February 1, 2011
An ice dam forms when the heat from your home escapes into your attic and melts the snow on your roof. The water will then trickle down your roof until it reaches the cold of an overhang, which it then freezes. Over time the Ice will get thicker and thicker which will form an ice dam. The ice dam is a small area that will hold water, which if it gets large enough it can back up under the shingles and into your home.
The most common method to fix ice dam is to do a little Waetherization to you attic. Sealing Air leaks between the warm interior and the attic is the first on the list. Then you will likely want to add insulation to your attic to help keep the heat in your home and not your attic. An additional step to be done it to add additional ventilation to your attic to help keep the temperature in your attic, below freezing.
For any questions on Ice Dams, Weatherilzation, or Insulation for your home, Contact Modern Homes, Inc.
August 11, 2010
Tighter homes and more stringent residential energy-use standards are putting whole-house heat- and energy-recovery ventilators in the spotlight.
Soon homes that will meet Energy Star standard will require to provide an adequate amount of outside fresh air intercalation but because it is not required doesn’t infer that it is not ideal for your family and your home. Tight home provide an energy saving home although you still need fresh air to your home to control air quality and humidity.
How They Work
Simply, HRVs and ERVs provide a balanced, controlled, and measured amount of fresh air into the house to cycle out pollutants, while also capturing and exchanging the heat—or sensible energy—from the exhausted indoor airflow with the incoming air. This exchange preheats incoming air in the winter, or “pre-cools” it (if to a lesser extent) in the summer, reducing the energy demand on the home’s primary heating and cooling equipment.
Also because furnaces and air conditioners don’t have to work as hard or as long with an HRV or ERV supplementing air to them, they also might perform longer at optimum levels and achieve better investment values.
The equipment design of an HRV is fairly simple that two fans pushed a balanced amount of air through fixed filters while allowing to facilitate and exchange of heat between the two flows. ERVs follow the same general design while having an seperate chamber to manage humidity. Basically they are circulating the indoor air with the outdoor air with minimal heat loss. These systems must be connected to the homes central forced air heating and cooling system.
The effect of introducing preheated or precooled air into a room or rooms will not only freshen the indoor air but also reduce demand on the heating or cooling equipment to condition the incoming air.
For any questions on indoor air quality or energy saving items, Contact Modern Homes, Inc.
July 1, 2010
You can receive up to $1500.00 tax credit for eligible upgrades to your home.
You can upgrade the efficiency of your home and save money in the long term on your utility bills and receive a Federal Tax Credit for completing the upgrade.
Items would include HVAC, Insulation, Doors & Windows, Water Heaters & Roofing. There are other items eligible, including solar upgrades that are eligible for the credit.
April 15, 2010
When someone says “Green” or “Energy Star” there are a lot of things that most people think. Many are not sure exactly what it all means but most want to lower their energy cost/usage. When someone refers to insulation most think of the traditional insulation methods of batt insulation or blown in insulation for your attic.
Batt insulation can be effective when installed correctly with proper caulking. A typical 2×4 wall can achieve an R-13 or R-15. Most attics are blown in to achieve an R-38 or R-50.
The most common energy efficient methods today would be a sprayed in foam insulation. There are a few options for this, the first being a Closed Cell Foam. This adds rigidity to a wall and ensures all gaps and crevices of walls including around outlets etc. are completely sealed. Closed Cell Foam is typically installed 3″ thick in a 2×4 wall achieving an R value of R-18.6. Open cell is also a popular method due to cost savings and will achieve an R value of R-12.6. Even with slightly less R value than a batt it still adds significant energy efficiency due to the sealing of all gap a creating an air tight home.
Another popular method is to add an inch of closed cell foam and then installing the balance of the cavity with blown in fiberglass insulation. This option provides the air-tight seal at a more reasonable cost.
Spray foam’s ability to create an air-tight seal for your home is the most important factor in creating an energy-efficient, comfortable, and healthy home.
Contact Modern Homes, Inc. for any questions or to have our specialist review what may be best for you.
January 19, 2010
The cold months in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin are here. Is it not just cold outside but cold inside too? Making you not to want to leave the warmth of your cozy blanket.
The plus to this all is that you can get rid of the drafts and lower your heating bill. These upgrade will easily pay for them selves. There are options like solar, wind or even geo-thermal, and other leading technologies. Are these worth while?? Well they all need to be looked at dependent on home location and specific circumstances. Typically I would recommend to first focus on the shell of the home. The less energy that a home needs, is the less energy that there is to be saved.
First start with the shell of your home, which can include air sealing, insulation, windows, siding etc. Attic insulation and properly installed Energy Star windows are two of the easiest ways to increase efficiency. Air sealing is very important and even more important on older homes. Siding and sheathing the home with foam board can also help your insulating value and air infiltration to your home.
Once the shell of the home is preforming the way it should your mechnical needs can dramatically change. Then one can determine the proper mechanical needs for your home.
As additional incentive to increase the efficiency of your home, many of these options have tax credits right now too. If your liking the idea of the savings on your electical and gas bill, and getting some tax credits, contact us to find out what options may be right for your home.