What is Insulation R-Value?

When people search “What Is Insulation R-Value?” it is typically a new home owner or a business owner trying to understand how to insulate their property to save on utilities.  Quality insulation which is installed by professionals simply saves on heating and cooling. This translates into lowered utilities and saving money.

What Does The Term “R-Value” Mean?

R-value is a measurement of the thermal resistance of materials. An easy way to understand it is a measurement of how well heat or cold transfers through a given material, such as wood, metal, or more importantly insulation. Insulation’s entire purpose is to restrict the transfer of heat or cold from or into our homes and businesses.  Quality insulation options are graded with the R-Value system and the higher the number, the better the insulation is at stopping thermal transfer.

How Do People Use R-Value?

Generally R-Value is measured at a thickness of each individual type of insulation. This can be spray foam insulation, rolled batt insulation, blow in insulation, and many others. But each of them is assigned an R-Value performance rating, usually by the inch. This means that insulation contractors and homeowners can calculate the various insulation options performance given where the area that is having insulation installed. Attic insulation can vary based on the depth of the roof rafters or floor joists from 6 to 10 inches. Choosing a higher performance R-Value for areas where there is less space helps achieve thermally efficiently homes.

What About Air Leaks?

R-Value only will not create the energy efficient homes we all want. While to the casual observer homes and commercial properties look solid and air tight. The fact is that most building and homes have cracks, gaps, and lots of air leaks. Even when there is batt insulation in a regular wood stud wall wind can find its way through these air leaks and render it meaningless. Just a 20 mile per hour wind can take a R-19 wall and through air leaks turn it into an R-6.

Air Leak Solution

For home and business owners wanting to save money by lowering their utility bills, insulation can play a major role. Spray foam insulation is one of the best options due to a couple of key points. Firstly it helps seal up the cracks and gaps in your building or home. Secondly the performance of spray foam insulation in terms of R-Value is exceptional. When you are thinking about the best option for your properties which has excellent thermal resistance and helps shore up air leaks, Spray Foam Insulation is the way to go.

Valleywide Phoenix Insulation Contractors

If you live or operate a business in the Phoenix valley Barrier Insulation, Inc. has the experience, tools, and training to help you save money through improved insulation.  Our insulation contractors work on both residential and commercial projects and offer every insulation variety to better serve our customers in Arizona.

We will install the spray foam insulation, batt insulation, or blown-in insulation you need to save money and live more comfortably anywhere in the Phoenix valley.  Understanding “What R-Value Is” hopefully has made you more aware of how insulation works, and what your property might need. Give us a call for a free inspection and quote to improve your insulation and save money!

Call Barrier Insulation Today at 602-499-2922.

Overlooked Ways to Lower Your Power Bill

Are you searching the web for “Ways To Lower Your Power Bill” like most Arizona residents?  When the temperatures start to go up, so do the electricity bills. Keeping your home comfortable costs more during the summer, but there are ways to help minimize that effect.

Ways To Save Energy & Money

Everyone loves saving money, especially on recurring bills. We are always looking for ‘life hacks’ that can help boost the efficiency of living our lives while lowering the cost it carries. In our search for methods to reduce our power bills many simple tactics are easily overlooked and never taken advantage of. We are going to briefly outline 3 of these tactics that can help you up the efficiency of your home while lowering the amount of money you are spending on it to keep all systems running, so to speak.

Inspect Your Home’s Insulation

Make sure that all of the insulation in your home was up to, or even exceeding standards. As time passes insulation breaks down and experiences a drop in efficiency. The speed of the deterioration depends on several things, including the climate and exposure to moisture.

Unplug Unused Electronics

Unplug appliances and devices that may leach power while on standby mode. While we are led to believe that these electronic devices and appliances turn off when we stop using them. This is rarely the case and the combination of all appliances that are ‘secretly’ consuming power adds up to needless money spent. That money can do a lot of good for you instead of just disappearing.

Get A Professional Energy Audit

Have an energy audit performed on your home by a professional. Having a trained eye assess your home will not only arm you with the information and tactics you need to increase the efficiency of your home, it will also provide you with peace of mind because you won’t wonder if you missed anything in your own untrained assessment.

Take Care Of Crawlspaces

Make sure our crawl spaces are well maintained and not left open and therefore exposed. If the openings to your crawl spaces are exposed cold air can enter in the winter and warm air in the summer. Some wonder if the answer is sealing off their crawl spaces completely from the outdoors and the answer is yes, if you do so with a crawl space encapsulation system. If you don’t have a crawl space encapsulation system, then sealing off your crawl spaces in the winter months is recommended.

Control Moisture in Crawlspaces

Make sure the moisture levels in your crawl space are at reasonable levels. This can be done by installing small moisture meters and checking them periodically. Not all crawl spaces are easily accessible and if that is the case a professional should be called in to inspect them. Ideally the moisture level within your crawl spaces should be below 50%.

Check Insulation in the Crawlspace

Check the condition of the insulation in your crawl space. Over time the buildup of moisture can cause the insulation to become saturated and, by extension, inefficient. Saturated insulation in your crawl space will cause your home to experience a definite drop in energy efficiency. Mold growth can also be a problem in crawl spaces that are overly saturated with moisture.

Invest In Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

Increasing the energy efficiency of your home is never a bad thing and will almost always save you a significant amount of money over the long haul. Have your home put through an energy audit and see where you can afford to make improvements! If you would like more information or help inspecting and improving your home insulation in the Phoenix area, please contact Barrier Insulation today by calling either 602-499-2922 or 623-931-0637.

Best Type of Home Insulation for Phoenix

Best Type of Home Insulation for Phoenix

Are you searching for the “Best Type Of Home Insulation” for Phoenix? This article covers the different options that work best in the Valley of the Sun. Manufacturers of insulation all have job to do and a product to sell.  This means that you’re going to hear a lot of voices telling you which is the superior insulation type.

It’s an important question to think about when considering the energy efficiency of your home.  Especially with rising energy costs and the intense summers we experience here in Phoenix. What’s needed to cut through all the chatter on the subject is unbiased examination of the different types of insulation.

In This Article:

  1. Home Insulation Research & Development
  2. Spray Foam As The Simple Solution
  3. Closed-Cell Spray Foam Insulation
  4. Open-Cell Spray Foam Insulation
  5. Knowledgeable Home Insulation Consumer
  6. Phoenix Home Insulation Installers

Home Insulation Research & Development

Building scientists have spent over 30 years studying how homes use and lose energy.  They’ve constructed enormous chambers to enclose walls and model homes so they could study the effects of heat, cold and wind.  Their research has delivered results that will save home owners hundreds of dollars on their energy costs year in and year out.

A fact of home ownership and the settling and aging of a home is that inevitably there will be holes, gaps and cracks.  These weak spots mean that our air conditioned and heated air is spilling right out and costing us money.  The US Dept of Energy found that the average home wastes over 30% of its conditioned air through these gaps and cracks.  In fact on a colder wintry day these effects are more apparent with the drafts blowing through our homes.

Clearly it’s more than simply R values that are going to solve the problem of these gaps and cracks wasting our hard earned money.  If air leaking out is the problem it makes sense that the best way to insulate your home is to create an air tight seal.  With strips of fiberglass insulation or panels clearly it’s not going to provide this air tight seal that we are looking for to achieve the best possible performance, and the best possible savings.

Spray Foam as the simple solution to a complex problem

Best Type of Home Insulation for Phoenix AZUsing a hose a machine distributes a combination of chemicals which mix together at the tip of the hose creating a paint like thick goo that sticks to everything it touches.  So those wires, ducts, pipes and uneven surfaces are effectively coated and sealed up air tight.

The foam begins to expand within seconds, trapping billions of tiny bubbles of gas.  It forms a uniformly even layer of insulation as it expands and ensures an air tight seal.  Precisely what insulation is meant to do, wouldn’t you agree?

Spray Foam Insulation Comes in Two Forms, Open and Close cell

Before choosing an option for your spray foam insulation it’s best to evaluate your requirements because the types have different applications and characteristics.

Closed-Cell Spray Foam Insulation

Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation Phoenix AZThe characteristic of closed-cell spray foam is that the cells or bubbles are tightly packed together and closed.  This means that closed-cell is stronger an much more dense than open-cell foam.  It will not allow air or water to pass through it.  This is due to the fact that the bubbles are much smaller because they are filled with a gas making them a better insulator as well.  In fact closed-cell insulation tops the charts with an astounding R-7 per inch!  Closed-cell spray foam is the option for the uncompromising home owner that demands the best performance from where they invest their hard earned money.

Open-Cell Spray Foam Insulation

Open Cell Spray Foam Insulation Phoenix AZA more affordable option for home owners is open-cell spray foam insulation.  Its name is derived from the fact that the bubbles or cells never completely close.  During expansion air gets trapped between the broken bubbles.  This characteristic of open-cell spray foam means that as heat tries to pass through the foam its slowed down by billions of tiny air pockets.  Because of this difference is structure it’s much softer than closed-cell spray foam.  The difference in the formation of the open-cell foam means that water can pass through them, which can be a bad or good thing depending on the application.  Open-cell foam rates at half the R value efficiency as its close foam competitor.

Knowledgeable Home Insulation Consumers

It’s critical to understand the differences between the spray foam variants. If you’re having a new home built or an existing structure improved you should be aware of the type of spray foam your contractor is recommending, or bidding for you.  The reason being is that open-cell foam is much less expensive, but as we have discussed it’s also less effective as an insulator.  Just be aware of this difference when taking in bids and make sure that you’re getting competitive bids for the same type of service.

One solution to get the benefits of both worlds is to combined both types of foam in your home.  A thinner than normal coating of closed-cell to start, which seals the gaps, holes and cracks and then a second coat with the open-cell to get your that excellent performance of the spray foam insulation.  This means that clients with a limited budget can still get the benefits of both without the cost of going with a full closed-cell cost.

Phoenix Home Insulation Installers

The experts at Barrier Insulation can help you make the best decision for your home and your budget. No matter your budget we can help you find an affordable solution that will make your home more comfortable and more energy efficient.

If you’ve got a few questions or would like to get started on saving money on your energy costs give a call at 602-499-2922 or submit a request with our Contact Form.

Phoenix Home Insulation Types

Garage Insulation For Increased Energy Efficiency

If you are looking to enhance the energy efficiency of your home in Phoenix, AZ, one step you may want to consider that could render great saving on your energy bill is, insulating your garage. Typical garages are not insulated and can become extremely cold in the winter time and extremely hot in the summers. These extremes can damage and warp things you may have stored in your garage and ever add wear and tear to your vehicles that are experiencing the temperature fluctuations in your garage. The temperatures in your garage affect the temps in your home if your garage is attached to your house. The air can pass into your home, causing your central air system to work harder in order to sustain the interior temperature that you set it to maintain.

Having your garage properly insulated will help tremendously to keep your home and garage comfortable on top of enhancing your home’s energy efficiency. Aside from having your garage outfitted with an insulation system there are steps that can be taken to enhance the effect that the insulation system will have on your garage. One of these steps is to have a lightly colored garage door. Lighter shades and colors will reflect light and heat away from your garage whereas darker colors and shades will absorb heat and cause your garage to heat up tremendously.

Having a ventilated garage door is another option as the vents will allow air to constantly circulate throughout your garage instead of remaining static. Still air will remain hot and promote rising temperatures as it effectively compounds on itself instead of flowing freely. Air flow along with a garage door that reflects heat and light will help your chosen insulation system transform the energy efficiency traits and qualities as well as the comfort level of your homes attached garage.

Is Your Home Garage Properly Insulated?

Barrier Insulation, Inc is the leading insulation contractor in Glendale, AZ & Phoenix, AZ and can install insulation in your home’s garage to increase your homes energy efficiency and save you money. See why adding insulation to your home garage has the best return on your investment. Give us a call at (602)499-2922 or (623)931-0637 today!

Tips for Saving Energy

Energy efficiency is growing ever more important in a day and age when our resources are dwindling and our way of life is getting more in line with what is best for the planet. Scientific advancements are constantly being applied to various areas of our every day lives and our ability to utilize the energy that we generate is improving exponentially. This means there are opportunities to save money on energy that are greater than ever before. Not all of us have the means to utilize these scientific advancements right away, but there are steps you can take to save money in order to put it towards these improvements that can greatly improve your every day life. Here are some tips:

To Reduce Heat:

  • During the warmer months, prevent as much natural light from entering your home as possible. The more light that enters your home, the more heat it will carry along with it. Keeping blinds and shades closed is highly recommended
  • Extend any window awnings to provide more shade around your windows
  • Use light bulbs that are more energy efficient. Standard light bulbs operate at warm temperatures that can raise the temperature inside your home.
  • Close the doors and cooling vents in any rooms that are not being used regularly. Open the vents and doors as needed.
  • BBQ as much as possible instead of using the oven inside of your home. Ovens produce massive levels of heat by their very nature and avoiding that heat radiating throughout the interior of your home is impossible.

Thermostat Tips:

  • Pick a comfortable setting and leave your thermostat locked on that setting at all times. It is much easier to maintain a temperature than it is to use heat or cooling to achieve a new temp level. If need be, change it only when you wake up and before you lay down for bed in the evening.
  • Contrary to what most believe, setting your thermostat to lower or higher temperatures in order to heat or cool faster does not work. Your central air unit will heat and cool at a steady rate which means that all you are doing is prolonging the time it will be running on top of setting yourself up to be uncomfortable once the temp it was set for is reached. The only way to fix that would be to set a new comfortable temp and make your system work to achieve it.
  • Keep heat producing appliances away from the thermostat. The heat that radiates from them will cause the thermostat to get false reading which will cause it to activate or deactivate depending on if you are heating or cooling.

Utilizing these tips can help you save a lot of money over time on your energy bills giving you more financial liquidity and freedom. On top of that you can use the savings to pay for improvements that can further increase the energy efficiency of your home via upgrades to things like insulation and appliances related to your central air system. In this day and age, updating your home to modern standards in regard to appliances, electrical systems, insulation, ventilation, and the materials used in the home can skyrocket your home’s ability to use energy efficiently. These kinds of improvements pay for themselves over time, making them a no brainer. The toughest part may be figuring out how to make the initial investments, but making certain behavioral changes can give you your starting capital for your series of home improvements.

9 Ways to Increase Energy Efficiency Part 3

Here we go with part 3 of our series of tips for increasing your home’s energy efficiency. We have covered four tips so far in the series and will be hitting you with two more today! Energy efficiency has a direct correlation to your bank account because it heavily impacts your energy bill and how expensive or cheap it will routinely be. We highly recommend reading every part of this series in order to transform and maximize the energy efficiency of your home.

Heating and Cooling Upgrades

Upgrading your heating and cooling system to a more modern model will immediately upgrade the energy efficiency of your home as soon as it is powered on. Some older homes will see a major difference if they are using old and outdated appliances that are the electrical equivalent of gas guzzling vehicles. Having power bills in the neighborhood of $400 is absurd and should not be experienced with the advancements available in 2015. For instance, gas furnaces are roughly 25% more efficient now than they were in the 70’s. There are new versions of appliances and new methods of installation and insulating that have developed over the past ten years that can not only change the efficiency with which your home operates, they will increase the overall value of your property immensely. Modernizing your home is always a good idea, especially if you have owned it for a while or if you recently bought an older home.

Water Heater Adjustments

Water heaters can often get lost as part of the scenery in a home rather than an appliance you would actively interact with. Often times, they aren’t even in a location that is regularly visible so the old ‘out of sight, out of mind’ adage is definitely at play. For such an overlooked appliance, the water heater checks in as the second largest consumer of energy in any home. Making sure the heater is set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (the most efficient setting) and that it is well insulated to conserve energy will pay dividends whenever you power bill arrives.

Stay tuned for our next two tips in part four of our series in our next entry!

Blown-In Insulation vs. Batt Insulation

When it comes to insulation, there are several types that are prominently used for various reasons. When you are considering which type of insulation you want to go with knowing the nuances of each type and how they compare to each other. In this blog entry we are going to compare Batt insulation to Blown-in insulation. These are two of the most commonly used insulation types and may very well be the style that you end up choosing.

Blown-In Insulation:  This insulation type requires a professional technician with the necessary equipment to install it. The main advantage of blown-in insulation is the fact it can be blown into tight places that would be otherwise hard to insulate. Blown-in insulation is made from cellulose which is an affordable material that is safer to be exposed to than fiberglass. This insulation type can compact over time, which will cause it to lose overall efficiency, which is one of its few cons. Blown-in insulation should be strongly considered as it is both highly effective, more versatile in where it can be placed, as well as being affordable.

Batt Insulation: Batt is one of the most widely spread types of insulation available today. The reason for this is its low cost and how easy it is to install. Batt insulation comes in a foam roll that is meant to be cut into the shapes of the spaces you intend to insulate. This style does have its limitations as it is not suitable for crawl spaces and other hard to reach areas that should be insulated. Installation needs to be handled needs to be handled very carefully as any missteps can greatly affect the energy efficiency of the insulation in a negative way.  Batt insulation is also prone to becoming compacted which can greatly harm its ability to effectively insulate.

9 Ways to Increase Energy Efficiency in 2016 Part 1

Living in Arizona can be very demanding when it comes to energy use, especially during the extremely hot summer months. Running your AC unit constantly to keep your home comfortable and cool adds up and can lead to some pretty lofty power bills. Saving money can benefit everyone and the fact that becoming more energy efficient benefits the environment is a win-win for all. This blog entry is part 1 in a series of how to lower your energy use while maintaining the benefits of a comfortable home.

  1. Keep your power bills for records: Your energy bill is very detailed and offers you a plethora of beneficial information that can help you understand how much energy you use regularly as well as track the differences that occur from any changes you make. You will see how much electricity and gas you use over the course of the previous month and the year to date. You can file away your physical bills or save electronic records for future reference.
  2. Be open to changes in your lifestyle: Adjusting your energy use will inevitably involve making changes in your every day behaviors and habits. Keeping conscious about your energy use is going to be a lifestyle change in itself and that is only the mindset part. Actually putting new practices in motion will be new and unfamiliar at first, but once you adjust to your new way of living you will have a fatter wallet to accompany you.

 

These are important primer steps for the real changes that will be outlined next week in our next entry. Getting into the right mindset to make lifestyle changes is the most important step when it comes to making important changes stick. Come back next week and we will have more steps for you to take toward increased energy efficiency!

Achieving Proper Attic Insulation

During the summer months attics are traditionally viewed as a sweat boxes sitting above our ceilings. Attics can have extremely high temperatures when they are not shielded with proper insulation. Your attic doesn’t have to be an elevated oven every summer, however. If you have an audit performed by a professional energy efficiency consultant, the deficiencies in your attics insulation will be documented and pointed out. The auditor will also suggest ways that you can address the inefficiencies and present various solutions for you to consider.

One area they may find to be an inefficiency is having your soffits covered by insulation material. The reason this is a problem is because it restricts air flow in and out of your attic, in effect trapping the hot air in your attic and keeping it in a static state. This will definitely cause your attic to heat up to extreme temperatures as hot air compounds on hot air. This steady rise in temperature can damage your belongings by melting certain components or causing contents of canisters etc to expand, possibly to the point of explosion. This will make your home exponentially harder to cool during the summer months and your attic will be unbearable to spend any time in. People utilize attics for different reasons, some of which involve large stretches of time spent on the top level of your home.

Installing baffles is a great way to help ventilate your attic. Baffles are vent chutes that promote the flow of air through your attic, helping to circulate the air which keeps it cooler. This will also help prevent the growth of mold. If moisture exists in an environment with static, warm air, mold can begin to grow. If you have an unchecked mold growth occurring in your attic, you are at risk for several mold related health issues. Experiencing a mold bloom can not only damage your immune system, it can damage your home to the point where the property value drops or even having the home itself condemned.

An attic ventilation fan can do a lot to help avoid mold problems and circulate the air in your attic. If baffles or any other ventilation measures are installed, their effect the circulation of air in your attic will be augmented, which will lead to an attic that is exponentially cooler during the summer months when it is usually unbearable to pay your attic a visit.

Energy Efficiency During the Winter

Are you searching for ways to improve your Energy Efficiency During the Winter? This post is meant to help keep your costs down during the colder months.  Winter time is here and we are experiencing an abnormally cold winter here in the Valley of the Sun. Getting your home prepared to stay warm and energetically efficient throughout the season can do a lot to keep you and your family comfortable as well as saving you money on your monthly energy bill. We are going to go over various ways that you can winterize your home and stay cozy until the inevitable triple digit temperatures return in a few months.

Heating System Inspection

Have your heating system inspected and maintained as soon as you can. Keeping your heating system in top shape will allow it to perform efficiently which will keep your home warm while also reducing the wear and tear you system will incur because it will not have to work as hard to produce the desired result.

Close The Vents

Make sure your foundation vents are closed. Your vents should honestly be closed by the time winter rolls around because it is advised that the vents are closed in the Fall and reopened in the Spring, but life happens and sometimes we overlook things. Make sure to check that your vents are closed as the season changes.

Check Door & Window Seals

Check your windows and doors and make sure they are in good condition and properly sealed. Unfit doors and windows are notorious for letting in cold winter air and will drastically compromise the energy efficiency of your home. That is a lose-lose situation. Checking on the seals and having them repaired if necessary is just as important as keeping the windows and doors themselves in good condition.

Inspect Attic & Home Insulation

Make sure your attic is properly insulated. It is easy to lose the heat in your home as it rises through the attic, which will cause a severe drop in energy efficiency. Investing in insulation for your attic will keep you warm and save you money.  Your attic insulation is a major key in keeping your home comfortable and energy efficient, but you should not neglect the rest of the home.  Crawl spaces, walls, and air leaks can greatly impact the energy efficiency of your home.