Attic - Walls - Floors - Basement - Crawl Space - Insulation
Oct092012

What is Spray Foam?

Published by Rease at 5:14 PM under Blog

Many people have begun to hear the word spray foam as a buzzword in the insulation industry. This high-quality insulation is great for many applications and in some cases can be very cost effective. However, it's important to know what you are buying and in which situations this high-performance insulation makes sense.
 
 

What is Spray Foam?

 

This polyurethane foam is an expanding substance. It sprays on thin and expands to create a barrier. Open cell foam will expand more than closed cell, but that does not necessarily mean one is better than the other.
 
Closed cell foam only expands a little bit, but it creates an airtight barrier. It acts as an air barrier, thermal insulator, and moisture boundary. This type of spray foam is great for ceilings, but not for roofs. When used for roofs, it can trap moisture from leaks and condensate, which will lead to mold growth.
 
Open cell foam expands much more than closed cell because it is not airtight. The open cell foam allows air and moisture to travel through it, making this foam ideal for attic or roof decking. Instead of trapping the moisture like a closed cell foam would, this type of foam allows the moisture to travel through and dissipate, preventing rotting.
 

When Should Spray Foam Be Used?

 
Spray foam is an expensive material, so you certainly do not want to spend money on it unless you are going to see a return on your investment. Spray foam is great for new construction, or modifying homes in areas such as the ceiling, attic, or roof. Due to the high cost of the material, it is best to combine the foam with another type of insulation. Affordable Comfort created a Hybrid System that uses a small amount of spray foam paired with Cellulose insulation. This system allows you to get the high performance benefits of the foam without breaking the bank. If you were to insulate your entire home in spray foam, the cost would be too high to ever see a return on your large investment.
 

When Shouldn't Spray Foam Be Used?

 
Spray foam should not be used exclusively to insulate an entire home, due to the aforementioned high cost issues. You also wouldn't want to add spray foam directly on top of existing insulation.
 
Overall, spray foam is an excellent choice for insulating a structure. It is just important to know when and how to use it, as well as how much should be used in order to save money without sacrificing results. We here at Affordable Comfort are more than happy to walk you through the process.

 

 


Sep132012

Weatherization Program for Low Income Families

Published by Rease at 4:59 PM under Blog

 The US Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program is free improvement program for low-income households - and Affordable Comfort is proud to be apart of it.
 

 

 This program allows us to provide valuable weatherization services at no cost to the households that truly need it. Many homes can benefit greatly from the weatherization work we do to improve the insulation of the house. These measures will allow your home to heat and cool more effectively, which can save you hundreds on your utility bills.

So what do we do?

If you qualify for the Weatherization Program in our area of service, we'll come out to your home, inspect it, and make a plan for repairs. We'll take care of all those pesky air drafts, update your insulation, and ensure your furnace and water heating are running safely. In the end, you'll find our home is much more comfortable in every season of the year, and your utility bills will be significantly lower.

Remember, this program is FREE for those who qualify, absolutely all weatherization labor and materials are provided free of charge through federal fundin

Who qualifies?

Qualification depends on the size of your household and total household income. Here is a basic chart:

 
Size of family      Total income
1                           $22,340

2                           $30,260

3                           $38, 180

4                           $46,100

5                           $54,020

6                           $61,940

7                           $69,860

8                           $77, 780

Each additional member adds $7,920

How to Apply

Call 314-446-4436 or go to www.dnr.mo.gov.mowxworks

 


Sep042012

What is Spray Foam Insulation?

Published by Rease at 4:53 PM under Blog

We here at Affordable Comfortable offer very high quality BASF Spraytite 178 series spray foam. You may be wondering exactly what spray foam insulation is and what the benefits are - allow us to explain!

 

 

The polyurethane foam is an expanding substance. It sprays on thin and expands to create an airtight barrier, which not only insulates your home, but also acts as a pest barrier. This type of foam is a 2-part foam, meaning two ingredients are sprayed together to create a chemical reaction that causes the insulation to expand and seal tightly.

 

What makes spray foam different from other insulation types?

 Spray foam is an incredibly high-performance insulation with an R-value of 6.7 per inch. To give you some context, the next best insulation material, cellulose, has an R-value of 3.8 per inch. The combination of these two insulations makes our hybrid system both affordable and effective. If we were to use only spray foam to achieve the desired R-value, the cost would be significantly more, and would take several more years to pay itself off. The hybrid system, on the other hand, involves a base coat of the high-performance spray foam, which is then topped off with the cellulose insulation. This system gives you the quality materials you need to take care of your home without digging too deeply into your pockets. On average, customers pay back their investment through utility bills savings within 2 years.

 Is it safe?

Spray foam is very safe for you and the environment. The blowing agent used with spray foam is certified to have zero ozone depleting qualities. This insulation also blocks moisture, which protects your home from dangerous mold growth. The material itself is non-fibrous, so it won't come apart and irritate your skin like the old fiberglass you might already have in your home.

Another added bonus you get with spray foam is that it actually asks as a structural enhancement for your home. Once the foam dries, it hardens and strengthens the beams in your home, which can help protect from storm damage.

Spray foam can be used in a variety of spaces within your home such as walls (during new construction), band sills, floors/crawlspaces, foundation walls, craw space walls, attic floors, and knee walls in the attic. It's also great for filling in odd spaces where air may be leaking. Spray foam is a superior insulation that can protect and enhance your home, while still holding up to our high standards for environmentally safe materials as it causes no damage to the ozone layer. Plus, it eventually pay for itself in utility bills savings! It's win-win all around.

 

 


Aug132012

What is R Value?

Published by Rease at 4:30 PM under Blog

 The term “R value” gets thrown around a lot when discussing construction, building materials, heating and cooling systems, and insulation. Everyone loves to tell you about their R Value, but if you don’t know what it means, what good is that information to you? Allow us to explain.

 

 

Quick definition

 
R value is a measurement of thermal resistance or heat transfer. The higher R value a building has, the more resistant it will be to heat flow. Building materials such as metal or glass have a low R value, while insulation has a much higher value.
 

Why should I be concerned about R Value?

 
As the definition states, the higher R value your home has, the more resistant it is to heat flow. Basically, a higher R value means better temperature regulation in your home and thus lower utility bills. Sadly, many builders only meet the bare minimum, so while they may try to impress you by throwing out arbitrary numbers, it’s important to recognize the difference between “standard procedure” R value and optimal R value.
 

How is R Value calculated?

 
R value is calculated based on the material. For insulation, the calculations are as follows:
 
Cellulose: 3.5 per inch
Fiberglass: 2.8 per inch
Rockwool: 3.2 per inch
Vermicullite: 2.7 per inch.
 
So, if you have 10 inches of fiberglass, you have an R value of 28.
 
Cellulose:
 

 

Fiberglass:                     

                                                                                                     

 

So what’s a good R value?

 
The “bare minimum” R value is R 38. However, based on our experience, we have found that most homes are only working with R 15. Sadly, neither of these values are what would be considered optimal. The optimal value varies by location, but in the St. Louis area, the recommended R value for optimal performance is between R45 and R60.
 
Chances are your home was built with the bare minimum and has since deteriorated down to R15 or lower. By bringing your R value up to optimal performance standards, you will be enhancing your home’s ability to regulate temperature, which means much lower utility bills and a more comfortable home.
 
Still not sure? Take a look at our online quote calculator and get a quote within 5 minutes. No obligation, just information!

 

 

 


Aug092012

Is Do-It-Yourself Attic Insulation a Good Idea?

Published by Rease at 4:21 PM under Blog

 

If you’ve decided to tackle your attic insulation issues to save money on your heating and cooling costs, you’re on the right track. Attics are very connected to your home and are often to blame for excess energy loss that ends up costing you more money on your utility bill.

Should I try DIY Attic Insulation or hire a professional?

There are plenty of people out there who are perfectly capable of fixing things around the house. When it comes to repairing a broken door hinge or fixing a leaky faucet, there is nothing wrong with doing it yourself. However, when the leak you are fixing is related you’re your insulation, the process can become a little more complicated. You’ll need to do an energy audit to figure out just how efficient or inefficient your current insulation installation is, check all your window and door seals, and perhaps even investigate the possibility of your insulation pumping polluted air into your home.
 

Tricky for you, business as usual for us

 

All of those steps can be difficult and a bit daunting for even the most seasoned do-it-yourselfers, but we here at Affordable Comfort are experienced experts. We’ve been in this business since 1993. We know exactly where to look and what to look for when it comes to the analysis process of installing attic insulation. We can streamline the process and have your new insulation installed in as little as one day. That’s right, one day and you’ll be on your way to lower utility costs, a greener home, and cleaner air.

 

What about the costs?

 If you are worried about the cost of hiring a professional to take care of your insulation woes, we can help. You can use our Online Audit Calculator and get a dollar amount within minutes. All you need to do is answer a few questions and you’ll have your quote without having to deal with any pushy salesmen. If you decide to go forward with your insulation installation, all you have to do is submit your quote to us at the end of the calculation and we’ll get in touch with you right away. So why go through the hassle of trying to do it yourself when we can make it so easy? Get your quick quote right now!

 


Aug052012

Is the Heat Wave Making You Wonder about Air Conditioner’s Efficiency?

Published by Rease at 4:13 PM under Blog

Now that summer is at its peak, it’s hard to catch a break from the heat. Many homes have rooms that never seem to get cool, no matter how low you set your thermostat. You might set your thermostat as low as 72 but never see the temperature drop below 78. Meanwhile, your AC is running continuously and driving up your utility bill costs.  There are several explanations for why this might be happening. If your home is 1 ½-2 stories, you’ve got lots of crawl space and garage area soaking up your cool air. You might also have windows that lack shading, allowing the sun to pour in and heat up your home. It’s also possible that your HVAC system is unbalanced, which results in inconsistent temperatures throughout your living space, creating hot spots that never seem to get cool.

 

Photo credit: Achim Hering

 

So what can you do to stay cool without going broke?

 

 The root of the problem is often in your home’s insulation. We here at Affordable Comfort have worked with customers throughout the St. Louis area to inspect their current insulation and create a solution that results in cooler home and lower utility bills.  We’ve seen excellent results with our hybrid system. Just take a look at some quotes from our happy customers:

 

“We used to set our thermostat at 73 and the house never got cooler than 78. Now we have it set at 72 and it stays there 24 hours a day with a/c unit cycling normally.” – O’Fallon Homeowner

 

“An unexpected benefit (beyond the obvious energy savings) was sound control. We had a major thunderstorm the first night and we did not even hear it.” – Cottleville homeowner

 
“The temperature stats the same throughout the house upstairs and down.” – Cottleville homeowner

 

 So if you’re ready to fight back against the heat wave in your home, just take a look at our easy online quotation calculator. Within 5 minutes, you’ll have a quote for your home and be well on your way to a cooler summer.