Monday, 27 June 2016

4 Reasons Why Installing Home Insulation Is Not a DIY Job

On paper installing insulation in your home doesn’t sound like that hard of a job. By now you’ve heard how important it is to have an adequate barrier against the elements in your walls and attic so you might think that throwing in some insulation would be a good weekend project. Just know that many have come before you on this thought – and most of them regretted doing it themselves by the end.

BLOGjuneinsulationInstalling insulation is not only an inconvenience, if done incorrectly it can present a huge waste of investment. Some people have done more damage to their home during insulating, others have made no change in their utility bills, and even more people have become physically ill during the process. Here’s why insulating is another job you want to leave to the pros:

Opens Up Your Options 

For most DIY insulation jobs the homeowner would be installing the fiberglass batts. These come in a roll and are usually 15” wide to fit perfectly between wall studs. A select few homeowners who are a bit more mechanically inclined might choose to also rent an insulation blower for a blown-in barrier. A professional installer can do these as well as spray foam and some other specialty materials all with an expertise of their own equipment.

The Job is Done Correctly 

There’s more to just installing the insulation correctly, making sure it’s the right thickness and ensuring that all open gaps are covered. There’s also the aspect of choosing the correct R-Value, providing ventilation, installing any necessary moisture barriers, and sealing exterior gaps. They can also help acquire any permits that are needed and make sure the job fits your local building codes.

More Affordable 

It might sound like a no-brainer that doing work yourself is always going to be more affordable than hiring somebody. With insulation though you have to look at both the short-term and long-term cost savings. Since a professional insulation contractor can provide you more options, you have the ability to install spray foam or blown-in insulation that will last much longer and provide a more intense barrier than fiberglass batts. If you are retrofitting an insulation job, a professional can generally do so with less damage to drywall, trim, etc. that may otherwise require costly replacement. Professionals get the job done quicker because even if it’s your free time – your time is still money.


Perhaps the best reason to hire a professional for insulating your home is simply so you don’t have to. Fiberglass batts are some of the itchiest, most miserable pieces of material in the home renovation industry. DIYers will cough, itch, and lose sometimes multiple nights of sleep as the fibers are encrusted in your body, eyes, nose, and lungs. The pros have safety equipment that helps us do the job with minimal irritation.

Give us a call for more information on how an insulation upgrade can be of a huge benefit to the comfort of your home as well as your utility bills.


Monday, 20 June 2016

Can You Get Legitimate Savings By Implementing Green Plumbing Solutions?

“Going green” in your home isn’t just a fad anymore. It’s a mindset, a mentality, and a requirement. What homeowner wouldn’t want to lower their utility bills while also lessening their carbon footprint on the environment? There are obvious areas where eco-friendly renovations can have big savings such as with an energy-efficient HVAC system and with Energy Star appliances and lighting. Despite the fact that water bills are 25% or more of your utility bills, some people are still on the fence about the effectiveness of green plumbing.

BLOGjuneplumbingThe savings are real however.

Energy Efficient Water Heater (10-50% less energy)

When you think of being eco-friendly with your plumbing, the first assumption is cutting water use. Don’t forget the energy involved to heat and deliver that water however, specifically the water heater. Water heaters perform a unique job in that they’re waiting in the bullpen, so to speak, to deliver hot water. They are using energy to heat and store water even when you’re not at home and the faucets are off. An upgrade here can have huge savings.

Insulate Pipes ($12-$24 savings a year)

Insulating your pipes may only save you $1 or $2 per month but it’s an easy project with a minimal cost. If you string 6-7 of these types of projects together the savings only rise and the strain on your plumbing system is lowered.

Low Flow Showers and Faucets (reduce water usage by up to 60%)

It’s hard to call using water in the home a waste because we need it – but do we need that much of it? Installing low flow showers still gives you enough water to get clean. Low flow faucets still provide a source large enough to do dishes, brush your teeth, wash your hands, etc. all while spending less.

Low Flow Toilets (2X – 5X less water used)

Each person in your household uses about 28 gallons of water on the toilet alone. Since an outhouse isn’t a pleasant option in the city, low flow toilets are nearly a necessity.

Energy Efficient Dishwashers and Washing Machines (reduce water consumption by 50%)

It’s not just sinks, showers, and toilets that use water in your home. Upgrading to Energy Star dishwashers and washing machines can provide incredible savings since they are also used so frequently.

The reason that going green is a mindset and not just a process is because each person in the home can increase the savings by using water responsibly. Turning off the water when you brush your teeth can save 8 gallons a day, doing only full loads of laundry can save up to 50 gallons a load, shortening your shower by a minute or two can save 2 gallons, etc.

Give us a call for more information on the installation of these energy and money saving appliances.


Monday, 13 June 2016

How to Operate Your Air-Conditioner During Intense Heat

As the warm weather approaches it’s important to decipher the differences between “warm” and “blazing hot.” Obviously the reason we have an air-conditioner installed in the first place is to stay cool as the temps rise. In a kind of ironic turn however, when the mercury starts rising to the mid 90° level it’s time to run your air-conditioner as responsibly as possible.

BLOGjuneACCool Down Your Outdoor Unit 

When heat waves are present your outdoor unit is busting it’s compressor trying to keep up with the demand. Like an overheated marathon runner, it doesn’t hurt to spray down your outdoor unit with the hose every so often just to give it some cool relief.

Keep Your Air-Conditioner In the Shade

One way to permanently keep your A/C at least somewhat cooler is to provide it with shade. This can come in the form of an awning overtop or some well placed bushes and trees but you’d be surprised the difference that’s made when the sun isn’t constantly beating down on the hard-working exterior unit. Just remember to leave enough room for the A/C to breathe.

Take a Load Off Your Thermostat When Not at Home 

Granted you want to come home to a chilly area at night but leaving your A/C running on high all day long is a very unnecessary drain on the system that will result in extremely high utility bills. Not only that, you’re drawing resources from the power company to your vacant property whereas others in the community may be running a daycare or sleeping during the day because of their night job.

Utilize Alternative and Secondary Cooling Methods 

Give your A/C some backup in the form of a ceiling fan that can assist in circulating air. Even putting a fan out on your deck may help you enjoy the warm outdoors thus negating the need for the A/C to run on high indoors.

Don’t Use Stoves or Microwaves

It probably goes without saying but you shouldn’t make a warm area warmer by running the oven/stovetop/microwave or other heat generating appliances. Nobody really wants a hot meal when it’s hot outside so a heat wave presents a great opportunity for eating out and soaking up somebody else’s A/C – it may even be cheaper than running your own at peak hours.

Use Fans and Open Windows at Night

The nightfall should provide you a little break from the high temps so use it as an opportunity to give your A/C a pause as well. Open up your windows at night and use a fan for some of the best sleeping conditions.

Make Sure the Unit Has Proper Maintenance

Your air-conditioner is going to be busting it’s hump all Summer long so make sure it’s prepped and ready to go with proper maintenance. With new filters and a clean compressor your unit will be ready to take on the triple digits – and it can help you avoid costly repairs and downtime in the middle of a heat wave.