Saturday, December 12, 2009

Don't overlook the insulation in your home

It is all to common for people to overlook the insulation that is going into their home or that is currently in their home.  In new home construction this is obviously the best time to oversee the quality of work and products that are being installed.  There is so many decisions involved in building like wall colors, flooring, appliances, fixtures etc...that often the most important decisions are forgotten and overlooked.  Insulation is one of them.  Many but not all builders now days are trying their best to lower costs to ensure they can still turn a profit.  This means that they are shopping around for the cheapest quote out there.  This reminds me of a couple sayings, "The bitter taste of a cheap product or install will always last longer than the sweet taste of a cheap price" or "All cars have 4 wheels, but they are certainly not all the same".

The cost difference in a higher quality insulation product is very marginal.  It also doesn't cost much more to put in extra insulation and the easiest, most efficient spot to do so is in the attic.  An important thing to remember is that code is the minimum that we have to achieve...since when did the minimum sound like a good idea in terms of energy efficiency in your home.  A home for most people is the biggest investment you will ever make, so take the time to ask your builder/contractor what they are installing.

TLC Energy Solutions takes pride in the products and services we provide our customers.  We offer the most eco-friendly materials available in the market today, that also out perform and offer superior safety for your home.  Insulation advice is always free as our goal is to lower your carbon footprint that you will leave behind on this planet.  As a result, TLC Energy Solutions is changing the way people think about insulation.

Terry Laurin
TLC Energy Solutions
250-215-8020
http://www.tlces.com/
terry@tlces.com

Monday, November 30, 2009

Where did the service go?


In today's economy with homes all over the country in foreclosure and business's shutting down left and right.  Why is the service so often less then satisfactory?  One might think that in struggling times for many people that the service would be better than its been in years.....I'm not seeing it.  What I have noticed is its hard to get service with a smile these days, let alone have someone ask you if your happy with your product or experience.  Its grab your money and run!

In today's world we have so many lines of communication its silly.  There's fax, email, text messaging, home phone's, office phones, portable phones, cell phones, internet chat, answering machines, mail and last but not least face to face communication.  So what can possibly be our excuse for not providing service 10 times better than say 30 years ago?  Having listed all these ways to get in touch with someone, it seems hard to believe any excuse I hear for people not getting back to you or fulfilling their obligations.  Is technology to blame here?  I see people all the time screening calls with call display or saying its Friday and I will get back to them on Monday.  Back in the day people were lucky to have a phone at all and a car to get them to work, but they still managed to give good service.  Now certainly not everyone was inclined to give good service back in the day and there is a good chance they are out of business now if they didn't.  So I say go to work tomorrow and every day after that with the intentions of blowing your clients away with good service.  We all know that when we have a good experience we tell a few people, but when we have a bad experience we tell everyone who will listen.  This is the time to grab your share of the pie and run your ass off with it!  Use these communication tools as a way to leverage your business, not as excuses to procrastinate.

I may sound harsh by suggesting that most service needs to improve because certainly there is business's out there doing a great job!  Keep it up for those of you that haven't forgotten true service, because I know your customers won't forget it.

I can only hope my competition doesn't read this...and neither does yours!

Have a great day!







Terry Laurin
TLC Energy Solutions
250-215-8020
www.tlces.com
terry@tlces.com

"We Insulate your wallet"

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Asbestos and who is at risk?

Why should I be concerned about asbestos-contaminated vermiculite insulation?
A mine near Libby, Montana was the source of over 70 percent of all vermiculite sold in the U.S. and Canada from 1919 to 1990. There was also a deposit of asbestos at that mine, so the vermiculite from Libby was contaminated with asbestos. Vermiculite from Libby was used in the majority of vermiculite insulation in the U.S. and was often sold under the brand name Zonolite. If you have vermiculite insulation in your home, you should assume this material may be contaminated with asbestos and be aware of steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from exposure to asbestos.

How can I tell if my insulation is made from vermiculite?

Look at these photos and then look your insulation without disturbing it. Vermiculite insulation is a pebble-like, pour-in product and is usually gray-brown or silver-gold in color.

The following photographs show typical vermiculite insulation.






What should I do if I have vermiculite insulation?
YOU SHOULD ASSUME THE VERMICULITE CONTAINS ASBESTOS AND DO NOT DISTURB IT! Any disturbance could potentially release asbestos fibers into the air. If you absolutely have to go in your attic and it contains vermiculite insulation, you should limit the number of trips you make and shorten the length of those trips in order to help limit your potential exposure.
We recommend that you:
  • Leave vermiculite insulation undisturbed in your attic or in your walls.
  • Do not store boxes or other items in your attic if it contains vermiculite insulation.
  • Do not allow children to play in an attic with vermiculite insulation.
  • Do not attempt to remove the insulation yourself.
  • Hire a professional asbestos contractor if you plan to remodel or conduct renovations that would disturb the vermiculite in your attic or walls to make sure the material is safely handled and/or removed.

For all of your insulation needs call:




250-215-8020
http://www.tlces.com/

terry@tlces.com

"We help you become energy efficient"

Monday, March 23, 2009

The bitter taste of a cheap product or install will always last longer than the sweet taste of a cheap price!


I was in Vernon today to witness a blown insulation job gone horribly wrong. Unfortunately this is very common with insulation here in the Okanagan. As things slow down for just about everyone, homeowners have the luxury of shopping around to find a contractor that best suits their needs. Over the past few years things have been busy for just about everyone and home owners and business owners were lucky to find anyone available. So now that we have options available customers need to educate themselves even further on what products are best for my project and who is going to give you the quality workmanship you deserve?

Every contractor including myself should have some sort of biased point of view as to why their products and services are better than the rest. So how does the customer know fact from fiction?
Start with the wonderful tool you are using right now...the Internet! The Internet has plenty of unbiased articles for customers to educate themselves so they can make the right choices. Also ask as many questions as possible and check for references and testimonials.Here is an example of poor work and a big mess to correct: At the top are some pictures i took today on my camera phone (sorry for the poor quality) of a fibreglass blown insulation job gone wrong.


The picture on the top is a return air duct for the air conditioning that is completely blocked with insulation leaving this business with poor air quality, an air conditioning system that won't function properly and random pieces of insulation falling on customers. In the picture on the bottom you can see the air conditioning duct has been stepped on and pushed through the ceiling. This is typical craftsmanship from a company who hasn't properly trained their staff and obviously didn't take the proper measures to make sure the job was done properly. In addition to these errors they also neglected to properly block the insulation around the hatch leaving me covered in fibreglass when i opened the hatch to the attic.


So what Insulation is the best choice for your project? The answer varies from house to house and project to project. There is many choices from Urethane spray foam, Reflective foil insulation, batt insulation and blown insulation. They all have their ups and downs and are better used in some places than others.

Lets take the attic for example: You could use the old school method and batt your attic, however the insulation coverage is much better if you blow in some insulation and for you real green thumbs reflective foil insulation can be added as well. Now you have another decision to make....do i use cellulose or fibreglass blown insulation? 95% of insulation contractors will only offer you fibreglass for one reason only; it’s cheap making profits high!

Cellulose is about two times the cost in material but has many qualities that make it the greener smarter choice. Cellulose is first off 100% recycled newspaper treated with borax to make it fire resistant. Cellulose is also a more dense material giving you higher R-values per inch and in turn making it safer than fibreglass by not allowing the fire air to breath and therefore smothers the flame giving you more time to save your home and make a safe exit in case of a fire. Check out this link of a burn test to see what i mean.


video

Another thing you may not know is that fibreglass in most cases contains formaldehyde and is often extremely itchy.

Cellulose is often slagged by insulators again because it costs more and therefore they make less. Some of the things you will here is that it settles, well all insulation settles over time. Its dusty...this is true but only during the installation will it get a bit dusty around the hatch.

I have heard every excuse in the book as to why most insulators will try to get you to use fibreglass and i have a rebuttal for them all, but then again i must be bias as well seeing on how this is what i do for a living. So don't trust me, do the homework for yourself and once you are educated....TLC Energy Solutions would be glad to help.

Terry Laurin - TLC Energy Solutions

http://www.tlces.com/ 250-215-8020

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What Insulation should I use on my next project



I don’t believe there is one type of insulation better than another; however there are some insulation types better suited for specific projects.


For example Batt Insulation is easy to handle and just about anyone can install it themselves without the use of special tools and equipment. Its versatile, inexpensive, but isn’t the best for filling all those hard to get at gaps.


That is where Blown Insulation holds a big advantage. Blown insulation is usually made up of fiberglass or Cellulose. Both products do a great job in attics, especially cellulose because it’s finer giving you higher R-values, increased safety when treated with borax and it’s made of recycled newspaper....making cellulose a Green choice.


Then you have Spray Foam Insulation. A product that gives you high R-Values per inch and is also a very effective Vapour Barrier! Spray foam is best used in hard to seal areas like rim joists because it is so hard to get a perfect seal with just poly and acoustic seal (the traditional way of sealing a rim joist). Another place I like to use spray foam is when you have a scenario where you need to get a high R-Value in a small space. Unfortunately spray foam is more expensive to have applied than Batt insulation, Blown insulation or Reflective Foil Insulation, but it makes up for it and then some when needed.


Last but not least Reflective Foil Insulation. Used and designed by the NASA space program reflective foil insulation was not designed to saturate heat, (R-value is a measurement of how much heat a sample of insulation can hold or saturate) but to reflect heat. Reflective Foil Insulation also called a Radiant Barrier when made and applied correctly will block 97% of all radiant heat. This is a huge factor in warm, multi climactic places like the Okanagan. The sky is the limit with this product when it comes to applications.

So now that you know a little about these products maybe you can decide which is best for your next project.

Terry Laurin
http://www.tlces.com/

250-215-8020
“Helping you become Energy Efficient”

Friday, February 20, 2009

Why Insulate Your House?

Heating and cooling account for 50% to 70% of the energy used in the average North American home. Inadequate insulation and air leakage are leading causes of energy waste in most homes. The biggest reason why you should insulate your home is because insulation saves you money and our nation's limited energy resources. Without insulation your home would simply be unliveable. Insulation makes your house more comfortable by helping to maintain a uniform temperature throughout the house, and makes walls, ceilings, and floors warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

The amount of energy you conserve will depend on several factors: your local climate; the size, shape, and construction of your house; the living habits of your family; the type and efficiency of the heating and cooling systems; and the fuel you use. Once the energy savings have paid for the installation cost, energy conserved is money saved - and saving energy will be even more important as utility rates go up.


How Insulation Works

Heat flows naturally from a warmer to a cooler space. In winter, the heat moves directly from all heated living spaces to the outdoors and to adjacent unheated attics, garages, and basements - wherever there is a difference in temperature. During the summer, heat moves from outdoors to the house interior. To maintain comfort, the heat lost in winter must be replaced by your heating system and the heat gained in summer must be removed by your air conditioner. Insulating ceilings, walls and floors decreases the heating or cooling needed by providing an effective resistance to the flow of heat.


Batts, blankets, loose fill, and low-density foams all work by limiting air movement. (These products may be more familiarly called fibreglass, cellulose, polyicynene, and expanded polystyrene.) The still air is an effective insulator because it eliminates convection and has low conduction. Some foams, such as polyisocyanurate, polyurethane, and extruded polystyrene, are filled with special gases that provide additional resistance to heat flow.

Terry Laurin
www.tlces.com
250-215-8020
“Helping you become Energy Efficient”


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Are you getting the best products and prices for your Kelowna foams and sealants?


TLC Polyurethane Straw Foam (24oz) $9.88

- TLC Straw Foam is a one-component insulating foam that is dispensed using an easy to use straw attachment. By screwing the straw attachment on to this lightweight can of foam you instantly have an easy multi-directional solution for your smaller scale gap, crack & void filling needs. TLC Straw Foam effectively blocks air infiltration while adding thermal insulation value.

TLC Polyurethane Door & Window Gun Foam (24oz) $10.88

TLC Door & Window Gun Foam is a low expansion, low pressure foam specifically formulated for use in door and window installation and sealing applications. This low pressure formula will minimize the risk of door and window frame damages caused by the pressure exerted on the frame during expansion. TLC Door & Window Gun Foam is a one-component, low expansion and low pressure gun foam with CFC-free propellants, making this foam efficient and ozone friendly. -
TLC Polyurethane Gun Foam ( 24oz) $10.88

TLC Gun Foam is a one-component insulating foam that is dispensed using one of TLC's professional dispensing guns. By using this type of application method the applicant will be able to control the flow (bead) and obtain more product out of a can. TLC Gun Foam can also reach areas in which other methods cannot. TLC Gun foam effectively blocks air infiltration while adding thermal insulation value.

NuFlex 814 GG-266 Intumescent Smoke & Water Seal (10.1oz) $10.88

NuFlex 814 GG-266 Intumescent Smoke & Water Seal is a 100% silicone firestop sealant ideal for sealing combustible service penetrations in fire rated walls & floors. The GG-266 is an Intumescent product that expands when heated above 300¢XF, crushing combustible pipes and filling voids left by the pipe to prevent the spread of fire, smoke & toxic gases.GG-266 will adhere to aluminum, pre-cast concrete, gypsum wallboard, wood floors/ceilings, insulated pipes, communication cables, galvanized steel, static/non-static pipes & PVC pipes.

Bull Seal (9.8oz) $12.88

Caulk, Seal or Bond. This product does it All!
-
TLC Energy Solutions
250-215-8020
http://www.tlces.com/

Foam Sealents for your Kelowna Home


  • Fill the gap with some of our foam products.
  • We cary Window & Door Foam, Gun Foam, Straw Foam, Intumescent Firestop & Bull Seal

Terry Laurin
www.tlces.com
250-215-8020
“Helping you become Energy Efficient”

An easy way to help the planet

  • 2.0 GPM Exceeds all water efficient standards.
  • This new product has an internal pressure compensator that can not be removed, which ensures uniform performance regardless of water pressure for consistent efficiency and showering enjoyment.
  • Adjustable spray selections offer regular, massage, combination.
  • The pause feature provides the user the ability to stop the flow when soaping up for additional savings.
  • Saves water and money!



Terry Laurin
www.tlces.com
250-215-8020
“Helping you become Energy Efficient”

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Up to $1350 In tax Credits for Insulation and other renovation upgrades here in the Okanagan


Canada will have to weather large deficits to “do what it takes to keep our economy moving,” including cutting taxes while boosting infrastructure and worker training, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in tabling the federal budget Tuesday.
Flaherty promises billions of dollars in new spending — ranging from money for infrastructure projects to aid for worker training, and cash for enhanced employment insurance (EI) benefits — to help the country ride out the global economic downturn.
"We must do what it takes to keep our economy moving, and to protect Canadians in this extraordinary time," Flaherty said in his budget speech in the House of Commons.

Help for current, wannabe homeowners
Flaherty also promised action to stimulate the housing sector.
A new home renovation tax credit would give up to $1,350 in tax relief on home improvement projects. The eligible expenses must be at least $1,000, but not more than $10,000, and the work would have to be done between Jan. 27, 2009, and Feb. 1, 2010.
The temporary credit would cost the government an estimated $2.5 billion for the upcoming fiscal year.

To view full article
Click Here
-
Terry Laurin-TLC Energy Solutions
We help you become energy efficient

250-215-8020
http://www.tlces.com/

Monday, January 26, 2009

How do I get a proper ventilated house in Kelowna?

























Do you have High Heating & Cooling Bills?

Have you ever wondered why your house never seems to cool off in the summer or warm up in the winter, even though your air conditioner or furnace seems to be constantly running? This is a common problem in homes that are insulated with fibreglass, but are not air-sealed.
The average home has many hidden holes, gaps and cracks around window and door frames, electrical outlets, plumbing lines, under the siding, in the basement, and in many other places. When you add them all up, it’s about the same as having a four square foot opening letting air in and out of the house. Air leakage through holes, gaps, and cracks is the single biggest cause of home heating and cooling loss. This loss accounts for 30 to 50 percent of the energy used in most homes. With a 400 percent increase in heating and cooling costs over the past decade, air sealing your home is a simple way to save money and make your home more comfortable.

Do you have Drafts & Uneven Room Temperatures?

This problem can usually be traced to air leakage, a poor HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning) distribution system and insufficient insulation. The problem can be solved by checking the HVAC system, installing proper insulation and air-sealing all areas that contribute to air leakage in the affected area.

Do you have Mold, Mildew, High Humidity problems?

Mold and mildew problems are typically caused by high humidity in the house. This leads to condensation on cold surfaces such as windows. The resulting humid air causes mold and mildew to develop. Because moist air rises, the problem typically occurs in the attic. When left unchecked, it can cause wood to rot and may lead to respiratory problems for people with sensitivities and allergies. One effective way to minimize the problem is to air-seal and insulate all gaps between the attic and the living quarters.

Do You have problems with Ice Dams?

If you live in the northern parts of North America, you probably have seen icicles hanging from eaves in winter. The hanging icicles are not only dangerous to people passing by, but often are an indicator of potential roof/attic problems that could cause serious damage to the house over time. Ice dams usually occur during heavy snow followed by a combination of melting and freezing temperatures.

In a house that is not properly insulated and air sealed, heated air escapes from the living areas of the house to the attic. The heated air warms up portions of the roof causing snow to melt. Melted snow flows down to another area of the roof which is cooler, and the water refreezes. A small dam slowly builds up as more melted water refreezes. Over time, water backs up behind the ice dam and travels up under the shingles where it begins to leak through the roof and into the living space below. One way to prevent ice dams is to make sure the attic is well-insulated and to seal areas where air can escape from the living area to the attic (e.g. pull down attic doors).

Do you have Insect Infestations?
The average home has many hidden holes, gaps and cracks around window and door frames, electrical outlets, and plumbing lines and under the siding. These openings are pathways for insects to enter the house. If your house is infested by ants, ladybugs or other small insects, you can minimize the problem by sealing gaps and cracks around the house.

For all your home ventilation issues contact:

Terry Laurin-TLC Energy Solutions
We help you become energy efficient

250-215-8020
www.tlces.com
terry@tlces.com

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Are you getting the best products and prices on your foams and sealants?

--

TLC Polyurethane Straw Foam (24oz) $9.88
-
TLC Straw Foam is a one-component insulating foam that is dispensed using an easy to use straw attachment. By screwing the straw attachment on to this lightweight can of foam you instantly have an easy multi-directional solution for your smaller scale gap, crack & void filling needs. TLC Straw Foam effectively blocks air infiltration while adding thermal insulation value.

TLC Polyurethane Door & Window Gun Foam (24oz) $10.88

TLC Door & Window Gun Foam is a low expansion, low pressure foam specifically formulated for use in door and window installation and sealing applications. This low pressure formula will minimize the risk of door and window frame damages caused by the pressure exerted on the frame during expansion. TLC Door & Window Gun Foam is a one-component, low expansion and low pressure gun foam with CFC-free propellants, making this foam efficient and ozone friendly.
-
TLC Polyurethane Gun Foam ( 24oz) $10.88

TLC Gun Foam is a one-component insulating foam that is dispensed using one of TLC's professional dispensing guns. By using this type of application method the applicant will be able to control the flow (bead) and obtain more product out of a can. TLC Gun Foam can also reach areas in which other methods cannot. TLC Gun foam effectively blocks air infiltration while adding thermal insulation value.

NuFlex 814 GG-266 Intumescent Smoke & Water Seal (10.1oz) $10.88

NuFlex 814 GG-266 Intumescent Smoke & Water Seal is a 100% silicone firestop sealant ideal for sealing combustible service penetrations in fire rated walls & floors. The GG-266 is an Intumescent product that expands when heated above 300¢XF, crushing combustible pipes and filling voids left by the pipe to prevent the spread of fire, smoke & toxic gases.GG-266 will adhere to aluminum, pre-cast concrete, gypsum wallboard, wood floors/ceilings, insulated pipes, communication cables, galvanized steel, static/non-static pipes & PVC pipes.

Bull Seal (9.8oz) $12.88


Caulk, Seal or Bond. This product does it All!

-
TLC Energy Solutions
250-215-8020
http://www.tlces.com/