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Installing Spray Foam Insulation Can Prevent a Hot House this Summer

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

Adequate insulation is a must-have for any home to be comfortable, have lower utility bills and to conserve energy. If you are experiencing uncomfortable temperatures even with the air conditioning running full blast, it’s probably time to have the home checked.

Insulating Material Problems

When the insulating material in your home isn’t working at full capacity, there can be several reasons for the material’s inefficiency.

  • Condition – If it’s been a while since insulation was installed, it may be time to replace your foam insulation. If you see signs of aging, such as crumbling and deteriorating material, it’s time to replace the old with the new.
  • Improper installation – When the insulating material isn’t properly installed by professionals, it can lead to gaps and seams, which results in drafty rooms.
  • Inadequate coverage – If temperatures vary room to room, it means there is an uneven amount of insulating material throughout the attic. A room that is too cold during the winter or too hot during the summer most likely needs more material installed.
  • Energy bills – Two things to look for are continually running air conditioners and heating units and higher than normal utility bills. If your HVAC system or furnace is working overtime, it not only puts a strain on the equipment, it also increases your monthly utility bill.

An Insulating Solution

While there are several types of insulation material, one product that works as a sealing agent that provides complete coverage is spray foam. The material is composed of polyurethane foam and available as open-cell or closed-cell insulation.

Spray foam is used in, on and around multiple areas in the home as a tight insulator. The foam provides superior performance, resulting in a reduction in energy bills, better energy conservation, and a more comfortable home interior. Key insulating areas include:

  • In the attic as a layer beneath the roof
  • Corners
  • Contoured surfaces
  • Interior walls
  • Basement walls
  • Cracks and crevices around windows
  • Under floors
  • Crawlspaces
  • Around venting

Open-Cell Foam

Open-cell foam is less expensive than closed-cell and the R-value is lower. This means when the insulating material is applied, thicker layers may be necessary to provide adequate insulating efficiency.

Closed-Cell Foam

This type of spray foam insulating material has a higher R-value, making it more expensive. The foam is dense and adheres securely to surfaces. The extra denseness results in adding strength to structures such as ceilings, roofs, and walls.

Selecting Spray Foam

The type of spray form insulation (open or closed cell) to use for your home can depend on several factors.

Climate – For regions that experience significant changes in temperature, closed-cell spray foam is recommended to regulate heat and cold. Milder climates are eligible for the less expensive open-cell spray.

Water/Moisture – For applications in humid parts of the home, such as crawlspaces, the closed-cell spray works best, as it creates a vapor barrier.

Structural Strength – Closed-cell spray foam, once applied as a solid piece, becomes rigid, which adds strength to the structure.

Contact us if you would like more information about our insulation service. For a free in-home demonstration and proposal, fill out our convenient online form. The appointment takes approximately one hour and is scheduled at your convenience.

Which Replacement Windows Are the Most Energy Efficient?

Friday, June 16th, 2017

Installing replacement windows in your home is a significant long-term investment. Looks, durability and maintenance requirements are a few factors that homeowners consider when choosing their windows, and energy efficiency is another important feature. Though energy efficient windows might be somewhat pricier than the alternatives, they’re better at insulating homes against temperature extremes and they reduce energy bills. The window frames, panes and spacers all contribute to the energy-saving effect.

Insulating Frames

Energy Star explains that window frame materials make a big difference when it comes to energy efficiency. Most window frames are made of fiberglass, vinyl, aluminum or wood. Aluminum frames are the least insulating of the four types, though manufacturers add thermal breaks to reduce heat loss. While some homeowners prefer the traditional look of wood, it requires more maintenance than fiberglass frames. Infinity from Marvin fiberglass windows offer the best of all worlds by combining the appearance of wood with the insulating properties of fiberglass. Additionally, Infinity from Marvin frames don’t expand or contract during weather changes, which prevents tiny gaps that can appear. This saves money on energy bills because hot and cold air can’t seep through.

Energy-Efficient Window Panes

When selecting the perfect window for your home, it’s important to consider what type of window pane is the most energy efficient. Multi-pane glass traps air between the glass and helps insulate the home during hot and cold weather. Energy-efficient replacement windows usually feature double-pane windows and the area between the panes is filled with inert gases like Argon or Krypton. These gases are odorless, colorless, non-toxic and are better insulators than plain air.

Infinity from Marvin fiberglass windows and other top-of-the-line energy efficient windows also feature specialized glass coatings that offer additional energy-saving benefits. Called Low-E glass coatings, they reflect infrared light, keeping homes cool in summer and warm in winter.

Spacers

Spacers are the window components that separate the panes on a multi-pane window. Heat can bleed across spacers, so in high-quality energy-saving windows, spacers insulate the edges of the panes and reduce the heat transfer.

Investing in Energy-Efficient Windows

Energy-efficient replacement windows can save around 20% on your energy bills, according to Energy Star, but the range of specifications can be confusing. When making your selection, check the U-factor, air infiltration, solar heat gain coefficient and visible transmittance. The U-factor is the energy efficiency rating, and a factor between 0.15 and 0.26 provides good energy savings. Air infiltration should be 0.5 or lower, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient should be 0.29, or lower if you live in a warm climate and Visible Transmittance should be higher than .40 in triple-pane windows and higher than .50 in double-pane windows.

Infinity from Marvin fiberglass windows offer a range of performance levels based on the climate at the home’s location, but their Low E/ERS windows offer the maximum energy efficiency for Georgia climates.

Energy-efficient replacement windows improve your home’s appearance, and they increase your family’s comfort by reducing the effects of weather extremes on the indoor environment. Lower energy bills are another benefit, which significantly offsets the initial investment in good quality window products. Replacing your windows with energy-efficient models is a substantial upgrade for your home and living experience.

What Are the Impacts of Older Windows?

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

What Are the Impacts of Older Windows?

Many homeowners want to make their home energy efficient but don’t know where to start. One strategy to improve household energy efficiency is to replace older windows. While your windows may look fine, problems with older window materials may cause your utility bills to increase. This article explains some of the problems associated with several popular window materials.

Wood Windows May Rot

Whether you live in an older home with original windows or a newer home with wood window frames, there are a couple of things to consider about the materials used in these older windows. While wood window frames provide a rustic look and curbside appeal, if they haven’t been maintained properly, issues often arise.

In regions that are susceptible to heavy moisture such as snow, sleet and heavy rain, wood material contracts, expands and holds moisture. Moisture retention leads to mold and wood rot, which affects the look of the wood and lessens its ability to insulate. An option to protecting older windows is the installation of vinyl cladding.

Vinyl Windows: Pros and Cons

Vinyl window frames are a popular choice for many homeowners. These windows are made with PVC and added UV stabilizers to help prevent the material from breaking down over time. The frames are hollow, which allows insulation to be added. In older windows, the hollow cavities may not be filled with insulation, which makes them less energy efficient as the frame ages.

Several things to consider in older vinyl windows is deteriorated weather stripping that impacts energy efficiency. If a window is difficult to close and lock, it could be due to old hardware that has also degraded over the years. Vinyl windows, like wood, are also susceptible to contraction and expansion, which can lead to joint failures in the operating hardware, as well as the windows become brittle during the winter season and less durable during hot weather.

Aluminum Windows Are Poor Insulators

Aluminum is a strong and lightweight material that conducts heat, so it is not very efficient when it comes to insulation. In older windows made of aluminum, the insulating strip that should have been placed along the frame and sash when the windows were first installed may disintegrate. Weatherstripping may also erode over time. Without proper insulation, condensation can pool along the window bottom, resulting in mold growth.

If you’re considering replacing older windows in your home, contact us for a free proposal. We offer many options including Infinity from Marvin fiberglass windows that will add curbside appeal and better energy efficiency to your home.

5 Projects to Improve the Value of Your Home

Monday, September 26th, 2016

georgia window replacement

In a volatile housing market, it can be difficult to find the perfect time to sell your home. Nationwide, housing sales have slowed in the past few months, and even if you’ve put your house on the market, it could take months or years to close. Whether you’re currently looking to sell, considering it in the future, or just want to improve your home, there are lots of projects you can tackle to help add to the value of your home in the short and long term!

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Reasons to Get an Energy Audit Before Summer Begins

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

Energy Audit

Is your home as efficient as possible?  Unless you live in a home that was both recently built and specially built for energy conservation, it’s likely that your home could be more efficient.  There are a variety of reasons that energy efficiency is important, especially with summer coming, not the least of which is financial savings.  It’s also better for the environment and can increase the value of your home.  (more…)

6 Places in Your Home That Are Costing You Too Much Money

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

Spray foam in attic

Living in Atlanta is like living in paradise.  The weather is always perfect.  You can open your windows to let a comfortable breeze in any time of year.  Energy companies only exist in Atlanta for the sake of giving us light and making our kitchen appliances run, after all.  In some parts of the country, people have to use something called air conditioning in the summer and a heater in the winter, likely most Atlantans haven’t even heard of these monstrosities…

Well, we can dream anyways.  Until tectonic plates shift Atlanta to the Pacific coast we’ll have to put up with hot summers and cool winters.  While A/C and heat are a necessity here, spending a fortune on the energy bill isn’t.  As a leader in energy saving devices; windowsdoors, and insulation, we consider ourselves experts in energy conservation at NG Windows and are happy to give you a few pointers.

Windows

Older windows are nice to look at if they’re properly maintained, but unfortunately, they’re just not energy efficient.  Window glass is now insulated and properly sealed so inside and outside air stays where it’s supposed to.  Older windows don’t have the technological abilities to fully insulate the way today’s quality windows do.

Doors

Doors must fit snugly into their frames, as fitting mistakes can leave gaps between the door and the walls, allowing cold air to spill outside. The biggest gap usually appears at the bottom of the door; if you notice a draft there, you’ll either need to replace the door or seal the gap.  New doors are energy efficient and expertly sealed so that as little energy as possible as wasted.

Attics

For full insulation, you should seal your attic off from the outside and the rest of your house off from the attic. A spray foam insulation is the most efficient and best way to insulate your attic.  It ensures that all the holes and gaps are filled appropriately. For full insulation, you should seal your attic off from the outside and remove the loose fill fiberglass insulation from the floor of your attic.  Anytime you need to take stuff out or put things away in the attic, do it as quickly as possible and make sure to never leave the attic door open.

Chimneys

Chimneys are a huge energy waster, with or without a fire going.  If you don’t plug your chimney up during the summer, air can leak out of your house through the fireplace flue. Consider installing a laminated “chimney balloon” to block air from getting in or out of the flue. Just remember to take the balloon out when you start using your fireplace again.

Floors

If your home is built slightly above the foundation with a crawl space, cold air is encroaching underneath your home and creating cold floors all winter.  Insulation underneath your floorboards is imperative, but also, carpeted floors and rugs work as an insulation as well.

Basements

In the summer time, the basement can be the most comfortable place in the house, even if you don’t air-condition it.  In the winter, you likely need to supply heat to it, if your furnace doesn’t keep it warm enough on its own.  Make sure to keep the door into the basement sealed, because often the staircase into isn’t climatized and heat or cool air can rapidly escape.  Also, if your basement is partially above ground you likely have windows to the outside.  Like the windows on the main level of the home, these windows need to be sealed and made of insulated glass as well.  Last, make sure the basement is well insulated, while naturally the temperature of a basement is moderated since it’s underground, insulation also keeps moisture out, which you don’t want in your basement.

 

North Georgia Replacement Windows replaces windows for life. Beyond windows, we also replace doors, provide insulation and give energy audits so that you know your home’s efficiency and sustainability so that you can make the right choice for your home’s needs.

Whether you’re replacing your windows for aesthetics, energy efficiency or your current windows just aren’t functional anymore, NG Windows has your solution.  Visit us at our showroom to start getting a feel for what is right for you.

Insulation Options for Your Commercial and Residential Properties

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

If your home or business is more than a couple of decades old, it may be time for an insulation upgrade. You may be living one of the historic “century homes”, which may even lack insulation. Buildings like these need insulation in the worst way. There is no sense in suffering through a cold winter or hot summer and paying exorbitant heating and cooling bills when the problem can be easily addressed through insulation.

Although insulation isn’t exactly cheap, it pays for itself over time as it traps the warm and cool air in your building so that you don’t have to operate your furnace and air conditioner as frequently.

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Remodel Your Basement with Hopper Windows

Friday, February 6th, 2015

A common difficulty encountered when remodeling a basement is finding a source of sufficient natural lighting. Many basements cannot accommodate traditional windows and are generally dark and drab spaces. Homeowners often resort to putting in additional artificial light to dispel the gloom, but there is another option. As a successful North Georgia window company, we suggest installing hopper windows instead. Below are reasons why this is a more economical and practical choice.

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Choose North Georgia Replacement Windows for Your Insulation Needs

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

An adequately insulated house is essential for multiple reasons, including keeping the interior of your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Poorly performing attics, basements and crawlspaces account for nearly half of a house’s energy loss. This can translate to substantial heating costs, especially in older homes. Your utility bills are not the only thing that can be saved by adding insulation. Here are a few more reasons why you should schedule a free appointment with a North Georgia Replacement Windows consultant!

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Savings from Spray Foam Insulation

Friday, July 26th, 2013

spray_foam_2

North Georgia Replacement Windows is in the business of saving you money! We talk all day long about our premium replacement window and door products and how an investment in your home will pay off tremendously in the long run, but we’d like to take a moment to discuss our spray foam home insulation services.

 

Applied to your attic rafters and underneath floors and walls, spray foam insulation saves energy by creating a barrier against air leakage (both incoming and outgoing). It also prevents moisture and pollutants, mold, dust and mildew. Spray foam insulation has a higher R-value, which is a measure of thermal resistance, than standard fiberglass insulation. This means you can enjoy the same insulating properties with less product! Spray foam also won’t settle like most fiberglass insulation does.

 

There are two basic types of spray foam insulation: low density, open-cell foam, and high density, closed-cell foam. Open-cell foam is typically used in attics and the upward regions of a home, while high-density closed-cell foam is generally applied to basement and crawlspace areas. Much more rigid than open-cell foam, closed-cell foam actually adds strength to a building’s structure. It also deadens sound and makes your home acoustically tighter. It is impermeable to water, which is one of the reasons to use it at ground or below-ground level. It provides an excellent sealing barrier from moisture at your home’s foundation.

technician installing spray foam insulation in Atlanta

North Georgia Replacement Windows’ experienced technicians will come to your home and assess which spray foam application is best for the various areas of thermal vulnerability. We can perform a BPI test to determine which regions of the house are most susceptible to air leakage and strategically apply spray foam insulation accordingly. One house we recently serviced experienced a 40% reduction in air leakage! A typical summertime attic in Georgia easily exceeds temperatures of one hundred degrees; however, you will feel a noticeable difference with professional spray foam insulation, not only in your attic, but in the lower portions of your home where the hot air can infiltrate. North Georgia Replacement Windows is a BPI-Certified company, which means we have the accreditation to accurately measure the energy efficiency of your residence. Did we mention we’re in the business of saving you money?

 

North Georgia Replacement Windows can also apply fire retardant spray foam insulation for areas of the home which have combustible appliances or dense storage. Because it is easily controllable, spray foam insulation is ideal for compact and hard-to-reach areas. Add efficiency, safety and comfort all at once with professional spray foam insulation services from North Georgia Replacement Windows! Call us today for a free estimate!