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Incentives for Insulating...NOW! Go green, save green!

Currently there are some great incentives available for insulating your home. With the PowerSaver Lender Program at the UVA Community Credit Union, reducing your energy bills and becoming more eco-friendly just got easier! They offer low rates and easy financing solutions to help pay for energy efficiency improvements or renewable energy systems to your home, which includes insulating!

Also, great news Charlottesville residents! The city is offering a one time, 50% real estate tax break to its homeowners with energy efficient properties. To find out more, click here.

"The Dirt" on Crawl Spaces

The only reason to build a home with a dirt crawl space is to save money. A dirt crawl space is cheaper than a concrete floor. However, a house with a dirt crawl space is dysfunctional. We would never create a basement with a dirt floor - so why do we have dirt floor crawlspaces? Homeowners typically don’t go into their crawl space unless they have to. But if you care about rotting, mold, allergies, asthma, drafts, smells, or the general comfort of your home, your crawl space is worth addressing. Your house is one building.

Why Dehumidification is Important in Our Mixed-Humid Climate Zone

Does Your Home Need Commercial Grade Dehumidification?

Virginia is classified as and well known as a mixed-humid climate, meaning that we receive more than 20 inches of annual precipitation, have approximately 5,400 heating degree days* or less, and the monthly outdoor temperature drops below 45°F in the winter.

Most experts, like the American Medical Association, American Lung Association and the Environmental Protection Agency, all agree that our homes should be kept at a relative humidity of 30 to 60 percent.  So we can all probably agree that it's a good idea to keep excess humidity in check.

It’s Almost Summer. Is Your Home Ready for a New Air Conditioner? Why Insulation Matters.

It’s Heating Up Outside. Is Your Air Conditioner Going to Survive the Summer?

If your air conditioning (AC) equipment requires frequent repairs, is more than 10 years old, or you’ve noticed that your electric bills have gone up in recent years during the summer, it is time to consider replacing your AC equipment. Being proactive means you won’t have to wait days for an HVAC contractor to replace your unit when it breaks down completely during a 90+ degree heat wave. If you’re ready to replace your air conditioner, you should also consider whether or not your house is properly sealed and has the recommended levels of insulation. Adding insulation before replacing your AC unit will not only help the new equipment run more efficiently, it may actually reduce the size of the AC unit you need, which of course reduces the cost.

Waterproofing Concrete Foundations

Other than burning down, probably the worst thing that can happen to a residential structure is a foundation problem. The foundation is literally what the house is built on, what keeps the building where it was built, transferring the dead loads and the live loads into the ground.

The source of the vast majority of foundation problems is water. Wet soil beneath a foundation can swell or lose strength.

And that's only the first reason to keep the foundation dry. Then there's the little problem of wet damp basements and crawl spaces that can breed mold and make below-ground interior spaces generally unpleasant. The problem is that typical concrete is not waterproof. It will typically keep out liquid water, but water vapor can still penetrate quite easily. Keeping water drained away from concrete foundations and preventing it from moving through the concrete are essential to a successful structure.

Homebuyers would Choose Energy Efficient Homes over Less Expensive, Less Efficient Homes

Our friends at the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance recently published the following article regarding a growing trend in the real estate market: buyers are willing to pay a premium for homes that are more energy efficient. We’ve posted the article below. Keep in mind that insulation and air sealing are proven to be the most cost-effective way to insure your home uses less energy. For a free evaluation of your insulation improvement possibilities, contact us.

APRIL 13, 2015

City of Charlottesville Selected to Compete in $5 Million Energy Prize

The City of Charlottesville is one of 50 communities in the country selected to compete for the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a national $5 million competition to rethink the way American communities use energy.

From the hundreds of communities that were interested in the prize, it is these 50 select communities that successfully: assembled a team, developed compelling and detailed plans, and secured commitments from their local government, electric and natural gas utilities, and community organizations.

What Color Is Your Insulation?

It’s important to color-check your insulation once in a while. If you see your fiberglass insulation turning black or getting dirty, it’s a sign of air coming through, which means your home isn’t properly insulated anymore. Insulation works best when there is no air movement through it. It’s similar to wearing a sweater on a cold windy day: The sweater doesn’t do a great job keeping you insulated because the heated air in the sweater is constantly pushed away by the wind.  

So how do you know how well your insulation is performing? Here’s how to check it: 

Demilec Launches Online Resource to Educate the Industry and General Public on Efficiency of Spray Foam

ARLINGTON, TX – March 20, 2015 – Demilec, one of North America’s largest manufacturers of spray foam insulation and polyureathane products, has launched a new online resource for building professionals, including architects, builders and contractors, and homeowners to educate them about spray foam insulation, as well as showcase the manufacturer’s full product lineup. The site - demilec.com - is available in English and Spanish, making it useful to nearly anyone in the United States, and is mobile-friendly with a responsive layout that works on any smartphone or tablet device. The Canadian site is available in English and French.

Virginia Couple Featured on Designing Spaces: Think Green About Their Demilec Spray Foam Insulation

Andy and Anitra Kitfield had their house insulated with Demilec USA’s spray foam insulation and had the experience documented by the hit television show, Designing Spaces: Think Green. The Kitfield’s home is a 1952 Cape Cod style home located in northern Virginia and was in dire need of additional insulation. When they were contacted by the team at Designing Spaces: Think Green, they eagerly jumped at the opportunity to increase their home’s energy efficiency with spray foam insulation from Demilec USA.

Grant Ostvig, the northern Virginia Regional Manager for Demilec USA and Ken Thacker, the Kitfield’s contractor had an opportunity to sit down with Andy and Anitra and speak candidly with them about their experience of having Demilec spray foam insulation installed in their house, and what the living conditions have been like since.