Insulation is an area of the home that isn’t visible, but the results are extremely noticeable to not only your comfort level and pocketbook, but to your health.
Air Quality and Health
Studies show that because we spend approximately 90% of our time indoors, there is a direct correlation between improved air quality and health. According to reports by the American Lung Association, poor indoor air quality contributes to cancers, cardiovascular disease, and other illnesses. Asthma is the leading chronic illness suffered by US Children, and an estimated 40 million Americans suffer from allergies. Poor indoor air quality is one of the top risks to public health, so keeping our home’s air quality healthy is a priority.
As more elements in our homes are recognized as health threats, learning how to reduce allergen levels is imperative to managing respiratory and immunity illnesses. Common pollutants like radon, molds, mildew, dander, pollen, rodent droppings, and carbon dioxide enter our homes through air leaks in the structure. Studies by The National Institute of Health concluded that "Insulating existing houses led to a significantly warmer, drier indoor environment and resulted in improved health…" National Institute of Health
Air Infiltration and Energy Loss
Air infiltration not only effects indoor air quality, it is often a home’s largest cause of energy loss – and energy loss means wasted dollars spent on utility bills. Your house may have many air infiltrations that you are unaware of. Air can travel from the crawlspace and attic through non insulated floors and openings inside wall cavities. Any kind of opening is a potential point of air loss. This includes openings for plumbing, electrical, phone, and internet outlets, appliance vents, and even windows and doors. The EPA says that about 40% of the air we breathe in our homes is actually air that has infiltrated the living space from non-insulated crawl spaces and attics. They suggest that air sealing is one of the most cost-effective ways to make a home healthier, comfortable and energy efficient and recommends blown attic insulation (cellulose) and wind baffles in their technical guidance and construction specifications for improving home indoor air quality. Read more: Environmental Protection Agency
Leaky Ducts can also be a contributing factor to air quality and energy loss. Air movement in & out of the ducts brings dirt, moisture, and insulation into the house. Studies have shown the average home loses 20 - 30% of the cost of conditioning to leaks in the duct work. Properly locating and sealing these sometimes invisible cracks can greatly reduce heating and cooling costs. Happy Home Insulation uses a small device that emits smoke to find air currents and leaks in your home. The smoke pencil allows us to locate even tiny air leaks. Sealing these leaks will help keep the building air tight, allowing the cool air to stay in during the summer and the warm air to stay in during the winter.
Cellulose Insulation naturally protects against air infiltration and air leaks due to its low air permeability. It has an R-Value of more than 3.8 per inch in comparison to fiber glass which has an R-Value 2.2 per inch. Cellulose is also the safest and most environmentally-friendly insulation available. OSHA states that cellulose has low toxicity and does not produce significant gaseous emissions, unlike fiberglass and some types of foam insulation.
Cellulose is a Green, environmentally friendly product. It has the highest recycled content of any insulation and is treated with natural, non-toxic compounds to resist fire, insects and mold. The natural fire retardants are so effective that cellulose insulation is one of the most fire resistant building materials found in a home. The dense nature of cellulose insulation slows the spread of fire, and can actually suffocate it. The process for producing Cellulose Insulation is also environmentally friendly and extremely energy efficient. It takes at least ten times less energy to manufacture than fiberglass insulation and approximately 20 times less to make than foam. Paper that is not recycled ends up in landfills and produces greenhouse gasses as it decays. Converting it into Cellulose Insulation would save a tremendous amount of energy. No other low cost building insulation can do this.
Radiant barrier insulation uses NASA technology to reflect up to 97% of radiant heat energy. When used in the attic it can reduce the attic temperature by 30 degrees, raising the effectiveness of your insulation and lowering your utility bills. Reflective foil insulation reflects heat back into the home during winter or keeps the heat out in those hot summer months. Reflective bubble wrap is the perfect solution for insulating crawlspaces and is ideal for areas with high ground moisture. Bubble wrap combines the advantages of Reflective Foil Insulation with an air barrier to not only stop air infiltration, but reduce moisture, inhibiting the growth of unhealthy mold and mildew.
Spray Foam is the latest craze in insulation. When installed by professionals from Happy Home Improvements, Foam Insulation is excellent for air movement and it retards moisture. Foam Insulation's best attributes are the way it makes a monolithic seal to stop air infiltration & that it bonds to almost anything, allowing it to be used in some of the most difficult areas to insulate. Spray Foam Insulation has other great benefits. It adds strength to a building’s structure – approximately 65% more structural integrity in a hurricane situation. Foam Insulation expands to fill gaps and voids, maintaining true R-Value, retarding air movement, and can act as a vapor barrier, blocking moisture and prohibiting the growth of mold and fungus.
Foam Insulation, like many things, is no better than the quality of its installation. From the beginning, Happy Home Improvements has been committed to the QUALITY of our work. Referrals and recommendations from the thousands of Happy Home Owners we’ve made over the last 40 years, the A+ Accreditation we’ve earned with the Better Business Bureau, and the long established relationship with the Alabama Home Builders Association means you can trust Happy Home Improvements to use the highest standard of workmanship and quality products to ensure your job is a success.
Attics are where the most heating and cooling costs come from. All too many attics don't have enough insulation, insulation that's not working, or worse, none at all. Our cellulose creates a monolithic blanket that retards air 38 % better than conventional insulation! Cellulose can be blown into the nooks and crannies in the attic – areas where fiberglass is practically useless. If you have fiberglass bats in your attic we can still help by encapsulating it with our Cellulose Insulation, increasing the R-value, stopping air infiltrations, and $AVING YOU MONEY!
Cellulose insulation is often used to insulate walls. The cellulose is sprayed into the cavities, filling them completely, leaving no gaps or voids. It flows easily around any obstacles such as wiring and pipes blocking all air infiltration. Because this technique requires very specialized equipment and training, it must be performed by experienced installers like the experts at Happy Home Improvements with over 40 years’ experience.
Happy Homes offers several solutions for insulating floors. Closed-cell spray foam creates a highly effective thermal barrier when installed between your floor joists in your crawlspace. It retards moisture between the ground and protects the subfloor surface from the hot humid summer air. Radiant barrier insulation and Reflective Bubble wrap are also excellent choices for insulating crawlspaces, and is even ideal for areas with high ground moisture. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, "If you properly insulate your crawl space—in addition to air sealing and controlling moisture, you will save on energy costs and increase your home's comfort."
Happy Home Improvements has been insulating homes in the Mobile and Baldwin County area for almost 40 years. We use only the healthiest, safest, most technologically-advanced products and building techniques available. Our Cellulose Insulation, Foam Insulation, and High-Tech Foil Insulation are not only healthier and better for the environment, but are at least 38% more effective than conventional insulation. By creating an air barrier, prohibiting pollutants and allergens from entering the home, and by using safe and effective insulation with proper mechanical ventilation, Happy Home Improvements can help make your indoor air healthier than what you breathe outside.