Farnum Insulates Tiny House

 Spencer Knickerbocker and his tiny house

Spencer Knickerbocker and his tiny house

Farnum Insulators help to keep you and your family comfortable in your home, no matter what the season.

We insulate all kinds and sizes of homes - some are large and some are small. The home we’d like to tell you about in today’s blog is on the smaller side - the WAY smaller side.

Meet Spencer Knickerbocker. Spencer is a senior at Marlboro College. If you’re a local and follow the ski jumping circuit, you may remember Spencer from his days on the US Ski Team in the Nordic Combined event. He continues to jump at the Harris Hill Ski Jump, you may have even seen him jump last February!  

This athlete and econ major may be a wiz when it comes to economic theory and jumping off 90 meter towers, but he’s also got quite a talent for carpentry! Not to mention a self-reliant spirit. With no building plans or much experience, he built a tiny house this summer, basically by himself – well, maybe with a little help from a few friends…

He’s been involved with the Tiny House Festival in Brattleboro, VT and decided it was time to build one for himself.  The eleven-foot tall house is built on an 8x20 foot trailer. Spencer says he made it to conform to the legal limits for towing on the highway.  His plan is to park the house in a field in Marlboro owned by some friends. To date he’s spent about $20,000 on materials - incredible!

The house is currently parked at Vermont Canoe Touring Center on Putney Road where Spencer’s been working this summer. That’s where our team of super spray foamers, Phil and James found him and his tiny house. They sprayed 3 inches of closed-cell spray foam on the walls, floor and ceiling - take a look at the photo gallery below. Spencer’s plan is to install a small propane heater for the winter months. It’s not going to take much energy to keep the place cozy this winter!

Maybe Farnum Insulators can help you keep your tiny house – or not so tiny house -  more comfortable this winter – contact us via email or give us a call for a free consultation 802-387-5005.

If you want to learn more about tiny houses – contact the folks at the Brattleboro Tiny House Festival. Here’s their website: https://tinyhousefestvermont.com/

5 Reasons You Need Insulation All Year Round!

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As the weather keeps changing, so do your needs for your home. Whether it’s prepping your roof for winter or a fresh coat of paint for the summer, most home improvement projects tend to be seasonal. Plus, most people think of fixing the issue only when it arises, such as when the roof springs a leak during a thunderstorm.

When it comes to insulation, however, did you know it is essential for your home not just in the winter, but in the summer, too? Insulation works both ways – it helps to keep your home cool in the summer and warmer in the winter, so you’re comfortable all year around.

Check out these five reasons why high-quality insulation is a must-have in your home, no matter the season.

1.    It Keeps the Elements Out

Everyone knows why insulation in the winter is necessary for your home; after all, who wants to be buried under a pile of blankets just to sit on the couch? However, did you know that insulation also keeps heat out of your home during the summer?

“It’s amazing how many homeowners are surprised that the insulation they installed to keep their house warm in the winter keeps their house cooler in the summer, too,” says Chad Farnum, Owner of Farnum Insulators. Insulation works by blocking the outside elements from entering your home, which means neither the chilly winter air nor the scorching summer heat can get in.

2.    It Saves You Money

Insulating will make your home more energy efficient by reducing the amount of energy it takes to heat or cool your home. By stabilizing the temperature in your home, insulation helps reduce the energy required to heat or cool the house, and in turn causes your energy bill to go down. “Sometimes, a well-insulated home will use 60 percent less energy than a poorly insulated house,” says Farnum. “Most energy projects actually pay for themselves within five years.”

3.    It’s Good for the Environment

Insulating your home not only saves you money, but also helps the environment, according to Farnum. In fact, a home with good insulation will end up burning less fossil fuel to keep the interior temperature stable year-round than a home without insulation. This is because fluctuations in external temperature do not affect the inside of your home as much. By reducing energy use, insulation also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, thereby reducing your impact on the environment.

4.    It Increases the Value of Your Home

Having a well-insulated home that is more energy-efficient is more valuable on the housing market. When energy costs are lower year-round due to the investment in good insulation, the result is an increased resale value for your home.

5.    It Keeps Your Home Comfortable

Finally, and most importantly, insulation can keep your home comfortable year-round by keeping out drafts during the winter, and preventing solar heat gain during the summer. Reducing drafts through insulation also works to prevent the potential of airborne pollutants being drawn into your home, such as mold and mildew spores.

Farnum Insulators has been making New Englanders more comfortable in their homes for over a decade. Check out their easy financing options by calling (802) 387-5005 or visiting FarnumInsulators.com.

6 Ways to Fix Damaging Basement Moisture

Musty. Dank. Damp. Do these words describe your basement? If so, you may have an undesirable, and potentially hazardous moisture problem in your home. Moisture in your basement is bad for your health and can, in some cases, be dangerous. Damp conditions could cause mold growth and or attract bugs and vermin, all of which can introduce bacteria and microorganisms into the air. “Moisture transfers from high moisture content to lower moisture content. So, if there is ductwork for air conditioning or heating in the basement and that ductwork is leaky, airborne mold spores or other unhealthy bacteria can be drawn into the ductwork and be carried throughout the entire house,” says Chad Farnum, Owner of Farnum Insulators.

Basement moisture can also compromise wooden structural components of your home like floor joists, rim boards and support columns. Rot in these components can cause serious structural damage to a home!

What’s a homeowner to do? Here are six easy fixes to tackle moisture in a basement:

  1. Seal Ductwork

Sealing heating and air conditioning ductwork will ensure that the heavy moist air, mold, mildew or other bacteria will not be drawn into the ductwork and be distributed throughout the house.

  1. Cover the Dirt Floor in Your Basement

“Moisture problems in homes are very common, but they’re often not properly diagnosed and treated,” says Farnum. “In New England, a lot of houses have dirt floor basements, which can lead to heavy moisture loads in the house.” Dirt floor basements release more moisture than other types. They cause problems because they are able to draw moisture from the ground and release it into the air, causing dampness to hang around even in the wintertime. The best way to fix this is to weatherize the basement by having a heavy-duty vapor barrier installed over the dirt floor. Installers, such as the experts at Farnum Insulators, will then seal the vapor barrier to the exterior foundation walls using closed cell spray foam.

  1. Do Not Open Basement Windows

If your home isn’t properly weatherized, keeping your basement windows open to catch the warm summer breeze might actually add more moisture into your basement. “When you open your basement windows during the warm summer months, it can result in the warm moist air that's being drawn in condensing on the cooler surfaces within the home” says Farnum.

  1. Don’t Use a Dehumidifier in a Basement or Crawl Space with a Dirt Floor

Contrary to popular belief, using a dehumidifier to reduce moisture in your basement or crawl space with a dirt floor won’t work. The dehumidifier will just draw moisture out of the ground, which is then replaced with more moisture from the ground. This is a huge waste of energy and does not solve the moisture problem.

  1. Make Sure Dryer Vents are Vented to the Outside

“We find that another common thing that leads to excessive moisture in a basement is when clothes dryers are vented into the space,” says Farnum. Heavy moist air produced by a dryer in a basement is a recipe for big moisture problems!

  1. Stop Storing Firewood in the Basement

Fresh firewood is full of moisture and storing it in your basement can cause issues, according to Farnum. “The common mistake that people make is leaving firewood to dry in the basement. The moisture from the wood is drawn out, creating an environment for mold and mildew growth.”

 

Farnum Insulators has been making New Englanders more comfortable in their homes for more than a decade. Check out their easy financing options at Farnuminsulators.com

5 More Ways to Make Your Home More Comfortable!

2. Caulking and Weather Stripping

This can be done yourself at a low cost. Simply caulking around window trim and baseboards can be very effective. Reducing drafts and heat loss will generate savings year after year. Weather stripping, a foam or felt product that is used to seal doors and windows, can be found at many hardware stores. Installation is as easy as pressing the adhesive down on a door frame!

3. Sealing Leaky Heating Ducts

The United States Department of Energy says, “Air ducts are one of the most important systems in your home and if the ducts are poorly sealed, or insulated, they are contributing to higher energy bills.” In addition, heating ducts are often located in the basement, where mold, mildew and moisture can be drawn into them and distributed throughout the house. Repairing these heating ducts at the joints is the best way to keep your hot/cool air system from spreading indoor pollutants, like mold spores, throughout your home and keep the conditioned air circulating well.

4. Insulate the Attic

Attic insulation is essential to keeping the hot or cold air from leaking out. “It’s so important to remove existing insulation rather than simply adding extra layers, since this insulation can contain pollutants like mouse droppings, dust, pollen, spiders or mold,” Farnum says. “Our approach is to remove the existing insulation as needed, air seal the attic space and then install a thick, 16” layer of cellulose insulation that meets today’s energy requirements.”

Heat loss into an attic space will melt snow on the roof creating dangerous ice dams, which could also lead to roof leaks causing extensive damage to a home.

5. Insulate the Basement, Crawl Space and the Rim Joist

Huge heating costs and drafty homes can often be attributed to poor insulation in basements, rim joists and crawl spaces. “By using techniques such as spray foam insulation on basement walls and rims, and installing vapor barriers on dirt floors, we’re able to greatly reduce moisture issues within a home,” says Farnum. “Older homes often have no insulation in basements. By insulating these areas we are not only helping to reduce a homeowner’s energy bill, but also reducing the infiltration of harmful gases, such as radon and other airborne particles, from entering the home.”

6. Install Interior Storm Windows

When you think of fixing drafty windows, often the go-to move is to replace the entire window. That’s an expensive option. Alternatively, Indow Windows may be a better, less costly option. These custom made interior acrylic panels work in conjunction with your existing windows to prevent heat loss and reduce drafts. Fitted with a silicone compression gasket, these durable interior storm windows are easy to install and remove seasonally. Farnum Insulators is an authorized dealer for Indow Windows.

Farnum Insulators has been making New Englanders more comfortable in their homes for more than a decade. Save money. Protect your investment. Check out their easy financing options at FarnumInsulators.com or call (802)387.5005.

First thing you can do to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient

1. Have an Energy Audit or Home Consultation

Home consultations give you a basis for making decisions on which improvement should take priority, and which could be more cost effective. A free evaluation with a Farnum Insulators advisor will determine whether a more in-depth energy audit is necessary.

“The biggest surprise our customers have is when they call us to look at their attic insulation and we insist on inspecting their basements for potential moisture problems,” says Chad Farnum, owner of Farnum Insulators. “The reason is tightening a home without dealing with moisture can cause future problems.”

Welcome to our new blog!

In upcoming weeks will be covering 6 Ways to Make Your Home More Comfortable and Energy Efficient Whether it’s newly built or more than 100 years old, you want to feel comfortable in your home. As the seasons change, are you bothered by high heating or cooling bills, damp musty smells or drafty windows? Making your home more comfortable, in any season, can be as easy as following the advice in these six simple steps.