By Kierra Barraza

Whole House Fans are exhaust systems that are installed in the homes attic to circulate air. This particular fan pulls air from your living areas and exerts the air into the attic by pulling fresh, cooler air from outside. This system uses 90 % less energy than your typical air conditioning unit. If an air conditioning system already exists in the home, a Whole House Fan can eliminate the use of an A/C at night. 

Note that a Whole House Fan is NOT an Attic Fan. The two fans are often confused with one another. While both fans circulate air in the attic, the Whole House Fan replaces the air inside the home with fresh air from outside while the Attic Fan only circulates the air in the attic. 

There are four types of House Fans:

1) Window Mounted – Mounted from the window frames

2) Ducted – An intake duct is installed in the attic typically from the rafters, away from the living space and is transferred between the grilles in the room to the fan so the air can be vented directly out of the house, rather than through attic vents.

3) Ceiling Mounted – Most common and are capable of moving large amounts of air. These fans are installed in the attic between the living space and ceiling 

4) Rooftop Mounted – Used if there is no attic space in the home  

Pros of a Whole House Fan

  • During the colder months, the Whole House Fan increases Ventilation. By doing so, the Whole House Fan can help reduce the risk of ice dams. These occur when snow melts off the roof into the gutter where it refreezes, causing clogs.  
  • A Whole House Fan will pull air from the outside so the stale air in your home is replaced. This will get rid of pollutions, contaminants and lingering odors. 
  • Reduces moisture buildup in the attic space that causes mold/mildew. The Whole House Fan draws the moisture outside and replaces the inside air with fresh, cool air. 

Maintenance of a Whole House Fan

A whole House Fan does not require a lot of maintenance. Simply use a damp cloth to remove any particles. Maintaining your Whole House Fan should be done once a year, but it is recommended to clean it multiple times throughout the year if the fan is used year round.  

Tips

  • Do not run the Whole House Fan if the fireplace is running. Since the fan is pulling air inside, the flames could be sucked into the house.
  • Turn Off the central air conditioning
  • Open multiple windows and doors to the house. The fan may cause gas-burning appliances, such as your furnace or water heater, to backdraft exhaust fumes and carbon monoxide into your home.

The Home Ventilating Institute recommends an air-exchange of 2-3 minutes. The Department of Energy suggest the Whole House Fan should provide your home with 30-60 air temperature degree changes an hour. To choose which Whole House Fan best suits your home; you can multiply the gross square footage of your home (including closet space etc.) and multiply it by 2. For example if you have a 2,000 sq. ft. home, you will need a Whole House Fan with 4,000 CFM (cubic feet per minute).

Ideal Home Energy is a top rated Tamarack Brand Whole House Fan Installer that provides 100% free, no obligation in home estimates. Fill out our contact form at IdealHomeEnergy.com or give us a call at (303) 305-3808 to speak with a Whole House Fan expert. 

For more information on Tamarack Whole House Fans, visit https://www.tamtech.com 

by Kierra Barraza

Have you found yourself asking what the difference is between Fiberglass and Cellulose Insulation? These 2 insulation types take two routes to achieve similar goals. If you’re looking for loose fill or blown in insulation that is good for the environment and is made of recycled goods then look no further. Let’s dive into the differences between these two materials that help comfort your home and lower those energy bills. 

Fiberglass Insulation 

Fiberglass is an insulation that is made up of 40% – 60% of recycled glass. The remaining material consists of Silica Sand. Due to this insulation being made up of glass and sand, no additional chemicals are needed to treat the material. Fiberglass is naturally noncombustible thanks to the silica sand and also doesn’t hold or absorb water. Fiberglass is bought in pre-made R – Values. Since Fiberglass does not settle, it’s able to maintain it’s R- Value longer than the average insulation. In the first inch of fiberglass insulation that is laid, the acoustical value is increased by 3-4 points! This insulation is primarily for thermal and acoustical purposes. Fiberglass is offered in both batt and blankets. Since Fiberglass insulation was introduced in 1933, over 8 billion pounds of glass has been recycled.

Cellulose Insulation 

Cellulose is offered in three applications; dense packed, wet spray and loose blown. Cellulose is used to retro-fit insulation and is most commonly used in newer homes. Wet-spray cellulose has water added in during the application process and is typically used before the drywall is installed. This particular insulation is known for consisting of 75%-85% of recycled newspaper. Cellulose is treated with chemicals known to reduce pests and help aid in the insulation be a fire retardant. If the insulation absorbs water, the fire treatment is destroyed. Cellulose can also settle up to 20% after it is applied. This means you may see a rise in energy bills. 

Now that the differences between fiberglass insulation and cellulose insulation has been outlined, a decision needs to be made. Before making that decision on which insulation best suits your homes comfort, speak with an expert. If you live in the Denver metro or surrounding areas, give Ideal Home Energy a call at (303)305-3808 and/or fill out a form at idealhomeenergy.com and get a free estimate. Let the insulation experts help you and your home!

By Kierra Barraza

The U.S. Department of Energy suggest that you should have your insulation inspected at least once a year. If you have recently had a roof leak or replacement, leaky vapor barriers or unwanted rodents, you should replace your insulation to keep your energy bills low and maintain a comfortable home. 

High Energy Bills

50% – 70% of the energy used in the average home in the US is from heating and cooling. According to Colorado State University, even the newer homes are not insulated to the recommended R – value levels that are 49 for the attic and 19 for the crawl space. Your attic space and crawl space will have difficulties holding warm air in the cooler months and keeping warm air out during the warmer months. This will result in high-energy bills because your home has to work harder. By replacing your Insulation you can shave anywhere from 10% – 50% on your heating bill according to the Department of Energy. 

Dangerous Mildew 

The oxygen you breathe while in your home circulates through the Attic. An estimated 40% of the air you breathe travels through your attic space. The mildew can also appear in your crawl space. Air leaks and too much moisture in a poorly ventilated area are factors that most commonly cause mildew to lurk in your attic. A few conditions you and your family may suffer from include respiratory problems; sever allergy symptoms such as itchy and watery eyes or even a weakening of your immune system. At least 10% of the world’s population is allergic to mold according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Health Services

Rodent Excrement

Rodents find any little crack or hole in your walls to nest in your attic and crawl space. Some rodents can carry Hantavirus, which is a group of viruses, can cause a rare but deadly disease called Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. HPS can spread from the droppings, urine and saliva from an infected rodent. The rodent excrement damages the Insulation in your home by causing a bad odor causing airborne germs to circulate through the air. Rodent problems typically increase in the winter months. 

1) Saves you money

Insulating your attic space can be a great investment for your home. Residential heating and cooling account for 60% of the energy used in the average American home. If your home is uninsulated or under-insulated, you will be spending more than you should to heat or cool your home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, you can save an average of 30% on utility costs by air sealing and insulating your home’s attic space. 

In many cases, paying a professional contractor to add insulation to your attic will pay for itself within just a few years. Xcel Energy also offers a variety of rebates for having your attic space insulated and air sealed, so you could see some money back right away!

2) Increases your home’s comfort

A very common reason for adding insulation is comfort. A home that is under-insulated is more vulnerable to outside temperature. Heat naturally flows from hot to cold. This means that depending on the outside temperature you may be experiencing hot/cold and uncomfortable rooms due to heat displacement.  

Bedrooms located on upper floors are especially vulnerable to outside temperatures. Adding insulation to your attic space is a great way to ensure these rooms stay temperate at night and in the early morning, when temperatures are at their lowest. 

3) Protects the Environment 

For those more money conscious home owners, the first benefit was probably enough. However, those motivated by helping the environment will be happy, too. Insulating and air sealing your attic can be the most energy saving project you could complete on your home. The energy saved with this means your home won’t need to make as much energy, so power plants won’t need to produce as much energy! This also reduces pollution caused by the power plants. Reducing the amount of energy we consume can have a huge effect on our local ecosystems. Not only that, it can help the entire country. 

4) Indoor Air Quality 

Obviously, the air quality of your home is extremely important, but did you know your attic insulation plays a vital role in your home’s indoor air quality? 

Outdoor pollutants can enter your home through air leaks caused by poor air sealing and under-insulated attic spaces. Insulating your attic prevents these pollutants from spreading throughout your home, allowing your family to breathe easier and enjoy cleaner indoor air. Installing new insulation can also remove pollutants that may have infested your current insulation. 

5) Protects your Home’s Structure 

Insulating your attic space can prevent physical damage to your home. It prevents any moisture from seeping in and eroding your home’s framing and walls. In the winter, the rising heat in your attic might lead to melting snow on a roof, which can then lead to ice dams. Ice dams and moisture issues can do serious damage to your home, especially the roof, which is not a cheap fix! By air sealing and insulating, you can prevent quite a few headaches down the road. If you have condensation or moisture inside your attic, it could be a symptom of  insulation issues. 

6) Protects your heating and cooling equipment

Heating and cooling equipment can be one of the most expensive purchases you make for you home. A new modern sealed combustion furnace could cost your family upwards of $6,000! 

One of the most important aspects of attic insulation is it allows your heating and cooling equipment to run less often. If your home’s insulation is able to retain indoor temperature, only then can your heating and cooling equipment rest. However, if your attic space is under-insulated then your heating and cooling equipment will need to run more often, to keep up with your home’s set temperature, causing the wear and tear to be much more significant.  

Now that you know…

With effective and clean attic insulation you could see these benefits and more for your home! If you’re interested in an insulation upgrade or you just want to see what the savings on your bills, your homes structure or the environment could be then we are the company for you! We specialize in residential insulation and other energy efficient home retrofits! Call today for a free in home estimate!

Getting your monthly utility bill can be frustrating for some people! Sometimes it’s hard to understand how your home could possibly be using that much energy?

Luckily, we live in a time where everything can be measured, assessed and improved! You might be wondering how you can you do this with your home’s energy use? The answer is simple! Hire a Building Science Analyst to perform an Energy Audit on your home. But first things first…What is an energy audit?

Put simply, an energy audit is an assessment of your home’s energy performance and health. However, there are some added benefits to be discovered during your home’s audit.

There are 3 main benefits to an energy audit:

1. Helps the homeowner make decisions about how they can conserve energy.

2. Helps the homeowner increase the comfort, safety, health and durability of their home.

3. Protects our environment by reducing energy waste.

Which brings us to…What does the energy audit process look like?

When an Auditor comes to your home, they will perform a combination of diagnostic tests and visual and numerical evaluations. The Auditor should explain to you how and why your home’s energy consumption may be  costing you too much money and discomfort. They will also provide a prioritized list of energy and money saving options.

A typical audit will consist of the following steps:

1. Thorough outside and inside visual inspection of the home.

2. Thermal imaging and visual inspection of all the insulation in the home including the walls, attic space and crawlspace.

3. Blower door testing that will help locate any and all air leaks occurring in the home.

4. Any visible gas lines will be checked for leaks.

5. A complete inspection of all the heating and cooling systems in the home.

If performed by a certified professional, an in-home energy audit could save you up to 30% on yo

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