How much insulation do I need?

The simplified answer isn’t so simple. It depends on your climate and other factors like the type of building. As a starting point…

Insulation Services in DelawareThe simplified answer isn’t so simple. It depends on your climate and other factors like the type of building. As a starting point, your climate zone determines how much insulation your home needs (see the climate zone chart via energystar.gov). ENERGYSTAR recommends a minimum attic insulation level of R30 in an attic, and as high as R-60.

To determine the proper type of insulation your home needs, an experienced insulation contractor will review your home’s structure, including looking for home air leaks, and determine the areas of your home that need insulation. For example, if your home has small or complex areas to insulate, a professional insulation company may recommend spray foam insulation to achieve a high R-value and seal air leaks in one step. Dense-pack fiberglass insulation could also be an option to create a complete thermal blanket and eliminate gaps.

Properly insulating your attic and your entire home with the proper amount of insulation is a cost-effective upgrade that will keep your home comfortable and energy bills low. Have questions about insulation? Call the professionals at Delmarva Insulation to get your insulation questions answered.

How does insulation work?

Insulation works as a thermal barrier. It keeps heat inside your home in winter and keeps heat from entering your home in the summer.

Benefits of adding Insulation at Delmarva InsulationInsulation works as a thermal barrier. It keeps heat inside your home in winter and keeps heat from entering your home in the summer. Building insulation helps keep your home warm during winter and cool during summer.

Insulation is very effective in reducing your energy costs and can pay for itself in energy savings. The amount of energy proper building insulation can save in a short time outweighs the cost of the product.

During hot summer months, the sun beats down on your home and your attic temperature can reach high temperatures. Adding professional attic insulation creates a thermal barrier between conditioned inside air and hot outside air, helping to prevent hot outside air from entering your home. The same can be said for wall insulation and for basement or crawl space insulation. Each application prevents heat transfer and keeps your home’s interior comfortable.

The same concept applies during winter months. The thermal blanket that insulation provides keeps heated inside air from escaping the home. This means your furnace can run less which helps reduce energy bills. Combine insulation with air sealing and the benefits are even greater.

Call us at Delmarva Insulation to learn more about the benefits of adding insulation to your home or business.

What type of insulation should I use?

The type of insulation to choose depends on the area of the home you are insulating. Each insulation type has its own benefits. At Delmarva Insulation…

Types of Insulation at Delmarva InsulationThe type of insulation to choose depends on the area of the home you are insulating. Each insulation type has its own benefits. At Delmarva Insulation we install a wide range of insulation projects and have been serving the Mid-Atlantic area since 2002. We can recommend the right insulation product for your home or business.

Spray foam insulation expands when installed to completely fill a cavity or space. It is a two-in-one product that insulates and air seals in one step to stop air leakage and help keep utility costs low. Spray foam insulation can also increase the stability of your home during severe storms.

Fiberglass insulation is available in batt or blown-in types. Fiberglass insulation is non-corrosive and moisture resistant. It is cost effective and is often combined with air sealing to provide additional energy benefits.

Mineral wool is made of natural materials and helps to slow the spread of fire. It is often desired for commercial insulation projects. It is environmentally friendly and has high thermal performance.

Foam board is a lightweight product and can be cut to fit spaces between studs, and in spaces such as box sills. Foam board is often used for exterior insulation and when insulating roof decks.

Blown-in insulation is used in open walls of new homes or homes undergoing remodeling. It can also be dense packed into closed cavities to completely fill voids in walls. Blown-in wall insulation can also help to dampen sound transfer.

If you have questions about these insulation products or others, call Delmarva Insulation.

How much does insulation cost?

The cost of insulation varies and is determined by factors such as: Climate in your area, Type/style of home, Age of your home…

Insulation Cost at Delmarva Insulation

The cost of insulation varies and is determined by factors such as:

  • Climate in your area
  • Type/style of home
  • Age of your home
  • Whether existing insulation needs to be removed

Older homes are typically more expensive to insulate because they may not be insulated to current standards. Costs vary with the different types of insulation. It is important to choose the best insulation option for the area of the home you are insulating.

  • Fiberglass insulation is one of the least expensive insulation options. Fiberglass batts are easily installed in open walls, ceilings or other small space. Blown-in fiberglass insulation can be added to open attics or dense packed into closed areas like finished walls.
  • Spray foam insulation insulates and seals air leaks in one application. The cost of spray foam insulation is higher than the other choices but can save you money in energy costs.

Call Delmarva Insulation now to get an insulation estimate for your upcoming project!

What is R-value for insulation?

The R-value determines the insulation’s resistance to heat flow, also known as thermal resistance. The higher the R-value is, the greater the thermal…

R-value for insulation

The R-value determines the insulation’s resistance to heat flow, also known as thermal resistance. The higher the R-value is, the greater the thermal resistance of the insulation. R-value can vary by the type of insulation, insulation thickness and its density. For some insulation types, the R-value can be affected as the insulation ages or if it comes into contact with moisture.

The insulation material’s effectiveness when resisting heat flow is also dependent on where it is installed. For instance, the R-value of a ceiling or wall will vary from the R-value of the insulation itself due to heat flow through studs and joists.

The amount of R-value you may need for your home will depend on the climate in the area you live in, the area of your home you want to insulate and the type of your HVAC system.

Contact Delmarva Insulation with your questions about what type of insulation to install in your home.

What is Mineral Wool?

Mineral Wool Insulation in Delaware

Different types of insulation can be helpful depending on the project. Mineral wool is a great option to insulate commercial and industrial projects. What is mineral wool? Mineral wool insulation is also known as rock wool insulation or slag wool insulation. It is manufactured in batt and loose-fill forms, and can be used to insulate any area of a building. In addition to insulating commercial and industrial projects, mineral wool can be used to insulate residential homes.

Here’s a bit about what makes mineral wool insulation unique:

  • Mineral wool is manufactured from basalt, a volcanic rock, and is naturally fire retardant. This can be of particular interest in commercial and industrial construction.
  • Mineral wool has high thermal performance. It can withstand temperatures of over 700 degrees, making it ideal for commercial or industrial insulation applications that are exposed to extreme heat.
  • Mineral wool is naturally very moisture resistant. It retains its insulating qualities even when wet, making it a great option to insulate a space that faces moisture issues.

To learn more about mineral wool insulation, click here. If you think mineral wool insulation is right for your next project, contact our office for your free insulation estimate.

Summer Energy Efficiency Tips

Summer Energy Efficiency Tips by Delmarva Insulation

Are you ready for summer and secretly worrying about your summer energy costs? Many homeowners experience higher than necessary energy bills during summer. Saving money on energy bills and keeping your home comfortable isn’t as hard as you think. There are a few simple things you can do today to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of your home.

Try some of these:

  1. USE THE GRILL. On the warmest days of summer, keep your kitchen and home cool by using an outdoor grill for your meals instead of the stove or oven. Not only will you reduce strain on your indoor HVAC system, you can turn any day into a backyard party!
  2. SWITCH ON THE CEILING FANS. Ceiling fans better circulate the cool air already blowing inside and the slight breeze keeps you cool too. Plus, using fans actually allows you to raise the temperature setting on your thermostat four degrees. This can help lower your electricity bills without sacrificing overall comfort. Bonus tip! Switch on your bathroom fans — they pull heat and humidity from your home which also improves comfort.
  3. SEAL AIR LEAKS. Low-cost caulk can be used to seal cracks, openings and other heat penetration points in your home. Air sealing keeps warm air out and conditioned air (air you’ve already paid to cool) inside your home. Need help or have a bigger job than you can handle? Contact us for a free estimate.
  4. MAINTAIN YOUR HVAC SYSTEM. Having your air conditioner serviced annually can help keep it running efficiently (and help prevent those mid-summer break downs). Check and replace your furnace filter regularly (which also helps keep your home clean), and don’t forget about your programmable thermostat! Setting your programmable thermostat to a higher setting when you are not at home can save an estimated ten percent on your energy bills annually.
  5. SEAL DUCTS. Air loss through ducts can lead to high utility costs. Leaky ducts keep conditioned air from getting to desired rooms in your home, and they force your HVAC system to work harder. Leaky ducts account for nearly 30 percent of an HVAC system’s energy consumption! Sealing those ducts can go a long way toward lowering your electricity bills.

Questioning high utility bills this summer? Give us a call for a free in-home estimate.

Want the biggest bang for your remodeling dollar? Insulate!

For the second year in a row, Remodeling Magazine ranked “adding attic insulation” as the top “bang for the buck” home improvement project. The report included the 29 top remodeling projects done in a home, ranking average cost against return on investment during resale.

The 2017 Cost vs. Value Report shows adding attic insulation delivers over a 100% return on investment – the only home project that returns more than the project cost. The second-place return on investment project which will need some financial help from our vendors, checkloansnow.com will be able to help you, replacing a front entry door, came in at just over 90% return on investment.

Visit Remodeling Magazine’s report for more information and to see how other projects rank.

How to Choose a Commercial Insulation Contractor

insulating attic

With any project, time is money. This statement is even truer when it comes to a commercial construction project. With the scale of a commercial project, each decision becomes even more important – including choosing the right insulation contractor.

Looking to hire a commercial insulator for your next project? Here are a few things to help ensure you’re making the right choice:

  • Check their experience. Commercial insulation is a specialty. It’s important to know the contractor has experience in commercial insulation. They should confidently answer questions about fire ratings, codes, etc.
  • Up to date on new technology. A savvy commercial insulation contractor will recommend new technologies for your project that can help improve performance, aesthetics and more. A professional commercial insulation contractor will be up to date on developments in their industry, and be able to recommend new products and install methods to make your project even better.
  • Insured and licensed. It goes without saying that an insulation contractor should hold the proper insurance and licensing to do commercial work. If you have any doubt, ask.
  • Large installer base. Don’t wait until scheduling day to find out if your commercial insulation contractor has the bandwidth to complete your install in a timely fashion. Confirm your contractor and adequate number of installers available to handle your project when install day comes.

Delmarva Insulation has vast commercial insulation experience, is up to date on new commercial insulation technologies, is properly licensed and insured, and has the bandwidth to complete your project in a timely fashion. To get an insulation estimate on your commercial project, contact our office.

Building Science Basics

Key Conditions that Affect Air Flow

Since insulation’s beginning, it was installed with the purpose of creating a thermal barrier around a building — and keeping those inside safe, comfortable, and protected from the elements. Little did we know building science would come on the scene and change our industry in a big way. And it’s here to stay.

There is a lot to know about building science — we’ve taken the time to break it down for you.

Much of building science focuses on air flow. Improper air flow can have severe effects on the health and safety of the people in the building. It can also cause mold growth, spread pollutants  and more. Controlling air flow increases the efficiency of a building, reduces stress on mechanicals and controls indoor air quality.

There are a few key conditions that affect air flow (courtesy ENERGYSTAR.gov):

  • Controlled versus uncontrolled airflow
    • Controlled air flow is generated by a mechanical device and is designed to help ventilate a building and/or distribute conditioned air throughout a building. Ventilation systems, fans and heating and cooling systems are typical sources of controlled air flow.
    • Uncontrolled air flow is unintended air flow into, out of, or within a building. This can be caused either by wind, warm air rising in the building, uncontrolled fans and leaks in an air handling system.
  • Air pressure from wind, heat, fans and duct systems
    • Pressure differences across holes, boundaries, and barriers within a building are caused by one of four forces:
      • Wind blowing against a building can cause large pressure differences between one side of the building and the other.
      • Heat and the buoyancy of hot air affects air pressure. Heat naturally attempts to rise to the top of a building (called stack pressure or stack effect. The amount of pressure depends on the temperature difference between the inside and outside of the building, as well as the height of the building.
      • Fans (particularly exhaust fans and HVAC air handlers) can contribute to pressures changes in several different ways. Leakage in the building envelope or the ducting, or an imbalance in the supply and return ducts can cause these fans to have a drastic effect.
      • Duct systems that leak to the outside of the building on both the supply and return sides of the system can cause infiltration rates to increase by as much as 300%.
  • Holes and pathways
    • Uncontrolled air flow (infiltration) into a building is a result of holes in the building’s shell. By reducing the number of holes in the building, and you reduce the amount of uncontrolled air flow. Buildings have two kinds of holes: designed holes and undesigned holes.
      • Undesigned holes in the home are found in the attic, walls, and floors. Any of these holes that connect to the outdoors should be adequately blocked, caulked, gasketed, or otherwise adequately sealed
      • Designed holes include any hole or system that is designed to have air passing through it in a specific direction. Examples of such holes include flues and combustion vents, chimneys, make-up fans, exhaust fans, dryer vents, cooktop fans, ventilation systems, central vacuums, windows and doors, and fresh air inlets/outlets.

All of these things are incredibly important conditions to consider when improving the energy efficiency of a home or business. The way air moves through a building matters — and it ultimately determines how comfortable (and healthy) you are where you live as well as how much it will cost you for that comfort over the lifetime of your home.

Have questions on the air flow in your home or building? Give us a call today!