spray foam truck showed up.
This insulation method, open-cell spray foam, creates an air barrier while insulating. It corrects the problems of the old insulation and properly insulates the attic floor.
Once the attic problems were solved, Elite Insulation turned their attention to the basement level. This space is tricky to fix. There is a lot of concrete which absorbs heat and makes the space feel cooler than the air temperature. This space also has finished space in it which complicates fixing insulation problems economically.
The first step in this space was to remove the black fiberglass insulation. Talk about air movement! The rim board (the space where the floor joists meet the exterior wall) is a huge air leak in most every house I visit to do an energy audit. This old house was no different. This is also a space where critters gain access into the house. The process of removing the fiberglass is dirty and I am glad I hired Elite Insulation to take care of it. They then filled the gaps with open-cell spray foam.
This insulation not only closes off access for critters and stops air leaks – it properly insulates this 10″ tall space around the perimeter of the house. So far the solutions we have added to the house has improved comfort and cut the electric bills off of the previous owners average. I also changed all the lights to LED so that helps reduce the monthly bills. So as we move into the colder months we will see how much money is saved, but the comfort level has certainly improved thanks to Excel and Elite Insulation.