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Category: Insulation

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Ins and Outs of Insulation

Are you insulated from the heat this summer? Since insulation lives inside of your walls, a good way to tell is whether your house retained heat during the winter storm. While it may not be the sexiest home upgrade, proper insulation in a home or business can save you tons of money on energy costs! For an idea of how much insulation should cost, check out the following article from homeadvisor.com, which outlines different types of insulation, how it works, and how to DIY a quote for your home: https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/insulation/#:~:text=Cost%3A%20The%20average%20cost%20per,for%206%20hours%20of%20work. If you’re interested in an expert opinion, check out our products here: https://www.owenscorning.com/en-us/insulation/commercial?gclid=Cj0KCQjwmIuDBhDXARIsAFITC_6IE9eaXHYg7CGg-22EgdVHvywogaWRHih19QpSE1Q_rXpXcB9l-tMaAsutEALw_wcB&utm_id=sem%3Acommercial%3A2020%3Asearch%3A1%3A1%3Ageneral%3Aunknown, and give us a call!

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Historical Figures: Insulation Inventors

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine how on earth an American home – and all of the gadgets and technology within them – came to be. How did people learn to add weather stripping to the bottom of the door frame that would be durable to withstand being walked on, but also flexible enough to seal the door from air flowing in or out? How did we get from straw roof-tops to the asphalt-laden tiles you see on rooftops today? While I don’t have all of the answers, I did come across a few interesting inventions that brought us closer to the home improvements we see today.

For example, did you know humans used to use asbestos in homes, on purpose, for insulation?! It wasn’t until the 1980’s that Asbestos bans started cropping up all over the world, even though it is still used today in some projects in the U.S.: https://www.asbestos.com/mesothelioma-lawyer/legislation/ban/

Mud has been used as a natural insulator in buildings for centuries! In fact, mud homes are still popular all over the world today, including in India and other parts of the world where dry heat is common, https://www.downtoearth.org.in/indepth/mud-housing-is-the-key-30237, and in Ghana the industry for mud homes is even being perfected by the work of Joelle Eyeson and the team at Hive Earth, https://www.dw.com/en/in-ghana-new-updated-mud-houses-could-be-the-future/a-47536312 – how beautiful! 

One type of mud building you’ve likely seen before is adobe. This ancient technology is used all over the world, and has been for thousands of years – from New Mexico to New Zealand, https://www.solidearth.co.nz/earthbuilding-information/building-with-adobe-brick-technique/, and back again. For all you want to know about the construction of adobe and more, feel free to check out the following article for more information: https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-adobe-sustainable-energy-efficient-177943.

If you’re more familiar with the pinkish foam-like substance between your walls, you can thank Dale Kleist for his invention of Fiberglass Insulation: https://www.pjfitz.com/blog/insulation-installation/home-improvement-history-lessons-insulation/#:~:text=When%20researcher%20Dale%20Kleist%20attempted,became%20popular%20in%20the%201940s. According to this article, in the 1940’s Kleist was attempting “to create a vacuum seal between two glass blocks, an accidental stream of high-pressured air turned some of the glass into thin fibers. These fibers became the base of fiberglass insulation.” This is just one of the few types of insulation we use today when installing Owens Corning products – check out our link with more information, here: https://www.owenscorning.com/en-us/insulation/residential.

Insulation is essential in the energy discussion. As we just saw in Texas during the winter storm, proper insulation can trap heat in your home – even when your power is cut off – and can keep your home cool in the summer during those triple-digit days. If you have questions about the insulation quality in your home, call us today!

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Heating for One: Why so Expensive?

While I would love to explore the intricate and highly complex details of heating, it’s safe to say that this article does a much better job of explaining the ins and outs of storing heat indoors than I ever could, so please give it a read:

The cheapest, most efficient way to heat your home this winter, By Stephen Marcus Monday 21 December 2020

https://www.ovoenergy.com/guides/energy-guides/is-it-more-energy-efficient-to-leave-the-heating-on.html

The biggest takeaways I get from the article, are that most homes in the US use centralized heating, but all types of heating will lose heat in the wintertime – through heat transfers within the heating process, or simply by escaping through the front/back door/walls/floorboards. The best way to prevent this is by having good insulation to keep heat trapped indoors longer, and if your house uses thermostatic radiator valves, you’re likely ahead of the game in terms of energy efficiency. The article also provides some excellent tips for cutting energy use, from the best types of insulation to use in your home and where to add it to make the most impact, to adding a lid to boiling water so it will come to a boil more quickly and therefore use less energy (https://www.ovoenergy.com/guides/energy-guides/120-ways-to-save-energy.html), to investing in thermal solar panels which turn energy directly into heat!

It’s important to note that until we can all afford to move to things like thermal solar panels, we will be somewhat reliant on fossil fuels to heat our homes – so the question becomes, how can we waste less? The possibilities are limitless. What are some of your favorite techniques for saving money in the wintertime? Please share them here, or give us a call today if you would like to discuss the insulation and heating system in your home!

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Setting the Stage: Energy Consumption in the Home

As homeowners, we understand the appeal to have the best gadgets and gear to help with daily chores and life. For example, the dishwasher saves us hours of time spent over a sink with rubber gloves, the leaf-blower provides a similar benefit over using a manual rake. It wasn’t until recently that we really discovered that we needed to start asking ourselves what the carbon cost of these items might be, and how to prevent waste. There’s a lot to unpack here, but if you can get through it, you’ll be one step closer to making your home carbon neutral, and saving a ton of money in the process.

This week, we’ll take a holistic view of the home’s energy consumption, and see if we can uncover an opportunity or two in eliminating our own carbon footprint.

To start, we need to have a fundamental understanding of which appliances use the most energy in our homes. Here are a few articles to help guide you in the right direction:

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