Cold Floors in the Morning? Weatherization Tips from Atlantic Spray

It’s “that” time of year again. Mornings are crisp and sweaters are emerging from the depths of every closet. A common morning complaint can be heard once again – “our floors are so cold!” Thankfully, there is a solution that can not only alleviate this uncomfortable situation, but also improve the overall energy efficiency of your home.

Cold floors in a home are the result of under-insulated crawl spaces. Where fiberglass insulation exists instead of spray foam, air infiltration occurs letting your valuable heat escape and frigid air to creep in. If your floors are uncomfortably cold throughout the winter you should seriously consider conditioning your crawl space with spray foam insulation.

Unlike fiberglass, spray foam conforms to the space in which it is applied, including the cracks and gaps that are common in crawl spaces. By eliminating these openings, you seal the envelope of the space. As a bonus, conditioned crawl spaces help keep pests out of your home too!

If cold floors and rooms that seem impossible to heat are your concern, call us today and schedule an assessment of your property. Let us help you find ways to make your home a true shelter from the coming cold weather and the perfect cozy spot to spend your winter mornings. Find us at www.atlanticspray.com.

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Choose the Right Contractor to Install Your Insulation

One of the more disturbing trends in home insulation is the rise of different contractors expanding into the field with no additional training or specialization. Examples include roofing and HVAC contractors, among others, who want to increase their profit margins by incorporating other services into their own repertoire. Consumers need to beware that these contractors are often more concerned with money than they are with the sanctity of your home. Their lack of experience and training mean that they are less familiar with current standards of installation, current best practices and may not have access to the best products and equipment.

Contractors who don’t keep up with trends and standards are more likely to make mistakes that could become very costly problems for you down the line. You want the latest equipment and the best materials for your home insulation. During your search for the right professionals, please make sure that you get a quote directly from someone who specializes in home insulations. One good practice is to look for someone who is BPI Certified. BPI (Building Performance Institute, Inc.)is the organization that sets the standards for all insulation installation, based on previous performance, new information and statistical data. They offer support for customers who use their certified analysts and technicians, so you can rest assured that your repairs will be handled skillfully with professionalism.

Don’t fall victim to a company that has spread themselves and their skills too thin. Choose the pros at Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. to protect your home today!

Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc.

Energy Audits

Every home owner needs a basic understanding of the energy efficiency of his or her property.  Whether you are concerned with your environmental impact and carbon footprint, or your monthly utility bill bottom line, you need to establish what your base use is today in order to make the improvements that will optimize the operation of your home in the future.

Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. has the certified staff necessary to perform a high-tech evaluation, or Energy Audit, of your house. Our Certified Building Analyst will use the latest technology and techniques to identify multiple points of weakness or system loss, and present to you a whole-house perspective on the modifications that can be made to increase your home’s energy efficiency.

When you are preparing for your Energy Audit, your analyst will provide you with a list of things that you need to do in order to maintain the integrity of your belongings and cleanliness of your home during the Blower Door Test. Your house will be depressurized and a checklist will be followed to detect places where air is leaking, or your home’s air seal is compromised. When the test is done, you will be given a list of modifications and recommendations for which ones you can address on your own and which may need to be performed by a professional.

Once repairs are complete, your analyst will perform a second test to make sure the modifications are working. A record is kept of the results, recommendations and improvements so you can track performance over time.

Audits generally cost $200 – $300 and can easily pay for themselves in reduced energy consumption and lower energy bills. In some cases, you may qualify for an offset of these fees from local agencies or your own utility providers, so check for programs that offer energy evaluation and performance incentives.

Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. is proud to have a Certified Building Analyst who can perform Energy Audits on staff to offer this integral service. If you feel like your home could be more energy efficient and want to find out how specific improvements can save you money and wear on your property, contact us today and schedule and Energy Audit of one of your most valuable possessions: your home.

Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc.

The International Energy Conservation Code

The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) was created by the International Code Council in 2000. The Council establishes parameters that are often adopted by local and municipal building authorities to ensure that buildings are safe, fire resistant and energy efficient. The IECC is reviewed and revised periodically, then adopted by the building community over the ensuing few years.

The two editions of the IECC that are currently setting the standards for energy efficient building standards are IECC 2009 and the new IECC 2012. Changes in the codes reflect the latest understanding of home safety and efficiency, and are interesting in contrast with traditionally accepted tenets of building. For example, one long-standing belief that has been completely re-evaluated is that homes should be built to “breathe” allowing a passive exchange of air through the structure. The new IECC standard is that homes should be built “tight” with proper mechanical systems to allow for an appropriate exchange of air. The unit of measurement that addresses this “tightness” is the ACH (Air Changes per Hour). The new standards in building have improved energy efficiency so dramatically over the past that it is almost impossible to retrofit an older home to meet the new ACH standards without spray foam insulation.

Another change that is introduced in the IECC 2012 is that the only acceptable method of evaluating a home’s efficiency via an Energy Audit is with a Blower Door. In the past, contractors could choose to follow a checklist to evaluate a home, but the technologically superior Blower Door audit has become the industry standard. Atlantic Spray’s recent certification to conduct Blower Door testing not only puts us in compliance with IECC 2012, but keeps our company at the leading edge of energy efficiency technology

Spray foam insulation is rapidly becoming the standard in both new home construction and older home renovation. If you are interested in its application at your home, contact our Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. experts and ask for your free estimate today!

FEMA and Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation Applications

You are familiar now with the use of Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation to reduce energy consumption, save money on utilities and improve the comfort of your home. Did you know, though, that FEMA condones the use of Sprayed Closed-Cell Foam Insulation to help resist the damaging effects of flooding?

According to FEMA, the foam which is used in wall cavities where it expands and hardens creating an air barrier, “offers acceptable flood resistance” to homes in flood-prone areas. The organization further sites that “Tests have shown that sprayed foam insulation can improve the strength of structural framing systems and connections.” The foam is not only highly water-resistant and effective, but it is quicker to apply than traditional “batting-style” insulation, which is critical in areas where large recovery or prevention efforts are ongoing.

FEMA does point out that to create a flood-resistant structure, there are other construction considerations that must be taken into account, including the use of approved materials and framing patterns.

Additional testing has also concluded that closed-cell foam is not only an effective product for damage mitigation during floods, but also helps homes withstand high wind, useful in regions prone to hurricanes. It has even been shown to prevent the uplift effect that results in massive roof damage and separation.

Closed Cell Spray Foam has many different applications that improve your quality of living and the safety and stability of your home. If you are interested in learning about attic encapsulation, basement barriers or any of the other available uses for closed cell spray foam insulation, contact our team of experts at Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. today.

Resource: FEMA Technical Fact Sheet No. 1.8 (accessible at www.fema.gov)

Benefits of Open-Cell Spray Foam Insulation

Homeowners concerned with energy efficiency have several options when choosing insulation products. Fiberglass insulation is common, but requires replacement as often as every 5 years. Closed Cell Foam is a premium product that costs more, but returns its value in the form of monthly utility savings and the fact that it does not need to be replaced under normal conditions – it carries a lifetime warranty.

Open Cell Foam is a good compromise for those homeowners who want the benefits of spray insulation without the initial investment for Closed Cell Foam.

Many clients choose Open Cell Foam for the cost savings. However, others select it because it allows vapor diffusion; moisture can escape the house through the foam, however it still makes the home airtight.

These photos from a White Plains retrofit of an 1840’s farmhouse demonstrate how one can encapsulate an attic with Open-Cell Foam. We can create access to even the most difficult areas, and the holes that are made in the wall are easily patched with drywall mud.

Do you have a home that you would like to operate more efficiently, lowering your bills, protecting your investment and creating an overall safe and more comfortable atmosphere? Call Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. today and schedule an initial estimate with one of our insulation experts!

Attic Encapsulation Improves Energy Efficiency and Saves Money

Unseasonably warm weather has many home owners turning off their heaters and activating their air conditioning units much earlier in the year than expected. Many will experience sluggish performance which can lead to concern that their air handler is inadequate or needs repair.

What many of these home owners don’t realize is that their air conditioning unit is not the problem – the conditions under which it is operating are to blame. Most are located in attics at temperatures of up to 140°F! Can you imagine cooling a house effectively while drawing the source air from a virtual oven?

The solution is “Attic Encapsulation”, insulating the roof with spray foam and creating a cap that stops air leakage. Typically, attics draw air up through the house trapping heat where the air conditioning unit operates. Peak efficiency is achieved only when the air handler is positioned in a conditioned space void of warm, moist air. By encapsulating your attic with a layer of insulation, your cooling system becomes more efficient, saving you money and extending the life of your A/C equipment.

Replacing your air handler can be incredibly costly, as can months of paying for inefficient cooling during a long, hot summer. Instead of subjecting your family to the expense of maintaining poorly operating equipment in a less than ideal environment, consider Attic Encapsulation. Our team at Atlantic Spray can help address your questions and concerns and set you on a path to an energy efficient home. Contact us today!

Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc.

Atlantic Spray Production Manager, Bart Bonnano, Achieves Coveted Certification

Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. is pleased to announce that our Production Manager, Bart Bonnano, has completed the required training and testing by the Building Performance Institute (BPI) and has received the coveted BPI Building Analyst Certification!

The Building Analyst Certification allows Bart to lead the Atlantic Spray team in conducting valuable and affordable Energy Audits for homeowners concerned with achieving maximum home efficiency. These audits apply technology and strict standards to evaluate the overall efficiency of your home, and identify as many possible solutions, from minor fixes to more complex renovations, to your energy challenges. Keep an eye out for our upcoming articles to better understand how an Energy Audit can save you precious time and money.

According to BPI, “individuals (who) have been trained, tested and certified to BPI’s nationally recognized standards use the house-as-a-system approach to improving the performance of existing homes – an approach proven to reduce home owner annual utility bills by as much as 20% or more.”

We are excited about Bart’s achievement and the positive impact it will have on thousands of residents of this region. If you have any doubt that your home is operating below its optimal efficiency, don’t hesitate to Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. us today and schedule your Energy Audit. We look forward to your call.

Congratulations Bart!

Weatherizing Older, Low-Income Homes | Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc.

Weatherization of older, low-income homes is a critical improvement that not only prolongs the life of the structure but helps the homeowner reduce energy costs. These residents often have fewer resources to make regular repairs and perform major maintenance on their properties and the homes deteriorate with age. When your priority is basic survival, it is easy to sacrifice the costs required to keep a home optimally energy efficient and safe.

Moisture issues, in particular, plague low-income housing. Weaknesses in the air seal allow condensation to creep in and promote the growth of mold which can be highly hazardous to residents’ health. This is particularly devastating in a population with limited access to health care. In response, many communities and organizations have set aside funds to improve the energy efficiency of low-income housing, and Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. is often called upon to assist.

If your older home’s energy demands are draining your resources, or if you simply want to do your part to save fossil fuels by increasing efficiency, contact Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. and ask about your weatherization options today.

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