ROXUL & Home Insulation
October is National Fire Prevention Month! Go to this Special Edition blog for important news from the National Fire Protection Association.
Here, In the House host, Jared Mellick and show producer, Josh Smith recap the highlights of their conversation with Dave Smith from ROXUL Safe'n'Sound®, and we learn about home insulation, upgrades and efficiency.
Josh: Welcome back! Jared and I just talked to with Dave Smith from ROXUL about a great product called “Safe’n’Sound” Sound & Fire Resistant Home Insulation. We are using this product in the construction of our Project House since we needed to remove all the drywall and old insulation from the original structure. It started out as just a remodel, but anytime you start opening up walls in an old house you inevitably find problems and things that need to be brought up to current building codes. We’ve used ROXUL in between most of the interior walls as well as between the first and second floors. One of the projects I love most that we’ve done so far on the Project House is the exterior stucco from QUIKRETE and the VeneerStone on the columns out front. They turned out breathtakingly gorgeous so we took a lot of photos and posted them on our website and social media if anyone wants to check them out.
Jared: Yeah, for more information and to see the progress we’re making on the Project House you can visit www.inthehouseshow.com and check out the blogs we’ve published about the different products used on the job. We get calls from all sorts of manufacturer’s asking us to test out their different materials and products so there is a great variety in the Project House for our visitors to see for themselves.
Josh: Such as ROXUL and their “Safe’n’Sound” insulation. It’s available in many local big box stores and online at www.ROXUL.com. If you’re doing, or considering, a remodel that includes tearing down any walls then it’s a great time to put in some ROXUL sound & fire resistant insulation.
Jared: Alright, let’s move along and talk to Tony in Melbourne who is calling in to the show. Hi, Tony, you’re In the House. How can we help you?
Tony: Well, when I look to buy a new house, are there particular upgrades or returns on investment to consider—like radiant barrier, tinted windows or high-efficiency A/C? How would you rate those as far as return on investment?
Jared: Sure thing, Tony. There’s no doubt that products that are more energy efficient, that use less energy, will have some sort of return on your investment. However, there is a regression where the more your do to the home, the less the rate of return becomes. The biggest jump in ROI that you’ll see is in the beginning from no upgrades to something. This is known as the “Law of Diminishing Return.” If we look at the largest areas where you’re going to consume or lose energy, I would pick insulation as the biggest one to start; making sure that the exterior and interior walls have a good quality and well installed insulation.
Tony: How about the spray foam kind of insulation?
Jared: Yeah, you can do either spray foam, blown-in or batten style insulation. Or if it’s a block home then I would suggest using the injectable foam along the outside, which most new construction will have anyway in order to meet the energy calculation. Ceiling-wise, personally, I prefer spray foam and have that in my own home, but you can achieve an even, good insulation from something like a R38 blown-in or batten style insulation. The good thing about insulation is that insulation values are consistent so you can trust that they’re correct.
Tony: Okay. Well I was talking to some guys and they mentioned eliminating the insulation above the ceilings on the second floor of the house and just spray foaming the rafters under the roof. That seemed a bit odd to me since it means my A/C would be cooling the attic as well, right?
Jared: You are correct, but it’s not a bad thing. Older homes were built so that heat transfer stopped at the ceiling level, meaning that you allowed heat to come inside the attic, but not the rest of the home interior. However, spray foam works by stopping the heat transfer at the roof level and preventing heat from ever making it into the home. So the reasoning behind eliminating the second story ceiling insulation is that you don’t want to have 2 sets of insulation for the hot air inside the house to get trapped between. Now, when you close up the house that tight with spray foam you have to be mindful of air flow issues and be sure that you have returns in every room and a fresh air intake. Otherwise bad air will build up inside your home because it can’t escape. So just be cautious with that and make sure the house is engineered with a way to supply fresh air, usually through the HVAC system.
So while insulation is key, if we were to look at the next big ROI element it would be the windows and doors. Many people focus on insulation, but overlook the giant 5 foot hole in the side of their house, that they call a window, using single-pane glass and probably isn’t installed very well. My opinion is that Andersen makes the best windows, but upgrading to better glass quality and getting them properly installed is well worth it. Thirdly, I recommend turning your attention to the home’s HVAC system. HVAC is one of the largest energy consumers in any home so I advise using one that is highly-energy efficient. Those three elements—insulation, windows/doors and HVAC—work really well together so they’re all good areas to focus on, Tony.
Tony: Excellent. That answers all my questions. I really appreciate all the advice!
Jared: No problem. Take care, Tony!
Josh: Another thing about Tony’s question, if you go to EnergyStar.gov you can see all the available tax rebates for those three elements that the government has spent so much money on over the years to promote.
Jared: Yeah, those really are the big 3 to focus on. If you have a high-efficiency HVAC, but your insulation isn’t good then that system is just going to keep running and running, not really saving you much money.
Josh: And I think a lot of homeowners actually get nervous about having their windows replaced. While the A/C is ‘just a box outside the house’ the windows are a very visible, and interactive, part of the home compared to insulation and HVAC. I have seen windows replaced and even replaced them myself, and I can tell you it’s not that big of a deal.
Jared: Agreed! Renewal by Andersen has set out to make the best home improvement experience in the nation. The Andersen Corporation has been in business for over a hundred years and they saw a problem that many people were having in the process of window replacement. So over twenty years ago they decided to open a window replacement company they call Renewal by Andersen. It’s a national brand with local affiliates that partner with Andersen Corporation to replace windows in their area. If you want to buy Renewal by Andersen windows or doors you have to buy them direct from Renewal by Andersen who owns the process from start to finish ensuring customer satisfaction. They have the best high-energy efficiency replacement window on the market. Customers are saving thousands of dollars every year in energy savings just by replacing their windows. When you give them a call they will come out to your home and give you a price that same day that’s locked in for a full year and if you move forward with it they will have your windows completely replaced in 6-8 weeks. Each window and door is custom made for the perfect fit to that exact opening, leaving no chance for gaps and leaking air.
Josh: That’s the thing I like about them, because when you go to a big box store and buy a window off the shelf it may not fit the original opening in your house. A slight difference in size can make a big difference in the integrity of your home. So many people will buy a generic window off the shelf and say to themselves, “oh well, we’ll just go smaller and frame the opening down to fit,” but then you’re going away from the original design of the house and will need to fill in the gaps around the frame with insulation, drywall, stucco or siding and paint… That’s just a lot more work.
Jared: Exactly. Renewal by Andersen custom makes each window and door for each opening in your home. I know they’re running some specials this month, so if you want to give them a call the phone number is 407-434-0088. They also attend many local home shows and events as a vendor where they set up a booth with a bunch of their windows and doors for you to check out in person. For more information about Renewal by Andersen you can visit them online at www.RenewalbyAndersen.com.
Check out our blog of last week's show when Jared and Josh talk with Dave at Keep Your Home Safe 'n'Sound with ROXUL®.
October is National Fire Prevention Month! Listen this Saturday for more from Roxul's Dave Smith and fire safety - 8-9am FM96.5 WDBO. Learn more about Home Fire Prevention on the Universal Roof & Contracting blogs: Part I, Part II, Part III. Get more at this Special Edition blog for important news from the National Fire Protection Association.
Listen Saturday mornings to "In the House with Ken & Jared". Get more Home Tips and show info at the In the House website. For a free estimate on your next Home Improvement Project, visit Universal Roof & Contracting or call now. Orlando: 407-295-7403 Jacksonville: 904-647-3907