The Skinny on Spray Foam

spray foam

What is spray foam? Spray foam, is commonly composed of either isocyanurate (open-cell) or polyurethane (closed-cell), and is made by combining two ingredients onsite using specialized equipment. Both open-cell and closed-cell foam are applied as a liquid that contains a polymer and a foaming agent. Once the liquids and foaming agent are combined, the mixture is then sprayed through a heated hose into the areas in need of insulation. One of the nice features about this product is the fact that it expands to fill hard to reach areas, and then rapidly hardens.

Why choose spray foam? It has the potential to stop air leakages better than many of the other insulation products currently available. Because it is sprayed into place, where it then expands, it can fill up cavities and block any small holes that may otherwise compromise your building’s envelope. It is available as open-cell and closed-cell foam (discussed below). When professionally installed, vertically or horizontally, it can contribute to energy-efficiency, noise reduction, moisture intrusion reduction, and more!

  • Open-cell has a density of about 0.5 lb. per cubic foot, and an R-value of 3.5 to 4.0 per inch. Open-cell provides an effective air seal which reduces energy loss and improves indoor air quality when used correctly. Most homes require double the amount of open-cell foam.
  • Closed-cell has a density of about 20 lb. per cubic foot, and an R-value of 6.0 to 6.5 per inch. Closed-cell is typically more expensive than open-cell do to its ability to add structural strength to a wall, ceiling, or roof assembly. It also reduces energy loss and improves indoor air quality.

Are there any green alternatives to traditional spray foam insulation? Yes! Soybean-based spray foam, is made without any added chemicals, yet has the same insulation properties as traditional foam insulation. A portion of the petroleum base that makes up the product is replaced by soy. This product uses water as its main blowing agent. Soybean does not emit greenhouse gasses; long or short term. While more expensive than traditional foam, soybean is the appropriate choice for those wanting an environmentally-friendly option. Other benefits of soybean include:

  • Blocks drafts.
  • Stays firmly in place.
  • Excellent thermal properties.
  • Effectively reduces outside noise.
  • Does not attract insects or rodents.
  • Does not emit greenhouse gasses.
  • Meets government requirements for renewable resources.
  • Lowers the costs associated with heating and cooling your home.

Weatherization Assistance Programs

weatherization assistance programs

Weatherization assistance programs are designed to help low-income families and individuals decrease their monthly home energy costs. These programs additionally help educate those benefiting from it to be more attentive of any health and safety related issues in the home.

General Requirements of Weatherization Assistance Programs

In order to qualify for this program, you must be a resident of the state of Arizona, and your household’s annual income before taxes must not exceed the following:

  • $23,340 if one person lives in the household
  • $31,460 if two people live in the household
  • $39,580 if three people live in the household
  • $47,700 if four people live in the household
  • $55,280 if five people live in the household
  • $63,940 if six people live in the household
  • $72,060 if seven people live in the household
  • $80,180 if eight people live in the household

For households greater than 8 people, add $8,120 per additional person.

Program Description

The weatherization assistance program, administered at the community based local level (not state level), is funded annually by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Since the program’s inception in 1977, more than seven million of Arizona’s low-income families/individuals have benefited from the weatherization assistance program. This has cut kWh in Arizona by 126,834,658 and counting. The program also aids in reducing emissions.

It is currently available to all low-income families and individuals – even renters (with landlord’s approval). For information on applying, please click here. Many utility companies also provide their own form of assistance to eligible families/individuals.

What Can Be Done?

  • Adding thermal insulation to the residential building envelope (most typically in the form of attic insulation).
  • Shading sun-exposed windows, primarily for houses using central refrigeration cooling.
  • Implementing air leak control measures to reduce excessive infiltration of outside air.
  • Testing, tuning and maintaining heating and cooling equipment.
  • Reducing duct leakage where heating and central refrigerated is distributed by a forced air system.
  • Installing low-flow showerheads and other general energy and water efficiency measures.
  • Other energy conservation improvements as identified by the home energy auditor.

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 energy saving tips: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!

Energy Audit: Save Money and the Earth

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.

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.

We Are Thinking Green!

thinkgreenDid you know that at Banker Insulation we are thinking green?  Yes, we are going green — Green Fiber  that is!  We care about Mother Earth and are happy to do our part towards a cleaner environment. That is why we offer Green Fiber Insulation. As a homeowner it gives you a safe, cost effective solution to your insulation needs.  As a retailer or dealer you can offer a quality product that is the from the nation’s leading natural fiber insulation manufacturer. Plus, since Green Fiber is made out of over 85% recycled materials it is logo_greenfiberrecognized by the federal government & agencies as an environmentally-preferred product; therefore, many homeowners may qualify for a federal tax credit.*  We are proud to offer Green Fiber Insulation to you.

Thinking green is just one one of many ways we are do our part towards a better planet while serving the needs of homeowners & businesses across the nation. Banker Insulation is committed to providing professional service for Insulation Services, Insulation Installation, Re-Insulation, Fireplace Services, Sound Control, Wall Spray, and Spray Polyurethane Foam at commercial or residential locations. We offer a variety of insulation products such as Green Fiber, Heat-n-glo fireplaces, Johns Manville, Knauf Insulation, Lennox Hearth Products, Monessen Hearth Products, Dimplex. For more info on the products & services offered by Banker Insulation visit our website or contact us today!

GO_GREENCurious about what you can do to go green?

Here are 50 ways you can help the planet.

 

* Please talk to your tax advisor for details on tax credit benefits & how/if it applies to you.

HeatBloc-Ultra Insulation

HeatBloc-Ultra Insulation is a new radiant heat barrier coating. It has the lowest e-factor of all spray applied radiant heat barriers at .19. It will block up to 80% of the radiant heat attempting to come into your house or building. This feature makes HeatBloc-Ultra Insulation ideal for houses and buildings that reside in hotter climates.

HeatBloc-Ultra Insulation

HeatBloc-Ultra Insulation is a breathable, liquid applied film-like coating which will not contribute to moisture retention. Because HeatBloc-Ultra is water based, it has almost no odor to it. HeatBloc-Ultra Insulation will not conflict with an attic-mounted antenna or with cell phone reception because the substance is non-conductive.

HeatBloc-Ultra Insulation works somewhat like shade trees, keeping your house or building cooler. HeatBloc-Ultra Insulation will also provide insulation for the attic mounted HVAC ducts, keeping them cooler. Cooler ducts prevent the AC from working as hard when it is running. With it’s very low VOCs, HeatBloc-Ultra Insulation is also extremely environmentally friendly.

Banker Insulation has proudly introduced HeatBloc-Ultra to it’s Insulation product line. For further questions or requests call: 602.273.1261

Energy Efficient Home Insulation | US Fiscal Cliff

fiscal_cliffThe fiscal cliff is the steep decline in the budget deficit due to increased
taxes and less spending in accordance with prior enacted laws. Whatever your
political stance, there is a silver lining for energy-efficient
home-builders in the fiscal cliff legislation. The final legislation
includes a renewal of the 25L Tax Credit for builders of new
energy-efficient homes.

Home-builders who build and sell these energy-efficient homes benefit from
this tax credit. The tax credit is retroactive to homes sold in January 1st
of 2012. The home-builder must show proof that the level of the heating and
cooling energy consumption is at least 50% lower than that of a
commensurable living unit built in accordance with the
2006 IECC.

Banker Insulation specializes in contributing to the building of
energy-efficient homes with the home insulation product line that includes;
GreenFiber, Johns Manville and Knauff Insulation. Every one of these home
insulation product lines helps minimize heating and cooling energy
consumption.

Arizona Home Insulation From Recycled Paper

Though fiberglass currently holds 94% of the U.S. insulation market, cellulose insulation proves to be recognized as an innovative, eco-friendly competitor in the building products industry thanks to GreenFiber.

GreenFiber is a natural fiber form of insulation that contributes to lowering the energy need to heat Arizona homes. In addition GreenFiber is made from 85% recycled paper fiber. This reduces manufacturing costs while providing further use to billions of tons of paper annually.

GreenFiber is able to produce this Arizona insulation product for homes via the hundreds of tons of recycled paper collected each month from a combination of commercial accounts, public drop-off locations and municipal recycling partnerships.

Utilizing a process of grinding paperboard, paper and a fire retardant, throw-aways from manufacturers, retailers and the public transform into cellulose insulation for Arizona homes.

As it turns out, cellulose insulation surpasses fiberglass with respect to soundproofing, air flow, mold protection and even fire resistance. During processing, ammonium sulfate and borate are added to repel fire.

Fiberglass continues to dominate the market for insulating Arizona homes, however it’s definitely got an up-and-coming competitor in GreenFiber’s cellulose insulation.

Arizona Home Insulation