Monday, September 18, 2017

Fall is a favorite season for many. For homeowners, it brings to mind dropping leaves and cleaning out gutters. If you are focused on cleaning up leaves from your lawn, don’t overlook your gutters. Gutters direct water away from the foundation of your home. Allowing leaves, sticks and other debris to pile up in your gutters can result in poor drainage and can ruin your foundation.

If you’re tired of cleaning your gutters, consider adding gutter leaf protection. If your gutters are open and it’s time to clean them, here are three easy steps to guide you through proper gutter cleaning:

Remove debris.
After safely placing your ladder, carefully remove debris from the gutters. Be sure to wear work gloves to protect your hands from sticks or any other sharp objects that may not be visible to your eye. Check the downspouts to be sure they are clear so any water drains properly. After removing the debris, take a few minutes to wash out any remnants and help them perform better.

Check installation.
While you are on the ladder, it’s a great time to check that the gutters are secure. Confirm that the gutters are properly connected to the rafters and are stable. If not, this is the time to replace any pieces that are not secure.

Check for holes or missing pieces.
A leaking gutter is as harmful as a missing gutter. If you find holes in any gutters caulk can be temporary fix until your gutters can be replaced (schedule this soon!). You’ll also want to check the rivets that are near the down spouts. These rivets help water flow properly to and through the down spout rather than running over the sides and down to your foundation.

If you notice problems with your gutters, it’s time to have them replaced. Contact our office to discuss your questions and schedule a free estimate.

Any time is a good time to save money on energy bills! If you dread cool weather, then fall is a great time to make home energy improvements. Here are some projects to get a jump on before cool temps arrive:

  1. Check Your Heating System.
    Your HVAC system will work more efficiently and have a longer life if it’s regularly serviced. Having your system checked can also help prevent a system break down during winter.
  2. Upgrade Your Insulation.
    The majority of heat loss in a home occurs up, not out. As your home naturally breathes, conditioned air is drawn up through the house an out the roof/attic. Adding insulation to your attic is a cost-effective way to save money on energy bills.
  3. Inspect Your Gutters.
    Water can cause huge damage to a home! It’s a great time to make sure your gutters are fully functioning and properly draining water away from your home. While you’re at it, consider adding gutter leaf protection so next year you won’t have the messy job of cleaning your gutters.
  4. Air Seal.
    Air sealing penetration points around your home helps prevent conditioned air from escaping. Penetration points can be found around outlets, vents, ducts, chimneys and more. Keeping conditioned air inside your home keeps your home comfortable and reduces wear and tear on your HVAC system.
  5. Reverse Your Ceiling Fan.
    Easy to do – and often overlooked! Changing the direction of your ceiling fan creates an upward draft and redistributes warm air. Helpful hint: dust your fan blades before reversing directions!

Interested in upgrading your attic insulation, upgrading your gutters, or sealing air leaks? Contact our office to schedule a free estimate!





Thursday, August 17, 2017

Building science is a new concept to some homeowners. Building science is the study of how buildings consume energy and takes a whole-house approach to energy savings. By looking at the home as one unit, a qualified contractor can make recommendations for overall energy improvements rather than targeting just one area of the home.

Building science research shows one powerful energy improvement that can benefit any home – air sealing. Air sealing is the process of sealing penetration points around the envelope (shell) of the home. Penetration points are a result of the construction process and can be found around vents, chimneys, windows, and more.

ENERGY STAR estimates that proper air sealing techniques and upgrading insulation can save a homeowner up to 20% on heating and cooling costs (or up to 10% on their total annual energy bill). Air sealing has some additional benefits:
  • Reducing indoor allergens by helping to keep pollen and dust outside the home.
  • Helps create a more consistent indoor temperature, reducing hot or cold spots that result from air infiltration.
  • Reduce energy bills by keeping conditioned air inside the home, requiring heating and cooling systems to run less often.
If you are considering air sealing your home, spray foam insulation is the product to consider. With one application, spray foam insulation increases r-value and seals air leaks. This one application provides two benefits! Click here to learn more about spray foam insulation.

Have more questions or ready for a free estimate? Contact our office.




Tuesday, July 25, 2017

When thinking of a home upgrade that will increase energy efficiency, homeowners typically consider two projects: insulation or windows. There is a lot of confusion about which investment provides a better return on investment.

Building envelope

Your home’s envelope consists of the walls, floor and roof. When considering the total square footage of your home’s envelope, windows make up a very a small portion of it. By investing in upgrading the energy efficiency of a home’s attic and walls (more square footage), you’ll be maximizing energy efficiency across a greater portion of your home’s envelope and see a greater energy benefit.

Heat flow
Air inside a home naturally flows from ground to sky. A home loses 70% of energy through the attic and roof – far more than is lost through windows or doors. Upgrading attic insulation keeps the air you’ve paid to heat in your home. Adding air sealing further prevents conditioned air from seeping out around ducts, attics and more.

R-value
R-value is a measure of the amount of heat flow a certain product resists. The higher the r-value, the better it reduces heat flow. The r-value of windows can vary based on the number of panes, air space between panes, etc.

Double pane windows have an r-value of 1.5 to 2. Upgrading insulation to current code would result in attic r-value of R-30 to R-38 in North Carolina. When you consider the difference in r-value and the natural heat flow in a home, it’s easy to see how a fresh blanket of insulation is a great investment.

Cost
When looking at bottom line, the choice is clear. According to Home Advisor the average cost to upgrade windows in the Charlotte area is $4,526. The same report shows the average cost to upgrade insulation in the Charlotte area is $1,124.*

Ready to add insulation to your attic? Contact us to schedule your free estimate.

* Project costs can vary.




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ABS Insulating
PO Box 536
Matthews, NC 28106


Phone: 704.821.4343
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