REDUCE YOUR CARBON TAX & SAVE ON YOUR NATURAL GAS BILLS BY UPGRADING YOUR ATTIC

Whether you like it or not, the Alberta Government is implementing a Carbon Tax in Alberta.  The Carbon Tax is intended to change our behaviour and reduce how much carbon we generate by burning fossil fuels.  One of the primary targets of the Carbon Tax is Natural Gas that is used to heat our homes. In the mid 2000's we experienced record high natural gas consumer pricing that created a real panic at the end of every month when homeowners received their heating bills.  Since then, consumers have enjoyed relatively low natural gas pricing, to the detriment of the O&G industry, but it has been relatively cheaper to heat our homes.  Unfortunately, from the perspective of the government, it created an incentive to burn lots of gas and be wasteful with our energy consumption.  With the Carbon Tax it's evident that these days are coming to an end. 

HOW TO REDUCE NATURAL GAS USE

One of the most effective ways to reduce your natural gas consumption is to upgrade your attic insulation.  Heat rises, and insulation plays a key role in keeping it in your home.  In poorly insulated homes (R0 - R12), up to 85 percent of your heat loss can occur through the attic.  In moderately insulated homes (R12 - R34) there can still be a significant heat loss, resulting in more furnace cycles.  Your home may feel warm, but the furnace is running more often to get you there.  With the average two storey home costing under $900 to upgrade, the savings in natural gas consumption, especially under the new Carbon Tax regime, will help pay for that upgrade relatively few winter cycles.

RUN YOUR AIR CONDITIONER LESS

With the new Carbon Tax and Alberta's Action Plan on the Environment, electricity rates are expected to double or triple.  This will be great for the environment, but not so good for the pocket book if your air conditioner is running constantly to keep your home comfortable in the summer months.  Because we are normally thought of as a summer hot spot, many people think that air conditioning doesn't cost them that much, but many people leave their systems on early and late in the season, and notice it on their electricity bill.  An upgrade will help the most in the winter, and give you the best return on your investment, but for air conditioning users, its an added bonus.

CASE FOR DOING IT DURING THE SUMMER

The summer might not seem like the obvious time to upgrade your insulation, but it's actually ideal.  Prices are generally more competitive as the industry is not in panic mode, and we offer the most competitive, quality attic insulation upgrades in the industry.  Also in the winter months, scheduling the job is an issue an can be inconvenient with your schedule.  In the summer we have more capacity and can meed just about any timeline you have in mind.  Why wait until the winter panic season to do your upgrade, inquire now.

Experts Place Emphasis on Attic Insulation

New Castle, DE -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/26/2016 -- Energy Services Group places an emphasis on attic insulation by conducting useful home energy audits.

According to ENERGY STAR, many homes and attics are poorly sealed and under-insulated. Because of this, homeowners are paying higher utility bills. By installing proper insulation, one can save up to 10 percent on their home's annual energy bill. Common symptoms of badly sealed and insulated attics are hot and cold rooms, uneven temperature between rooms, drafty rooms, exorbitant utility bills and ice dams on the roof in the winter.

Energy Services Group, regarded as the Original House Doctors, understands that most people are unaware that they are losing money because of their attic. Their technicians use specialized equipment during their energy audits to determine how and where one's house is letting their air conditioning and heating slip out, where there is little and no insulation and the efficiency of cooling and heating systems.

Read more at http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/3018316

U of C RESEARCHERS FIND LOST HEAT COSTS IN CALGARY

Calgarians may have barely stirred in their sleep one spring night in 2012 as a small-engine plane flew back and forth over the city’s neighbourhoods at low altitude.

But the images collected by a sophisticated, thermal imaging camera on board the aircraft are now waking residents to the financial and environmental cost of the heat that’s silently seeping from their homes.

A team of researchers at the University of Calgary used the images and city data to create a web-based map that shows potential greenhouse gas emissions for entire suburbs and pinpoints hot spots in each individual home where waste energy is escaping.

The project is the brainchild of geography professor Geoffrey Hay who began wondering four years ago why his recently constructed two-storey home in the Cougar Ridge subdivision was always cold.

** READ THE COMPLETE STORY FROM THE SOURCE ** 

 

 

HOMEOWNERS BEWARE OF ATTIC HEAT!

Example of air chutes installed at the soffits, where there is a soffit intake vent.

Example of air chutes installed at the soffits, where there is a soffit intake vent.

One invisible area of concern, in 90% of homes over 20 years old, is excessive heat in your attic.  

Excessive heat in your attic can lead to more problems down the road, in both the summer and the winter.  

In the summer, it will cook the underside of your roof sheathing, and overhead your shingles-- leading to their premature breakdown.  

It can cause framing rot, and delamination of the roof sheathing as well.  In the winter, because Calgary has so many chinooks, it can lead to warm, moist air, building up in your attic, forming large ice build ups, that will melt with the next chinook, and cause water damage on your ceilings.  

It will also lead to compaction, of your existing insulation material, reducing its effectiveness, and value.  Ask us about solving your ventilation problems.  We charge very close to our cost, and consider this to be an added service to our customers, and ot a huge money maker.  We are in the attic insulation business, but believe we have a responsibility to answer customer concerns about other aspects of their attics.

There are two primary causes"

  • Lack of insulation allowing heat from the home into the attic
  • Lack of proper exhaust ventilation in your attic

The solutions are also very simple:

  • Upgrade attic insulation to R50 level
  • Ensure proper air flow with air chutes, roof vents, and turbines.

Upgrade attic insulation will act as the first line of defence, but preventing your expensive heat (in the summer) from leaving your home, and migrating into your attic.  Once it is in your attic, however, it's time to say goodbye to that heat.  Heat that is trapped in your attic can cause significant problems as outlined above.  While there doing your attic upgrade, our installers will take a look at your ventilation situation, and suggest simple, affordable solutions, if any are present.  

Almost all air flow concerns can be met by installing air chutes at the soffit, where good intake venting is present.  If you don't have good intake venting, we can install several roof vents low on the roofline, to act as intake, all in combination with one or two whirlybird turbines.  This should get your air flowing.  An added benefit is that in the heat of summer, this heat will be vented out of your attic, instead of dropping back into your home as the evening cools, keeping you cooking all night long!

NEW ZEALAND TO RENEW INSULATION SUBSIDIES?

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While it may seem a little alarmist, I found it interesting to read about a recent study in New Zealand that tied comfort and moisture levels in the home, directly to health outcomes.  It turns out that warm well insulated homes may not only be comfy, but might also be a little healthier.  I would think that this transposes well to our colder more varied (Chinooks) weather patterns.

Two new health reports identifying damp housing as one of the root causes of child illness is further evidence of the need to extend the successful Warm Up New Zealand insulation scheme, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.

"Getting adequate insulation into kiwi homes isn't a ‘nice to have’; it is a health priority," Mrs Turei said "New research released from the University of Canterbury links poor home heating to increased asthma hospital admissions. "This comes on the back of a report yesterday linking rheumatic fever to damp housing.

"New Zealand has one of the highest asthma and rheumatic fever rates among developed countries. Home insulation can play a big part in reducing those rates.  "The Warm up New Zealand: Heat Smart programme was negotiated by the Greens as part of our Memorandum of Understanding with National. It has been a success, insulating 200,000 kiwi homes to date. It has created $1.3billion of benefits, mainly in better child health but these reports show there is more to do.

Now is the time to ensure the insulation scheme continues and has the opportunity to broaden its reach. We hope the Government extends funding for the scheme in the upcoming budget "Improving conditions inside kiwi homes for the kids that need it most is a priority. Extending the scheme is a common sense way to reduce rates of rheumatic fever and asthma, Mrs Turei said.

LINK TO THE ORIGINAL STORY

SUMMER HEAT & YOUR INSULATION

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Most people don't think about attic insulation, when they think about the hot temperatures of summer.  This is the kind of thing that insulation contractors in Calgary think about, but not home owners.  People ask me, because we advertise "warmer winters & cooler summers", how can insulation help keep my home cool?  The first answer, is obvious, if you have air conditioning, better insulation will keep the cold air in, and your air conditioner won't need to run as often, and will be more likely to achieve your desired temperature.  More importantly, the second answer is not as obvious, but can be just as important.

During the hot day, your home will heat up (as well all know, as we sweat our way through the day) and that heat will rise into your attic.  That heat is stored up there, along with the heat penetrating downwards onto your roofing material.  When the sun begins to set, and things cool down outside, if your attic is improperly insulated, this heat will sink back down into your home, keeping it insanely hot, hotter than outside, in fact.  Anyone that has experienced this, will know what I am talking about.

Another advantage of upgrading your insulation, is the fact that we will give you an assessment of your ventilation situation.  This is very important in the heat of summer, as you need your attic ventilation to be venting as much of that hot air outside as possible.  You wan't to reduce how much can sink back into you home, and you wan't to reduce the potential damage it may cause to your roof sheathing, and shingles.

If you would like some more information on the cost of upgrading your attic insulation, or would like us to schedule an appointment to come by and give you an assessment, don't hesitate to call, or use our Grab-A-Quote interface.  Summer is a good time to upgrade your insulation, for your sweat glands, and your pocket book.

THINK ABOUT INSULATION WHEN RENOVATING

Think about insulation when planning out your summer home renovation projectRenovation season is here !  It's spring, and its time for all of us to get going on our own home renovation projects.  For some, this may be a simple flower bed upgrade, and for others, it may mean the addition of a kitchen expansion, the addition of a second floor on a bungalow, or finally devloping that basement  you never use.

Insulation is not a cosmetic aspect of your home, so it's often overlooked when planning a renovation.  It's not as beautiful as new kitchen countertops, but it can help pay for those new countertops by saving you up to 40% off your current heating and cooling costs.  When planning your renovation, here are a few areas you should consider improving, while you are making a mess in your home.  

 

  • Upgrade your attic.  It gives you the best return on your investment, it's simple, and doesn't really affect any other areas of your home.  If you have a home that is more than 15 years old, you can probably save significant money on energy costs, especially during our bitter winter season, in Calgary.
  • Inspect and upgrade your ventilation in the attic.  If you are planning on a new roof, there is nothing more important than ensuring that your roof is protected from below, from searing heat that may build up in the summer, and frozen moisture that may build up in the winter.  Ensure that you have air intake at your soffits, and make sure that you have adequate outflow of air, via roof vents and turbines.
  • Basement insulation.  The second leading cause of heat loss in an older home is typically poor, or no, insulation in the basement, particularly in the "header" and "joist end" areas at the top of your concrete frost wall.  This is an service that we offer, that is often overlooked.  Even if you are not developing your basement, please make sure that you have adequate exterior frost wall insuation, and that you have no drafts or cold air penetration through your joist end spaces.  We offer a full line of fiberglass, spray foam, and even reflective insulation to combat heat loss.
  • Draft proof other areas of your home, on the exterior walls.  This is a great DIY project.  You can buy outlet gaskets at your local home improvement store, and add caulking around those drafty window and door casings.  This is also a great time to ensure that you have good weatherstripping on your exterior doors as well.
  • Don't forget about your garage attic.  Many modern homes have an attached garage and they often have a shared attic space.  Most new homes have less or even zero, attic insulation in the garage portion.  This can lead to significan cold infiltration into your home, and causes a convective effect, drawing heat out of your common garage wall.
  • Be kind to your electrician.  If you are doing major electrical work up in your attic, or you are adding a second floor onto your bungalow, please remember that we offer full insulation removal services.  Trust me, this is something you don't want to tackle yourself.  We often get calls from frantic homeowners who start removing their insulation with shop vacs, and shovels, and garbage bags.  When we empty our five ton truck at the dump, and it contains 2 tons of material that we just vaccumed out of someones attic, I often wonder "who does this by hand ?"

 

Pleae remember that this is a great time of the year to get some insulation work done because the cost of labour is lower, and everyone is not stressed out about cold winter days.  Give us a call, and get a free onsite estimate, to see what areas we can improve, and save some money this winter !

Why Upgrade My Attic In The Summer?

Roof shingles that have been damaged by excessive heat in attic and other damaging factors.Ultimately, there is no "bad" time to upgrade your attic insulation, but there are several key reasons why the summer is a very good time to get the job done.

First, most people wait until the first big cold snap of winter, before they start thinking about upgrading their attics.  It's a bit like snow tires, except, its probably a bad idea to put snow tires on in the summer, but you could probably do without the high prices, and long waits, to get them on when the snow does start to fly.  The smart people, book their snow tires, and pay for them in the summer or fall. Unlike snow tires, attic insulation is easilly installed during the summer, and because it's not the rush season, the prices are more competitive, and the booking timelines are shorter.

A second reason to upgrade during the summer, is simply beating the heat.  Insulation serves a dual function, in that it will keep your home warmer in the winter, and cooler in the summer.   If you have air conditioning, it will keep the cool air in, and reduce how often your air conditioning has to work.  With electricity being a growing commodity cost, this will definitely save you money.  

Even if you don't have air conditioning, the added insulation will reduce how the heat in your attic, drops back down into your home, in the evenings when the hot summer sun finally recedes.  If you don't have adequate insulation, that heat will drop down into your home more evidently, and can cause sweltering discomfort.

A third reason, associated with the heat, is the improved air flow you get with additional insulation, and an the evaluation of your attic ventillation that comes with it.  Many of Calgary's homes lack adequate ventillation in their attics, and are at risk of shingle damage from overheated roof sheathing.  This can significantly reduce the live of your roofing materials, and cause heat damage to the framing members below.

A fourth reason, is the added conveinence of having the work done during the summer months.  You don't have your front door open when it's 30 degrees below zero, and you don't have the likelyhood of tracking dirty snow into your home.  It's simply a more comfortable, and stress free environment for our workers, and the home owner.

If you are renovating your home, even in the interior, you may wish to have your attic done at the same time, while you are in renovation tolerance mode, that brief time period where you are willing to tolerate people coming into your home all day long, and making a bit of a mess, and making a little noise.  You might as well get the attic done at the same time, never have to worry about it again.