unfinished private dwelling house

Which Home Improvement for Saving Energy has the Best ROI?

What could we do to improve our homes that could help save energy, cut costs, and in the end give us a good ROI? 

The answer… 
Simply put, add insulation to the attic.

unfinished private dwelling house

ROI : Return On Investment measures the gain or loss generated on an investment relative to the amount of money invested.
90% of homes in the US are under insulated. What is the probability that our home could be one of those? The chances are high. But in the end all homes can benefit from increased insulation.

Save Energy & Save Money

When we think of why we should add more insulation to our attics and how it will save energy and help decrease our utility costs it really is a no brainer. Insulation is responsible for up to 70% of the total heat gain and loss in your home. The proper type used, the amount, and installation of insulation can make a huge difference in your savings in the long term. That means by accomplishing this task it will add value to your home and save you money every month- It will pay for itself! What could be better than knowing to insulate an attic is very inexpensive and the gains you will receive in the end = A Huge ROI!

Why the attic?

We all need to realize that insulation is not just needed for those cold winter months. A well insulated attic helps lower energy usage in the spring and in the summertime too. It helps stabilize a homes indoor temperatures year round. Everyone wants to keep our homes cool in the summer and good insulation keeps the hot air outside just where we want it. Then in the winter all that warm air that is produced from the furnace rises straight up, and if we don’t have proper insulation in the attic that means the heat is escaping right out. Remember warm air travels to cool air, so not only is it super cheap and easy to insulate an attic but that is where we lose most of our heat. It is cost effective and we will see the benefits right away.
Weigh out the benefits of adding more insulation to your attic and how it will help the value of your home increase. We have helped many of our customers achieve this and we would love to help you!
spray foam insulation

Open Cell Vs. Closed Cell Insulation

spray foam insulation

Open Vs. Closed, What does it Mean?

The Differences Between Open Cell and Closed Cell Polyurethane Spray Foam. … Closed cell is the denser and more common of the two types of polyurethane spray foam. The common measurement system for foam resistance to heat flow (i.e., insulation) is a foam’s “R-Value.”


Closed Cell Foam is dense and strong. When using this product it can help prevent drafts and keep temperatures regulated. It also has the power to strengthen walls. Closed cell foam has a higher r-value than other types of foam. Usually with an R-value of 6.0 per inch and can have up to R-values of 7.14 per inch. Because of the great density that closed cell foam provides, it creates better insulation and is resistant to water. Even when you find moisture build up, spray foam is up for the challenge and can fight against creating more moisture which would lead to mold and bacteria.


Open Cell Foam is a little less common. It has a lower R-value coming in the range at about 3.6 to 3.8 per inch. It doesn’t have water resistance like closed cell foam, and its low R-value means that its resistance to heat level is lower, but we are here to tell you, it does have its advantages. One of them being it is more affordable. Another is that because open cell isn’t as dense as closed cell, this spray foam expands once applied allowing itself to be inserted into hard to reach places, its best used on those little cracks that we can’t seem to fill. It also has great sound deadening properties. For example, if someone is insulating a basement apartment, there is two benefits: One, It can provide the insulation for that room while secondly, shielding the upstairs for noise.

Always Remember..

The less expensive alternative does not lead to more expensive repairs in the future. But take a look at the end goal you are trying to accomplish and figure out which is right for you.
long red brick road, showing community in baltimore

Insulation Codes For Baltimore

Some may wonder what the insulation codes are for us here locally in Baltimore. So, we have put together a simple chart to give us that information. The codes in the each county in the state of Maryland are all the same , minus one- Garrett County.

Ceiling R-value 38
Wood Frame Wall R-value 13
Mass Wall R-value i 5/10
Floor R-value 19
Basement Wall R-value c 10/13
Slab R-value d, Depth 10, 2 ft
Crawlspace Wall R-value c 10/13
Fenestration U-Factor b 0.35
Skylight U-Factor b 0.60
long red brick road, showing community in baltimore
  1. R-values are minimums. U-factors and SHGC are maximums. R-19 batts compressed into a nominal 2×6 framing cavity such that the R-value is reduced by R-1 or more shall be marked with the compressed batt R-value in addition to the full thickness R-value.
  2. This table applies to single-family, wood frame residential construction.
  3. Floors over outside air must meet ceiling requirements.
  4. R-values for walls represent the sum of cavity insulation plus insulated sheathing, if any.
  5. Basement Wall Insulation is not required in warm-humid locations.
This information has been provided from the IECC Climate Zone Map that you can find here.


Save energy by insulating. house with a thermal imaging camera photographed.

What is a Thermal Imager and Why Use it During an Energy Audit

Save energy by insulating. house with a thermal imaging camera photographed.
Energy auditors use thermography as a tool to help detect heat losses and air leakage in building envelopes. Infrared scanning allows energy auditors to check the effectiveness of insulation in a building’s construction
It is possible to reduce your monthly utility bills up to 50% when you make some simple changes. Energy efficiency of your home can be improved if you replace home appliances with energy star models, replace windows, patch up leaks in your duct-work, and add/change insulation in the house. The absolute best way to find out where the major problem areas are in your house is to have a home energy assessment. When you use Thermal Imaging it is the best way to detect infrared light. When we think about it every object emits energy, so the way that an object reflects this energy is based on their temperature. For example : hot objects give off more thermal energy than cold objects.


You have the choice to have an interior or exterior inspection. The energy auditor will decide which method is best with considering the weather. Scans done from indoors are more common because when warm air escapes from a building it does not always move through the walls in a straight line. Loss of heat could be detected on the outside of the wall but could originate at another location inside of the wall. Another factor is weather conditions, it can make it very difficult to detect temperature differences on the exterior of a home. Interior surveys are generally more common and most recommended.

Thermal Imaging Can Detect Some of the following:

  • Inadequate insulation in the attic, around the fans and in the walls
  • Windows that do not provide a sufficient barrier between the interior and exterior ensure that insulation has been installed correctly
  • Leaks in plumbing fixtures
  • Faulty wiring
  • Mold



It is recommended to have a scan done before purchasing a house, because even with newer homes there can be defects. It is also is a great idea if we have suspected an issue inside of our walls, with a thermal imaging scanner you can determine the exact size and location of a problem before you have to cut a single hole. So it will save you time, money, and multiple holes being drilled into your walls.
Hiring a highly trained professional is the only way to achieve an accurate reading on scans. They then will be able to give detailed information on the severity of leaks, inadequate insulation and other issues that may arise.

7 Signs Your Baltimore Home Needs More Insulation

house with scarf. bad insulation
We have put together a list of  7 signs that your home here in baltimore needs more insulation. Sometimes it can be so obvious the whole time, but we can be completely oblivious to the signs. So here we have made it easy for us all, to recognize a lack of insulation in our homes.

1. Energy Bills-

This one can be more obvious than the others. Every month when it comes to paying our energy bill, do we notice that it just keeps increasing? This could be due to poor insulation. Insulation is needed to keep our homes energy running efficiently, by trapping in as much heat in the winter as possible and keeping our space cool in the summers.

2. Different Temperatures in Each Room-

We all know that the basement tends to be a cooler space in general because it is underground. But, what is not supposed to be common is walking from one room to the next and feeling a drastic change. Insulation is the key. Especially if we live in an older home, it is very likely that our insulation has begun to fail us and we need to install more insulation to keep the temperature of the house even.

3. Frozen Pipes-

The winter can be rough for everyone even our homes can take a beating when we are not well prepared. It is not unusual to hear of pipes being frozen and bursting in these brutal months. This problem can be taken care of with well insulated walls to protect our pipes.

4. Icicles Hanging From Roof-

Every kid loves them and parents know how dangerous they can be, but when we step outside onto our porches in the dead of winter we may notice long, frozen, daggers hanging from our roofs. The reason that is causing this is the warm air is escaping from inside our house, making its way into the attic and melting the snow on the roof.

5. Rodents and Insects-

Lets face it, creatures love to come indoors, especially when we are caught in the wintertime. When we think about how these rodents and insects are entering our homes, we know it is a culprit of our insulation. If we had well sealed nooks and crannies we wouldn’t have these pests coming inside.

6. Cold Drafts-

These are never fun. We can be enjoying ourselves indoors and then the next thing we know we get the chills. This could be due to a draft. If we happen to notice that we have closed all the doors and windows but we are still feeling a draft, it could be time to look at the insulation in our attics and crawl spaces.

7. Sound-

If we live in an area where we are in close living quarters with those around us, getting enough peace and quiet could be a big problem. We might hear people talking, children playing, voices from outside, or just a simple conversation in the next room over, well, whatever the case its important to have a well sound proofed home. A lack of insulation in the walls could be keeping us from achieving this.
thermal insulation material In rolls laid in packing

Fiberglass, Cellulose, Or Spray Foam

We know we need to choose a good, reliable, insulation that will be durable and in the end save us money on our energy bills. Before choosing which insulation we want to use, we should familiarize ourselves with the different materials. Learning about which one will be right for our home, our specific project, and which one will save us the most time and money.

We will consider 3 different types of insulation:
What you need to remember when dealing with insulation and its effectiveness is the R-Value, which will tell you how well the material insulates your home. It is a scientific number used to indicate the products resistance to heat flow. Therefore the higher the R-Value, the greater is its thermal resistance. 

thermal insulation material In rolls laid in packing

1. FiberGlass

You may purchase fiberglass insulation on batts, or loose fill. It is very affordable but it does have a lower R-value than most although, higher than cotton. Batts are generally easier to install, because the pieces have been woven together, but when you are applying the fiberglass you never want to force it into an area that is too small because when it becomes too compressed, the r-value decreases.

2. Cellulose

With a slightly higher r-value than fiberglass, cellulose Is made from recycled paper so it provides a green, efficient, non toxic and affordable thermal solution. This form of insulation provides a great resistance to air leakage. It is available as a loose fill product and has been used to treat damage from pests and moisture. However, when moisture absorption occurs, cellulose becomes compacted and becomes less effective. Because it is hygroscopic, it has the ability to soak up and hold in water. Undetected leaks can cause cellulose to sag within the framing cavities. So before choosing to go with cellulose please make sure you have completely and carefully sealed up any water leaks.

3. Closed Cell Spray Foam

This is a polyurethane product that involves mixing two chemicals that are applied with a hose. It has a high r-value, it expands and conforms to any space, helps keep out insects, and also minimizes the growth of mold and mildew. Closed cell spray foam is great to use for attics and crawl spaces on areas where we cannot reach, its expanding abilities cause it to be very effective to minimize air leaks and filling cracks and holes.
Now that we know a little more information on a few of the most popular insulations out there, let the professionals help you install it safely and effectively.