Category Archives: save energy

6 Energy Efficient Ways to Beat the Heat this Summer

beat the heat

Air conditioning may ensure your comfort during the summer but running it non-stop during a heat wave will have you cringing when your utility bill arrives in the mail. The good news is that there are several ways you can beat the heat this summer without increasing your energy bills.

Here are some energy efficient ways to beat the heat that’ll pay off immediately.

Use your ceiling fans wisely. During the summer, ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise to push cool air down, creating a wind chill effect. This allows you to set the thermostat at a higher temperature without sacrificing comfort. Portable fans produce the same effect. Turn them off when you leave the room.

Draw the curtains. During the day, room temperatures can rise by as much as 20 degrees, especially in areas with windows that get direct sunlight. Keep your curtains closed during the summer. Blackout curtains are often the most effective at reducing heat gain.

Switch out your light bulbs. Incandescent light bulbs produce a lot more heat than you might think. They are also considered the least energy efficient. LEDs (light emitting diodes) use only 20-25% of the energy and last up to 25 times longer than the traditional light bulbs they replace. Choose bulbs that are ENERGY STAR certified.

Clean or change you’re A/C filters once a month. Your air conditioner consumes 5-10% more energy if the filter is clogged or dirty. You should change or clean the filter out on your A/C unit once a month.

Avoid using your stove or oven during the day. One of the last things you want to do on a hot day is generate more heat. Wait until sundown to use your stove or oven. Use smaller appliances, such as hot plates, crockpots, pressure cookers, and microwaves during the day. Small appliances have the added benefit of being energy efficient.

Install new insulation. Properly installed, insulation can help keep your home an average of 20 degrees cooler or warmer year-round. It will also reduce your energy bills. Look for insulation with a high R-value (the insulation’s ability to reduce heat transfer). You can choose between fiberglass, cellulose, and spray foam insulation for this project.

Garage Door Insulation

garage door insulation

As the weather heats up, it’s the perfect time to consider insulating your garage door, especially if you use the space a home gym or workshop. Adding insulation to the door’s interior channels can help keep your garage an average of 20 degrees cooler in the summer. Insulation may also reduce noise transfer, increase energy efficiency, and brighten what might otherwise be considered a dreary space.

This is a relatively easy and affordable DIY project.

Purchase the Right Insulation Material

Rigid Foam Insulation: Typically made from expanded polystyrene (EPS), extruded polystyrene (XPS) or polyisocyanurate (“iso”), rigid foam insulation is an acceptable choice for garage door insulation if they are foil-faced and fire-rated. R-values for rigid foam insulation range from 3.3 to 6.5 per inch of thickness.

Batt Insulation: Commonly composed from fiberglass, batt insulation is more flexible than rigid foam insulation, with insulation values between R-3 and R-4 per inch of thickness. Not as good as rigid foam insulation, but still a viable option, especially considering batt insulation is one of the most affordable options available.

Understanding R-Values

An R-value is the resistance of heat flow through a given thickness of material. The higher the value, the greater the thermal resistance and therefore, the energy savings. An R-value is just one of four key factors you should consider.

  • Wind
  • Humidity
  • Temperature

These are all factors that should also be taken into consideration when selecting an insulation material. For maximum energy savings, it’s also important to consider insulating the entire garage, and not just the door.

Matching Insulation to Your Garage Door

  • Steel garage doors can accommodate any type of insulation
  • Wood frame garage doors can accommodate foam board insulation. Consider applying two layers
  • Flat garage doors (doors without panels) can accommodate rigid foam insulation

At Carrig and Dancer, you will find a large selection of rigid foam backed and batt insulation guaranteed to make your garage more comfortable not only during the summer, but year ‘round. Visit our website at www.carriganddancerinsulation.com or contact us directly at (253) 584-7704 to schedule an initial consultation and free quote.

Winter Energy Saving Tips

energy saving tips

Save money this winter with these energy saving tips.

Upgrade to LED

LEDs are extremely energy efficient, consuming 90% less power than incandescent bulbs, and lasting 50,000 times longer. Although LEDs have a higher initial cost than more traditional lightbulbs, like incandescent and compact fluorescent, the cost is quickly recouped over time in lower electricity costs. LEDs are also made from non-toxic materials, generate virtually no heat, and are 100% recyclable.

Invest in insulation

Hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy costs are lost each year due to escaping heat and cold in homes without proper attic insulation. With added insulation your home becomes much more energy efficient. This will reduce the costs associated with heating and cooling your home. Other benefits of insulating your home include increasing sound control, regulating the temperature, and making your living environment more enjoyable.

Keep your air filters clean

When is the last time you changed your air filters? Changing air filters is critical to the proper performance of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, not to mention your home’s indoor air quality, as well as lowering your monthly heating and cooling bills. ENERGY STAR recommends changing air filters every month or every three months if you invest in HEPA quality filters.

Install a programmable thermostat

A programmable thermostat helps you save energy and reduce your carbon footprint, therefore helping the environment, by automating your home’s temperatures without sacrificing your comfort. When programming your thermostat, consider when you normally go to sleep and wake up, as well as the work/school schedules of everyone in the household. This will provide you with the most savings.

Adjust the thermostat at night

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save up to 10 percent per year on your heating and cooling bills by simply turning your thermostat down 7 to 10 degrees when you are asleep or away from home. During the winter, they recommend setting the thermostat to 68˚F, and during the summer to 78˚F when you’re awake and need heating or cooling.

Use ceiling fans to your advantage

Good ventilation and airflow equal increased energy savings. If your home has ceiling fans, table fans, floor fans or any combination of these, you have more control over ventilation than you may realize. Setting your fan’s blades to move counter-clockwise will push hot air up in the summer, and setting them clockwise will trap heat inside the rooms where they are, keeping them warmer during the winter.

Reduce heat loss from your fireplace

There is nothing quite like the glow, warmth, and crackle of a fire in the hearth; especially on a cold winter’s night. When in use, you should open the dampers in the bottom of the fireplace (if applicable), or open the nearest window by an inch to reduce heat loss. When not in use, keep the damper closed, as an open damper allows warm air to escape straight up the chimney.

Why Does the Room Over the Garage Feel Like a Sauna?

sauna

Have you ever gone into your walk-in closet after showering just to feel the need to shower again after exiting? Do you have a hard time keeping your room comfortable? Is this room, perhaps, over the garage? With temperatures in the triple digits, and monsoon season’s imminent arrival, it’s little wonder why.

There are several reasons why rooms directly above or adjacent the garage are SO hot in the summer. The main contributor, however, is often due to the fact that these rooms are exposed to the elements on three sides – in addition to sitting on top of a garage that is often just as hot as outside temperatures.

Other key factors for a room being consistently bombarded with heat gain include, but are not limited to, the following. Whether you’re suffering with one, or a combination of these factors, they’re all a recipe for excessive monthly energy bills and uncomfortable living conditions.

  • Missing insulation.
  • Poor air circulation.
  • Heat gain from sun struck windows.
  • Not in close proximity to the air handler.
  • Reduced capacity of the HVAC system from bad duct work.
  • Excessive heat gain from attic to first floor wall cavities.

When your home energy auditor utters the word “heat gain”, they’re more likely to be met with groans and murmurs of “Why me?”, rather than a “Heck yeah.” So how do you combat heat gain? One of the first things you should look at is your sun struck windows.

Windows are meant to allow light in – not for energy efficiency. Even triple paned glass and HD windows need added protection to offset any downsides caused by those that are in the sun’s direct path. Installing shade screens on sun struck windows is your best bet for making these rooms more comfortable.

Shade screens, also referred to as privacy screens, can drastically cut the heat gain in half before it gets the chance to hit the window. Window treatments and film don’t do nearly as a good a job. Weatherization, according to SRP, is yet another nemesis we need to combat.

Weatherization includes sealing any, and all, air leaks within your home. Working from the outside in is important if you’d like to keep your conditioned air inside your home for longer periods of time. Weatherization also includes locating and remedying areas in need of increased insulation materials.

Insulation may be low or completely missing in rooms above the garage – especially if the room is isolated from the rest of the house (often the case in additions). In terms of added comfort, it pays to have an insulation contractor come out, and assess the insulation within this area of your home.

Insulation Tips To Save You Money

insulation tips

Unless you live in Paradise, where the weather is almost always perfect, your home will require some kind of heating, venting, and air conditioning system to cool you down in the summer and warm you up in the winter. This, however, accounts for more than half of your energy use – which can really put a damper on your monthly electricity bills.

Increasing the level of insulation within your home could save you hundreds of dollars. This home improvement project is essential for maintaining an energy-efficient and comfortable home. Energy efficiency is the act of ensuring the energy you consume is used efficiently by properly maintaining your HVAC equipment and increasing your home’s thermal resistance.

Maximize Your Savings with These Insulation Tips

Insulation Tip #1: Locate Problem Areas

Many homes throughout Washington have been found to be lacking adequate amounts of insulation in areas such as attic spaces. These areas allow warm air in the winter and cool air in the summer to escape all too easily. This can really put a strain on your HVAC system. An in-depth energy audit can provide you with this information.

Insulation Tip #2: Check the New Insulation’s R-Value

Knowing what your recommended insulation’s r-value – a measure of thermal resistance – is a necessity. Each person’s recommended values will differ from one another depending on their area’s climate and the type of HVAC system they use. The higher the R-value; the greater the effectiveness of your insulating materials.

Insulation Tip #3: Select the Appropriate Type of Insulation

For insulation to perform properly, and provide you with ample benefits, the appropriate type of insulation materials must be chosen. This decision should be based on performance desired as well as your budget. Many insulation materials exist including fiberglass, mineral (rock or slag) wool, plastic fibers, natural fibers, cellulose, and spray foam.

Insulation Tip #4: Seal Off Any, And ALL, Air Leaks

This is the easiest way to begin insulating your home. Many homes, according to Energy Star, lose over 20 to 30 percent of the air that moves through its duct system due to leaks and poor connections. Finding, and subsequently sealing, those leaks will prevent heated and cooled air from being lost – thus saving you money.

Contact a Insulation Contractor Today

A expert insulation contractor can provide you with an objective assessment of your home’s current insulation levels and materials. They can also guide you on the best methods to correct areas where improvements are needed. This assessment will help you to save money and energy. We invite you to contact Carrig & Dancer today at (253) 584-7704.

How to Save Energy During the Holidays

save energy during the holidays

What you don’t want to do if looking to save money on high energy bills.

It is the most beautiful time of year once again!

With twinkling lights indoors and out, on virtually every corner, it’s true that Christmas is nearly here! That said, however, those twinkling lights and other important rituals of Christmas can get quite pricy which is why we want to help you save energy during the holidays with this month’s post.

6 Tips to Save Energy During the Holidays

#1: Unplug Holidays Lights During the Day

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you’ll save more money on electricity if you limit the time your holiday lights are on to less than six hours per day, and ensure you turn them off when you’re away. It’ll also save you the expense of locating a tiny bulb in your tree and replacing it when it burns out.

#2: Set Holiday Lights on a Timer

Setting your holidays lights on timers provides benefits that are two fold – it allows you to turn them off or on while you’re away, thus giving the illusion that you’re still home, and it allows you to save money knowing that the lights will automatically turn off at a specified time should you forget.

#3: Switch to LED Christmas Lights

It’s a fact! LED Christmas lights use 90% less electricity than regular Christmas lights. Plus they’re much safer; especially for those of you setting up a real tree this year.  You can typically find these at your local retailer for under $10.00 depending on how many lights per strand you desire.

#4: Reduce the Number of Outdoor Displays

Arguably, the holiday season is the one time of year that the phrase “go big or go home” holds true for many, but unless you want to see your December electricity skyrocket you may want to consider cutting back on the outdoor displays; even if it means not outdoing the neighbor next door.

#5: Say NO to Gifts that Require Batteries

Forty percent of all batteries are purchased during the holiday season, which accounts for big dollars spent, according to energyquest.ca.gov. This holiday just say NO to gifts that require batteries! If you have no choice in the matter, then you may want to consider rechargeable batteries.

#6: Buy Energy Star Rated Electronics

Energy Star rated electronics – big screen television sets, Blu-ray players, video game systems and more – use up to 60 percent less electricity than traditional non-energy star rated electronics. Be sure and visit energystar.gov for a complete list of qualifying models so that you can shop smart this holiday.

Happy Holidays!

~ From your friends at Carrig & Dancer Insulation

New Windows

Replacement Windows

replacement windows

Should I replace my home’s windows?

The decision to replace the windows in your home is a big one.  How do you know if it’s really necessary?  With time and use, windows wear out.  They can become less energy efficient and begin to break down structurally.  There are a few definite signs that will let you know if it is time for replacement windows.

 

New Windows1.  Windows Become Drafty

All windows will let a little bit of air into and out of your home, but you should not be able to detect a draft.  If you can, then the windows are letting too much air through.  Over many years of use windows can become warped or the frames can become loose which would allow too much air to pass through.  If this happens your heating and cooling system will have to work harder to keep your indoor temperature at a comfortable level.  That will cause your energy bills to be higher, which is a sure sign that the windows need to be replaced.  Weather stripping is a temporary remedy for this problem, but since sealants expand and contract, the leaks will not be sealed for very long.

2.  Difficulty Opening and Closing the Windows

This sign is a pretty obvious one.  Clearly, if you cannot open or close your windows they are no longer useful and ne to be replaced.  Wooden windows can warp and cause them not to go up and down.  Metal windows, when not properly painted can rot or rust, which can also cause them not to operate properly as well.  Double hung and triple hung windows utilize a balance system that allows them to move up and down.  If this malfunctions the windows might suddenly slam shut, which is hazardous.

3.   Condensation Between Panes on Double or Triple Paned WindowsWindows

If there is condensation, fog or even white calcium deposits between the panes of glass in triple or double paned windows, it is a sign that the seal between them may have been broken.  This means that the glass is no longer insulating against the outdoor temperatures.  In cases like this, the windows, or at least the panes of glass must be replaced.

Thermostat 4.  High Heating and Cooling Costs

If your heating and cooling costs are high, old and inefficient windows may be the cause.  If the windows in your home are very old they are probably not energy efficient.  In the long run, replacing the old windows with new, energy efficient windows will save you enough money on your utility bills to pay for themselves.

If you would like to find out if your windows should be replaced call Carrig and Dancer at (253) 584-7707 or visit our website here: http://www.carriganddancerinsulation.com/ .

 

If you would like to read the original article that inspired this blog post click here.

Spray Foam Insulation Has Many Benefits

Insulating with spray foam offers many valuable benefits!  Some of them are:Image-Residential-wall

  • health benefits
  • structural benefits
  • financial benefits

Spray foam insulation cuts down on air leaks, which can account for 30% of a home’s annual heating and cooling expenses. Insulating with spray foam also aids in controling the growth of mildew and mold which can cause so many very serious health issues!  One way it does this is by greatly reducing the amount of water vapor that gets in through the leakage of air.  It creates better indoor air quality in much the same way.  Less air leakage means less dust, pollen and other particulates can get in, which is a big benefit to people with allergies and asthma.

Commercial Spray FoamSpray foam also adds a lot of internal strength to walls in the event of strong winds.  It adds resistance to high wind uplift and blow-off for roofing through spray foam’s lack of fasteners that cause holes like nails and screws, and the lack of joints or edges.

Another terrific benefit of spray foam insulation is the reduction of noise!  It can help soften the volume airborne noise, which is caused by stereos, talking, video games and tvs.  This is accomplished by sealing every crack and crevice that would allow these noises to travel to your ears.  It also reduces something called flanking noise, which happens when sound travels through spaces along plumbing pipes, electrical outlets, recessed lighting fixtures and framing connections.

Of course spray foam will also save you money!  Spray foam insulation allows heating and cooling systems tooperate at much more energy efficient levels by sealing all of the spaces where air can get into or out of buildings.  Spray foam insulation can help homeowners qualify for grants and tax credits too!

Watch this video that talks about the benefits of spray foam insulation:

If you have any questions please contact Carrig and Dancer at (253) 584-7704 or click here to visit our website for more information.

We Are Thinking Green!

thinkgreen Did you know that at Carrig and Dancer we are thinking green?  Yes, we are going green — Green Fiber  that is!  We care about Mother Earth and are happy to do our part towards a cleaner environment. That is why we offer Green Fiber Insulation. As a homeowner it gives you a safe, cost effective solution to your insulation needs.  As a retailer or dealer you can offer a quality product that is the from the nation’s leading natural fiber insulation manufacturer. Plus, since Green Fiber is made out of over 85% recycled materials it is recognized by the federal government & agencies as an environmentally-preferred product; therefore, many homeowners may qualify for a federal tax credit.*  We are proud to offer Green Fiber Insulation to you.

logo_greenfiberThinking green is just one one of many ways we are do our part towards a better planet while serving the needs of homeowners & businesses across the nation. Carrig and Dancer is committed to providing professional service for Insulation Services, Insulation Installation, Re-Insulation, Fireplace Services, Sound Control, Wall Spray, and Spray Polyurethane Foam at commercial or residential locations. We offer a variety of insulation products such as Green Fiber, Heat-n-glo fireplaces, Johns Manville, Knauf Insulation, Lennox Hearth Products, Monessen Hearth Products, Dimplex.For more info on the products & services offered by Carrig and Dancer visit our website or contact us today!

GO_GREENCurious about what you can do to go green?

Here are 50 ways you can help the planet.

 

* Please talk to your tax advisor for details on tax credit benefits & how/if it applies to you.

New Roof For Your Washington Home – New Roof Insulation

If you have been thinking about a new roof for your Washington home, make sure you do not ignore the importance of insulating your roof. When it comes to preventing the elemental effects from outside your home and preserving the climate inside, roofing insulation is a key component. The roof is often overlooked when thinking about insulation, but roofing insulation has the potential to save you a significant amount of money on your monthly energy bill. Do you have questions regarding Washington roofing insulation? Call a Carrig and Dancer Professional now and we will be more than happy to talk with you! 253.584.7704

Washington Roof Insulation