Why Cellulose Insulation Is More Sustainable Than Alternatives

Homeowners understand the effects their choices make on the environment, and that’s why they’re turning to green options. Insulation plays a significant role in a home’s environmental impact, and it’s increasingly important to be knowledgeable on the subject because more and more companies are offering environmentally conscious insulation options. Let’s explore why cellulose insulation is more sustainable than the alternatives.

What Is Cellulose Insulation?

You can find cellulose insulation in both new and existing homes. This type of insulation is one of the oldest types. It can be blown or sprayed into open areas, and it conforms to the space in which it’s being installed. This conformity allows it to create a tougher barrier against drafts and heat loss. One great advantage of cellulose insulation is that you can install it over existing insulation.

Why Is It Environmentally Friendly?

You have to contemplate the energy that goes into producing the product because this also affects the environment. Cellulose insulation is made predominantly from recycled newspaper, and it has the most significant level of recycled matter in the building industry. Among leading insulation products, this type of insulation emits the lowest quantity of embodied energy, which measures a product’s negative effects on the environment.

Cellulose insulation is also regionally produced, which means shorter shipping distances and lower fuel emissions than other products on the marketplace.

Does It Reduce a Home’s Carbon Footprint?

More and more homeowners want to know about the different ways they can reduce their homes’ carbon footprints. Cellulose insulation lowers carbon emissions because it recycles paper waste, avoiding greenhouse gases created from the paper decaying in landfills. It also creates a barrier to keep the carbon produced in a home from escaping into the environment. Thus, it can reduce your house’s carbon footprint, making cellulose insulation more sustainable than alternatives.

Is It Efficient?

Insulation is measured by R-value, or resistance to heat. A higher number means more efficient insulation for your home and lower energy bills, and cellulose insulation typically has a higher average R-value than other types.

Give Comfort First Insulation in Rockford, IL, a call for all your residential insulation service needs.

How Covid-19 Impacted the Insulation Industry

The insulation industry—like many industries in this country—took a hit from the Covid-19 pandemic. People had to prioritize their money because they lost their jobs or their businesses shut down. Let’s peek at how Covid-19 impacted the insulation industry.

Supply and Demand

The need for insulation dropped when the world went into lockdown. The pandemic put construction and home projects on hold. Then, as the world started opening up again, the demand went back up—but supplies were scarce. Not only did the supply of materials become disrupted, but so did the labor. People had to choose between work and their safety. The labor for installation, and the labor for making the product, were far from flourishing.

The government decided to boost the market, and their first courses of action involved becoming less dependent on China for its imports. Now, they want the industry and the economy to get back on track. Many companies have decided to switch their supplies from China to Germany and France. They want to de-risk the supply chain in case this ever happens again.

Pricing Impact

As an industry that gets its business according to supply and demand, the prices of insulation installation and the insulation itself rose. Companies struggled to stay afloat as the globe shut down. Consumers had to make financial sacrifices. The money wasn’t coming in, nor was it going back into the economy as it should.

Evolving Business Plan

When the global lockdown began to ease up, companies had to provide safe ways to start opening back up. They had to implement Covid-19 safety plans. How do you safely give a potential client an estimation? Should they be done in person? The insulation industry has had to adapt to the ways Covid-19 has changed the world. Consumer behavior has become unpredictable, and manufacturers have had to adjust accordingly.

Covid-19 has impacted the insulation industry, but also businesses and consumers alike. If you find yourself in the market for insulation contractors in Rockford, Illinois, Comfort 1st Insulation will answer the call! The world is learning how to recover as the pandemic slowly fades.

The Benefits of Air Sealing

Air sealing your home can do you a lot of good, including saving money on heating, cooling, and other utilities, keeping things healthier, and generally making your home feel cozier by extension. But what is air sealing and why does it work? Here’s a breakdown of the benefits of air sealing your home.

What Is Air Sealing?

The air sealing process involves performing an inspection of your home in search of places where air can leak out or in. This can cause your home to lose heat in the winter and cool air in the summer. When conditioned air escapes, your HVAC system needs to work extra hard to replace it. That translates into discomfort, wasted energy, and higher utility bills. Your basement, walls, crawlspace, and attic are all thoroughly inspected in preparation for the actual air sealing work. Once found, air leaks are sealed up with caulk, foam, insulation in its various forms, and weather stripping. In short, the leaks are plugged up, keeping the good air inside and the bad stuff out. But what are the general benefits of air sealing?

Universal Temperature Levels

As already suggested, when you air seal your home you keep the conditioned air, whether hot or cold, inside. Even better, when you seal up the usual suspects—window and door frames, cracks in the walls and foundation, and holes and cracks in the roof—you can maintain a universal temperature throughout the house. No more cold drafts or hot rooms with greater sun exposure. Plus, your system won’t overtax itself by trying to heat or cool rooms that refuse to stay consistent.

Humidity Control

High and low temperatures aren’t your home’s only enemies. Humidity can do damage as well. When you air seal your home and make it easier to control temperatures, you’re preventing the development of humidity in your attic, basement, and elsewhere. Humidity can cause moisture to build up and set up the perfect conditions for mold, mildew, rot, and multiple pests, some of which can infest and destroy your home’s wood. Air sealing, combined with a dehumidifier, can fight a rise in moisture in your home to prevent these and other problems. The air also becomes healthier to breathe.

Save, Save, Save!

When considering the benefits of air sealing, don’t forget that a sealed home can save you money. After air sealing, you’ll notice your electricity or gas bills will go down, and your home will retain hot or cold air and do less work to create either. In some cases, you may even qualify for tax credits when you insulate and air seal your home. Ask your accountant for details. In any event, investigate air sealing contractors and request a quote on air sealing your home today!

Signs That You Need Insulation Removal Services

Even if it seems like it does nothing but hide in the walls, your home’s insulation has a shelf life. Outside forces, pests, wear and tear, and more can interfere with or damage it, preventing it from doing its job. Figuring out that your insulation is on its last leg isn’t all that hard, though. Here are some signs that you need new insulation:

Outright Damage

The easiest way to tell if you need insulation removed is by looking at it, especially after an event such as a fire, burst pipe, or other bad circumstance. Some parts of insulation are combustible—cellulose burns, as does the foil or paper backing on batting—and should be replaced after a fire. Burst pipes, leaky roofs, and mold can likewise wet down insulation, making it ineffective. Remove the insulation, fix the water source, and then replace it. Sometimes insulation batting can eventually lose its grip and fall away from the wall or roof. Just push it back and take care to wear gloves and a dust mask. Most insulation types, such as batting and spray foam, last for many decades—but if you have cellulose insulation that’s 20 years old or older, have it inspected.

Critters

Insulation can become infested by all sorts of creatures that break into your home and take up residence in the attic and walls. Aside from the fact you can hear them skittering overhead, they make their presence known by chewing holes through the cellulose, foam, or batting in your attic and leaving traces of their feces and urine behind. Insulation that’s been eaten through isn’t just gross—it’s incapable of doing its job. Common insulation destroyers include rats, mice, squirrels, raccoons, termites, and others. Call a pest removal service, seal off any entry points, then call a residential insulation services provider to replace whatever insulation has been damaged.

Odd Temperatures

Even though your HVAC system is at full blast, does your hose still feel too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer? Are your gas and electric bills soaring? Your insulation may not be doing its job. As mentioned, batting insulation can fall away, but cellulose insulation can degrade because of temperatures, weather conditions, and age. In this case, have an energy audit performed on your house to see what’s going on up there, or call in a provider of residential insulation services.

Feel a Draft?

While looking for signs that you need insulation removal services, pay attention to what you can feel. Namely, notice if you’re feeling drafts anywhere—or everywhere—or if parts of the house feel hotter or colder than they should. Gaps and cracks can form in the walls and around doors and windows, but sometimes insulation drops or shifts inside the walls. Note where the temperatures feel strangest and call in an expert for an inspection.

We know that it can be overwhelming to know what to do about whether you need insulation services or any home improvements. That’s why we offer a Home Energy Audit that will assess the energy efficiency of your home and help determine any necessary work. Contact Comfort 1st today to get started. We’re happy to answer questions and help make your home safer and more efficient!
 

Tips for Choosing an Insulation Contractor

If your house is feeling too cold in winter, too hot in summer, and generally uncomfortable year-round, your insulation, or lack of it, may be to blame. Insulation helps keep heat or cool air locked in. Without insulation, the air would leak through cracks or otherwise radiate out of your home, driving up your utility bills while leaving you miserable.

Fortunately, there are thousands of experts out there who can inspect and insulate your home with spray foam, blown-in insulation, foam board, rigid foam panels, or other types of insulation. But what should you look for in an insulation installer? To help you get started, here are a few tips for choosing an insulation contractor.

Ask Around

The best testimonies come from friends, family members, and coworkers who had similar work done on their homes. They’ll have the best and most trustworthy contractors in mind, and, more importantly, they’ll remember the ones they didn’t trust or did a bad job. Search online, too. Facebook groups for your local community are a good source, though you’ll have to use your best judgment if a contractor sounds too good to be true. When you whittle the list down to a top three, contact each contractor and ask for references from jobs they’ve previously performed. The ones worth their salt will be happy to oblige.

Check Credentials

Ask each potential contractor to provide proof that they’re licensed and certified by the Insulation Contractors Association of American (ICAA) or another professional association. Ensure they’re insured with coverage that will protect their installers and your home against injury or damage. Ask them to describe the process and materials they use, highlighting the R-value of the insulation, which measures how well it resists the conductive flow of heat. Your region will require a specific R-value, which you can easily find online. You might feel uncomfortable asking a contractor to prove themselves, but the best ones will provide the credentials that show they’re up for the job.

Get It in Writing

When you pick a contractor, ask for a quote for residential insulation services. The estimator will stop by and assess the attic and other areas of the house. Never accept a quote by phone. A professional estimator will take the time to measure and assess every part of the attic rather than simply glancing around. They will note special issues that need to be addressed, how much material is required, and how much time it will take. They will then itemize the entire process in their quote to ensure there are no surprises later. After insulation, you will be given a contract or receipt for the entire process, which you should use to ensure the job has been performed as promised.

Advantages of Insulating Your Home Attic

Insulating your attic is likely not your first thought when you think about what home projects you need to finish. However, it should be! Installing insulation in your home’s attic can be very beneficial to your home. Take a look at some of the advantages of insulating your home attic to get an idea of whether this home project is for you!

Reduces Noise

Insulating your attic will dampen any noises that come from inside or outside your home. It will help reduce the sound of thunder when it is storming outside and will keep your home a peaceful sanctuary when your neighbors get a bit too loud. While it won’t keep our home completely quiet, it will be better than if your attic was not insulated.

Increase’s Home Value

There are simple ways you can increase your home’s overall value, and insulating your attic is one of them. Whether you already have insulation and are upgrading it, or you are installing it for the first time, quality insulation truly adds value to your home. Make sure you mention this element when speaking with potential buyers because most people view it as a significant advantage. Additionally, installing quality insulation in your attic will reduce your home’s overall energy costs and will keep your entire house at a more comfortable temperature.

Can Be Used for Storage

If an attic has no insulation, it will most likely be too hot or cold for the space to be usable. Adding insulation to the room will help regulate the temperature, allowing you to use the space in a variety of different ways. This is especially beneficial if you need extra space for a guest bedroom, playroom, or even an extra family room.

These three advantages of insulating your home attic have only scratched the surface. There are so many other benefits that come with this decision, including expanding your roof’s lifespan, preventing frozen pipes, helping the environment, and preventing structural damage. There is no doubt that it is a smart move as a homeowner.

Speaking of being a smart homeowner, take a look at our website today to see all we offer as one of the best insulation contractors in Rockford, Illinois. We share all our services and prices online, but feel free to reach out to us with any questions or to set up an appointment.

Common Causes of Insulation Failure

Your home’s insulation is very important. Not only does it help reduce heating and cooling costs, but it also makes your home comfortable. If something goes wrong or your insulation becomes damaged, your home could suffer in several ways. To help prevent your insulation from becoming damaged, it’s helpful to familiarize yourself with some common causes of insulation failure that might occur.

Electrical Stresses

Overvoltage and impulses lead to electrical stress, which leads to insulation failure. In this scenario, the electric stress goes over the electrical field strength of the insulation, allowing a failure to occur. This failure occurs in the form of corona, ionization, or electric arc. Unfortunately, this failure leads to structural damage and degradation of the insulation as well.

Aging of Insulation

This specific failure of insulation is a slow process. It is a gradual spiral of decline for the insulation as a whole. There will come a time, however, when the insulation reaches a point that aging will speed up and come at a faster fate. This is not something you can fix or prevent; it just happens as time goes on.

Contaminants Enter Insulation

Whether it is dirt, moisture, or another foreign matter, any type of contaminant can cause insulation to fail. When pinholes and cracks occur, and contaminants get into those spaces, the insulation will begin to fail. At times, the contaminants may work together to create an excessive current that goes through the insulation and causes resistance.

These are not the only common causes of insulation failure, but they are at the top of the list. If you notice that your energy bills have gone up or you are having a hard time keeping your home at a comfortable temperature, one of the above signs of insulation failure may be to blame. Be an observant and responsible homeowner and look out for these common causes of insulation failure.

If you are searching for an insulation contractor in Rockford, Illinois, reach out to our team at Comfort First Insulation and Energy Solution. At Comfort First Insulation and Energy Solution. we want to do our part in making sure your insulation is in great condition. Visit our website or give us a call today.

The Benefits of Commercial Insulation Services

Do you need new insulation installed? Don’t just do it yourself. Instead, read below to learn the benefits of commercial insulation services. The benefits of hiring a professional outweigh the money that you think you will be saving doing it yourself.

Increases Comfort

If your insulation is installed correctly, you should be able to manage the temperature of the space nicely. There won’t be any drafts from areas that aren’t insulated well, or heat won’t seep out of those areas when trying to heat up the space. Really, the whole room temperature is way more manageable and comfortable when it’s insulated correctly.

Boosts Noise Resistance

You wouldn’t think that insulation makes that much difference when it comes to noise, but it really does. Insulation helps prevent the transmission of noise and creates a comfortable and effective environment without the noise. It really does reduce echoes. If the insulation is not installed correctly, you risk the sound traveling and making it not as beneficial and helpful as it could be.

Helps Your Finances

You would think that hiring a commercial insulation service would cost more than doing it yourself, but you are wrong. Hiring somebody who knows what they are doing makes sure that the job is done correctly. Not doing it the right way can allow for temperature to not be manageable and other negative issues that can directly cost you more money overall. Just bite the bullet and pay for it to be done the right way the first time instead of wasting more money to fix any impending issues later.

These three points above are only the beginning of the benefits of commercial insulation services, but it obviously really does make quite the difference. There really isn’t another way you should go! If you are looking for commercial insulation services, check out our website or call us today. We can share with you even more benefits and how we can successfully help you do just what you need!

The Different Insulation Materials

There’s a wide variety of insulation materials that range in their composition and application. To have the most energy-efficient and comfortable home, you must understand these differences before choosing the best option for your project. For further insight on the different insulation materials, continue reading our breakdown of each kind below.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is a very common insulation material that’s used in blanket (batts and rolls) insulation and loose-fill insultation. This material is made up of extremely fine glass fibers that are woven or flattened, combined with resin, and made into a fabric. This makes for a strong and durable material perfect for insulation.

Mineral Wool

Mineral wool normally refers to two different types of materials: rock wool and slag wool. Rock wool is a manmade material that’s made up of natural minerals. Slag wool comes from the waste matter that forms on the surface of molten metal. Neither needs the addition of chemicals to be fire resistant—both already are.

Cellulose

This insulation material is made up of recycled paper products that have been reduced to small pieces and then fiberized. This product packs tightly into building cavities and inhibits airflow. Cellulose is commonly used in homes, and there are multiple ways to install or apply it.

Natural Fiber

There’s a multitude of natural fiber materials, including cotton, sheep’s wool, and straw.

  • Cotton: This natural fiber is made up of recycled cotton and plastic fibers that have been treated with borate. Altogether, cottons costs about 15% to 20% for insulation than fiberglass.
  • Sheep’s wool: This material is also treated with borate to protect it from harmful elements such as fire and mold. Interestingly, sheep’s wool can hold large quantities of water; however, if it gets wet too often, it can dry out the borate.
  • Straw: This fiber was often used throughout history for construction projects, but recently, some manufacturers have developed structural insulated panels using straw for insulation purposes.

These different insulation materials all work together to create different types of insulation used for a multitude of projects. If you’re looking for more information on insulation in general or if you happen to be in search of residential insulation services, we can help! Here at Comfort First Insulation & Energy Solution, we can help you with all your insulation needs. Call today.

Signs Your Building Needs New Insulation

When you are caring for or maintaining a building, there are numerous aspects and elements you should keep an eye on to ensure everything is safe and working properly. This includes keeping an eye on your insulation. If you are unsure about how to tell if your insulation is in good condition, continue reading the material below. This information provides you with signs your building needs new insulation so you can pinpoint whether there is, indeed, an issue. Do your part to keep the building safe and secure today!

Temperatures Continuously Change

If you notice that the temperature of your building is inconsistent, you might need to install new insulation. When insulation begins to go bad, it starts to allow cold air or heat into the building, ultimately causing inconsistent temperatures.

High Energy Bills

If you notice that your overall energy bill has indeed increased, it might be a good time to check your insulation. This means that one way or another, the heating or the AC unit is doing more work than necessary because the insulation is letting either hot or cold air into the building.

Infestation of Animals

Unfortunately, this element does happen. If any animals have made their way into the building’s attic or crawl space, that is a sure sign that you need new insulation. You do not want to rely on insulation that may have feces and grime in it. Even if you don’t see the pests yourself, you should still have a professional check for other signs that animals may be living in the insulation.

Wet or Damp Insulation

Once insulation gets wet or even damp, there is no saving it. If you have identified that this is the case, you will need to install new insulation immediately. If you do not remedy the issue as soon as possible, mold can begin to grow, causing your insulation to work improperly. Always keep an eye out for blocked vents, leaky roofs, and more throughout your buildings!

If you do not feel comfortable searching for these signs your building needs new insulation, or you have found that one of these signs are present in your facility, make sure you reach out to a commercial insulation service. Commercial insulation services will help you identify problems and solve them.

If you are in the Rockford, Illinois, area, and are looking for a commercial insulation service, today is your lucky day! Visit our website or contact us to start addressing your insulation needs today.