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At Casco Bay Insulation we pride ourselves in not only providing superior insulation and services, but also sharing our expertise with our customers and informing the of our why's in our projects and not just the how's. Here are some of our more common questions and concerns from home owners who are looking to invest in there home.

Why cellulose over other insulation products? i.e. spray foam, fiberglass

The choice to use cellulose is because it has respectable R-values, resists air movement, absorbs sound, and is highly resistant to fire, pests, and moisture. No insulation is perfect for every situation, but our first choice whenever it will do the job is cellulose. Fiberglass may be cheaper, but does not fill the cavities as well (especially around electrical and plumbing) or give the same R-value, pest, and moisture control. Spray foam is usually in a similar price range, but can be dangerous when not applied correctly. It is also more harmful for the environment and can not easily be reversed once installed.

Why Insulate my basement walls if its not being used for living space?

Fully insulating you basement walls can give your home many benefits. First is that most homes have at least some insulation in the walls and attic, which even if it's inadequate, is helping slow down heat loss. However a large portion of homes have no insulation in the basement to stop the cold air from coming up into the home. Cement foundations are also pores and can add a lot of unwanted moister into your home, and insulating the foundation walls stops a substantial amount of  moister from coming through.

What is stack effect and why is it so important to my home?

Stack effect is the basic concept of warm air in the home rising out the top and creating a negative pressure difference in the home that then intern pulls cold air in from below. This is important to know when insulating your home because it is much more effective to focus on the top and bottom of the house to slow down this effect and can save a ton of energy and greatly improve comfort in the home.

How do I know if I should be improving my insulation vs improving my windows?

When home owners are looking to make there home more efficient they often think about there drafty windows. Upgrading your windows can definitely help keep the warm air in, but knowing all the major problem areas in the building envelope can help you address the biggest issues first.  Also to be considered is the amount of window surface area to exterior wall surface area and understand how big of a part each is playing in keeping you home comfortable. The biggest con is in most case, insulation has no aesthetic improvement while new windows could be something the home owner really just likes visually even if it does not make the biggest comfort impact.

Do I have to worry about pests with cellulose?

Thankfully you don't have to worry about rodents or pests getting into cellulose do to the levels of boric acid that the cellulose is treated with. Boric acid is added as a flame retardant that also serves as a pesticide, while having low risk to human health. If you have old fiber glass bats in your home and have issues with pests, replacing the old bats with cellulose could solve some of your pest issues while simultaneously improving your homes performance and comfort.

How does tightening a home affect the air quality?

There are a lot of pro's for the increased comfort that comes from a tighter home. Consistent temperatures as well as less draftiness and cold surfaces in the home really make a difference in comfort. The concerns with tighter homes are about bringing in enough fresh air and managing the moister levels in the air. Thankfully if you are running heat pumps in the home, they will help with moister control. If a home is really tight you might want to look at an HRV or ERV to be bringing in enough fresh air while not wasting a ton of energy on reconditioning the air in the home.

Why is it important to address the quality of my insulation before installing heat pumps?

Addressing and improving your homes insulation as a major key step to electrifying your home with heat pumps. Having a well insulated home lowers the demand on BTU's needed to keep the home at an ideal temperatures. This means you can correctly size your heat pumps and make the home much more efficient. Heat pumps that are not able to keep up with the demands of the home can be really inefficient and waste a lot of energy, while not being well insulated will force you to have an over sized heat pump.


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