There are many different types of insulation you can choose for your attic. When it comes to buying attic insulation, consider a few key factors about your home, the type of attic you have, and where your home is located to help you make a wise decision for buying insulation.

Blown Insulation
There are two distinct types of blown insulation: fiberglass and cellulose. These are the two least expensive and most commonly used residential insulation, with fiberglass being more common than cellulose.

Fiberglass is a popular insulation choice across the globe because it is effective when properly installed and inexpensive. Do-it-yourselfers and contractors don’t need special equipment or training. However, if an inexperienced installer does a sloppy installation job, it reduces the insulation effectiveness.

Blown cellulose fiber is known to be effective insulation for homes at all temperatures. It’s mostly made from recycled paper and is widely known to deter a variety of pests. The cost-effective attic insulation choice can be blown into existing wall cavities or newly created ones as well as onto unfinished attic floors and other places that are hard to reach with traditional insulation rolls.

Batts and Blankets Insulation
Usually made of fiberglass, this type of insulation is highly convenient to purchase, transport, and install. However, it presents a few unique and specific challenges when it comes to attic insulation. One of the primary conundrums is cutting the insulation to fit around wires, pipes, and other features in the attic. House Logic reports that this process can cost up to 50 percent of the insulation’s effectiveness.

One problem many homeowners face with rolls and blankets is that they do not play well with existing insulation. This means they are only recommended for use in homes that do not have existing fiberglass insulation installed.

Sprayed Insulation
Spray foam insulation also comes in two forms, open and closed cell. This type of insulation can be highly effective, but you’ll pay considerably more for the privilege – nearly four times what you would pay for blown fiberglass or cellulose insulation.

No matter what kind of insulation you put in your attic, though, it’s important to consider installing an attic fan at the same time. Attic fans can help improve attic ventilation. This in turn helps to reduce the buildup of moisture in the attic that could lead to mold and/or mildew in the insulation and structural damage to your home. It also helps to extend the life of your insulation, your roof, and more.

Choosing the right insulation for your attic can help you save thousands on utilities during the life of the insulation, meaning the wrong kind of insulation could cost you big by creating the need for more repairs, more frequent replacement, and higher utility bills related to hot spots and insufficient coverage. Installing an attic fan, like the QuietCool Smart Attic Gable Fan – 2830 CFM, is one more great way you can help your insulation operate more effectively.

Snow and ice are common companions to winter throughout much of the U.S. Along with snow and ice is another companion – the infamous ice dam. Ice dams are destructive forces that can cause a great deal of damage to your home. And besides the damage it can cause your home, another thing to be concerned about is whether your insurance will coverage damage to your home caused by ice dams or not.

What are Ice Dams?
Ice dams occur along the edge of your roof preventing melting water from running over the edge. What happens then is that the water gets back up behind the ice dam and may cause water damage that gets into the ceilings and walls of your home as well as damaging personal property inside your home.

Will Your Insurance Cover the Damage Ice Dams Cause?
This is the big question on everyone’s mind. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t exactly cut and dry. In some cases, repairing damage to the structure of your home caused by ice dams is covered by your insurance. But, the damage it causes to your personal property may not be.

The reason for the discrepancy is that personal property coverage usually only applies to specifically named perils (fire, wind, theft, etc.). If ice damage or ice dams are not named among the potential perils your insurance covers, you probably aren’t protected.

However, if the insurance company determines you failed to properly maintain your roof, it is not likely to pay for repairs to your roof caused by ice dams or they will only pay to repair the portion of the roof that was actually damaged by the ice dams while not addressing damage caused by disrepair, age, or improper maintenance.

Preventing Ice Dams
When it comes to ice dams, the best cure is prevention. Preventing ice dams doesn’t require spending endless hours in the cold sweeping your roof in the heart of the storm. In fact, that’s not at all advised.

Instead, consider insulating the space between your home and attic very well and installing an attic fan to improve ventilation in your attic. Keeping your attic cooler in the winter will help to reduce the melting that takes place along the edge of your roof, eliminating the formation of damaging ice dams.

Work with your insurance agent to make sure you have adequate protection for your home heading into winter and consider preventative actions you can take now to protect your home from the destructive force of ice dams all winter long.

Clearing the air inside your home is extremely important. Unfortunately, in winter months, it can become more difficult to do for a variety of reasons. These are just a few reasons why indoor air quality in homes and businesses tends to be worse in winter months.

Better Insulation in Homes and Businesses
Homes and businesses today are insulated better than at any other time in history. While this offers outstanding energy conserving benefits that help you save money on utilities, it does come at a cost. Not only does it prevent heated air from escaping your home, but it also keeps moisture, germs, and bacteria trapped inside, too.

These things are brought into your home every day on the soles of your shoes, when you’re exposed to colds and viruses, and when you do ordinary things like showering or cooking. They can lead to harmful viruses, infections, and infestations of mold and mildew. With nowhere to escape, they linger in the air inside your home until spring comes when you throw open the window and let fresh air into your home.

Chemicals Introduced Into Your Home
The other problem associated with indoor air quality in winter is that you’re doing more things inside your home than in warmer seasons of the year. This can include things like painting, staining wood, etc. Even smokers who are more likely to step outside to smoke during warmer months are more likely to sneak a puff or two inside the house rather than brave the cold to indulge. This leads to greatly diminished air quality inside your home that has nowhere to go.

What Can You do About Indoor Air Pollution?
There are several moves you can make to improve air quality in your home. From purchasing sophisticated (not to mention costly) air particle cleaners for your home to eliminate common pollutants from your house like gas stoves outputs, smoked tobacco products, etc.

One thing the EPA recommends is to increase the amount of outdoor air coming into your home. You can do this by installing a whole house fan, like the QuietCool QC CL-2250 Whole House Fan, that brings in large amounts of fresh, cleaner air into your home, while pushing out dirty, polluted air through vents in your roof.

Exposure to toxic indoor air can lead to a variety of health problems, including allergies, asthma attacks, upper respiratory illnesses, and, in extreme instances death – many of which are preventable by cleaning up the air quality inside today’s homes.

The winter is realizing its promise to be brutal, cold, and snowy for a good portion of the country. And some parts of the country have already experienced record snowfalls.

Did you know that, one cubic foot of wet snow can weigh between 12 and 18 pounds (according to Boston Magazine). An abundance of snow on your roof can lead to structural damage for your home or business.

This makes removing rooftop snow a significant concern for many homeowners and business owners across the country. Raking your roof helps prevent ice dams from forming as the snow begins to melt, allows for more efficient ventilation, and allows you to feel confident that your home is structurally protects from the weight of the snow.

The tips below will help you get more mileage from your efforts when raking your roof this winter.

Buy the Right Rake for Your Roof
When buying a roof rake, it is better to purchase a quality rake that will safeguard and protect your shingles while removing the snow at the same time. Invest in a quality rake rather than purchasing the cheapest solution. You especially want to make sure your roof rake has the rollers on wheels that will keep it elevated to prevent the rake from scraping your shingles.

Begin at the Edge
You want to begin raking near the edge of your roof and work your way up higher on the roof. This makes the work of removing the snow a little less back breaking for you.

Know When to Rake
A good general rule of thumb is that you should rake after every six inches of snow builds up on your roof. Not only will this help to spare the structure of your home from the strain of heavy snowfalls, but it will also aid in preventing the formation of ice dams.

Rake from the Ground
While it may be tempting to climb a ladder to rake your roof, it simply isn’t safe. Not only will the ladder itself become a risk for developing icy rungs and ice dams, but your boots will become hazards too. Raking from the ground removes the risk of falling off a ladder while allowing you the opportunity to remove the snow that’s weighing heavily on your roof.

Protect the structure of your home this winter by raking your roof to remove heavy snow and using an attic fan to remove moisture and condensation and to assist to prevent ice dams from forming. Little actions like these, can help keep your roof in good shape no matter how much Mother Nature throws your way this winter.

 

As a new year dawns, many people are looking for ways to cut costs and save money in 2018. While tolerable temperatures in the home and workplace are more necessities than luxuries in today’s extreme temperature fluctuations, there are things you can do that will help to cut the costs of heating and cooling your home or office.

Take a look at these smart HVAC improvements that will help you power through 2018 without breaking the bank to pay your utility bills.

Use a Programmable Thermostat
This is one of the smartest investments homeowners can make when it comes to curtailing heating and cooling costs in the home. Whether your costs are out of control during the winter months, or summer has you sweating your electric bill each month, you will find that using a programmable thermostat can help you shave precious dollars from your bills year-round.

Consider Adding a Whole House Fan
Whole house fans are the perfect accessory for efficient cooling in the spring, summer, and early fall months. In most parts of the country, whole house fans can reduce the costs of cooling your home considerably by reducing your need to run an air conditioner for several hours of the day or night. In select areas of the country it can eliminate your need for air conditioning units almost entirely.

Because the whole house fan, like the QuietCool QC CL-2250 Whole House Fan, requires less electricity to operate, your cooling costs and the impact your cooling choices have on the planet are greatly reduced.

Install an Attic Fan
An attic fan is an addition to your HVAC system that is smart in any season. It can help remove humidity that leads to mold and mildew problems in the winter and summer months while aiding in preventing harmful ice dams from forming along your roof line during harsh winter months.

Designate Heating and Cooling Zones in Your Home
Zoned heating and cooling means that you prioritize areas where you and your family gather together and spend the bulk of your time for the most comfortable temperatures while keeping lesser used areas of the home slightly less comfortable. Not only will this little trick bring the family closer together, but it will also help you cut your costs of heating and cooling – especially if you have a larger home.

When you’re planning for a future unfettered by out-of-control energy bills in 2018, these smart HVAC investments provide outstanding returns for your family, your comfort, and your 2018 budget.

If you have questions about whole house fans or attic fans, give us a call at 1.888.229.5757.

Ice dams can do a lot of damage to your home in a very short amount of time. From causing problems with mold and mildew to causing damage to the structure of your home and your possessions, it is critical to remove ice dams quickly and safely. But, is this something you should do by yourself? There are experts who provide ice dam removal services, but there are some things you can do to remove ice dams that are causing problems for your home, like those listed below.

Blow Some Cold Air on It
If water is coming into your home via ice dam, the simplest solution is to blow cold air on it. You can use a standard box fan – simply position it so that it blows air onto the leaking spot. This encourages the water to refreeze and stops the water from temporarily flowing into your home.

Create a Channel in the Ice Where Water Can Escape
Give the melting ice an escape route by creating a channel. This can be done with a wide variety of tools, including chemical ice melting solutions you can find at your local stores. Just be careful that the solutions you choose – especially if chipping away at the ice is your preferred route – doesn’t endanger the structure of your roof.

Clear Snow from Your Roof
This can be done with a tool known as a roof rake. This tool is nifty because you can use it while standing on the ground. This eases the insulating factor snow represents that holds warmth in and melts the snow closest to your roof – which exacerbates the problems associated with ice dams. If there’s no snow on your roof, there is nothing there to melt causing damage to your home.

Use Ice Melt in Gutters
Place chemical ice melting crystals in a nylon stocking and place in your gutters. Just remember to protect vegetation beneath the gutters where ice melt is placed with tarps so that they aren’t damaged by the chemicals.

It is much easier to prevent ice dams than it is to remove them and protect your home during busy winter months. One of the best things you can do is lower the temperature in your attic by installing an attic fan and ensuring there is adequate ventilation throughout your attic long before winter hits. This alone will help reduce the likelihood of developing ice dams on your home, so your time can be spent enjoying the snow this winter.

As a new year is here, many people are eyeing the possibility of getting more organized in 2018. One of the top places to tackle for many homeowners are much-neglected attic spaces. The task may appear daunting at first, especially if you have years of accumulation to sort through. These tips can help you handle your attempts to organize your attic in 2018 like a pro.

Sort Through Your Items Well
While sorting, create three or four different piles:

Keep
Trash
Donate
Give to Family or Friends (have specific recipients in mind for this pile – otherwise, donate)

It may seem harsh, especially when dealing with items associated with strong memories. However, if you’re storing them in your attic for years at a time, the items aren’t offering you much value. Keep that in mind when deciding which items to keep or discard.

Also remember that they may have more immediate value to other friends or family members and consider offering these items as gifts to them.

Pitch the items you intend to trash. Donate and give away others quickly. For those you choose to keep, don’t forget to create a detailed inventory so you know what you have stored in this out-of-the-way place in your home.

Use Plastic Boxes and Consider Hanging Items, Too
Hanging items in your attic conserves valuable floor space and leaves you more room to stack boxes. Using plastic bins and boxes provides a sturdier framework for the items you’re storing in your attic and better protection from the elements than cardboard.

Find a Use for Items You’re Storing in the Attic
The thing about items stored in the attic is that they are serving no real purpose. With the possible exception of seasonal items, like holiday decorations, ski equipment, or winter clothing; most of these items are simply out of sight and out of mind. Consider repurposing them into something that is useful that may provide you with the benefit of the memories, without becoming clutter in your home.

Label Everything
The key to good organization is to know exactly what you have and where you have it. Label every box so that you know what is in it and can quickly locate items you’re looking for when the time to retrieve those items arrives.

Once you have eliminated unwanted, unused, and unloved items from your attic, it is important to protect the items that remain by installing an attic fan to provide outstanding ventilation, moisture removal, and to help circulate the air in your attic to keep it and the items stored there cooler.

If you, like many people, live in an area where the nights are often cooler than the days, it makes little sense to continue running your air conditioner throughout the night as the temperature drops outside. It wastes energy and causes unnecessary wear and tear on your air conditioning unit(s). This is especially true since there is a better solution to will help circulate clean cool air throughout your home for less.

This solution comes in the form of a whole house fan and it offers far more benefits for your household than you may expect – especially when daytime temps are significantly higher than evening temps.

Rids Your Home of Super Heated Air
The daytime heat can do a real number on your home, trapping hot air in your attic well into the night. This super heated air forces your air conditioning units to work harder to cool the space in your home and can make your home feel warm, even after the outside temperatures have cooled considerably.

Using a whole house fan allows you to draw the cool air inside your home, through open lower floor windows, while expelling the hot air through vents in your attic so that the inside of your home is nice and comfortable all night long – without relying on your air conditioner.

Extends the Life of Your Roof
The super heated air that becomes trapped in your attic can be a destructive force for the life of your roof. Making the switch to a whole house fan at night, in areas where the sun is hot during the day, but temperatures drop rapidly at night, can help remove the destructive, stifling air from your attic, as well as any moisture that might otherwise become trapped there to breed mold and mildew that will destroy the structure of your home and the soundness of your roof.

Can Create a Current of Cool Air Flows Throughout Your Home
Rather than isolating the primary benefits to a few select rooms, you can use your whole house fan to create a current of cool, fresh air that flows freely through your home, cooling every room it reaches. This creates a far more comfortable living space for everyone.

When morning comes, simply close your windows and turn the fan off. This can often keep your home cool for a little longer in the morning before you’ll need to turn your air conditioner on as the heat of the day really begins to boil saving you money, increasing the life of your air conditioner, and preserving the structure of your roof. Everyone wins!

If you have questions about the benefits of whole house fan in your location, give us a call here at WholeHouseFan.com at 1.888.229.5757.

When it comes to ice dams, prevention is always the best course of action. Ice dams cause a wide range of damage to your home including things like mold, mildew, damage to walls, ceilings, gutters, and more. It can even cause the attic insulation to get wet making it less effective and creating more ice damming problems.

Below are a few signs that your home may be at risk of developing ice dams.

Huge Icicles
Some people don’t even know you’re at risk for ice dams, though, until you’re looking at a beautiful display of gigantic icicles that could be a sign of future untold amounts of damage to the roof and walls of your home. In fact, icicles hanging along the line of your roof or your gutters is a sure sign that you may have ice dams.

Significant Snowfall
Even the best insulated and ventilated attics will struggle with copious amounts of snowfall on your roof. Additionally, heavy wet snow is more likely to result in ice dams that the light and powdery snow. When snow begins early in the season, like November into early December, it increases the risks of developing ice dams before the winter season is over.

Water Seeping Through Doorframes or Windows
In fact, any water penetrating the interior of your home is a bad sign as far as ice dams are concerned. If you see this sign, though, it’s actually an indication that you already have significant ice damming or residual damage (exposure) from previous ice dams that hasn’t yet been repaired.

Fluctuating Temperatures
If temperatures hover near freezing for several days while you have snow on your roof, it can cause major ice damming issues. This allows the snow to melt slowly while the temperatures are above freezing and then refreeze when they dip down lower creating the perfect storm for ice dams to form.

Ice Building Up in Your Gutters and Along the Roof
Even the smallest amount of ice in your gutters can do a lot of damage to the roof line of your home. Make sure your gutters are cleared out before the first freeze of winter, so they can drain well throughout the season.

Preventing ice dams is your first priority heading into the winter season. You do this by keeping your roof cold this winter. Make sure you have your gutters cleaned, check the insulation between your ceilings and your attic, and make sure to keep your attic properly ventilated with the installation and use of an attic fan and vents.

One of the most overlooked aspects of installing a new roof on homes today is the need for roof ventilation. Whether you deal with extreme heat or extreme cold for some or all of the year or whatever part of the country you live in, you need roof ventilation in your home.

Cold Climate Ventilation Needs
In cooler climates, where winters are long and cold, you need roof ventilation as a preventative tool for avoiding ice dams, which can cause a great deal of damage to your roof in the winter months. This damage includes  moisture entering your home in addition to the structural damage ice dams can create.

Hot Climate Roof Ventilation Needs
In hot climates, roof ventilation is an essential tool for eliminating excessively stifling air that is often trapped in your home’s attic space. This super-heated air often forces your air conditioning to work harder than necessary shortening the life of your air-conditioning unit and generating much higher utility bills throughout the dog days of summer.

In humid climates, moisture is another problem that plagues homeowners – especially when roof ventilation is inadequate for the task. These are all things you need to keep in mind when building, buying, and updating your home.

Other Reasons to Invest in Roof Ventilation
Additionally, roof ventilation helps to reduce condensation and moisture that builds up on the underside of your roof’s sheathing. This helps to prevent mold and mildew from becoming problems that plague your family’s health and damage the structure of your home. Secondly, adequate roof ventilation can help your shingles last longer – saving you thousands of dollars in roof replacement costs.

Getting Proper Roof Ventilation
Since most homes in the United States are in climates that are either warm or cold – and in many cases both according to the season – it is a wise idea for all homeowners to consider innovative ways to improve roof ventilation when building or making energy efficient upgrades to the home. The key is to get the right amount of ventilation in your roof for the size and location of your home (specifically the climate in which you live) and to supplement the roof ventilation with other tools to help clear the heat and moisture from your attic spaces like insulation and an attic fan.

Combining the power of adequate roof ventilation with other tools like insulation and an attic fan can help you save countless dollars in roof replacements, roof repairs, air conditioner repairs, and utility bills year after year – enough to make your investment pay for itself in short order.

When cold weather hits, most people take all the necessary precautions to winterize their home so the warm air stays in and the cold air stays out. However, what about your garage? The garage is often forgotten space, but if you don’t winterize this space as well, it can impact the temperature of your home dramatically.

Below are 10 ways to winterize your garage from the effects of winter.

  1. Insulate your Garage
    Garages aren’t built to keep the heat in and this can cause problems for some people during the winter. Some garage temperatures can even get as cold as the outdoor temperatures and this isn’t good if you store things in your garage. One way to keep the heat in your garage when it’s freezing cold outside is to insulate its walls and doors.
  2. Fix or Replace Weather-stripping
    The job of weather-stripping is to create a seal between your garage door opening and your garage door. But, weather-stripping can become cracked and brittle over time which allows air to seep in between the frame and door creating cold drafts. Remove old weather-stripping and scrape the remaining off using a putty knife or scraper. The smoother and cleaner you make it, the simpler it will be to add new weather-stripping, and you’ll create a better seal.
  3. Cover Exposed Pipes
    You may end up with additional unwanted problems inside and outside your house if you have a water pipe burst. Wrap your exposed pipes with foam or plastic pipe wrap to insulate them. Save a little money by wrapping them up with old towels or newspapers instead and securing them with duct tape. Shut off pipes that travel from inside or outdoor water lines and purge them before the temperatures outdoors get below freezing.
  4. Check for Debris in your Garage Door Track
    Get rid of any grease, debris, or dirt buildup from your garage door track. You may want to check things like the handles, hinges and latches for rust build up or loose screws.
  5. Install a Heater
    Although a costly item, you can regulate your garage’s temperature by installing a heater. It’s a good investment if you store temperature-sensitive items in your garage or you work in your garage often.
  6. Waterproof the Floor of your Garage
    The minute you see flurries falling from the sky this winter, you’re just around the corner of dragging in snow, sludge, and salt into your garage. Consider waterproofing your garage floor before this happens to protect it.
  7. Caulk around the Door of your Garage
    Although it may seem intimidating to you if you haven’t done it before, caulking around your garage door is pretty much the same as caulking your windows.
  8. Install a Weather Seal
    Consider installing a seal at the threshold where the ground and your garage door meet. Not only will you keep the cold out of your garage, but you’ll keep out all the insects, rain and any other thing that can make its way underneath your garage door.
  9. Installing a Garage Exhaust Fan
    A garage is a common place for many home improvement projects. Therefore, you should protect your hard work by installing a garage exhaust fan. This fan will provide the proper ventilation your garage needs for those upcoming winter snow storms that will likely leave your garage filled with gasoline odors from your snow blower.
  10. Get Organized
    To alleviate stress later, get organized now. Put away your summer and spring gear and get your cold-winter supplies ready. Take out your snow blower and shovel. Do you have that bag of salt ready? Being organized can really help get you ready for the upcoming winter months.

If you have questions about the QuietCool GA ES-1500 garage exhaust fan, give us a call at 1.888.229.5757

Winter is almost upon us, and in some parts of the country, it already feels like it is here! This makes it a good time to talk about ice dams.

Ice dams are ridges of ice that form along the edge of your roof preventing melting snow from properly draining. When the sun shines onto your roof or heat escapes from the inside of your home through the roof and begins melting the snow trapped behind the dam, the water that is backed up behind the ice dam can leak inside your home. This can cause a wide variety of damage in your home including mold, mildew, poor air quality, and structural damage caused by rotting wood.

If your live in an area where snow is a common occurrence, your home is at risk of ice dams. The good news is that there are things you can do that will reduce your risks and help prevent the financial damage, not to mention labor intensive damage, caused by ice dams.

Preventing Ice Dams
When it comes to ice dams, prevention is always the best cure. If you prevent them from happening to begin with, you’ll never need to worry about the destruction they can bring into your home.

Insulate Your Attic
Of course, the other side of that coin is that you need to make sure there is proper insulation between your home and attic to prevent this solution from simply pulling warm air out of your home and into the attic – promoting the formation of ice dams.

Install Attic Fans
Attic fans are essential tools for creating well-ventilated attics. Since adequate ventilation is one of the keys for preventing heat from building up in your attic (aiding the creation of ice dams), they are an outstanding solution for most homeowners.  The added benefit of attic fans is that they create affordable solutions that can help you maintain the structural integrity of your home.

Vent Your Attic
When you have adequate attic ventilation it will draw in cooler air from the outside while releasing the warmer air through the vents. The process serves to cool the attic and the roof in the process.

Act early to prepare your home for winter and prevent ice dams from becoming a problem in your home. If you live in a cooler weather climate where ice and snow are common occurrences, you can’t afford to overlook the importance of prevention, first; and fast action to repair and correct ice dams, second. Keep ice dams away for a happier, healthier home this winter and in the future.