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The Best Kept Secret to a Cool Home in Hot Texas

The Best Kept Secret to a Cool Home in Hot Texas
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The Rio Grande Valley is located in U.S. Climate Zone 2, which has one of the hottest temperatures in the nation, and there is only one item in your home that can make the biggest difference in whether your home will keep you cool and comfortable regardless of the temperature outside—and it’s not your air conditioning unit. It’s your insulation.

Aside from controlling your home’s comfort, proper insulation can have a tremendous impact on how much or how little you pay in utility bills. In the U.S., typical utility costs for a family can be as much as $1,900 per year with heating and cooling accounting for as much as 50% of that. Choosing the right insulation and properly installing it can save you as much as 40% per year. Doing the math, you can see that the upfront cost of good insulation will be paid for in five to six years. After that, you’ll be saving money every year—and doing it in a comfortable and enjoyable home.

There are many types of insulation in many forms, such as fiberglass, rockwool, cellulose, spray foam, and form boards, each with different R-Values. An R-Value measures the effectiveness of the insulation. The higher the R-value, the better it will keep out the heat. R-Values for specific areas of the home, like the attic and walls, are mandated by state and local building codes, which typically require only minimum standards. To get high-performance energy efficiency, it is best to go above what is required by code standards.

The most commonly used insulation is fiberglass, which can either be blown-in or installed using batt insulation that comes in rolls. It is the most commonly used, primarily because it is the least expensive option, but it is not the best option. The best option is spray foam insulation which, in addition to its superior insulation properties, provides additional benefits that no other type of insulation can give you.

Spray foam is applied using specialized equipment and expands to create an air-tight bond to the area it is sprayed on; it is extremely effective in getting into every crack or hole to prevent air infiltration. In addition to creating tight seals, spray foam’s water-resistant properties make it perfect for preventing moisture issues, and because it is an inert material, it provides no food source for mold and bacteria to grow.

You can walk into a home under construction in the middle of a hot summer day after the spray foam is applied and even without windows or doors installed, you will notice a big difference in the temperature inside. You should also know that spray foam will improve the quality of indoor air by preventing dust and other allergens from getting in through cracks and crevices in the home’s envelope. Outside noise levels will also be significantly reduced, allowing for a quieter interior. Lastly, because spray foam creates a strong bond when applied, it will provide increased structural strength to the walls and roof.

In addition to the tremendous energy savings and interior comfort from using spray foam, when you add up all the other extra benefits, there is no contest in deciding which insulation type you should use. And here’s some good news. Today, the price gap between spray foam and other types of less effective insulation has been significantly reduced.

“Our company welcomes the third-party inspections from the BUILT TO SAVE™ program. We know that without these visual inspections once the walls cover our insulation work, homebuyers would never know if we did an EXCELLENT job, and it feels good to be recognized  for that,”

Robert Salinas Jr.

We highly recommend that you consult with insulation professionals to make the choice that’s right for your project. Remember that no matter what type of insulation you decide to use, if it is not installed properly, it will not perform to its maximum effectiveness—even spray foam can be applied improperly, so be careful when choosing a contractor. Sometimes if the quote you get for insulation is low, there is usually a good reason—and it isn’t always good.

Valley Energy Specialist (VES) is a local insulation company that has built a solid reputation as expert installers in the Rio Grande Valley and across South Texas. The company, founded in 1998 by Robert Salinas, Jr. together with his sons Robert and Andrew, has grown along with the Valley and has played a major role in improving the quality of construction in the area. As a member of BUILT TO SAVE™, a high-performance home certification program, Valley Energy Specialist is committed to promoting energy efficiency and has helped many builders to certify their homes as BUILT TO SAVE™. Robert Salinas Jr. proudly notes, “Our company welcomes the third-party inspections from the BUILT TO SAVE™ program. We know that without these visual inspections once the walls cover our insulation work, home buyers would never know if we did an excellent job, and it feels good to be recognized for that.” For a free consultation and estimate, email rob@valleyenergyspecialist.com or call (956) 702-7511 or (956) 638-9534. You may also visit www.valleyenergyspecialist.com for more information.

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