Winter Home Improvement Tips

winter home improvement tips

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With the Christmas holiday just a few short days away, now’s the time to ensure you’re not spending more than you have to only those monthly winter energy bills, simply by following some of the most common winter home improvement tips which we have kindly listed below.

Tried and True Winter Home Improvement Tips

WRAP IT UP

I don’t mean holiday gifts! Keeping your water hot is full-time job for even the most efficient water heaters. Keep your water toasty warm and reduce some of the expense associated with running your water heater non-stop by insulating it in a cozy insulating blanket. The same principal holds true for your home’s hot water pipes.

SEAL IT UP

Give drafts the boot! Using some top-quality caulking material simply patch up those areas within your home that no longer keep air and moisture out. This typically includes your home’s windows and doors as well as holes around your electrical outlets. As an added bonus it’ll also keep unwanted rodents and other critters from entering your home.

KEEP IT FLOWING

One component that is sure to cause trouble is none other than your plumbing system – especially in those areas prone to freezing temperatures like Flagstaff, Arizona. Avoid freezing pipes and emergency repair costs by allowing some water to flow from your pipes as this will prevent them from bursting due to the pressure associated with standing water.

RUGS ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE

No place is off-limits when placing area rugs all through the house! Besides providing comfort and beauty, areas rugs are the perfect DIY solution for insulating warmth. Available in many different shapes and sizes, you can place areas rugs on virtually any surface including concrete, tile, wood and already carpeted floors.

INSULATE THOSE AREAS OF YOUR HOME LACKING

Make your home warmer, while reducing your winter heating bills, by properly insulating those areas within your home that may be lacking an efficient level of this material. Insulation can be added to your home’s attic, crawl space, garage and basement. If you’re having your home built or remodeled, then you may also want to look into insulating your exterior walls.

From your friends at Banker Insulation!

From your friends at Banker Insulation!

High Winter Heating Bills? Fight Back with Insulation!

high winter heating bills

As children, we were often told by our parents to “put a hat and jacket on,” prior to being allowed to go out and play with all of our friends. For those of us that were, let’s just say a little rebellious; well we most definitely paid the price for not listening to our parent’s advice when we suddenly came down with a case of the sniffles.

Today, as adults and maybe even parents ourselves, we know that our parents only had our best interests at heart. Especially considering that most, if not all, of our body heat is lost from our heads. Much like putting on our warm jackets and hats, ensuring our homes are properly insulated is a very important step in our desire to fight back against high winter heating bills.

High Winter Heating Bills? Insulation is Key!

In Your Attic Space

The largest opportunity to increase your comfort, save energy, control moisture, and save money on nightmarish utility bills can be found in your attic space. Adding the proper levels of insulation to this space tends to be quite cumbersome; not to mention messy. That said this is one project that may be best left to the professionals in order for you to reap all of its benefits.

In Your Home’s Foundation

In addition to reducing your home’s heating and cooling costs, a properly insulated foundation will afford you increased comfort in the first floor of your home and/or in basement rooms, as well as providing you with a good defense against the following:

  • Insect infestations
  • Moisture problems
  • Radon infiltration

Insulating your home’s foundation is a process that should be done during construction of your home. It is preferable that you speak with a local Banker Insulation representative regarding the proper foundation insulation materials if you’re planning on having a new home built.

In Your Exterior Walls

For a significant level of air sealing, and comfort levels, you may want to give serious thought about having a professional insulation contractor fill all of your home’s exterior walls with blow-in or spray foam insulation materials. You will also want to consider R-values, as higher R-values yield better insulating results, thus insulating your wallet even more.

Create Halloween Tombstones Using Insulation

halloween tombstonesIf you really want to make your Halloween decorations the talk of the graveyard, without breaking the bank, you can fill your cemetery with realistic all-weather headstones that were handcrafted by no one other than you of course.

Best of all, you can create multiple headstones, all for the price of what you would pay for one. Here we discuss the materials you will need as well as all the directions required to craft your stones.

Materials Needed:

  • Styrofoam Insulation
  • Serrated Bread Knife
  • Paring Knife
  • Permanent Markers
  • Black Spray Paint
  • Wire hangers

Directions for Halloween Tombstones:

Step #1: Using a five gallon bucket lid, or other large rounded object, sketch out an outline for as many tombstones you would like to make. To make cutting out a much simpler project, keep your shapes simple.

Step #2: Cut foam along sketched outline using a serrated bread knife. If you’re anything like me, you may want to take this outside, since it tends to get rather messy. Use caution with the knife at all times.

Step #3: Grab your permanent marker because here’s the fun part. Now sketch out whatever you want your newly manufactured tombstone to say. It could be anything you want (just remember you’re the one cutting out the words).

Step #4: Using a serrated paring knife carve out your sketched stone’s design. Again remember to use caution when using a knife. Scratch knife point into the insulation and carve at a depth of 1/2 inch for maximum effect.

Step #5: (Optional) Break off tiny pieces along the stone or carve out small cracks to give your stone an “aged” look. Don’t worry about making mistakes, simply work those mistakes into your design.

Step #6: Working in a well-ventilated area use your black spray paint to dust on the color. There’s no need to be precise. Random sprays will provide you with a more realistic look.

Step #7: Set the scene! Secure your handcrafted tombstones to the ground by using wire hangers as stakes. Simply cut out enough wire and stretch along the length of the stone. Wooden garden stakes work just as well.

Contact Banker Insulation for all of your insulation needs including for your DIY Tombstones by calling us at (602) 273-1261. We look forward to helping your make your Halloween decorations the talk of the town. Happy Halloween!

What is the R-Value and It’s Importance in Insulation?

insulation jobWhether you are purchasing insulation for your home on your own or you are hiring a professional insulation company like Banker Insulation, it is important to consider the R-Value. There are more than a few factors to help select the right insulation for the home and the R-Value is a factor that is used in the construction industry and is a reliable factor in choosing the right insulation. The R-Value is a measure of the resistance of heat flow through a structure. Since insulation is primarily meant to stop the movement of heat, and if you remember learning in school that heat rises, it is important to install the appropriate insulation for the heat movement and temperature conditions in each area being insulated.

The R-Value is determined by dividing the U-factor (how the resistance to heat transfer was measured before the 40’s) by 1. So, the higher the number of the R-Value, the better the insulation will be.  Although not every area in a home will need to be insulated with the highest R-Value because not every room is affected by heat in the same way. There are factors that need to be considered for each specific area, such as:

  • The location of where you live will affect the R-Value of the insulation. For example, in colder climates, you would need insulation with a higher R-Value and you will need a lower R-Value in warmer climates.
  • The way the home was built is a factor to consider because not all homes are created equally. Structures like an attic, cathedral ceilings, and/or multi-level structure are factors that must be considered when determining the right insulation for the home.
  • Last factor to consider is the heating/cooling method of the home. Having a central air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace will make a huge impact on the insulation needed for the home.

insulation jobIn conclusion, insulating your home can be beneficial and can even help to improve energy bills but the task of finding the right insulation for each area can be somewhat time-consuming for the owner. Our recommendation is to call your local Insulation Company Experts! If needed, the technicians will be able to perform an energy audit to better asset the home.

At Banker Insulation, we provide our Insulation Services in the Phoenix area and are highly qualified to correctly insulate a home or office building. Give us a call today at (602) 273-1261 for more information About Us.

Insulate Your Building Properly for Lower Energy Costs This Summer

Home Insulation

 

With the summer temperatures soaring over 105 degrees in Phoenix every day this month, it is very important to insulate your home or office properly.  Without proper insulation, your energy bills could skyrocket!  It’s very important to use the right type of insulation for your home or office building.  The experts at Banker Insulation are highly qualified to help you make the right choices for your location.  Call (602) 273-1261 or visit Banker Insulation on the web for more information.

Top 7 Summer Energy Saving Tips

When the heat is on and your energy bills are skyrocketing, it’s time to do what you can to save energy!  There are many ways to reduce your energy useage, but here are the top 7:Heat Loss

  • Keep your thermostat set between 78 – 85 degrees when you’re at home.  When you leave for at least a few hours be sure it is set at around 85.
  • Use fans to circulate the air in rooms that you’re in.  When you leave the room, turn them off.  Fans will cool the people in a room, but not the air!
  • Avoid having heat build up indoors by keeping blinds and curtains drawn, cook outdoors instead of on the stove, eat cold meals or use a microwave.
  • Energy StarRun appliances like the dishwasher, washing machine and dryer at night when it’s cooler and the cost of energy is lower.  Replace older appliances with new energy efficient models.
  • If it’s cool outside at night, open your windows to catch a cooling breeze.
  • Be sure your home is well insulated.Old Window
  • Replace old drafty windows with new energy efficient ones.

For more energy saving tips call the experts at Banker Insulation at (602) 273-1261.  They are great at finding ways to save you money every day on your energy bills!

Save Money and the Earth With an Energy Audit

Heat LossSaving money on your utility bills could be as simple as getting a qualified company to come in and do an energy audit of your home.  If your home was built before 1985, you could stand to save a significant amount of money!  The older a home is, the more likely it is that you would benefit from an energy audit.

Before 1950, insulation was not always put into the walls of a home.  An audit would find a problem like that, as well as others.  Sometimes insulation inside of walls can settle over time, or there may not be enough of it.  Drafts felt in a home could also indicate that there’s not enough insulation, or simply that there are air leaks that need to be sealed correctly.  Certain styles of homes are more prone to energy loss in certain areas.  Cape Cods, tri-level homes and homes built with living space over the garage are examples of a few designs that are less energy efficient than others, but every home is different.  If your Energy Starenergy bills are high, it’s best to have an audit done to find out why.  Your local utility company or the federal Energy Star program may even offer discounts on the improvements that are recommended to you by the auditor!  You can get more information on the Energy Star program by clicking here.

A complete and proper energy audit should take about three hours to complete.  A qualified auditor will use tools to help with the audit to make it more accurate.  For instance, an infrared camera measures the temperature of the walls to Escaping Moneydetermine if there’s any missing insulation.  Qualified energy auditors will also have been trained in building science and have gotten certified by the Building Performance Institute (BPI) or RESNET, the Residential Energy Services Network.  Banker Insulation has many qualified technicians who can perform energy audits.  For more information or to make an appointment to have an audit done on your home, call Banker Insulation at (602) 273-1261.

 

If you would like to read the original article that inspired this blog post, click here.

Insulate Your Garage Before Summer Heats Up

Your garage can be one cause of higher than normal energy bills during the hot summer months.  Cooled air can leak out of your garage door allowing hot air to build up in the garage, which will then warm up your home and cause your air conditioning system to work harder.  There are a few things you can do to help keep your garage cooler, which will help keep your energy bills down.

Spray Foam Application

One of the easiest ways that you can save money on your energy bill is to have your garage door insulated.  This should be done by qualified insulation professionals such as the ones at Banker Insulation.  The extra weight of the insulation can cause the garage door opener to malfunction if it is not installed properly.  Another way to keep your energy bills lower is by insulating the walls and ceiling of your garage.

One more way to help keep your garage cool is to have a ventilated garage door installed.  This will help keep air flowing through your garage to prevent hot air from building up inside.  You can also install a ventilation fan that will help keep the air moving as well.

Garages Choose a light colored garage door, or paint your existing door a lighter color such as beige or white.  Dark colored doors absorb the heat from the sun and heat them up which causes the garage to heat up!  Before painting your garage door you can caulk any visible gaps between the garage door and the garage frame with silicone caulk.  When you do this, be careful not to apply the caulk to any of the door’s moving parts!  Also, Banker Insulation can install weather stripping along the bottom of the door to keep the heat out and your garage cool.   If you have any questions about ways you can improve your garage’s insulation and lower your energy bills give Banker Insulation a call at (602) 273-1261 or visit them on the web, here.

Advantages of Cellulose Insulation

NewspapersCellulose is one of the oldest types of insulating material in use today. Some examples of cellulose based insulators are, cotton, straw, corncob and newspaper. There are four major types of cellulose insulation. They are, dry cellulose, spray cellulose, stabilized cellulose and low dust cellulose. Each type has its own specific uses.  Dry cellulose is mainly used in older homes and is blown into the walls through holes drilled into the walls.  Spray cellulose is used in new construction and is wet when it is applied.  Stabilized cellulose is mainly used in attics and roofs. Low-dust cellulose is used in places where the dust made during installation would cause a problem. It is specially treated to keep the amount of dust to a minimum. There are numerous advantages to using a cellulose based insulation product in your home or building and some of them are listed below:

1. The cellulose insulation used today is made from recycled Think Greennewspapers with a fire retardant added to them.  Because of its recycled newspaper content, cellulose insulation is a green product.

2. Because of the density of cellulose insulation, buildings that are insulated with it are better protected from fire damage.

Cellulose Insulation3. Cellulose insulation makes buildings more energy efficient.  It fills in cracks and spaces where air could pass through, around objects like pipes and wiring, so it will save you money on heating and cooling costs.

4. Cellulose insulation has some soundproofing qualities. It reduces the amount of noise that travels from room to room.

5. There is an additive in cellulose insulation that greatly inhibits the growth of mold.

If you have any questions about cellulose insulation give Banker Insulation a call at

(602) 273-1261, or visit our website by clicking here.

Remedies for Drafty Windows

Old Window

Drafty windows can account for more than 30 percent of an average home’s heating losses no matter how old or new they are!   Sealing air leaks, repairing broken windows and also investing in better insulation can be some solutions you might want to try to fix this problem.

Weatherstripping InstallationAnother possible solution, if your current windows are in good shape, or if you’re renting your home, is installing some storm windows.  “Low-e” or low emissivity windows can increase energy efficiency and indoor comfort at about twenty five percent of the cost of replacing the whole window.   A storm window that is not low-e can still help you save energy and money, but using low-e windows is much more cost effective.  They pay for themselves in an average of two to four years.  They can save you 12-33 percent on your energy bills over the course of a year.  Utility companies may even offer incentives to install them in your home!

The best overall, long term solution to the problem of drafty windows is to install energy Caulking  a Windowefficient replacement windows.  If the cost of this option is too prohibitive for you, don’t fear, there are a few other less costly options you can try.  Caulking and weatherstripping are two of the more inexpensive methods of correcting drafty windows.  Thermal draperies can also be used, but keep in mind that if your windows are drafty, draperies will not correct that issue.

Insulating window panels are one more option.  These are made of anWindow Film insulating material that is encased in a wood or metal frame that attaches to the interior side of the window frame with magnets or Velcro.  These types of panels completely obstruct the view from the windows that they cover.  Another effective option to consider is window film.  While window film does not obstruct your view, it does prohibit you from opening the window until you remove the film.

If you have any questions about how to correct drafty windows in your home, call Banker Insulation at (877) 708-7815, or visit them on the web by clicking here.

 

Sources:

Old Window Photo: (http://bit.ly/1g3CWc4)

Window Film Photo: (http://bit.ly/1aRXzbf)

Weatherstripping Photo: (http://bit.ly/1bSHBMo)

Caulking Photo: (http://bit.ly/1fXcq1G)