Category Archives: Energy Efficiency

insulation contractors

Save by Air Sealing and Insulating

Sealing air leaks and insulating your attic are two cost-effective ways to reduce your cooling and heating costs without sacrificing comfort. They can also help create a healthy indoor living environment, which is essential as most people continue to work remotely, causing them to spend more time at home.

Ideally, you’ll want to hire insulation contractors to detect air leaks, rather than blindly caulk and weatherstrip your home. A contractor can perform an energy audit to evaluate your home’s energy consumption, identify the location of leakage, and determine the demand for insulation. He or she will perform a series of tests, such as a blower test, and provide recommendations for improvement in the order of importance.

Air Seal

Air sealing is essential for preventing conditioned air from leaving your house through cracks and openings. The recommended strategies here are to apply caulking around windows and weatherstripping around doors. Caulking may also need to be used around wall and ceiling penetrations, such as pipes, ductwork, and skylights. Foam gaskets can also be installed behind switch and outlet plates. Air sealing should always be integrated with insulation to prevent issues with moisture, reduce heating and cooling costs, and increase your comfort.

Insulate

Having insulation contractors professionally install an insulating material in your home’s attic, walls, floor cavities, or basement rim joists can improve its energy-efficiency. That should be done in new builds and when existing levels of insulation do not meet ENERGY STAR‘s recommendations for R-Values in Washington. The R-value of an insulating material reflects how well it resists heat. There are plenty of materials available, including fiberglass, cellulose, and spray polyurethane foam (SPF). The first two options can either be installed or blown-in. 

Leading Insulation Contractors Since 1982

Carrig and Dancer is a full-service insulation and energy conservation contractor who has is committed to helping residents and business owners throughout Washington improve their structure’s energy efficiency. Ensuring an energy-efficient home or office is one of the key reasons to replace insulation. Additional services offered include energy audits, sound attenuation, and replacement windows. Schedule an appointment today at (253) 584-7704 or any one of these other locations.

replace insulation

3 Reasons to Replace Insulation

Insulation, when integrated with air sealing, can reduce your annual energy bills by up to ten percent, according to ENERGY STAR, while improving your comfort. The performance of insulation, however, depends on the material used as well as its condition. That is why it is advisable to replace insulation in situations where the existing materials are underperforming, water damaged, or infested with pests.

Why Replace Insulation?

Improved Energy Efficiency

Several factors can drive up your heating and cooling costs. High utility bills are an excellent reason to get a professional home energy audit done, which can provide you with a clear picture of how much power your home is demanding. An energy audit can identify underperforming insulation, air leaks, and other sources of energy loss.

In Washington, the recommended level of insulation ranges between R38 and R60 in uninsulated attics, and between R25 and R30 in floors. Adding insulation to basement rim joists is also beneficial. Ideally, you’ll want to consider replacing the insulation in your home if its levels are below this, and you want a better performing material.

Water Damaged Insulation

Water damage is one of the most important reasons to replace insulation. A moist environment may allow mold to grow, potentially impacting your health, as well as the health of your family. Damp insulation can also cause unpleasant odors. It is essential to locate and treat the source of the water damage before installing new insulation to prevent a repeat. Contact a professional insulation contractor for assistance.

Signs of a Pest Infestation

Pests, from insects to mice, can make nests in your home’s insulation. They are especially good at getting into attics and crawlspaces. If you find an infestation, or there are signs of one, it’s a good idea to contact an insulation contractor to come to inspect the material. They can provide you with their expert recommendations on replacement options and give you an accurate estimate.

Leading Insulation Contractor since 1982

Carrig and Dancer is a full-service insulation and energy conservation contractor who has is committed to helping residents and business owners throughout Washington improve their structure’s energy efficiency. Ensuring an energy-efficient home or office is one of the key reasons to replace insulation. Additional services offered include energy audits, sound attenuation, and replacement windows. Schedule an appointment today at (253) 584-7704 or any one of these other locations.

insulation services

Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Spring

While the spring equinox isn’t until Thursday, March 19, Washington’s wildflowers are already bursting to life. The state’s longer days and rising temperatures make spring the ideal time to inspect your home’s essential systems to ensure optimal performance. It’s also a good idea to consider insulation services. After you’ve checked these maintenance suggestions off your to-do list, you’ll have more time to celebrate the arrival of spring, perhaps by attending one of these events or hiking in the Washington Cascades.

Suggestions for Exterior Maintenance

Inspect Your Roof

The roof cannot defend your home from the elements if damages or leaks are present. Prevent the potential for significant issues by regularly inspecting the roof for missing or curled shingles, excessive granule loss, and signs of storm damage. You can do this safely from the ground using a pair of binoculars.

Clean Your Gutters

Lakewood receives about 40 inches of rain each year. That water is directed away from your roof and foundation through a system of channels. Clogged gutters can block this flow of water and, over time, cause substantial damage. The best prevention method is to clean the gutters once in the fall and again in the spring.

Suggestions for Interior Maintenance

Insulation Services

Insulation services are a cost-effective way to improve the comfort and efficiency of your home. There are plenty of options for adding or replacing attic insulation. Whether you choose blanket or blown-in insulation, the key is to meet Energy Star’s R-value recommendations, which range from R38 to R60 in Washington.

Replace Seals Around Windows and Doors

Weatherstripping may have cracked as a result of the area’s cold weather. Spring is an ideal time to inspect these materials and, if needed, replace them. That will prevent air from being lost through any gaps around the windows and doors of your home. You can find everything you need at most any local home improvement or hardware store.

Carrig and Dancer is a full-service energy conservation contractor who has been providing residential and commercial insulation services throughout Washington since 1982. Other services offered include, but are not limited to, sound attenuation and replacement windows. For more information about these and other energy-saving services, please contact us at (253) 584-7704 or at one of these other locations.

residential insulation

Be an Energy Efficient Gift-Giver

Now is the time of the year your electricity bills start going up, so besides residential insulation, how can you be more energy efficient? How can you help your friends and family be energy efficient as well? With the gift-giving season approaching, energy-efficient products make for cool presents and can improve your electricity bill.

Cool Classics

Carrig and Dancer has published a holiday gift list idea before, so let’s review those before diving into new ideas! If you or a loved one are big cookers but don’t have a lot of time to do so, an Instant Pot is a perfect gift. An Instant Pot is an energy-efficient pressure cooker that spreads heat evenly and quickly. 

For those music lovers and answer seekers, smart speakers make for great gifts, as well. There’s a variety of options in a range of prices and sizes, depending on what you desire. The Google Home and Echo Dot, for example, allow you to control your music, podcasts, and even smart home products. 

Anyone that suffers from allergies, asthma, or any other immune disorders will appreciate an air quality monitor. These monitors measure Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC), Carbon Monoxide (CO2), temperature, humidity, and a few other things. They can also be paired up to smart speakers so that you can continuously monitor your home’s air quality. 

Your techy family members will appreciate a smart thermostat, especially if they live in a cold climate like Washington. Smart thermostats like the Nest Learning Thermostat allow you to monitor the heating and cooling of your home, which can help reduce your electricity bill. The Nest learns your schedule and preferred temperatures to maximize automatic comfort and energy efficiency. 

Cozy Blankets

Washington is notorious for cold winters, which means you’re cranking up that heat to make your home feel more comfortable. Blankets are a great gift to avoid this problem. A cute microfleece blanket is an inexpensive gift you can buy that will help your utility bills. Turn down that thermostat and bundle up in a comfy blanket!

Do-It-Yourselfer Necessities

That DIYer in your life will love some new power tools, and you can help save the environment by purchasing energy-efficient power tools. You’ve got an overwhelming list of choices when it comes to tools, so make it a bit easier on yourself by looking for Energy-Star labels. You can expect to save about 30 percent more energy!

Special Stocking Stuffers

Stocking stuffers are a staple for families with kids, especially ones with younger children. A unique idea is an LED animal night light to make them feel more comfortable in bed at night. For your older kids that want unusual lighting, you can find LED phrase lamps or even strings of holiday lights to go around pictures. 

Those family members that travel a lot will also appreciate an LED USB lamp because you can plug them into your laptop to give yourself a little light. You also have the added benefit of not bugging other passengers with the overhead light. 

For those always on the go, a portable battery or fuel cell for their phone is the perfect gift. Phones hold a good chunk of your life, and the worst thing would be for it to die when you’ve got a busy day ahead of you. They’re convenient, and better for the environment because you’re not idling your car to charge your phone. 

Call us for Residential Insulation

Whether you’re moving into a new home or want to improve your home comfort, residential insulation is an excellent option for you this holiday season.

Carrig and Dancer is a full-service energy conservation contractor who has been providing residential and commercial insulation services throughout Washington since 1982. Other services offered include, but are not limited to, soundproofing and replacing windows.

For more information about these and other energy-saving services, contact us at (253) 584-7704 or at one of these other locations

Why You Should Invest in an Energy Audit

energy audit

Every property, whether residential or commercial, can benefit from an energy audit. Even new construction can exhibit energy inefficiencies. An assessment seeks to uncover hidden problems that may be impacting your comfort, health, and wallet. It is one of the most cost-effective measures for not only ensuring your home is energy efficient but also reducing your environmental impact.

What’s an Energy Audit?

An energy audit includes an in-depth, room-by-room examination of the home’s interior, along with a comprehensive exterior evaluation. The best practice for identifying energy inefficiencies is to hire a professional energy auditor to complete the assessment. Professionals may employ specialized equipment such as blower doors, infrared cameras, and low-emissivity window checkers to accurately detect areas of energy loss. They will also inspect HVAC systems and evaluate appliances to determine current usage practices.

The length of a comprehensive assessment, like this, depends on your home’s square footage and appliances. However, most single-family homes take about one to four hours, on average. Once the audit is complete, the auditor will then provide you with a prioritized list of energy-saving home improvements. Ultimately, this service discovers the most effective ways for you to reduce your energy consumption, which in turn reduces your carbon footprint as well as saves you money.

Do You Need an Energy Assessment?

Here are a few signs that your home needs an energy audit:

  • Drafty rooms
  • Excessive dust
  • Condensation on the walls or windows
  • A HVAC system that continuously runs
  • Your monthly energy bills are higher than your neighbors

The Benefits of Getting a Professional Audit

An examination of your home’s energy efficiency is cost-effective. It offers substantial benefits after energy-saving improvements are made to your home. Typical improvements include air sealing, adding insulation, replacing aging appliances or equipment, and using LED light bulbs. The advantages of this project are:

  • Reduced energy bills
  • Increased comfort levels
  • Improved health and safety
  • Protection for the environment

Carrig and Dancer is a full-service energy conservation contractor who has been providing residential and commercial insulation services throughout Washington since 1982. Other services offered include, but are not limited to, soundproofing and replacing windows. For more information about these and other energy-saving services, like comprehensive energy assessments, contact us at (253) 584-7704 or at one of these other locations.

best insulation

How to Choose the Best Insulation?

There are several types of insulation available, including batt or roll, blown-in and spray. Before purchasing any kind of material, you’ll need to determine not only how much insulation is needed to fill the space but also how much thermal resistance is ideal, determined by the insulation’s “R-Value.” Ensuring appropriate R-values is key to increasing energy efficiency, saving money, and reducing outside noise.

To help you choose the best insulation for your home, we have broken this guide down into two parts: Insulation types and determining R-value.

Types of Insulation

Fiberglass Batts and Rolls. This is the most common type of insulation. It comes in convenient batts or rolls for easy transport. It is most suitable for walls, floors, and ceilings. R-values are generally 3.0-4.0 per inch. Foil-backed versions are appropriate for insulating garage doors. Advantages include do-it-yourself projects (protective clothing required) and reasonable costs. It can also be cut to fit tight spaces.

Loose-Fill Cellulose. Composed of recycled paper products, cellulose insulation is environmentally friendly and blown into place using specialized equipment, which is operated by professional installers. Best uses include existing or new wall cavities, unfinished attic floors, and other hard-to-reach areas of your home. Cellulose provides highly efficient R-values.

Rigid Boards. Rigid insulation panels can be used to insulate every part of your home. They are very effective in crawlspaces and attic spaces. Rigid boards provide good thermal resistance and reduce heat conduction through structural elements. The most common materials used in the construction of this insulation is polystyrene, polyisocyanurate, and polyurethane.

Spray Foam. Spray polyurethane foam (SPF), available in either open-cell or closed-cell, provides stellar thermal performance. Once applied, it expands to fill hidden gaps, cracks, and holes. The result is reduced air and moisture infiltration. SPF can be professionally applied to attics, roofing, and interior wall cavities. It is also good for adding insulation to irregularly shaped areas in attics or basements.

Determining R-Value

According to the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program, your region’s climate and home type determine R-value. For example, Washington is classified as Zone Four, necessitating your need for R38 to R60 in the attic and R25 to R30 in the floor. These are the most cost-effective values. Installation of R5 insulative wall sheathing is also recommended. Consider this project should you decide to replace your home’s siding.

Professional Installation

Insulation’s performance is very dependent on proper installation. The recommended strategy is to hire an insulation contractor. Carrig and Dancer has been providing insulation services to Washington residents and businesses since 1982. Our insulation services include new construction, retrofits, and upgrades. We also provide sound control and new window installation services. Contact us at (253) 584-7704 to learn more.

Autumn Home Maintenance

Autumn Home Maintenance Tips

Get ready for winter with these autumn home maintenance tips designed to maximize the energy efficiency and comfort of your home. They will also provide monetary savings by driving high heating costs down. Here are four autumn home maintenance projects for you to complete before winter’s arrival.

Upgrade Your Insulation

Adding to or upgrading insulation is one of the fastest ways to reduce energy loss. When insulation is properly installed to a building’s envelope it helps prevent the transfer of heat. A professional insulation contractor can help you choose the best insulation material and correct R-value for your area. The highest benefits are achieved when you combine insulation with air sealing.

Clean the Gutters

With a ladder or telescoping tool, regularly remove leaves and debris from the gutters, making sure to thoroughly rinse with a hose. Experts recommend completing this project once in the fall and again in the spring to prevent costly foundation and/or roofing damage. Consider installing gutter guards as well.

Eliminate Drafts

Caulking and weatherstripping can help reduce drafts and high heating or cooling bills. Remove old caulk and weatherstripping and replace with new materials purchased at your local hardware or home improvement store. Follow all manufacturer directions. Complete this project when humidity is low for best results. You may also want to consider air sealing electrical outlets using adhesive socket sealers.

Replace Windows

Autumn is a great time to consider replacing single-pane windows. Low-E windows provide countless benefits, including soundproofing, energy efficiency, and UV protection. They also have a 74.3% return on investment, according to this year’s Cost vs. Value report, which compares the average cost for 21 popular remolding projects in 149 markets with the value they retain at resale.

Carrig & Dancer has been providing insulation service to Washington State residents and businesses since 1982. Our insulation services include new construction, retrofits, and upgrades. We also provide sound control and window replacement services. Contact us today at (253) 584-7704 with your commercial or residential insulation requirements.

insulation

Soundproofing with Insulation

Insulating your home can do much more than lower your energy costs. It can also provide you with a peaceful home! Maybe you live in a busy area where there is constant racket surrounding your home or maybe there are a few people living under one roof. Whatever the case may be, wouldn’t it be nice to have a comfortable, tranquil and energy-efficient home? The answer is insulation. Insulation absorbs sounds within your home as well as noise coming from the outside environment.

How Soundproofing Minimizes Distractions

There are different types of sound that you hear inside your home. The first type of sound comes from impact noises. Impact noises are produced from movements like a person’s footsteps or a washing machine vibrating against the floor. The other type of sound you often hear in homes comes from airborne noises. Airborne noises are heard from things like traffic outside your house, voices, or even music playing.

When insulation is installed within the walls, floors and ceilings of your home, it acts as a sound barrier. The insulation absorbs the noise vibrations from the source thus reducing the amount of sound released into the adjacent area. Insulating is an effective and affordable way to improve the soundproofing performance of your walls, ceiling, and floors.

There are specific types of insulation that are meant to soundproof a building. It is important to know which types of insulation work best to reduce noise. Cellulose, fiberglass and foam insulation are all good options if you are looking to make your home a quieter place. Choose batt or blanket insulation for cellulose or fiberglass. An insulation professional can advise you as to which options are best for your specific home.

You deserve to live in a home without all the extra noise!

Carrig & Dancer has been providing insulation services to Washington State residents and businesses since 1982. Our insulation services include new construction, retrofits, and upgrades. We also provide sound control and window installation. Contact us today at (253) 584-7704 for more information on how to achieve a quieter home.

Summer Energy Efficiency

Summer Energy Efficiency Tips

The air conditioner may be cranked down low, and the kids may be spending their time on electronics, but those actions don’t necessarily have to translate to high summer energy bills. There are a lot of things you can do to ensure summer energy efficiency. Here are just five:

Program Your Thermostat & Forget About It

Installing a smart or programmable thermostat eliminates having to go through the trouble of manually changing the temperature each time you leave. When used properly, this can result in reduced cooling costs. In fact, according to ENERGY STAR, a programmable thermostat can save you up to $180 per year.

Add Attic Insulation

Attic insulation offers some of the greatest benefits. Installing the recommended R-value – a measure of how well insulation resists the flow of heat between your living space and attic – can extend the service life of air conditioners and help save you money by lowering your monthly energy bills.

When adding insulation to an attic, there are several materials you can choose from, including loose-fill, batt or spray polyurethane foam (SPF). Loose-fill and SPF require specialized equipment and experience that only a professional insulation contractor has. For optimal energy efficiency, this project should be combined with air sealing.

Keep the Sun Out

You have a lot to gain from soaking up the sun: tans, vitamin D, and better sleep. Letting too much natural light into the home, however, may result in higher air conditioning costs. Try closing the blinds during the hottest parts of the day. This is usually around 3 p.m., according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Another cost-effective way to reduce heat gain and cooling costs is to create shade around the home. Installing shade trees, screens, and porch overhangs or awnings are three great ways to increase energy efficiency. These tips are especially helpful for south- and west-facing homes.

Seal Air Leaks

There’s no getting around it: Leaky houses are more expensive to cool. Gaps, cracks, and crevices can result in a loss of conditioned air. Air sealing provides a great opportunity to improve efficiency. The recommended strategy is to invest in an energy audit. This service will test the home for air tightness. Caulking and weatherstripping can then be purchased at your local hardware or big-box retailer.

Cook Outside

On warm summer days, you don’t want to bake or roast in the oven, or boil on the stove. These appliances generate a lot of heat; causing your home to feel warmer. Instead, take your meals outdoor to cook on a BBQ, pizza oven or rotisserie. The options for outdoor kitchens are truly amazing.

Carrig & Dancer has been providing insulation services to Washington State residents and businesses since 1982. Our insulation services include new construction, retrofits, and upgrades. We also provide sound control and window installation. Contact us today at (253) 584-7704 for more ways to increase summer energy efficiency.

Emerging Technologies for Energy Savings

emerging technologies

In 2016, as told by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the energy produced in the United States was about equal to the amount consumed by residential and commercial sectors. Per person, total U.S. energy consumption was approximately 301 million Btus., although energy consumption varies depending on the climate where we live and the types and numbers of energy consuming devices we use (EIA, 2016). For example, residents of the Southwest states such as Arizona, California and New Mexico, often use the most energy to cool their homes during the summer.

In recent years, however, using energy more efficiently has become an important priority for residents, businesses, and governmental agencies alike. In fact, many states have adopted policies to encourage energy efficiency; Washington included. Homeowners are making energy efficient improvements by installing ENERGY STAR certified equipment and insulation with high R-values. New technologies designed for energy savings are also beginning to emerge. Here are just two of the emerging technologies we can look forward to soon, but in the meantime, there are many things you can do save energy.

Smart Windows

First there were smartphones, then came smart speakers, and now smart windows. Researchers at Princeton University have developed a futuristic smart window that has the potential to reduce energy costs by up to 40 percent. According to Science Daily, “the self-powered smart window controls the amount of visible light and infrared heat into the building, while the new type of solar cell uses near-UV light to power the window.” The technology promises to be inexpensive and easy to apply to existing windows. Researchers hope that once installed, users will be able to control the amount of sunlight entering their homes, and thereby improving energy efficiency, comfort and privacy via an app.

R25 Insulating Materials

Insulation can greatly reduce your heating and cooling costs. Other advantages include absorbing emitted sounds and controlling humidity. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Building Technologies Office (BTO) is developing two-inch thick polyisocyanurate board insulation with modified atmosphere insulation (MAI) cores that have an R-value of 25 (R12/inch). According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “these panels have the potential to pay for themselves from energy savings within 10 years, while saving more than one percent of all of the energy used in the U.S. today.” This insulation would be beneficial for both residential and commercial applications.