Attic Myths & Misconceptions

This article attempts to address some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding attic insulation, attic strategies and insulation products. We routinely meet with potential customers on estimates who are genuinely confused and not sure who to believe in the marketplace. This article attempts to sort through the noise. Our goal is to provide our customers … Continue reading “Attic Myths & Misconceptions”

Why Air Sealing is Crucial to HVAC Efficiency

All the major utilities in Arizona are offering rebates for sealing air leaks. Air leaks are unintentional openings in your home that let conditioned air escape.   Conditioned air is the air that you pay to heat and cool to keep you comfortable. The more conditioned air that unintentionally escapes from your home, the more likely … Continue reading “Why Air Sealing is Crucial to HVAC Efficiency”

Why Spray Foam Retrofit Insulation is a Good Choice

These past several years Advantage Home Performance has received numerous requests from home owners who want to eliminate attic vents and upgrade their attic insulation to half-pound spray foam insulation installed on the underside of the roof deck.These homeowners are ahead of the curve. They know that the traditional vented attic with insulation at the … Continue reading “Why Spray Foam Retrofit Insulation is a Good Choice”

Do Radiant Barriers Work?

Retrofit radiant barriers are one of those energy conservation strategies that generate a lot of confusion and controversy. I suspect the confusion stems from the fact that most people are not that familiar with the dynamics of radiant heat transfer. I also believe some radiant barrier suppliers and contractors use this lack of familiarity with … Continue reading “Do Radiant Barriers Work?”

Right Sizing Your Air Conditioning System

The Manual J load calculation process is the gold standard in the HVAC industry for properly sizing a heating and cooling system. Conducting a load calculation eliminates the risk of oversizing or under-sizing a heating and cooling system. Industry experts all say bigger is not better when it comes to HVAC systems. The load calculation … Continue reading “Right Sizing Your Air Conditioning System”

Common Problems Most HVAC Salespeople Ignore

If a heating and air conditioning salesman / comfort consultant does not inspect your attic or crawl space, they are doing you a major disservice. They simply want to sell you a new unit and are not concerned about the comfort, health, safety and efficiency of your home. At Advantage Home Performance our salespeople inspect … Continue reading “Common Problems Most HVAC Salespeople Ignore”

Gas furnaces Simplified – A Good, Better & Best Approach

A simplified way to view understand gas furnaces would be a “Good, Better Best” approach. In this article we will describe the differences between a single-stage (good), two-stage (better) and modulating gas furnace (best) in the context of providing comfort. The key to understanding furnace performance in relationship to comfort is furnace runtime. The longer … Continue reading “Gas furnaces Simplified – A Good, Better & Best Approach”

Need to Replace Your Heating System? Here’s What to Consider

Temperatures may still be soaring here in Arizona, but cooler nights will be here before you know it. Now is the perfect time for homeowners from Prescott to the Phoenix metro area to consider maintaining or replacing the heating systems in their homes. If you think your heating system might need to be replaced, here … Continue reading “Need to Replace Your Heating System? Here’s What to Consider”

Could Your Attic Be Undoing the Work of Your Heating and Cooling System?

Whether you know it or not, your attic’s insulation actually has an effect on your whole house. Did you know that a poorly insulated attic can actually undo the work of your HVAC system? This is especially true in Prescott and the greater Phoenix Area, where the hot Arizona climate causes temperatures to rise to … Continue reading “Could Your Attic Be Undoing the Work of Your Heating and Cooling System?”

Common Attic Insulation Defects We See

There are about ten common insulation problems that we routinely identify when performing insulation estimates and energy audits. If a homeowner wants a quality insulation job, then all of these insulation defects must be identified and dealt with during the repair process. In this section of our website we will provide a brief overview of … Continue reading “Common Attic Insulation Defects We See”

12 Steps to A Quality Retrofit Attic Insulation Job

Having your attic reinsulated is not like having tile installed in your foyer or carpet in your living room. You can watch the tile and carpet be installed and carefully study the final product for installation defects. Insulation is different. Most consumers will never go up into their attic to make sure the job was … Continue reading “12 Steps to A Quality Retrofit Attic Insulation Job”

Dust Mitigation

The customer took her index finger and ran it across her grand piano in her living room and asked me if I could see the dust streak. The dust was very apparent and the question was asked to establish a point. It was clearly implied, “dust is my problem and if you undertake this job … Continue reading “Dust Mitigation”

Pressure Testing Ductwork

A pressure test with telltale fog will keep your duct installers on their toes. Airtight ductwork is one of the keys to a quality heating and cooling system. It helps to make a home more healthful, more comfortable, and more energy efficient. By reducing the load on the equipment, it also reduces wear and tear. … Continue reading “Pressure Testing Ductwork”

Getting The Most From Mechanical Cooling

We’re in an attic in Phoenix, directly over the closet that holds the air handler. With a flashlight and smoke pencil, which makes the air stream visible, we watch hot attic air being sucked into return duct fittings and down the interior partition walls into the air-handler’s platform plenum below. Later, while inspecting the crawlspace, … Continue reading “Getting The Most From Mechanical Cooling”

Getting Quality From Fiberglass Insulation

Advantage Home Performance specializes in high-quality insulation work, in both new construction and retrofit applications in Phoenix and Prescott. We also provide energy consulting and energy audits that include testing with a blower door, duct blaster, infrared camera, and other diagnostic tools. Experience has convinced us that blown-in insulation products are the way to go … Continue reading “Getting Quality From Fiberglass Insulation”

Insulating With Spray Cellulose

In the hierarchy of the building trades, insulation contractors are often considered about half a step above the porta-john guy. That’s because insulation is one of the most taken-for-granted systems in a house. It’s installed in exterior walls one day and covered up with sheetrock the next, and few municipalities have substantive insulation inspections. The … Continue reading “Insulating With Spray Cellulose”

Q&A – January JLC 2003 Flashing An Arched Window

Q. What’s the best way to flash an arch-topped window? A. Builder and designer Carl Hagstrom replies: The slickest way I’ve found to flash a circle-top window is to use DuPont FlexWrap, a flexible flashing tape from the makers of Tyvek housewrap. I refer to FlexWrap as “peeland- stick on steroids.” Like generic peel-and-stick, FlexWrap … Continue reading “Q&A – January JLC 2003 Flashing An Arched Window”

Walking On Attic Cellulose

Q. Stiffening a Pony Wall for Tile I’m framing a new slab-on-grade home where the master shower is enclosed by a pair of 6-foot-tall pony walls that are connected to the flanking walls only at their ends. Because both partitions will be covered with ceramic tile, I’m wondering how I can frame a wall rigid … Continue reading “Walking On Attic Cellulose”

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