Improve Your Home’s Performance for Year-Round Comfort & Increased Energy Savings
Wintertime in Iowa can be brutally cold, and the summertime often brings extremely hot temperatures. Whether you’re heating your home in the winter or cooling it in the summer, you want to make sure you’re controlling the temperature in your home and air is not escaping through your attic.
When attic temperatures become significantly higher than the temperatures throughout the rest of your home, your heating and cooling systems work overtime, causing you to pay more than you should on your energy bill every month. At Service Legends, we have what you need to enjoy high-quality comfort no matter the time of year.
Interested in finding out more about your home’s performance? Schedule your free whole-home insulation evaluation today.
Your evaluation includes:
- Thermal imaging inspection of the home, including attic access, basement and/or crawlspace areas, windows, doors, and ductwork.
- Insulation evaluation in attic, rim joists, and walls.
- Energy usage review, if available review trends of previous energy usage in the home.
- Identify potential hazards or concerns that may exist currently or become an issue in the future.
- Review recommendations and provide options based on the results of the evaluation.
To fully explore your options for spray foam, reach out to the team at Service Legends today!
The Ins & Outs of Insulation
Winters are better spent cozied up with family at home, instead of worrying about whether your electric bill is going to triple because your home’s insulation isn’t doing its job. Many homeowners in Iowa wonder how they can insulate the nooks and crannies of their house to avoid any temperature mishaps.
One of the best solutions for this need is spray foam insulation.
What Is Spray Foam Insulation?
Spray foam insulation is a liquid material that’s made from a combination of isocyanate and polyol resin. These chemicals react to create an excellent insulation tool that seals the inside of your home or commercial building tightly.
The foam is used for vulnerable areas on the walls, floors, and ceiling of a building that could be leaking airflow.
The Benefits of Spray Foam Insulation
Many Iowa homeowners think that fiberglass is the only option for insulation, but using spray foam insulation is even more effective. It’s so powerful that its historical use was for insulating airplanes. There are many benefits to protecting your home with spray foam insulation.
Insulation Fills Small Cracks for Maximum Temperature Control
Foam insulation does its job by expanding to fill the spaces on a surface. Within seconds of application, the foam expands to at least 40 times its original size.
This unique behavior allows the spray foam to cover every possible route of air escape. By completely sealing off a building in this way, it provides maximum temperature control.
Insulation Keeps Critters Out
Nothing ruins a summer afternoon like pesky insects or a rodent scampering across the kitchen floor. Using spray foam to insulate keeps these animals in nature where they belong by plugging the tiny cracks of your home’s structure.
Insulation Wards Off Harmful Molds
In addition to maintaining the temperature inside your home, spray foam insulation reduces the potential for moisture by taking up space in the walls. Moisture destroys a home’s value when it becomes a breeding ground for dangerous kinds of mold. Having a mold infestation not only hurts your wallet, but it can also cause risky health problems.
Insulation Eliminates Outside Noise
Being kept awake by the sound of your neighbors blasting midnight tunes can ruin the whole next day. Spray foam insulation helps with that problem, too. Using foam insulation to protect a house blocks out unwanted noises from the outside world.
Insulation Reduces Energy Consumption
When you use foam to fortify a building, you’re doing your part to save the environment. Spray foam insulation reduces a homeowner’s energy usage. In fact, it’s the most environmentally considerate form of insulation.
How Spray Foam Insulation Is Applied
While it’s easy to be impressed with the benefits of spray foam insulation, you may still be wondering how it will be applied. The process of insulating an entire house with spray foam isn’t nearly as difficult as you might think it is.
The application procedure includes combining the isocyanate and polyol resin, putting the mixture in a hot spray gun, and applying it directly to the exposed area.
To fully explore your options for spray foam, reach out to the team at Service Legends today!
Attic Insulation Problems?
When you want to keep your energy bills low and your energy efficiency high during the summer, it’s a good idea to inspect every nook and cranny in your home where hot air may be getting in. This may involve:
+ Sealing any cracks in your windows and doors.
+ Considering a smart thermostat installation.
But it’s also possible that the main culprit is the very roof over your head. Many older homes in central Iowa have old, crumbling insulation—particularly in the attic. It’s an issue that’s easy to overlook until you start suspecting other problems, such as a rodent infestation or mold issues, and start checking around the house for evidence.
Rather than waiting for something else to call your attention to the attic, it’s a good idea to make inspecting the insulation part of your regular home maintenance routine.
Look for signs of wear and tear like uneven levels of insulation, dead bugs or rodent droppings, cracked drywall or discolored paint on the ceiling and moisture spots in your attic insulation. All of these types of wear and tear can cause your air conditioning system to work overtime since the insulation isn’t properly absorbing heat.
Replacing this old attic insulation is a great way to improve the air quality in your home and make you and your family more comfortable. In addition to better air quality, optimizing your attic’s environment ultimately leads to greater energy efficiency—not to mention savings on your energy bill.
Our insulation professionals at Service Legends can help you improve your home’s air quality and comfort all year-round for you and your family. Our rigorous diagnostic and repair process starts off with:
- The Evaluation – A registered energy auditor will come to your home and conduct a walk-through of the inside and outside to determine your energy usage and problem areas. While conducting their walk-through, they will analyze specific elements that contribute to your home’s or business’s overall energy efficiency.
The auditor will analyze the heating and cooling systems, or HVAC system, and your insulation levels, including the basement and exterior attic walls. In addition, they will measure and count how many doors and windows the building has and take external measurements.
- Airtightness & Other Tests – The second part of an energy audit involves an airtightness test, also known as a blower door test. During this test, an energy auditor will determine how tight a building’s envelope is by checking for air leakage in a house. During an airtightness test, an air sealing procedure is done. The auditor will seal the front door of the building, and they will place a large fan inside.
The testing fan will pull the interior air outside the building, which will force outside air to come through any cracks or holes. Often, these air leaks are easily felt with your hand, but most auditors will use feathers or incense to accurately determine where the cracks are located.
In addition to the airtightness test, an energy auditor will assess your home’s energy use by conducting a thermographic scan. Moreover, they will use various energy usage equipment items to measure energy consumption, such as infrared cameras, surface thermometers, and furnace efficiency meters.
Finally, the auditor will analyze past utility bills.
- Recommendations to Improve Energy Efficiency – Once your residence has been evaluated and testing has been completed, the energy auditor will provide you with a thorough list of recommendations regarding energy efficiency improvements you can undertake. If implemented, most of the recommendations will help you save money on utility bills.
Air Circulation 101
Proper attic insulation and attic ventilation work together with your home’s HVAC system to both save money and provide comfort all year round. To understand how these systems work together, it’s important to understand the three different ways that heat moves around your home: radiation, conduction, and convection.
+ Radiation is the heat from electromagnetic waves or moving particles, such as sunlight, fire, and even hot surfaces.
+ Conduction is the transfer of heat when two substances make contact.
+ Convection is the transfer of heat via air circulation.
Understanding how air circulates through your home can help you pinpoint possible problem areas. For example, if you notice that your attic or upper floors tend to hold heat more than the ground level, that may be the first sign of air circulation issues.
Down Heat Flow During Warm Seasons
Whenever it’s warm outside, heat from the sun strikes your home and penetrates by conduction through your roof, walls, and windows. The heat conducted from your roof moves on to radiate around your attic, then moves through the attic’s floor, spreading out from your ceiling and into your home. This process is referred to as down heat flow.
Up Heat Flow During Cold Seasons
Whenever it’s cold outside, the challenge flips and you have to keep the heat snugly inside your home. When you switch on your heater during a cold day, that heat rises due to convection, eventually conducting through your ceiling and into your attic. This process is referred to as up heat flow.
Attic insulation is what helps protect your home from allowing heat to come in during the summer and escape during the winter. Your attic is central to making sure your home’s air circulates properly and at a comfortable temperature. Improving the quality of your attic insulation sets your home up for success while increasing both comfort and savings. Not a bad combination, right?
Time to Replace Your Insulation?
Depending on what we find during our evaluation, our insulation technicians may recommend either adding insulation on top of the insulation you already have or replacing your insulation completely.
Typically, the R-value of attic insulation decreases when it’s exposed to moisture, extreme temperatures or even old age. Insulation begins to flatten, destroying the air pockets responsible for trapping hot air. It’s okay to add new insulation on top of old, flattened insulation, but if we find signs of contamination such as mold, mildew, or rodent droppings, then we highly recommend removing the old insulation and addressing those problems first.
For optimum savings on your heating and cooling bills, we recommend an insulation system designed to reach the minimum code requirements in the area that you live in. This is different by location due to different climate regions. Typically in Iowa, we recommend a combined insulation value of R-60. Depending on the type of insulation this can be up to 26 inches of insulation.
There are many options when it comes to insulation because not all attics will allow 26 inches of insulation. If you would like to know what your options are, schedule an appointment with our home performance team and request a free insulation evaluation.
Cool & Heat Your Home, Not Your Attic
When you turn on your air conditioner or heater, you typically want that conditioned air to move around your home and not into your attic. The best way to separate your attic’s air environment from the rest of your home is by having your attic’s floor insulated. Adding insulation to your attic’s floor and in-between ceiling/floor joists in your attic is the best way to prevent heat from conducting between your attic and the rest of your home.
We provide the best spray foam insulation because it contributes to the whole-home philosophy we up-hold at Service Legends:
+ It’s formaldehyde-free.
+ It’s thermally efficient, providing an effective resistance to heat transfer.
+ Will not settle or lose effectiveness.
+ It provides sound insulation and absorption.
+ It’s fire-resistant and non-combustible.
+ It’s non-corrosive.
+ It cannot rot, mildew, or otherwise deteriorate.
+ And it provides complete coverage, even in tight spaces.
When is it Time for an Attic Insulation Replacement?
Depending on what we find during our energy audit, we may recommend either adding insulation on top of your old insulation or replacing your insulation completely.
Typically, the R-value of attic insulation decreases when it is exposed to moisture because moisture flattens insulation, destroying the air pockets responsible for trapping hot air. It’s okay to add insulation on top of old, flattened insulation, but if we find rat droppings or other signs of contamination such as mold or mildew, then we highly recommend removing the old insulation and addressing those problems before adding new insulation.
For optimum savings on your heating and cooling bills, we recommend an insulation system designed to reach the minimum code requirements in the area that you live in. This is different by location due to different climate regions.
Typically in Iowa, we recommend a combined insulation value of R-60. Depending on the type of insulation this can be up to 26 inches of insulation. There are many options when it comes to insulation because not all attics will allow 26 inches of insulation. If you would like to know what your options are, schedule an appointment with our home performance team and request a free insulation evaluation.
Seal Your Attic From the Inside Out
Attic doors – also referred to as scuttle holes – are usually the area where most air leaks between your attic and the rest of your home. Our insulation team creates an airtight barrier around your attic door that fits around most standard folding attic stairs. The airtight barrier is made from a durable, lightweight insulation material that should last for the lifetime of your home. Along with providing enough energy savings, it can also improve the Indoor Air Quality of your home.
+ Tested to significantly reduce air loss/transfer.
+ Zipper allows for easy access while keeping out insulation and dust particles.
+ As effective as double-paned windows.
+ Increases indoor air quality.