Upgrades for a more energy efficient home

Spray Foam Continues to be the most Energy Efficient Insulation

“Green” is the new popular word these days, regardless of the industry you’re in. It can have two meanings, it can refer to the ingredients of a product and how natural they are or how “green” they are, or it can be revering the the energy efficiency of a home or building.

Embarking on a large-scale renovation to implement green technologies and increase the efficiency in your home, isn’t always possible. This doesn’t mean you have to give it up all together, there are ways through smaller installations to increase your homes efficiency. Doing smaller simpler upgrades can be just as effective and will aid in keeping you inside your budget. Here we take a look at some of these upgrades you can do to increase the energy efficiency in your home.

HOME AUTOMATION

There are many energy efficient upgrades you can do under this title. With the internet being connected to various appliances and controls. If you haven’t heard of home automation and home security Toronto, basically it is connecting appliances to wifi, which fundamentally allows for communication through the internet and can be controlled through an app on your phone. You have full control from your phone (so long as you have internet on it) and can control lighting, thermostat, locks on doors and windows, ovens etc and you can adjust them when you are away. This will ultimately make your home more efficient and leave more money in your pocket at the end of the month. Here’s a look at some of the options.

THERMOSTAT

Your thermostat is a great place to start if you are considering upgrading to a smart “green” home. When a smart thermostat is installed, it learns your schedule and habits, and will adjust the cooling and heating needs accordingly. This will mean that your HVAC system will be running at the most efficient levels while catering to your needs, and ultimately making your home that more efficient. Past the performance aspect, there is usually an energy efficiency option within the thermostats programs, that would make a smart thermostat a very smart decision investing in.

LIGHTING OPTIONS

There are various optional upgrades you can go with in your home to increase energy efficiency. First and foremost, you should get rid of the incandescent bulbs and replace them with newer greener bulbs. Within the greener bulb options, there are two main players, LED and CFL’s (compact fluorescent bulbs) . LEDs tend to be more expensive initially than the CFLs, but they usually do last longer, and don’t have poison mercury in them either which can be concerning if a bulb breaks.

Additionally to going with green bulbs, switching to dimmers over conventional light switches will also increase the lightings efficiency.  It gives you more control over the amount of electricity being drawn from the lights bulbs, but it also has a pleasant side effect of adding ambiance to any room.

Finishing, by installing smart light switches/dimmers, that can be connected and controlled remotely form a phone, it can really make an impact on increasing the energy efficiency of your lights consumption. Something like pre-programming a front porch light to turn on at a specific time so as to not have to stay on all day, this would significantly reduce your lights consumption.

APPLIANCES

By switching old conventional appliances to Energy Star rated specifications, you are taking very good steps towards making a more energy efficient home. Of course you can now have many of these modern greener appliances hooked up to be controlled from you phone or smart home device, this way you can control your smart appliances to run during the most energy efficient time of the day. An interesting concept that helps you understand the potential savings, are cameras built into fridges, you can now see the contents of your fridge and save the energy it would waste by standing with the fridge door open.

SPRAY FOAM INSULATION FOR HOME EFFICIENCY

All these things mentioned above are great, however a major player in how efficiently your home runs is the insulation you have installed. Traditional materials used for insulation such as cellulose or fibreglass, can result in a home that has major heat loss without you even noticing. The cumulative cracks and crevices of an average home where heat can escape can often be too large which will ultimately leave your home losing too much heat.

best foam insulation company in Toronto

Traditional insulation has the negative characteristics of losing its insulating value over time as well, also they tend to shift and create new spaces where air can pass through and ultimately make your home less efficient because of the compensation your HVAC systems has to do. Also , traditional insulation has limits to the spaces it can fill, so even from the initial instalment there are weak parts to your insulated home.

Spray foam insulation or closed cell foam insulation on the other hand expands immediately on application and fills all the surrounding space. This creates a superior seal and can fit into all the hard to fill awkward spaces resulting in a more energy efficient home and less work for your HVAC system. Spray foam insulation also doesn’t deteriorate over time and will keep its integrity throughout the life of your home.

Source: http://sprayfoamkings.com/blog/upgrades-for-a-more-energy-efficient-home/

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The less known benefits of pipe insulation

You may have heard that insulating pipes in your home can help you why preventing them from freezing. This is true: By insulating the pipes in your home, it will keep the water that is coursing through the system from freezing and then expanding until it eventually bursts and causes significant and expensive damage to your home. There are other less dramatic benefits that insulating pipes can offer for your home as well. Not only do these help homeowners pockets by slashing some of those utility bills, but they also aid in the general comfort of day to day living.

REDUCING HEAT LOSS AND GAIN

Of the less known benefits that insulating plumbing piping in your home offers, it’s performance in minimizing the loss and gain of heat is of the most noteworthy. When water passes through the plumbing lines through a home and it isn’t insulated, the hot water will generally lose heat and cold water will gain it. By insulating the pipes, you effectively reduce this inefficiency that will inevitably happen. With the hot-water pipe, though it may seem as though its a minor saving to spend all that money to insulate, but the truth is that the long term savings are truly significant: your monthly heating bills will be reduced, and you will not have to wait as long for heated water to get to the faucets in your homes washrooms and kitchen.

CONDENSATION CONTROL

Whenever you have a cooler surface than the air that surrounds it,  such as the plumbing pipes, by insulating the pipes you essentially control the condensation that would inevitably corrode the fittings and pipes if left unchecked, and ultimately this would lead to severe failure. Even though it may not sound like a serious concern, it isn’t uncommon at all, especially when the pipes have cold water going through them and they come into contact with humid hot air. Another not so considered benefit to insulating the pipes in a home is that it not only helps the pipes, but it also protects people from coming into contact with hot or cold pipping.

CHOOSING YOUR INSULATION

There are a few choices you can go with for pipe insulation, with varying degrees of insulating capabilities and each made with different materials. Some have integrated vapour barrier control, while others are better suited for hot-water applications. These include:

SPRAY FOAM INSULATION:

this is installed by experts generally and is by far the best choice for pipe insulation, as it doubles as a vapour barrier, and can get into all the hard to reach spaces where other forms of insulation can’t reach.

-CONVENTIONAL FOAM INSULATION:

this is easy to fit over existing pipes. When in place, it is a good idea to seal it off with tape to further enhance the insulating properties.

SELF-SEALING FOAM INSULATION: 

this material has an adhesive this runs along its slit.

Foam insulation for pipes in Toronto

ASBESTOS AND HOW TO DEAL WITH IT

Older homes still have asbestos in the insulation that surrounds the pipes, not all, but a lot. Especially if it is agitated and the fine particles become airborne, this asbestos ridden insulation can present some dangerous health hazard. Asbestos pipe insulation can be difficult to recognize, and it’s recommended to bring in a specialist to inspect for it.

INSULATING PIPES WITH SPRAY FOAM INSULATION IS THE BEST IDEA

We tend to recommend going with spray foam insulation for your pipes as there are many benefits compared to other insulating materials for this job. Open cell spray foam is a good option for insulating pipes indoors, it is less expensive than closed cell spray foam because it doesn’t offer the same R-value or any moisture controlling properties.

Closed cell spray foam is stronger and denser than open cell, and can be used for outdoor applications as well as it offers the moisture control and high R-value. Spray foam can get to hard to reach places and has no problem with awkward shaped spaces. This coupled with it’s amazing sealing and insulating properties makes it the superior choice to insulate pipes with.

 

Check out the areas below covered by Spray Foam Kings offering pipe insulation services in the GTA.

 

 

Source: http://sprayfoamkings.com/blog/the-less-known-benefits-of-pipe-insulation/

Expanding spray foam benefits

Learn the benefits of installing expanding spray foam insulation in your home or business property.

Have you really thought about if you have the most efficient insulation for you home? Truly, when you have the best insulation system for your home, it is a crucial factor in making sure you keep those agonizing bills low by creating a block and having all the conditioned air in your home stay in and not get out and vice versa. There are various ways to achieve this, but the explosion of expansion foam is certainly happening for a reason.

To fully understand the concept, expanding foam does exactly that, it expands and then hardens or ‘cures’ when it comes into contact with the air. When it does cure after it’s expanded and filled the space it was applied to, it hardens and blocks air from passing through it. Often it comes in DYI canisters that have the material compressed, you can attach a nozzle where it sprays out of. This system has surpassed all traditional methods of insulation such as fibreglass.

This material is generally composed of a two material mixture, a poly resin and an isocyanate. When this is sprayed into wall cavities, holes drilled into a wall, slabs of concrete or roof tiles, it creates a fantastic air tight insulating layer. The way it works is it traps microscopic gas bubbles in the foam. A major contributing factor to it’s superior insulating ability is it’s low density.

When the material is sprayed out of the nozzle, it is directly injected into every nook and cranny that exists within the wall or roof. Due to the high pressure, it is literally pushed into every space that is within the cavity it’s being injected in, where it will completely seal off every hole. When all holes are filled, it will then come out the entrance hole in the shape of spaghetti. When these noodle shaped pieces of the material exit the hole, that’s when you know that there is a proper seal. The excess material is then scraped off and the whole is filled with a mortar of sorts.

Research shows that a forty percent  loss of energy through air loss out of various spaces. When you properly insulate , air leakage will minimize and ultimately save you money. There is a much higher degree of air sealing ability in expanding foam compared to traditional insulations.

benefits and advantages of using expanding spray foam insulation

THE PROS TO EXPANDING FOAM INSULATION

  • Simple to instal- the simplicity of installing this insulation is another benefit. Just spray the material into the hole that you need insulated. There is no need to measure anything, no cutting or gluing is involved.
  • Adheres to surfaces- this material is in liquid form and therefore covers more ground so to speak. When it is sprayed and sticks to the surface it the expands to fill any spaces.
  • Extremely durable- unlike other types of insulations, expanding foam is extremely durable. It doesn’t rot and wicks moisture away. It is also inhospitable to insects and rodents that can cause further damage.
  • Climactically suitable anywhere- this material will fair well in any climactic region of the world. Traditional insulations usually have a weakness in moist climates as they can retain moisture and develop mould . Expanding foam insulation however avoids any of these situations as it is a repeller of moisture.
  • Efficient blocker of Heat transfer- this material will block heat from transferring three different ways 1. Convective where air is the main transferring way, 2. Conductive, this is when there is a flow from a lower temperature to a higher or vice versa, 3. Radiant which is when heat is in the form of light emitting from warm surfaces.
  • Saves money- expanding foam is so good at blocking air transfer that it will immediately slash your energy bills by a staggering %40.
  • Sound dampener- a by-product of using expanding foam insulation is that it will behave as a noise reducer as well. Sound travels in vibrations, and if you disrupt that vibration with expanding foam insulation you’ll have a quieter space.
  • Air quality improvement- it will improve the quality of air as it keeps spores, germs and pollens out.

Source: http://sprayfoamkings.com/blog/expanding-spray-foam-benefits/

Avoid ice dams forming on your roof with spray foam insulation

How the ice dams formulate

When you live in a climate that has sub-zero temperatures during the winter months, then your homes insulation is something that isn’t taken lightly. Truthfully though, a home that is properly insulated isn’t only an indicator of a warmer home, but has benefits that reach further into other areas of a safety and also economic.

As kids, you may have been in awe of homes that had large and long icicles that were hanging off of the eaves drops. Sadly, these spectacles of nature are more often than not a result of a dangerous problem looming inside the roof of the home. There are solutions to having these ice dams from forming. What is the solution to this problem? Well lets have a look at the complete picture to get an idea.

learn how to avoid ice dams building up on your roof in Toronto

If an attic isn’t sufficiently insulated, or improperly, warm conditioned air seeps through gaps that are between the insulation of the homes ceiling and the attics floor. In effect, the heated air can melt the snow that has rested on the roof of the home. Naturally, this will create a runoff from the roof. When this runoff ultimately reaches the colder eavesdrop, it can freeze up again and hence lead to an ice dam development. This process repeats itself until a noticeable buildup occurs and and ice dam then backs up further up the roof, this can sometimes devastate shingles and peel them off the roof. At this point the roof is now susceptible as it’s shingle membrane has been compromised, so all of the melting of the snow and its water runoff have nowhere to go but into your home.

The ice dam consequences

There are a few problems that can come to pass as a consequence of the formulation of ice dams on your roof, of which many can be serious:

  • ice buildup can cause damage to eavestrough
  • water can penetrate your roof and damage walls and ceilings
  • if you have traditional insulation, it can get wet and lose it’s R-value
  • mildew and mold can develop dangerously on moist insulation
  • shingles can dislodge
  • icicles can injure someone if they fall
  • ice buildup can lead to shingle damage

The telltale sign that your roof may be in jeopardy are the formation of icicles on your eaves. Check out our flat roof insulation service for homes in the GTA here:

Temporary fixes for ice dams

If old man winter has already rolled in and you just begin to notice that you are at risk of your roof developing ice dams, there are several solutions you can opt for to help with the management of future problems arising. Though none of these are permanent solutions, they can help you get through the winter at hand whilst minimizing damage.

Avoid climbing up a ladder to try and chip at the ice with an ice pic or shovel, this is extremely dangerous as the conditions can be slippery, it can also potentially damage the shingles and the eaves on your roof.

A good temporary solution would be to use calcium chloride to help melt away the ice that is in the passageway, this way the water has a place to drain away into and not keep building on existing ice. An efficient way of distributing this is to take an old article of clothing and fill a sleeve with the calcium chloride, place it on the roof vertically. What this does is it creates a trough where any melting ice can safely pass through.

Furthermore, another temporary fix if there is a leak, is to bring in a high-powered cooling fan into the attic and freeze the area where this water I leaking into. What this does is it keeps the water in ice state limiting water damage until spring comes around and a more permanent solution is available.

Permanent solutions for ice dams

Truthfully the above mentioned temporary solutions are only short term and they will only ease the damage done for that season. Some people may have all the answers , but there’s only one way that you can minimize the formation of ice dams permanently, and that’s by creating the same temperature on your roof as the outdoor air.

The proper way to achieve this is to insulate your attic properly, and of course to get the best seal to avoid any leaks that would melt the snow and create this potential hazard. How is the best way to achieve this air seal? With spray foam insulation.

A major difference from spray foam insulation and traditional insulation, is that air leaks are difficult to avoid with traditional as it is difficult to get a solid seal in hard to reach nooks. Spray foam insulation on the other hand has an expanding nature that happens when it is applied and it fills all the nooks and crannies that would otherwise be impossible to seal. This creates the most airtight seal in the business.

The heat generated by your homes heating system will stay where it is meant to when you use spray foam insulation, and you will drastically minimize the risk of an ice dam forming as an attic sealed and insulated with spray foam has little to no air loss. This will ultimately leaving you to enjoy your homes comfort while not having to worry about any damage occurring on your roof which can lead to other hazards.

Source: http://sprayfoamkings.com/blog/avoid-ice-dams-forming-on-your-roof-with-spray-foam-insulation/

Spray foam insulation for cottages in Ontario

Winterizing your cottage with spray foam insulation

Classic cottages in Ontario are rarely properly insulated and have little if any. Generally the climate allows for this as most cottage goers enjoy the cottage during the summer months where insulation isn’t necessary, as the warmer weather doesn’t create moisture inside and the structure keeps a dry atmosphere. The problem is that some people opt to enjoy their cottage during the winter months as well, and create a winter getaway. To achieve this, there is no way around it, the cottage has to be insulated. Just like your home in the city, insulating the cottage will create a comfortable indoor environment from season to season, and it will manage the moisture.

best spray foam for cottages

To properly winterize the cottage, it will take a methodical approach that entails insulating and sealing, this is the only way to optimize efficiency and comfort in the structure. After insulating, plumbing pipes will not freeze and burst, doors and windows not need shuttering during the winter, and appliances will be usable throughout the year. This will make your cottage fully ready throughout the year.

The majority of cottages have air leakage problems and they usually leak through the roof cavity and exterior walls. Generally speaking most walls and roofs are neither properly insulated or sealed from drafts. If professionals are brought to task, they will almost always recommend a proper seal be done first. This will allow for the proper control of air vapour/moisture accumulation and air movement. After the seal follows with a high grade insulating product the will bring the R-value where it should be for the climactic character in the region the cottage is located .

GETTING RID OF OLD INSULATION

Your cottage can be in various degrees of conditions, however there usually is a required removal of insulation that is there. They are probably underperforming materials and in many situations actually deteriorating. Outdated insulation is often a liability to airflow and hinders proper air circulation. The best route to take of course is to re-insulate from scratch, especially a roof cavity. This will allow for the best air sealing an proper installation of a new insulating material. Additionally, any repairs that were once a big job are now easily accessible as you will be exposing wires and plumbing and generally the bare bones of the structure. Old insulation has to be done right from the get go, doing it through and expert will ensure a proper, safe and clean job while creating a proper installation of the new material that will bring years of comfort to the space.

ATTIC INSULATION INSTALLATION

When done correct, attic insulation can significantly reduce the cost of heating in the winter months while creating an ideal indoor temperature and atmosphere. No matter the season, attic insulation will create an indoor atmosphere that will balance both air moisture and temperature leaving the space more comfortable. A properly sealed attic is crucial to avoid any air leakage. Properly sealed, a space will use far less energy and ultimately reduce bills and save you money. Generally this will slash the winter bills , however this can also have positive effects during the summer months as well as it will help with air conditioning. The high quality insulation that will be installed will offer the proper thermal protection for harsh winter environments, as well as air circulation optimization.

SPRAY FOAM INSULATION FOR THE COTTAGE

A cottages unique needs can be met with spray foam insulation, as it is an ideal air sealer and insulator. It is the best insulating material is it is the king of getting into all nooks and crannies to avoid any major air leakage, effectively sealing roofs, walls and everything in between that would allow for air flow. It can also present solutions for weatherproofing windows and doors where air leakage poses a significant problem. Most professionals will admit that spray foam is a far more advantageous product on the market when it comes to insulation. If expertly installed you can benefit several ways: moisture control; air leakage will be stopped; R-value can be achieved far better than any other product out there. Spray foam is the ultimate solution for winterizing a cottage, as it will outperform all other materials, as well it is maintenance free an won’t ever need replacing in your lifetime

Source: http://sprayfoamkings.com/blog/spray-foam-insulation-for-cottages/

What is closed cell foam insulation ?

They type of foam insulation you should use.

Good on you for choosing to take your homes efficiency to the next lever and deciding to go with spray foam insulation. As you embark on researching this hot topic, you’ll find out that there are generally two types of spray foam that you can go with: closed cell and open cell. Which you decide to go with will depend on what your situation is and more specifically what area you want sprayed and what your budget is like. Read further to get a better understanding on the difference between them.

learn about closed and open cell spray foam

OPEN CELL

The cheapest of the two spray foam insulations on the market, open celled spray foam gets its “open” from the cells that created the matrix of the foam. After the foam is sprayed and it expands, these open cells then trap air after it hardens and it then behaves as an insulator.

Open cell spray foam is more flexible than closed cell and this is because it is much softer than the closed cell. It’s a superior product for areas that require less insulations, and for surfaces that experience frequent temperature fluctuations. This type of foam insulation averages at around R 3.5 per inch as an insulating value.

It’s good to note that due to the open nature of the foam cells, this foam is penetrable by water, though it does create and air seal. Because of this characteristic, it is good to make a note that this foam solution shouldn’t be used as a vapour barrier.

CLOSED CELL

Open cell and closed cell insulation share the similarity that they are both consisted of cells that are densely packed together. The difference is that closed cell foam is exactly that “closed” and has gas trapped in these cells. It is this trapped gabs that behaves like an insulator. This has a higher R value than air, and it raises the this foams R-value to an R-7 per inch.

Also, closed cell spray foam is more rigid and it doesn’t allow for the passage of moisture which allows for it to double as a vapour barrier. It can also be used as a structural reinforcer. It is ideal for areas that need extra insulation value, as well as protections for moisture. Roofs, exterior walls and attics are all perfect places to use this particular foam.

Both of these insulations have revolutionized the insulation world. You can purchase DIY kits, however it is recommended to go with a professional reputable company, as it does require a finesse to apply it properly.

Contact Spray Foam Kings for a free no obligation estimate and cost for spray foam insulation, as well as the advantages of spray foaming any property in the greater Toronto Area.

Source: http://sprayfoamkings.com/blog/what-is-closed-cell-foam-insulation/

Commercial building spray foam insulation

What is considered a commercial building ?

While building codes vary from municipality to municipality, generally speaking anything over three family dwellings can be considered a commercial building. Even though residential and commercial construction have different insulation requirements, the idea is exactly the same: safe and comfortable to occupy through proper insulation and air sealing, all while being economical. The higher the R-value, the less outside air can penetrate the insulation. This is a fact and doesn’t change no matter the construction method.

Sadly, the code doesn’t really talk about the air sealing. At www.sprayfoamkings.com we know all too well what this will entail, and rightfully so we take extra care to air seal all of the projects we work on. The truth is spray foam insulation thankfully behaves as an air sealant as well as an insulation all in one.

There are various types of commercial buildings. From schools to churches and much more, they come in all sizes and have different styles of construction. Generally, we will have a look at masonry, wood and metal construction, as well as sound dampening as another characteristic of the spray foam insulation.

commercial spray foam contractors

METAL CONSTRUCTION COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS

It is a very popular construction material in commercial buildings, structural stele or light gauge from, metal has some challenges when it comes to insulation due to its conductivity. If there isn’t an exterior insulation that is seamless layer, the metal conducts cold air into the structure in massive amounts. This of course will affect the R-value of the wall negatively, as the true r-value is now compromised no matter what the value of the insulation in the cavity is. And it doesn’t stop there, the cold metal can create a freezing and condensing effect of moisture that is in the air, either on drywall or the inside of the wall. Metal building construction should never have a penetrable insulation used like fibreglass, as this condensation can happen and wreak havoc. Vinyl covered insulation will allow for moist air to come in contact with the metal and it will freeze as it condenses in frigid temperatures. This is where the ideal characteristics of closed cell spray foam insulation will bring both vapour barrier and insulating effects to the table making it an ideal choice for this type of application.

WOOD CONSTRUCTION COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS

It’s the size by which commercial wooden framed buildings can separate themselves from a residential building. There is little difference when considering insulation and air sealing in the buildings, but the potential hazard is much greater if there is a system failure, for example if a pipe happens to burst due to drafts in a floor it would be significantly worse if it took place on an upper level of a nursing home.

MASONRY CONSTRUCTED COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS

To provide any sort of comfort, all concrete, block and brick walls must be insulated. When in new construction, by far the best at this task is spray foam insulation, and it would have to be installed either behind the drywall, or on the outside of the structural wall. In any case, there should be an unobstructed layer of foam , so it is vital to leave space between the masonry and the framing for the spray foam. It is also possible to fill cavities for a retrofit scenario.

Source: http://sprayfoamkings.com/blog/commercial-building-spray-foam-insulation/