Category : insulation

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter

frozen pipes

Northeastern winters can be beasts in themselves, but they can also bring dangers like frozen pipes. Every year, thousands of homeowners experience pipe bursts in their homes due to cold temperatures. These situations can cost hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars in damage and the worst part is – they can be prevented. Here, we share some tips for how to prevent frozen pipes this winter:

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5 Benefits of Home Insulation

home insulation

When you think of insulation, you probably think about how insulation can keep your home warm in the winter. In reality, though, insulation is beneficial for your home all year round. At Oliver, we offer a variety of home insulation materials for your attic, walls, floors, basements, and more. It’s is a great investment, and here’s why:

Comfort

Because insulation will keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, you and your family will stay comfortable all year round without having to crank up your HVAC unit, rely on extra blankets, invest in fans, or settle for a too-hot or too-cold home.

Energy Savings

Did you know that a home that is under-insulated or not properly insulated can lose between 20% and 30% of its energy? Air leaks around your windows and doors or in your attic or basement can waste your energy. That means that your heater and your air conditioner will have to work harder to keep your home warm or cool (and a harder-working HVAC system means a higher energy bill). With proper home insulation, you can keep your home efficient and keep your energy bills down.

Sound

No one likes to hear someone snoring in the room above them, and that’s where home insulation comes in handy. Home insulation helps to absorb the sounds that bounce off of your walls and floors, making your home a quieter place to live and relax.

Carbon Footprint

If you’re interested in living a “green” lifestyle, the right insulation (and the right amount of it) can help you do that. Since insulation allows you to use less energy and in return, produce fewer emissions, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint and your impact on the environment. Plus, we can help you pick out the right type of insulation that has the smallest environmental impact.

Resale Value

When it comes to insulation, not many people think about its resale value. If you’re thinking about selling your home in the next five years, updating your insulation can be the difference between a fast sell and a slow sell.

If you’re interested in the many benefits of home insulation, don’t hesitate to contact our HVAC specialists.

Blog BONUS

Now that you know the benefits of insulation, let’s talk about the other piece of the puzzle – air sealing. The right insulation is crucial, but if you’re leaving escape routes for your heated air, you still won’t get the results you’re looking for. Take a look at this case study to learn more:

If you struggle with hot and cold spots in your home, schedule an appointment for a free in-home analysis with one of the Oliver experts today!


Is It Time to Replace the Ductwork in Your Home?

duct cleaning

Many homeowners have central HVAC systems, which means they have two communicating units (an indoor and and outdoor) as well as ductwork that runs through the house. If you’re one of these homeowners, you probably don’t think much about your ductwork, but it’s essential for carrying heat or air conditioning to the various vents in your home.

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What Exactly Is Cellulose Insulation?

At Oliver Heating & Cooling, we offer a variety of residential insulation services including attic insulation, basement insulation, crawl space insulation, garage insulation, and more. While you may think all insulation is created equal, it’s not. One of our most popular types of insulation is cellulose and our insulation experts are here to explain what it is and why you may want it.

Cellulose vs. Fiberglass

Cellulose insulation is a smart alternative to fiberglass insulation – while fiberglass insulation comes in pre-formed batts that are tucked into open areas, cellulose insulation actually is sprayed or blown into walls. This means it will conform to corners and crevices better than batts will and it will create a better barrier against drafts. Best of all, cellulose insulation can be installed over existing insulation to increase the energy efficiency of your home.

Types of Applications

At Oliver, there are three different types of cellulose insulation applications for your home. First, it can be blown into large spaces like attics to create a fluffy area of protection for an entire room. It can also be blown into smaller areas like wall spaces or enclosed cavities. This is a denser application and provides a more concentrated area of protection. Lastly, cellulose insulation can be wet-sprayed into open cavities so that it creates a stickier application. This technique is often used for new construction.

A Green Option

Cellulose insulation is made from 75%-85% recycled paper fiber and 15%-25% fire retardant material, making it one of the most environmentally friendly insulation options on the market. In addition, it takes very little energy to actually produce cellulose insulation, so you can choose it knowing that you’ve made your home a greener place.

If you’re interested in a cellulose insulation application for your home, give our insulation experts a call today. We’ll set up an appointment and have it installed as quickly as possible.


9 Fun Facts About Insulation

Attic insulationMany homeowners don’t realize how important insulation is for their home. Insulation not only reduces the transfer of sounds, but also reduces the transfer of heat to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Because energy costs have risen in the past century, a properly insulated home is a must. Here are some fun facts about insulation from our heating and cooling service company:

1. Dirty homes

The earliest form of insulation was during the Middle Ages, when the walls of homes were stuffed with mud and straw to keep out the cold.

2. Early asbestos

Asbestos insulation originated in Ancient Greece. The term translates to mean “inextinguishable.”

3. A step toward better health

In the mid-1970s, home improvement companies traded asbestos insulation for fiberglass insulation after finding out the harmful effects asbestos has on lungs.

4. Whoops!

Fiberglass was invented when a young researcher named Dale Kleist attempted to create a vacuum-tight seal between two pieces of glass and a high-pressure jet of air shot through and turned them into fibers.

5. Losing energy

Today, an un-insulated home can lose up to 60% of its energy through walls and the attic.

6. R-values

Insulation is measured using an “R-value,” which refers to its resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the better it will insulate.

7. Jean insulation?

Some of today’s environmentally friendly insulation materials include recycled cotton denim, paper or plant cellulose, and sheep wool.

8. A name for those blankets

Large blanket pieces of fiberglass insulation are called “batts.”

9. Varieties

There are around 10 different types of insulation that you can use to keep your home comfortable and energy efficient.

At Oliver, we offer home insulation including spray foam, blown fiberglass, blown-in, radiant barrier, rigid foam, injection foam, and cellulose. If you believe your home is under-insulated or improperly insulated, give us a call. We’ll help you figure things out.

Blog BONUS

Do you have rooms over a garage that are constantly cold? Watch how proper insulation and air sealing solved this homeowner’s common problem:

 

If your home has problems with hot and cold spots like this, schedule an appointment for a free in-home analysis performed by one of the Oliver experts.


The Benefits of Remodeling Your Basement

Are you considering turning your basement into a finished living space? If so, our basement remodeling experts can help you design the area and turn it into the game room, living room, laundry room, or spare bedroom you’ve always wanted. In addition to having that extra room, there are several other benefits of remodeling your basement:

Home Value

With a finished basement, you’ll not only add more square footage to your home, you’ll also add overall living space, and both of them can increase your home’s value. If you ever decide to sell your home, you’ll be able to list it as a larger size and at a higher price; plus, a finished basement is a great selling point.

Energy Efficiency

Just like your attic, your basement can be the source of cold drafts and can reduce the overall energy efficiency of your home. By remodeling it and insulating it, you can create a space that maintains a more even temperature and keeps the rest of your home more comfortable.

Creativity

When you see an empty living room or bedroom, you know what those particular rooms are going to be; there’s not much more you can do with them. However, when you see an empty basement, the possibilities are nearly endless. You have the creativity and freedom to turn a basement into whatever you want it to be.

Comfort

Having a large extra space for activities, sleeping, games, relaxation, entertaining, and more can simply add more happiness and comfort to your life. You and your family will be able to enjoy your very own getaway whenever you want and use the space however you’d like to.

Check out some of the beautiful basement remodels we’ve completed:

Let us help you transform your basement and enjoy all of the benefits it has to offer. Give us a call today to learn more about our remodeling service.


What to Look for in an HVAC Contractor

At Oliver, we know trying to decide on an HVAC contractor can be tough – you want the best equipment, but don’t want to be overcharged. You also want to talk to friendly, knowledgeable technicians who have experience and can get the job done right. We’ve put together a little checklist to help you know what to look for in a good contractor:

Recommendations

When someone discovers an HVAC contractor they can trust, they often stick with them, so ask your friends or family for recommendations. If they’ve found a great company, they won’t hesitate to let you know.

Regulations

A good HVAC contractor should abide by regulations, so look into your state and local codes and regulations to make sure the one you’re considering does. Then, ask questions – ask to see their license or ask for the license number. Also ask about their business insurance and workman’s compensation insurance, both of which they should have for safety reasons.

A Written Estimate

HVAC contractors should have no problem giving you an estimate in writing for your equipment and their services. If they don’t (say they only offer you one over the phone), take it as a little red flag and talk to another company. Also, getting estimates in writing makes it easier to compare them and choose the best one.

Knowledge

A good HVAC contractor should be able to assess your situation, review all of your options, then help you decide on the best solution for your home and your financial status. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask – a knowledgeable technician should be able to answer.

NATE Certifications

A trained and qualifiedHVAC technician should have completed a program offered by the North American Technician Excellence Inc. and have gotten a NATE Certification. Make sure the contractor you want to hire employs technicians with these certifications.

Customer Service

When you talk to an HVAC contractor, pay attention to the way you’re treated. If they are friendly and you’re treated well, it’s a good sign that that’s how you’ll be treated if there’s ever a problem. On the other hand, if you’re not satisfied with their customer service, find someone else so you don’t run into problems later.

Whether you’re interested in a new HVAC system, need an electrical repair, have a plumbing issues, or want to have your insulation assessed, our HVAC and plumbing company can help. Give us a call today for more information and to set up an appointment.


What to Know About Frozen Pipes

pipe burst

It’s finally starting to feel like winter, and whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing in your eyes, it does at least mean one thing – cold pipes. If you’re regularly living in your home (a.k.a. turning on your heat and using your water), you don’t need to worry much about your pipes freezing. But if you’re planning to take a vacation during the cold months, your pipes will be more susceptible while you’re gone.

Temperature Variations

Although water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, that doesn’t mean your pipes will do the same. The temperature at which your pipes freeze depends on several factors, including what they’re made from, where in your home they’re located, how old they are, and how much insulation is around them. In general, un-insulated pipes in an attic will freeze around 20 degrees, which means pipes located in more protected areas (and ones with insulation) usually freeze at even lower temperatures.

Worst Case Scenario

If your pipes are left to the harsh cold temperatures, they may eventually “burst” and leave you with quite a mess to clean up. Many believe the reason pipes burst is because the water in them turns to ice and presses so hard against the pipe, it bursts the pipe. However, while bursts are caused by ice, the damage is usually caused in an area without ice. When you don’t use your water, pressure builds inside of your pipes. If you have an ice block, pressure will build up between the ice and your closed faucet, and once it becomes to great, it will cause the pipe to burst.

What to Do

To prevent this, make sure your pipes have the right amount of insulation for your home’s location. If you’re planning on leaving for a short period of time, you can help keep them warm by opening cabinet doors and letting warm air underneath your sink. You can also turn your faucet to a very slow drip in order to alleviate some of the pressure. If you’re leaving for a longer amount of time, the best thing to do is drain your water system to make sure there’s no water left in your pipes.

If your pipes do burst, give our plumbing repair team a call at 1-877-757-1141 and we’ll help mend the situation.


6 Places to Consider Installing Home Insulation

home insulation

When you live in the Northeast, you learn that home insulation is a very important part of your home. Not only can it keep your home at a comfortable, even temperature, but it can also help you save money on your energy bills. While you may already have a sufficient amount of insulation, there are several areas that our HVAC service company recommends considering for added insulation:

Attic Access Door

Even if your attic has sufficient insulation, you’ll want to make sure your attic door has it too. Attics get cold during the winter months, and whether your door is built into the ceiling or is a walk-in door, it can easily let that cold air out into the rest of your home. Insulate it properly and you’ll eliminate cold drafts and keep surrounding rooms warmer.

Cantilevers

While cantilevered floors are a great way to give your home some character, you have to remember that they sit beyond the exterior wall below. This means they don’t receive any warmth from the room below and can get cold. Installing insulation between the floorboards and the exterior-facing soffit can help protect the floors from cold outside temperatures.

Ceilings/Walls Next to Cold Spaces

Ceilings and walls that are adjacent to a cold space (such as an attic, a garage, or a crawl space) may require extra insulation in order to protect the room from the colder temperatures next to it. Consider extra insulation especially if the room is one you spend a lot of time in.

Joist Spaces

Many older homes don’t have insulation between their first and second levels, which allows air to easily flow from one floor to another. By installing insulation underneath the floorboards between the spaces of your home’s joists, however, you can reduce airflow and regulate the overall temperature of your home more easily.

Concrete Slab Floors

If your home has concrete slab floors that are built directly onto the ground, you know how cold those floors can get. With just 2-by-4 sleepers, strips of rigid insulation, and plywood sheets, you can create a layer of insulation to separate your flooring from the ground below and help it stay warm.

Blog BONUS

Check out this video for more information about how cantilevered architecture can impact the comfort of your home – and what we can do to fix it!

If one or more of the situations we outlined here apply to your home, schedule an appointment with one of our home insulation experts for a free in-home analysis of the impact on your comfort and energy efficiency.


Insulation Can Help in the Summertime, Too

Attic insulation

When you think of home insulation, you probably think about it keeping you warm in the winter time. The truth is, the right home insulation is a great way to keep you cool in the summertime, too.

In the Northeast, there’s a certain insulation standard that homes need to embrace in order to be energy efficient; while we do spend much of the year keeping ourselves warm in cold weather, this standard also applies to keeping cool in hot weather. You may have an air conditioning system that cools your home efficiently, but pairing it with insulation can make it work even better.

During the summertime, drafty areas of your home can let your cold air out and let hot outdoor air in. This means that your air conditioning system has to work harder (and therefore undergo more stress) in order to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. It also means that you’re paying more to keep your system going. With the proper insulation, however, you’ll get rid of those drafty areas and keep your cold air inside, where it should be.

Insulation will also help shield the inside of your home from the heat of the sun rays that beam down on it (also referred to as emission) and will help absorb any excess heat caused by convection (heat in the air caused by things like hair dryers, cooking, etc.). With a cooler home, you’ll be able to save money on your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint.

If you’re not sure whether your home is properly insulated, call our insulation service experts. We’ll set up an appointment to assess your home and determine your situation. If we find that your home needs more insulation (which is often the case in older homes), we install a variety of insulation materials, including:

  • Spray foam
  • Blown-in
  • Blown fiberglass
  • Cellulose
  • Injection foam
  • Rigid foam
  • Radiant barrier

We’ll help you choose the best type for your home. Give us a call today at 1-877-757-1141 to get started.