Optimize Your Home Insulation to Reduce Sound

Optimize Your Home Insulation to Reduce Sound

Are you tired of being able to hear your neighbor’s lawnmower as though it’s mowing your living room floor? Or are your children’s music choices booming through the house a bit too loudly? Whether you have a housemate who’s taken up the drums or you’re simply tired of hearing traffic and outside noise in your home, you may be wondering what you can do to optimize your home insulation for sound. The good news is there are a lot of materials and techniques that can help you. Here’s what you need to know!   The Challenges of a Noisy Life Between our electronics, music, hobbies, and outdoor noise, we live in a very loud world. Being inside should protect us, but it often doesn’t. Unfortunately not all construction is done with noise dampening in mind. Noise can create stress, which can impact your health in a variety of ways. If you struggle with headaches, fatigue, stomach problems, anxiety, or other mood issues, stress may be the cause. Having your home insulation make things quieter may make a big difference.   What’s the STC of Your Home? The sound transmission class (STC) of your construction will determine the starting point of optimizing your home insulation for sound. The higher the STC rating, the better your walls, ceilings, and floors are at reducing sound transmission. Here are a few ratings and what they mean when faced with loud speech from the other side: 25: Loud speech from the other side is easily understood 35: The speech is audible but not intelligible 48: The sound is barely audible 50: The loud talking...
How New Windows Can Impact Your Home Insulation

How New Windows Can Impact Your Home Insulation

When you think about keeping your home warmer, you probably think about insulating the attic or the basement. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that!   However, don’t overlook the “eyes” of your home – the windows. Low-quality windows can allow significant air transfer, which can cause you to spend more on heating and cooling while also struggling to stay comfortable.   What impact can new windows make on your home insulation? Find out now!   Windows Have Changed Technology has impacted every aspect of life, and windows are no exception. Today you can get vinyl-framed windows that give you the low-maintenance of aluminum without the poor insulation of the metal material.   New windows can also offer tilt-in sashes, allowing you to clean both the inside and outside without getting out a ladder.   Less maintenance and better cleaning – that’s a win-win without even mentioning home insulation.   Double and Triple Panes Offer Incredible Insulation Do you remember being able to put your hand on a window to gauge the outside temperature? If you can still do this in your home today, it’s time to get replacement windows!   As technology improves, windows are starting to get close to offering the same home insulation benefits as exterior walls. If insulation and energy savings are your primary motivation, be sure to talk to us about which windows best fit your needs.   The added insulation has another benefit – it helps block noise. A warmer, quieter way to look out of your home – you can’t beat that.   The Right Windows Improve the Value of Your Home Like...
Fireplace Safety This Winter

Fireplace Safety This Winter

In the winter it can be cold, grey, rainy, and even snow. If you have a fireplace in your home and excellent home insulation, it’s the perfect combination to keep you toasty warm.   Family time with warm drinks in front of a roaring fireplace – it can be a scene straight out of a movie. Unfortunately, without proper safety steps, that scene can quickly become a nightmare.   If you plan to use your fireplace this winter, be sure that you know how to keep yourself and your home safe. Here are the tips you need!   Remember to Open the Flue! The flue should be closed when the fireplace is not in use in order to prevent cold air from coming into your home. After all, if you leave the chimney way open, your home insulation won’t be able to make much difference!   But once you’re ready to start a fire, you want the flue open to draw the smoke out of the house. You can check and see if the damper is open by looking up the chimney with a flashlight or using a mirror.   Keep the flue open until all embers have completely burned out. Otherwise, you could have dangerous and unpleasant smoke collect in your home.   Don’t Burn Anything Chemical in Your Fireplace It’s tempting to use a fireplace as an all-purpose disposal, but it’s not one. If you burn painted or pressure-treated wood, for instance, you can release a large amount of toxic chemicals into your house.   You should also never use gasoline, kerosene, or charcoal starter to get...
How to Know it’s Time to Replace Home Insulation

How to Know it’s Time to Replace Home Insulation

How’s the insulation in your house?   If you’re like a lot of homeowners, you have absolutely no idea. After all, the insulation is behind the walls or in the attic. You don’t spend a lot of time in those places!   Unfortunately, what you don’t know may hurt you. If you don’t have the right home insulation, you could be spending lots of extra money heating and cooling your house.   Here’s how to know it’s time to replace your insulation.   Your Second Floor is Too Hot or Cold Do you dread going upstairs because it’s never comfortable up there? It’s a common problem, but it’s not something you have to put up with!   If you struggle with problems keeping the upper floors the correct temperature – or if you have specific rooms that seem to never be warm or cool enough – have a professional inspect your insulation and see if it needs to be replaced.   Inconsistent Indoor Temperature Does the comfort of your home vary from day to day – and seem suspiciously related to the outside weather? If so, you probably have problems with your home insulation.   You may be able to have a professional add additional insulation, or you may need the old material removed and replaced. Only an energy audit can give you the answer you need.   High Energy Bills If there are leaks in your insulation and outside air is getting in, your heater and air conditioner have to work extra hard. This takes a lot of energy, which costs a lot of money.   As a...
Understanding Insulation Terms – R-Value and More

Understanding Insulation Terms – R-Value and More

Choosing proper insulation for your home is essential, but when you research the options you may feel over your head. Insulation, like many industries, has a lot of specialized language.   Fortunately, the terms aren’t hard to understand. Here are some of the words and abbreviations you’ll hear most often as you research and choose the best insulation for your home. From C-value to R-value, here’s what you need to know!   First Things First: R-Value When you look at insulation options, the first thing you’ll hear about is the R-value. This measures the thermal resistance of a material – in other words, a high value means a greater effectiveness insulating your home or business.   The R-value is impacted by the type of material, how thick it is, and how dense it is. Proper insulation will be installed at the appropriate thickness required to get you the best resistance value possible.   Generally, the higher the resistance value the higher the cost of the insulation. As a result, most people have to balance effectiveness and price.   Heat Penetration: K-Value Although it’s not mentioned as often, the K-value of an insulation is also important. It measures how easily heat and cold can move through the insulation, regardless of how thick it is. The K-value may also be called the K-factor.   As a result, you’re looking for a low K-value when you examine different insulation options. The lower the K-value, the better job the product does in preventing heat and cooling flow through the material, causing energy loss in your home.   The K-value is closely related to...
What Is R-Value And What Do I Need To Insulate My Home?

What Is R-Value And What Do I Need To Insulate My Home?

Summer is upon us and for most of the world, that means rising temperatures and soaring energy bills. Fight back this year by updating the insulation in your home.   You may be thinking, “I already have insulation why would I put more in or redo what I have”.   Well, that is a great question with an even better answer. The simple version is to save money.   Factors such as how old your home is, or what level of code the builder used when insulating your home can make a big difference in your energy efficiency.   If your home is older your insulation could have settled over time causing its effectiveness at retarding heat or blocking cold could be reduced. Or if there are holes in the outside moisture could have gotten in over time and causes mildew to form and reduce your home’s efficiency.   Depending on where you live your home could have more or less insulation based on your local and state codes. Remember those regulations are minimums set. There is no reason you can’t increase the insulation in your home to have better energy efficiency.   The amount of effectiveness your insulation has is called an R-Value. The R-Value is based on how much heat the insulation can block. The thicker the insulation the higher the R-Value.   Heat moves from warm areas to cold. So if you are trying to heat your home in the winter your heat will try to find ways to the coldest parts of your home such as your attic or even outside if it can find...