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  • Addressing Frequently Asked Long Island Insulation Questions

    Whether you are building a new home in Long Island or updating an older one, insulation is an important consideration that will affect your comfort and the energy-efficiency of your property for years to come. When it’s time to choose insulation and schedule professional installation, homeowners often have many questions regarding the best type of insulation and where it should be placed for the greatest benefit. If you have questions about home insulation and the steps you should take to improve the quality of your living space near Long Island, New York, discussing your needs with a Radiant Insulation professional will ensure you make the best choice for your home.

    Does My Long Island Home Have Enough Insulation?

    While many existing homes have insulation installed, previous building requirements or budgetary concerns may have left these structures without sufficient insulation or insulation of the right type to truly regulate indoor comfort and promote energy savings. Before adding insulation to an existing home, it is thus important to evaluate whether additional insulation is needed. This process is called a home energy audit, which can be easily performed by an insulation professional to examine visible areas of insulation or monitor home temperatures throughout your living spaces via infrared detection to determine whether your home might benefit from existing insulation. If you have noticed signs such as uneven temperatures throughout your home, indoor condensation, drafts, or very high heating and cooling bills, it is worth scheduling a home energy audit to inspect your home’s current insulation.

    What Happens to Existing Insulation if I Add More?

    In many cases, existing insulation is simply left in place when you add insulation to an existing home. Particularly in older Long Island homes, insulating materials such as mineral wool, newspaper, wool shavings, and urea-formaldehyde insulation can be left safely in place, though in some cases, additional moisture barriers made be added. Older insulation materials that contain asbestos can become a health hazard if they have deteriorated; your insulation company can test asbestos insulation to determine whether it is a concern. In most cases, asbestos insulation can also be left in place with additional sealing or encapsulation to protect it from damage and maintain a healthy indoor environment.

    Where is Spray Foam Insulation Appropriate?

    Spray foam insulation is an excellent solution for a variety of applications. This type of insulation can be used in small, narrow areas or areas with unusual shapes to create an effective home envelope for better environmental control and draft reduction. Spray foam can be installed in either a horizontal or vertical configuration, and may be used in conjunction with other types of insulation or installed on its own instead of batting or rolls in areas such as attics and between walls. This type of insulation is also used around pipes and vents to prevent air exchange through the small openings associated with these features.

    Would you like to learn more about your insulation options, including spray foam insulation and soundproofing? You can reach a professional by visiting our website to request a free insulation estimate, where you’ll also find more information about insulation and soundproofing systems to enhance your comfort at home. We also invite you to check through our blog for more tips, ideas, and answers about home energy audits, insulation options, and insulation benefits.

  • Choosing Commercial Insulation

    Both residential and commercial buildings can benefit from the comfort and energy savings provided by the right insulation system. Because commercial buildings are typically larger than residential homes, they cost more to heat and cool and often have more windows, doors, and other spaces through which conditioned air can be lost without proper insulation measures. Recent studies have discovered that as much as 33% of a commercial building’s utility bills are attributable to lost heating and cooling. If you own a commercial space such as an office, laboratory, or warehouse, insulating your property can protect your employees, your clients, and your products, while also helping you to save significantly on the cost of HVAC services.

    Assessing Your Insulation Needs

    When choosing the right commercial insulation for your property, it’s important to assess your needs. First, the type of building you need to insulate will affect your choice of insulation product, as a warehouse, manufacturing plant, or storage facility may have very different insulation needs than an office or convention space. Second, the type of insulation you choose will depend on characteristics such as your building’s size and the materials it incorporates, as some building materials offer more natural insulation than others. Third, you should also assess whether you want your insulation to provide additional benefits, such as pest-repelling properties or soundproofing, which can further protect your property from potential hazards and improve your employees’ workplace environment to boost productivity.

    Popular Types of Commercial Insulation

    There are several types of insulation that are commonly used for commercial applications. Rigid board insulation has a high R-value that offers excellent temperature control and energy savings, particularly in large spaces, but the initial cost of this type of insulation tends to be high. Fiberglass is a good low-cost alternative that works well in large cavities or empty spaces; this type of insulation is available as batts, blankets, and blown-in insulation for greater versatility across a variety of applications. However, fiberglass insulation doesn’t completely stop airflow through the material, and can become a home for rodents and pests without regular pest control and deterrent solutions. Cellulose and spray foam insulation are excellent solutions for sealing hard-to-reach or irregularly-shaped spaces, including the areas around pipes and vents. Mineral wool insulation offers excellent soundproofing, and is often used to mask both HVAC and other types of acoustic noise that may otherwise easily transfer between adjacent spaces. Ultimately, you may want to combine several types of insulation to achieve your overall energy efficiency goals, depending on the architecture and specific needs of your commercial space.

    Whether you are getting ready to build a new commercial space or want to update an existing property, our insulation specialists are pleased to offer commercial insulation services in Long Island. We can help you choose and install the best type of insulation for your needs, including spray foam insulation, fiberglass insulation, cellulose insulation, and rigid board insulation. Please take a look through our website or check out our blog for more information about our insulation products and energy efficiency services.

  • Spotlight on Spray Foam Insulation

    Spray foam insulation has been used in U.S. homes since the 1970s, offering a more customizable and effective form of home insulation that many other insulation products. This versatile insulation option is not only cost-effective and energy-saving, it can improve the breathability of your home’s air and support your home’s existing structure for even greater strength and integrity.

    How Spray Foam Works

    Spray foam is comprised of two components: polyurethane and polyol resin. These two components are kept separate until the insulation is applied via a spray gun. During application, the two materials mix in the tip of the gun and form an expanding foam insulation that can be applied into any area and onto any surface of your home. Spray foam may be applied using either high or low pressure; high-pressure systems are typically used in new home construction, when spray foam is applied into the structure of the home before the finished surfaces are put in place. Low-pressure application systems are generally used in existing homes, when spray foam is used to replace or supplement existing insulation. Furthermore, spray foam is available in open and closed cell varieties. Open cell spray foam provides insulation against air exchange and is excellent for soundproofing applications, but is permeable to moisture and should only be used in home interiors. Closed cell spray foam creates a barrier against both air and moisture; this type of insulation is best in areas that are exposed to the elements, such as roofing and home exteriors.

    How Spray Foam Benefits Your Home

    Unlike other forms of insulation, spray foam is completely customizable. Traditional insulation blankets or rolls must be cut and fitted into place. This type of insulation may not completely cover every area of your home and cannot be used to close small or oddly-shaped cavities or holes. Traditional fiberglass batting can leave small gaps that allow enough air leakage into your home each day to fill two standard-sized air blimps. By contrast, spray foam creates a perfect barrier against both air and moisture, offering not only better insulating properties, but preventing leaks and mold growth as well. Because it is sprayed into place and expands to fill all available space, spray foam insulation can be used to create an insulating barrier in absolutely any area of your home , including around pipes, inside cracks, and between adjacent building components to prevent any type of air leakage and energy loss. You can choose to replace all your insulation with spray foam, or simply seal any small cracks and holes that appear as a result of normal wear and tear to continue enjoying greater energy efficiency at home. Finally, spray foam’s soundproofing qualities can improve your quality of life in ways beyond energy savings, creating a more comfortable and relaxing home environment in which you can escape the noise of the outside world. This property can be particularly beneficial for homes in busy areas, as well as for large families who want to enjoy peace and quiet from room to room within a single home.

    Spray foam insulation will not only improve the comfort of your home, it can help you save money and may even qualify your household for tax credits. Click through our website to find out more about spray foam application and the other insulation products we offer throughout Long Island and the New York Metropolitan Area, including cellulose, fiberglass, and attic and basement insulation solutions .

  • Long-term savings improved with Icynene spray foam

    There are a wide array of green resources that you can add to your home in order to improve the total functionality and comfort of your domicile. These assets make heating and cooling bills smaller than ever before, helping you reduce expenses and increase the longevity of your house’s usefulness. Creating a more environmentally friendly living atmosphere will increase the value of a home, improve structural integrity and ensure that your financial outlays are all slashed moving forward.

    Some of the tools associated with this process involve changing power sources and increasing the amount of insulation between walls. Icynene spray foam insulation is the best option for adding value to your house, cutting heating and cooling bills and ensuring that your home is able to maintain a consistent temperature all winter long. Especially in the long island area, as winters can get quite cool and your heating bills can easily skyrocket out of control.

    Talking to a certified Icynene spray foam contractor like Radiant Insulation will help you learn how this insulation product can increase the efficiency of your house and make your structure more green. It’s important to add a variety of different options to your home to get the maximum benefit from energy friendly initiatives.

    Wind and solar
    The Huffington Post wrote that a growing number of power companies are investing in wind and solar energy options to help them reduce operating costs. These savings are in turn handed on to consumers, helping them slash heating and cooling bills. The source added the Energy Department reported the western United States, where the biggest power source shift is currently taking place, will see as much as 30 percent of its electricity come from wind power and 5 percent from the sun by 2017.

    This represents a major shift from last summer’s peak green energy generation, which yielded less than 15 percent of the region’s power during the hottest months of 2012. This helped the area cut its carbon footprint up to one-third, as Debra Lew of the NREL project told the Post. She said that collecting natural power would cost up to 5 percent more than running on fossil fuels, but the savings will come out when energy is produced. Similarly, Icynene spray foam may be more of an initial investment than traditional fiberglass solutions, but the return on investment is far better with foam than fiber.

    Changing fuel prices
    While these natural solutions are far cleaner and more efficient, it’s also important for homeowners to note that renewable resources will help reduce the impact of financial factors in the future. Oil and gas prices are constantly fluctuating, sometimes favorable to consumers and at others adverse to managing costs.

    As The Kansas City Star reported, the value of a thousand cubic feet of natural gas has risen almost $2 since early 2012, resulting in potentially higher heating costs every winter. This substance is also responsible for generating electricity for cooling needs, so the increased expense will continue to follow you all throughout the year. Instead, it’s best to install Icynene spray foam insulation. This product makes it easy for you to reduce your heating and cooling bills by as much as 50 percent, no matter the price of gas or your current level of green investment.

    While the source stated the increase in cost this season will be slight for homeowners, it’s impossible to keep expenses totally under control without installing new home insulation. It’s best to use a product that ensures a thorough seal, better heating and cooling management and the most range in terms of power options. It’s best to couple insulation improvements with green enhancements as well, as The Huffington Post pointed out. In this way, you can increase your ability to save money by combining Icynene with other green-friendly improvements.

  • How to get your home ready for winter

    If you’ve owned a home in a cold weather climate such as Long Island, you know how expensive utilities bills can get during the winter months. However, there are myriad steps you can take to get your home ready for winter, including the installation of spray foam insulation. You can get tips and advice from several government and nonprofit organizations to discover the best practices of winterizing your home.

    You might also want to ensure the integrity of your home in light of heavy winds, rain and other potentially threatening conditions that could strike at a moment’s notice. As is the case with virtually every disaster preparedness or winter readiness activity, the best offense is a proactive and effective defense.

    Strengthening walls
    The first areas you’ll want to evaluate are the walls of your home, which will be some of the most important components of keeping heat in and precipitation out. Here are some of the more important things you’ll want to look out for when taking a look at your home’s walls:

    • Holes: Holes in walls can lead to substantial issues down the road, as well as higher heating costs when then wind starts whipping. You should canvass the outside and inside of your home to search for holes or gaps, then use caulk or other materials to patch the vulnerabilities as soon as possible. Remember, holes and cracks will often have more serious consequences when not swiftly treated.
    • Insulation: When was the last time you checked out your home’s insulation? The insulation in the walls should be evaluated regularly, and will most often demand at least an annual check-up to ensure it is winter ready. Spray foam can reduce the number of times you will need to re-evaluate the insulation, all the while improving the home’s ability to keep heat in and cold out.

    Never forget to check the walls of your attic as well, as this is an area that can lead to much higher energy costs when not prepared for winter. On that same note, look at crawl spaces and basements to ensure that all of the areas in your house – even those that aren’t used often – are prepared for winter.

    Ducts and heating systems
    You should always take the time to get your heating system and any air ducts serviced before winter. Clogged ducts or an improperly functioning heating system will not only leave you and your family colder during the height of winter, but will also hurt your wallet over time.

    • Chimney: Always make sure your chimney is clean and clear before lighting a fire, as this will improve the function of the overall system while keeping you safe from fumes and potential fire hazards.
    • HVAC: HVAC systems are prone to dirt-related system failures, and should be checked by qualified professionals at least once a year. More often than not, it is best to schedule an appointment in fall to get ready for winter.
    • Boilers and heat pumps: Just like any appliances, these items can begin to deteriorate rapidly, and should be evaluated every few years. Clean and properly functioning boilers and heat pumps will reduce energy costs and improve air or water quality in the home.

    Also, remember to make sure that the pathways in front of heating ducts are clear of furniture to ensure that the system isn’t working too hard to achieve the desired temperature.

    When you want to reduce your heating bills and enjoy better air quality, speak with the team at Radiant Insulation for your spray foam insulation needs.