Tag Archives: attic insulation

Keeping Heating Costs in Check This Winter

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There are all kinds of records being set this month: in addition to those at the Winter Olympics.  For one, there have been the frigid temperatures.  With the drop in temperature, there have been record increases in propane prices, leading some to refer to it as “liquid gold”.  Some of the homeowners hit hardest by the propane pricing are those with older homes, since energy efficiency wasn’t a priority at time of construction.  Making changes to an older home to increase energy efficiency can seem like a daunting task, but with these tips, you’ve got a clear road map of ways to improve the current situation.

Get an Energy Audit: There’s a saying that states “prognosis without diagnosis is malpractice”.  In addition to the medical community, this can also apply to home energy efficiency.  Don’t throw a bunch of stuff at a wall, hoping something sticks.   Get an energy audit by a licensed professional so that you can pinpoint the biggest offenders in your home when it comes to wasted energy.  Many times, a basic audit is offered by a utility company for a nominal fee.

Install a Programmable Thermostat:  Did you know that by turning your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours while you are away at work or sleeping you can save as much as 5%-15% a year on your heating bill?  A lot of people avoid doing this because they are under the impression that this practice causes your furnace to work harder.  In fact, you will lose less energy because the lower the interior temperature, the slower the heat loss resulting in more energy being saved.

Upgrade Your Insulation: ENERGY STAR estimates that just by properly sealing and insulating your home, you can save up to 20% off your heating and cooling costs.  In order to reap home energy savings, you need to have the proper R-value for the climate you live in.  The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power you will have.  To have optimal energy efficiency in your home, you need to be properly insulated from your foundation all the way up to your roof.

Install Energy Efficient Windows:  Signs your windows and doors are starting to fail is if you are able to see daylight around the window or door frame or you’re able to rattle them.  A temporary fix can be weather stripping.  However, since roughly 90% of a window is glass, your choice of single, double or triple pane can dramatically affect your energy efficiency. Double and triple pane windows trap a layer of still air or gas between the panes which increases insulation. Replacing the windows in your home will help stabilize your home’s climate making air temperature more consistent.

Keep Your Heating Vents Clear: Take care to not block your heating vents with things such as rugs and furniture.  Doing so prevents warm air from circulating as it should.

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard is a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus

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Slashing Summer Energy Costs

Filed under Construction, Home Maintenance, Insulation, Lindus Construction, Windows, www.lindusconstruction.com
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With energy costs ever on the rise, it’s not a bad idea to thoughtfully examine your home to see how you can save without having to forego air conditioning. In this blog, we’ll give you some tips on how keep your summer energy costs in check while helping the environment, since the Department of Energy speculates that half of a household’s energy consumption is from heating and cooling.

INSULATION- Insulation in your attic acts as a preventative to keep the sun’s heat that hits your roof, especially in the summer, from filtering into the rest of your home, which in turn, will make your air conditioner work harder.  According to ENERGY STAR, the proper amount of insulation that is installed correctly can lower your energy bills by as much as 20%.  Insulation shouldn’t be limited to your attic.  Your walls and basement also benefit from insulation.  (Learn more at: http://www.lindusconstruction.com/blog/2012/03/insulating-your-home-will-insulate-your-pockets)

WINDOWS- All windows are NOT created equally, particularly when it comes to energy efficiency.  Windows best suited to provide insulation and increase your home’s energy efficiency are those that are triple paned. This means they contain 3 panes of glass that are separated by air spaces. They’re a great way to save on your energy bills because they have more surface area, which is used to absorb both warmth and cold putting less stress on your home’s furnace and air conditioner. Lindus Construction is the exclusive home of the SEASONGUARD window.  The SeasonGuard window’s patented design allows for solar heat gain in the winter which naturally keeps your home warmer.  In the summer, SeasonGuard windows deflect sunlight, lowering your energy costs.Vinyl and wood frames will work much better than those made of metal because metal is a conductor, which means it will increase the sweating issue since it will transfer the cold air indoors.  And while we’re on the topic of windows, drawing the shades during the daytime, will also keep your home cooler.  Federal Tax Credits are available on energy efficiency windows, with a maximum credit of $200.  To learn more, visit: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=tax_credits.tx_index

PREVENT AIR LEAKAGE- Did you know that a duct leaking air in your home wastes between 10-30% of cooling energy and it may require as much as one ton of AC just to overcome that leak?  Save your money and do the planet a favor-contact a RESNET EnergySmart Contractor who can give you an analysis on where & how energy is being lost in your home and which systems are operating efficiently.  They’ll also be able to suggest customized, cost saving measures that can be implemented to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient.  (Want to know more?  Visit: http://www.lindusconstruction.com/blog/2013/04/increase-home-energy-efficiency-with-a-resnet-assessment/)

HOME APPLIANCES- Your oven uses 2/3 more energy than a microwave so bear that in mind when you’re preparing your meals, or even better yet, grill out.  Plus, oven use raises the temperature of your home which will, in turn, make your HVAC unit work harder, raising your energy costs.  Other appliances such as a dishwashers, washers & dryers also raise your home’s temperature and your cooling costs so it’s best to use them either early in the morning or later at night when the warmest part of the day has passed.

THERMOSTAT- Control your home’s temperature while you’re at work with a programmable thermostat by setting it to revert back to your desired temperature about a half an hour before you are scheduled to arrive at home.

Lindus Construction is proud to now be RESNET certified and would like to help you in your quest for energy efficiency in your home. Give us a call at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com  to set up a free no-obligation estimate. Make sure to tune into WCCO 830AM every Saturday from 9a-10a for the Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.

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The Down Low on Hot Roofs

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Filed under Building a House, ceilings, Construction, Home Maintenance, Hot Roof, Insulation, Lindus Construction, Roofing, Roofing Installation, Spray Foam
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Traditionally in the Midwest, homes are insulated with fiberglass or cellulose insulation.  However, a newer trend being seen in homes is the use of spray foam insulation.  Just as the name implies, this type of insulation comes in spray cans. It’s a combination of resin and chemicals such as polyurethane & isocyanides.   As the insulation is sprayed, it expands and fills up the entire area it is being applied to.  The term “hot roof” comes in because the spray foam insulation is being affixed directly to the roof sheathing which removes the need for ventilation.

How Do Hot Roofs Differ From Traditional Roofs

Attics typically have an insulated floor and have ventilation.  Air from outside is permitted to come in through the soffits and exit through the top of the roof which creates a cold attic during the winter months.  This method is intended to deter ice dams by keeping the roof cooler. When your attic is filled with spray foam insulation to create a hot roof, your attic’s temperature rises because the thermal envelope is shifted to the underside of your roof because ventilation is not present.

Hot Roofs & Roofing Warranties

Industry studies show that shingle temperature is only raised by a few degrees with a hot roof.  However, these few degrees can lower shingle lifespan by up to 10% and cause shingles to fade.  GAF, North America’s largest manufacturer of residential and commercial roofing, offers a “Golden Pledge” warranty which covers roofing material and labor for 50 years.  This warranty is not pro-rated.  However, those with a hot roof are not eligible for GAF’s highest level of warranty because a hot roof does not have the insulation standards that their asphalt shingles were designed for.  Before moving forward with a hot roof, check with your roofing manufacturer to make sure that doing so will not void your roofing warranty.  Be sure to check with your city to see if they have restrictions on hot roofing before proceeding with your project.

Perks of a Hot Roof

The unit of measurement for insulation is called the “R-Value”. The R-value measures how well insulation is able to resist heat going through it. The bigger the R-value, the better it will insulate your home.  A hot roof contains the highest R-Value because there are no chances for air to leak.  If the attic contains ductwork, it won’t need to be insulated because there is no energy loss.  A hot roof prevents energy loss and can lower your utility bills.

Am I Allowed to Have a Hot Roof? 

In the state of MN, the following cities PROHIBIT Hot Roofs:

  • Apple Valley
  • Delano
  • Eagan
  • Eden Prairie
  • Hopkins
  • Lakeville
  • Maple Grove
  • Plymouth
  • Shakopee
  • Saint Louis Park
  • Woodbury

In the state of MN, the following cities MAY Allow Hot Roofs if Certain Criteria is Met:

  • Bloomington
  • Brooklyn Park
  • Chanhassen
  • Coon Rapids
  • Elk River
  • Minneapolis
  • Richfield
  • Roseville
  • Saint Paul

Tune into AM 830 WCCO on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am hosted by Denny Long and Andy Lindus to ask questions regarding your home improvement projects. Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com to schedule a free in-home estimate for your home improvement needs today!

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INSULATION SHOWDOWN-WHICH TYPE MAKES SENSE IN YOUR HOME?

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Filed under Cellulose, Fibergalss Insulation, Insulation, Spray Foam
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Recognizing the fact that your home doesn’t stay keep your family warm the way it should is the easy part.  Determining what type of insulation makes sense for your home is a little trickier.  In this blog, we’ll break down the different types of insulation available to you and the must-know facts about them.  But first, some helpful knowledge that applies to all types of insulation.

Why Should I Care About My Home’s Insulation?  A properly insulated home:

  • Is more comfortable
  • Lowers energy bills
  • Provides a healthier home environment
  • Minimizes outside sounds

How Do You Measure the Strength of Insulation?

The unit of measurement for insulation is called the “R-Value”.  The R-value measures how well insulation is able to resist heat going through it.  The bigger the R-value, the better it will insulate your home.  Below, is a map of the United States with  reccomended R-values for various zones, separated by climate.

The 3 Main Types of Insulation:

Spray Foam:

The Material: Just as the name implies, this type of insulation comes in spray cans. It’s a combination of resin and chemicals such as polyurethane & isocyanides.  As the insulation is sprayed, it expands and fills up the entire area it is being applied to.

Perks:This type of insulation dries quickly and can be trimmed to expand past the boundaries you have set for the project. It fills entire areas that might be missed with other insulation alternatives.  Spray foam insulation also increases your home’s resale value.  Because spray foam does not absorb moisture, mold cannot grow on it.

Consider This: While spray foam is the most popular type of insulation being used today, there are a few factors you should consider.  The investment for this type of insulation is the most significant and it may take 2-4 years before your energy savings have paid for the project.  It is highly recommended that you hire a trained professional.  Because of the nature of the material being used, the installation process is messier and lengthier.

Cellulose:

The Material: Cellulose is mainly comprised of recycled newsprint.  It is treated to combat against fire, insects and mold.

Perks: Cellulose tends to be cheaper than fiberglass insulation and like, spray foam; it can be applied with a sprayer which allows it to get in areas that fiberglass insulation cannot. Cellulose insulation is also quite fire-resistant.  It is made of sustainable materials; it’s often considered a “green” form of insulation.

Consider this: Cellulose can settle over time which can decrease its R-value even further away from that of spray foam.  It’s also highly recommended that this type of insulation be installed by a professional.  The installation process can also produce dust particles which can cause irritation during the installation process.

Fiberglass:

The Material: Fiberglass insulation is a man-made fiber comprised from a variety of materials including sand and reused glass.

Perks: Fiberglass insulation is designed to fit in standard spots between wall studs.  It is made of recycled materials and therefore, environmentally friendly.  It is also typically the least chemically treated form of insulation.

Consider this: Because fiberglass contains small glass particles, direct contact with the skin can cause itching and rashes.  Inhalation of these fibers can lead to difficulty breathing.  Fiberglass insulation can be tricky to fit in non-standard spaces.  The build-up of moisture between fiberglass and the building’s exterior cannot evaporate which can cause mold & mildew.  Pinching or smashing of fiberglass insulation during the installation process can decrease its R-value.

 

Lindus Construction offers free no obligation estimates on spray foam, blow-in cellulose & fiberglass insulation. Tune into AM 830 WCCO on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am hosted by Denny Long and Andy Lindus to ask questions regarding your home improvement projects. Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com to schedule a free in-home estimate.

 

THEY’RE BACK…Box Elder Bugs and Asian Lady Beetles!

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Filed under Andy Lindus, Construction, Home Maintenance, Home Safety, Insulation, Lindus Construction, WCCO, WCCO Home Improvement Show
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Box Elder bugs and Asian Lady Beetles have come out of the woodwork this time of year. Due to our warm fall and early spring, this year they are extra active.  Box Elder bugs and Asian Lady Beetles don’t just magically appear in your home – they have to get in somehow. The best way to prevent these bugs from coming onto your property and in your home is to reduce access points that they try and invade.

During the fall, as weather cools, these insects may crawl under your siding or shingles and get into wall voids and attics.  They will figure out a way to shimmy into the smallest cracks and also may enter near your foundation. Box Elders and Asian Lady Beetles are really harmless to your property – they are more of a nuisance than anything. They can stain your curtains and walls if they are in abundant quantities in your home and Asian Lady Beetles also have been known to nibble, nip or pinch humans. The smallest crack in your foundation or the most miniscule gap between your windows and your windowsills can give them access. Take the time to completely seal your home and they won’t be able to get in at all.

Home Invasion Prevention Tips

  • Install tight-fitting door sweeps or thresholds at all exterior entry doors.
  • Replace and repair damaged doors and window screens.
  • Seal cracks around windows, doors, siding, utility pipes, vents, light fixtures and air conditioners. Use weather stripping or a good quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk. Larger gaps can be sealed with spray foam insulation, glass or stainless steel wool.
  • Around garage doors, install a rubber seal rather than vinyl, which seals poorly in cold weather.
  • Install insect screening over attic and exhaust vents to prevent entry.
  • Keep lights off at night near doors that may be opened since these bugs are attracted to lights.
  • Rake leaves and unnecessary weeds and grass adjacent to your home, on decks, patios and in your driveway.

If you are like many of us you already have these insects invading your spaces and there are alternatives to synthetic insecticides you can use to get rid of them. The mixture is either ½ cup laundry detergent or vinegar in one gallon of warm water. Then pour this into a spray bottle. You will want to test your mixture first on an inconspicuous spot before applying it to the entire area. The reason for doing a test patch is because it might stain certain materials such as cedar and other siding. You can then apply this onto the bugs as often as necessary. This mixture will only affect the bugs that are sprayed and not prevent them from returning to the entry site.

Lindus Construction is proud to offer spray foam insulation that will help seal cracks to prevent these nuisances from getting into your home.  Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com to schedule a free in-home estimate today. Tune into AM 830 WCCO on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am hosted by Denny Long and Andy Lindus to ask questions regarding your home improvement projects.

 


Insulating Your Home Will Insulate Your Pockets

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Filed under Andy Lindus, Construction, Energy Efficient Homes, Home Construction, Home Maintenance, Insulation, Remodeling, Uncategorized, WCCO, WCCO Home Improvement Show
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Does the thought of eliminating drafts and keeping your house nice and toasty in the winter and comfortably cool in the summer sound appealing to you? How about increasing the value in your home? There are many benefits to adding or replacing insulation in your home. Having either one of these home upgrades can significantly lower your utility bills by up to 20% reported by ENERGY STAR. Below we will discuss where in your home you will benefit from adding or replacing insulation. The possibility of needing to replace or add insulation increases with the age of your home. Start with these areas to improve your energy efficiency and reduce your carbon footprint.

Attic

The attic is one of the easiest and most important areas to insulate. Insulating the attic gives the rising heat in your home a barrier to fight through instead of free access to the outside. Insulating your attic will improve  comfort by bringing ceiling temperature closer to room temperature therefore having more of an even distribution throughout your home.

 

Basement/Crawlspace

In the past, insulating basements and crawlspaces was often overlooked as a means of improving your home’s energy efficiency. Concrete basements and crawlspaces in many older homes are inadequately insulated by today’s standards and possibly not insulated at all depending on the age of the home.  If you have a basement or crawlspace  the underneath of your floor should be insulated to keep any cold air, moisture or dirt from coming up through your floorboards.

 

Walls

The walls of your home need insulation inside of them to prevent outside elements from sneaking into your home. An advantage of having insulated walls is that it will minimize noise transfer from room to room as well as moderate temperature changes throughout the house.

 

Hire a professional to get the job done

Proper installation is essential for insulation to perform properly. Professional insulation contractors, such as Lindus Construction, have access to a wide variety of training. We are familiar with regulations and local codes offering you guidance about the type and amount of insulation to be used. Some areas critical to installation techniques are air infiltration, ventilation, recessed lighting and water pipes.

Lindus Construction offers spray foam, blow-in cellulose and fiberglass insulation installation. Our trained technicians can help you determine the best insulation for your home. We always install according to manufacturer’s specifications paying extra attention to gaps, voids, compression and wind intrusion.

Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com to schedule a free in-home estimate today. Tune into AM 830 WCCO on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am hosted by Denny Long and Andy Lindus to ask questions regarding your home improvement projects.