Preparing for Winter: Understanding and Preventing Ice Dams

Ice dams are a common problem in cold climates. These ridges of ice build up along eaves when the weather is below freezing for an extended period. Left long enough, melted water from ice dams can damage the roof structure or even the ceiling inside the house. Falling ice dams can be dangerous for people as well as for buildings.   What causes an ice dam? Ice dams happen when one part of a roof is warmer than another. The warm roof melts the snow on top of it, causing water runoff. This water freezes again once it hits a...

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Dec 02, 2013

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at EcoFoil.  We hope you enjoy this holiday post from Andrew Odom at Tiny r(E)volution. It has been a number of years since the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag gathered to celebrate the colony’s first successful harvest. In fact, it has been 393 years as best we can tell. And while our modern celebrations are as much about Macy’s department store and Stovetop stuffing, there are still dots on our landscape that take this one day of the year to truly give thanks for their homes, their crops, their families and their harvest. Within...

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Nov 27, 2013

5 Ways to Reduce Your Home Electric Bill

Winter weather often means higher electricity bills. It’s no surprise: heating a home consumes lots of energy, which translates to a bigger energy bill. Days are also shorter in the winter, so lights and appliances can get more use in the winter as well.   There are many ways to reduce your electric bill. These five tips can help you save energy during the winter. 1. Keep your vents clean and close off unused rooms. If you have central heating or air conditioning, check your filters and the vents in each room. Make sure that all of these vents are...

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Nov 21, 2013

Customer Feature: Reflective Insulation Turns Sun Room into Comfortable Computer Room

Today’s post spotlights a creative use for our DIY series of reflective insulation. Specifically, our 2’ x 10’ roll of double bubble foil/foil insulation. This customer set up his computers in a spare bedroom which was formerly a sun room. With windows on all three sides it is already a warm space made worse by the considerable amount of heat generated by the computers.   There is a small window air conditioner that simply cannot keep up with the hot midday summer sun. The customer first asked about using our reflective insulation on the windows of this room, to which...

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Nov 18, 2013

Tiny Houses Restore the Lost Art of Porch Sitting

Today's post is from Andrew Odom at Tiny r(E)volution. I am not one for loquacious quotes usually. However, when something is said right, there is typically no other way to say it. Case in point. 15 years ago country singer Tracy Lawrence wrote a song titled If the World Had a Front Porch. In it Lawrence spoke about his front porch and how it transcends the physical into the metaphysical. And I quote, It was where my mama sat on that old swing with her crochet It was where grandaddy taught me how to cuss and how to pray It...

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Nov 13, 2013

Ask The Expert: Will Radiant Barrier Hurt My Shingles?

Barb Rawson, Product Specialist This is a very common question from customers who are considering EcoFoil radiant barrier for their attic.  To give a little background, since 1989 the US Department of Energy has funded many studies to learn more about radiant barriers and there have been no conclusions so far that suggest there is any risk to your shingles.  The short answer is no, radiant barriers will not harm your shingles.   Here's why:   First of all, shingles are designed to withstand years in the hot sun. On average shingles can reach peak temperatures up to 160°F and...

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Nov 11, 2013

A Brief History of Insulation

Although the technology keeps evolving, the concept of insulation is nothing new. For centuries, people have been using specific materials to help achieve a safe, comfortable living space. While today’s homes are wrapped with modern substances like aluminum, fiberglass, and cellulose, older buildings used very different means of regulating temperature.     Historical Insulation Materials It may surprise you to learn how people of various periods and cultures have insulated their homes: The ancient Egyptians built thick brick homes to keep out cold and heat. Many civilizations, such as the Greeks and Romans, have used cavity walls to seal in...

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Nov 06, 2013

Sealed Air Spaces: Insulating Boots and Buildings

EcoFoil reflective insulation relies on a sealed air space to manage heat transfer. The use of air to insulate is nothing new. In fact there are many examples of it in our everyday lives. The inspiration for today’s post came from an avid hunter I know who uses U.S Military issue Extreme Cold Vapor Barrier Boots to keep warm.   These boots were introduced in the early 1950’s and first used in the Korean War where the frigid temperatures were a very serious problem. They are constructed out of two layers of rubber with a layer of wool insulation between....

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Nov 04, 2013

Environmentally Friendly Paint Options

Common household paints are often overlooked as environmental offenders. Did you know standard formulations can contain over 100 chemicals that are recognized toxins? And once paint has been applied, these chemicals can linger for months in indoor environments.   Luckily, there are healthier paint options available. Using zero-VOC paints or even low-VOC paints can help keep many of these toxins out of your home.   What is a VOC? Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, have long been recognized as one of the biggest problems with household paint. These compounds begin to evaporate when paint is applied, and once in the...

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Oct 30, 2013

Customer Feature: Insulating a Pole Barn Structure

This week I would like to share some photos sent to us by one of our customers. He first contacted us because he was building a shop and wanted an affordable insulation that would keep out the heat in the summer, keep it warm in the winter, and prevent condensation all year long. For this project we suggested EcoFoil double bubble foil/white reflective insulation.   For this new pole structure, we suggested  double bubble Foil/white reflective insulation to be installed on the framing underneath the exterior sheeting. The insulation will naturally sag between the rafters and sidewall girts, creating an air gap....

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Oct 28, 2013

3 Sustainable Lumber Certifications and What They Really Mean

Certified sustainable lumber is available at many hardware stores. If you are building or remodeling, you may have considered buying sustainable lumber for your project. However, a sustainable lumber logo provides little information. What do these sustainability certifications mean?   First, not all available lumber is certified sustainable. Getting a sustainability certification is voluntary, and not all forestry companies go through the often time-consuming process. Other companies choose to become certified as a way of letting buyers know that the company is protecting forests, following laws, or educating others about sustainable forestry.   Read on to find out more about...

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Oct 23, 2013

How to Combine Fiberglass and Bubble Insulation in a Wall

If you want to achieve an ultra-efficient insulating system you can use both fiberglass and EcoFoil bubble insulation. By combining tradition with innovation you will effectively stop all three modes of heat transfer: conductive, convective, and radiant.   In addition to reflecting 97% of radiant heat, EcoFoil is unaffected by moisture and can be used in applications that would ruin fiberglass insulation. It’s an excellent choice for basements, garagse, crawlspaces, pole barns and more!   There are two ways to combine fiberglass and bubble insulation within a wall. As with any radiant barrier product, it is necessary to have an...

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Oct 21, 2013

Money Saver Project: How to Insulate a Hot Water Heater Tank

With energy costs continually on the rise, consumers are looking for every opportunity to save money. And because appliances are one of the biggest sources of energy consumption in a home, it makes sense to be as cost-effective as possible when using them.   A water heater is one appliance that can use a lot of energy- particularly is it’s an older model. While most newer tanks are designed with insulation, older styles are not and losing valuable heat, which in turn costs more money to operate.   According to Energy.Gov, if your hot water tank has an R-value of...

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Oct 12, 2013

How To Cool An Attic

Most homeowners don’t spend much time in the attic, so it may seem unnecessary to worry about regulating the temperature. But in the summer, as warm air rises and fills the attic—typically heating it up to 120 or even 140 degrees at the hottest part of the day—all that trapped heat will seep through the ceiling and into your home. This forces the air conditioner to work harder and sends utility costs through the roof (no pun intended). Plus, an overheated attic can cause asphalt shingles to break down over time.   Fortunately, there are several relatively easy, affordable ways...

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Oct 09, 2013

Ask The Expert: Can Bubble Insulation Work in My Attic?

Barb Rawson, Product Specialist I receive a lot of calls from customers wanting to increase the efficiency of their homes by keeping their attics cooler. A common way to achieve this is to add more insulation. Therefore people understandably gravitate towards our reflective bubble insulation for this purpose. This however is not the ideal choice for your attic.   “If not bubble insulation, then what should I use in my attic to stop radiant heat?”   The best radiant barrier product for your attic is EcoFoil perforated radiant barrier. The reason for this is that the radiant barrier is perforated...

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Oct 07, 2013