Archive for February, 2011

As I sit here, dutifully watching my son’s hockey team practice, I can’t help but long for the tropics.  Right now I’d give anything for some specialized gloves that kept my fingers warm but nimble so that I could continue typing.  I may even have the beginning stage of frostbite.

Okay, so I may be a little dramatic.  But it sure is cold in this building.  I understand the floor surface needs to stay cold to keep the ice intact, but surely someone could engineer a system which allowed people in the stands to be a little more comfortable.  We just installed radiant barrier insulation in our home attic and from what I’ve learned about the product, it could do wonders inside this corrugated metal building.

See, radiant barrier is a product engineered from highly reflective aluminum, 99% pure.  Unlike aluminum kitchen foil (which tears easily), radiant barrier contains an inner layer of polyester woven to form a scrim.  The inner layer makes the material easy to handle and helps give it body when installed.

In traditional attics, there are two places to install radiant barrier insulation.  One is over existing mass insulation and the other is along the rafters.  Both serve to block out radiant heat from passing into cooler air spaces.  In the floor application, it keeps the warm air from your HVAC system inside the living spaces of your home (as in winter).  When used on the rafters, it keeps radiant heat from the sun from entering your home during the winter, a process which effectively increases the efficiency of your air conditioning unit.  Both applications save you money in energy bills.

I think if this ice arena had radiant barrier insulation sandwiched between the inner and outer metal wall panels, it would be a lot more comfortable for fans.

As winter bears down on us, the thought of doing much of anything in the garage becomes undesirable. Wouldn’t it be nice to have this space available to comfortably use the whole year round?

We all use our garages for storage, hobbies, woodworking, car repair and whole a lot more. It would be nice to be able to take advantage of this extension of your house all year long but if you live in a cold winter state, it’s usually not practical. It’s way too cold for comfort.  However, there is an easy fix which most people don’t even realize: garage insulation like radiant barrier.

I recently began exercising again after a long lapse, a few years. I have found the garage to be the perfect location to do my running in place and jumping around. No, it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing area but since I exercise at 6 am, I am more concerned about finding a spot where I wouldn’t have to worry about making noise and waking anyone in the house. For me, it was ideal temperature-wise: cool in the fall and in the summer, I could open the doors if it was too hot. But, now it is winter and way too cold to do anything out there.  I don’t want my physical fitness to suffer, and I need an alternative to freezing!

After a little online research and following some talks with our contractor, I found that our garage walls are already insulated although there are no heat or cooling ducts in the area. But the doors were not insulated. That turned out to be our biggest source of cold air coming in (and the ruination of my exercise area). Thankfully, this was an easy fix. Installing the door insulation is a beginner do-it-yourself project. You can purchase the materials separately or in a kit. Basically, all you need to do is cut the pieces provided to fit your particular door and then glue it or staple it in place. It couldn’t be much easier!

Besides restoring my exercise area, this improved garage insulation has allowed me to complete some woodworking projects (instead of taking the whole winter off) and made getting down Christmas decorations a lot more pleasant. No more excuses for keeping Santa up until April!  We hope to see some improvements in our energy costs but even without that it was worth the additional insulation project to be able to use this space more comfortably all year long.  It also has provided a bit more usable living space as well.

Are you considering ways to reduce your heating bills and wonder if garage insulation is for you? This article can tell you more.

There are lots of commonly known ways to help combat home heating costs.  One is caulking windows and doors to block incoming air drafts.  Sometimes, total window replacement is necessary in order to get a good fit and a tight seal.  Another tactic to try is using foam insulation to fill cracks and spaces behind electrical outlets and wall switches.  Remember, little things add up!

If you’re heard of radiant barrier, then you know it’s a great product that can be used in conjunction with existing traditional insulationinsulation in your attic.  The radiant barrier blocks the flow of radiant heat generated by your furnace to create a cozy environment in your living spaces.  Once that heat begins to rise, it meets the radiant barrier in your attic and is deflected down to the living space.  You’ll be able to set the temperature lower and remain as comfortable as before.

The same type of technology works perfectly in your garage.  Garage insulation is used on garage doors and the surrounding joints to block the flow of warmer air, effectively keeping it inside where you want it.

Garage insulation also has some side benefits of greater privacy, and possibly even some noise abatement (perfect if you have a “garage band” family member).  For households where the garage is insulated, this product is especially important as it helps ease the burden on your HVAC system.  On cold mornings, especially, you can reduce the risk of your vehicle not starting due to low temps because the garage insulation will have maintained a consistent temperature overnight, despite drops outside.

Want to save money? Help the environment? Stay more comfortable in your home?

We were confused.  There’s been a good amount of discussion lately about alternative insulation methods and conserving energy.  After all the hype and conflicting stories, I think we finally figured things out.

Radiant barrier is another name for attic insulation, a product that should be installed in your attic.  The purpose of the product is to block the flow of radiant heat from one place to another.  Namely, from your cozy warm home up through your attic into the big open outdoors.  Paying attention now?

Every day, each minute of the winter months, you’re losing expensive air up through your attic.  Do you know how easy it is to stop?  Doattic insulation you know how easy it is to save some money for as long as you own your home by simply investing now in a little radiant barrier attic insulation?

When the heated air from your living room (for example) rises, it meets your regular mass insulation.  That stuff slows it down a little, until the insulation absorbs all it can hold.  Then the heated air just keeps rising and heads on out of your attic.  Have you ever noticed how, after a hard snow, some homeowners roofs are pretty clean of snow?  That’s because the roof is so warm from all that escaping heated air that the snow melts quickly.  That’s bad.

When you lay the radiant barrier type of attic insulation – made from 99% aluminum sandwiched over a thin, flexible, polyester woven scrim – down over the rafters in your roof, it effectively acts like a barrier to rising radiant heat, forcing it back into the living space below.  It’s lightweight, flexible, and easy to install.  All you need is a box cutter knife.

The result of using radiant barrier is a warm home, more consistent thermostat setting, and money saved.