Thursday, November 17, 2016

Throughout our history, The Hayes Company has supported a variety of community projects. We believe in partnering with organizations that share this philosophy.

In 2016, Kansas City NARI is once again sponsoring a house with Habitat for Humanity of Kansas City. The Hayes Company is proud to be a volunteer contractor on their current project.

Our goal is to make this one of the most energy-efficient homes in Kansas City. To accomplish this goal, we’ve put great attention to detail into both insulating and air sealing the home. This has included air sealing around all windows, doors and where all framing joints meet. Sound control insulation was has been installed in all the bathrooms, drain lines and in the floor of the home’s third floor. Foam insulation was installed on all exterior walls and rim joists, and cellulose insulation was installed in the attic. Work of this caliber would normally cost $15,000 or more – all of which is being donated.

The project is going great! The insulation and air sealing work has been very effective. As a result, the HVAC contractor has decreased the size of the unit being installed in the home.

Mike O'Connell has been the lead insulator on this project, working with volunteers provided by Habitat for Humanity of Kansas City.
Our work has been done in partnership with A+ Insulation and Henges Insulation.

For more about the project, visit our Facebook page or the Habitat for Humanity of Kansas City Facebook page.


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Winter is around the corner. Unless you’ve invested this year in home energy improvements, your home will be as inefficient and uncomfortable this winter as it was last winter.

If your home has a crawl space, sealing and insulating your crawl space can dramatically improve your home’s comfort, reduce energy bills and improve the quality of air inside your home.

Today’s building science proves that what’s beneath our home affects the comfort inside our home. A home’s natural airflow is from bottom to top (from the ground to sky). As your home naturally breathes, air is drawn up from the basement or crawl space, through the living area and out the attic. This natural airflow means air from a moist crawl space (and everything in the crawl space) flows up and into your home’s living area.

Here are three reasons to insulate your crawl space before winter:
  1. Improved Air Quality
    Crawl spaces are naturally damp. As your home breathes, air from your crawl space flows into your home’s living space through penetration points around wiring, plumbing holes and more. This means the air in your crawl space is mingling with the air you breathe every day. Not only is this distasteful, it’s unhealthy. Air sealing and insulating your crawl space will improve the air quality will help keep pollutants out of your home.
  2. Lower energy bills
    Does your furnace run more than you’d like during winter? This is a result of your HVAC system heating air from the crawl space that’s mingling with the air that’s already been heated. This means your HVAC system is continually working to maintain your home’s internal temperature. This results in higher energy bills – and more wear and tear on your HVAC system.
  3. A more comfortable home
    An unfinished crawl space affects your home’s everyday comfort. Are your floors cold? Is your main living area significantly cooler than an upper level of your home? Sealing and insulating your crawl space will help. After a short time in an uncomfortable home, you’ll wish you’d invested in upgrading your crawl space.
You may have other questions about your crawl space. We welcome you to contact us to discuss your specific situation. Ready to upgrade your crawl space? Contact us to schedule a free crawl space estimate.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Traditionally, insulation has been used to create a thermal barrier around a building. Very little was known about building science and the way a building consumed energy.

There is a lot to know about building science. There are key components that, when understood, make saving energy and increasing building comfort much easier.

Much of building science focuses on airflow. Improper airflow can affect on the health and safety of the building residents. It can also cause mold growth, spread pollutants and more. Controlling airflow increases the efficiency of a building, reduces stress on HVAC systems and controls indoor air quality.

There are a few key conditions that affect airflow (courtesy ENERGYSTAR.gov):
  • Controlled versus uncontrolled airflow
    • Controlled airflow is generated by mechanical devices. The purpose of controlled/mechanical airflow is to ventilate a building or distribute conditioned air evenly throughout a building. Sources of controlled airflow are ventilation systems, fans and HVAC systems.
    • Uncontrolled airflow is airflow is the result of unplanned gaps, an aging building and other structural issues. Uncontrolled airflow works against the “energy plan” of the building, and causes the HVAC system and other mechanicals to work harder to maintain the indoor environment.
  • Air pressure from wind, heat, fans and duct systems.
    • Pressure differences in a building are caused by one of three things:
      • Wind blowing against a building, causing pressure differences between one side of the building and the other.
      • Heat affects air pressure. Heat naturally rises in a building (called stack pressure or stack effect). The amount of pressure depends on the temperature difference between the inside and outside of the building, as well as the height of the building.
      • Fans (particularly exhaust fans and HVAC air handlers) can contribute to pressures changes. This could be through leakage in the building envelope or the ducting or an imbalance in the supply and return ducts.
      • Duct leaks. When ducts leak to the outside of a building, air infiltration rates can increase by as much as 300%.
  • Holes and pathways
    • Uncontrolled airflow into a building resulting from penetration points in the building envelope. Reducing the number of holes in the building reduces the amount of uncontrolled airflow.

These are all important things to consider when improving energy efficiency of an existing home or commercial space, or during the building process. We recommend speaking with a member of our team to discuss your project and how building science should be considered. Click here to contact our office to speak with one of our energy professionals.

Monday, October 24, 2016

It may seem obvious that your home’s attic needs insulation. But do you really know why it matters? Here are three reasons to upgrade your attic insulation and seal attic air leaks:
  • Heating and cooling costs account for up to 50-70 percent of the energy used in an average home. Taking steps to improve your home’s energy efficiency keeps your energy bills low and reduces wear and tear on your HVAC system. 
  • Air naturally moves upward through your house. Adding insulation and sealing air leaks in your attic prevents air you’ve already paid to heat or cool from leaving your home.
  • Insulating and air sealing your attic can prevent unconditioned air from coming into your home. This means your HVAC system has to work less to maintain your home’s interior temperature.
Adding insulation to your attic is one of the most cost effective ways to save money on your energy bills each month. Wondering if your home could benefit from additional attic insulation? Contact us for a free estimate.












Thursday, October 20, 2016

For most homes, basement rim joists and box sills are a major source of energy loss. These areas are located around the perimeter of the basement ceiling, where the walls of the home meet the foundation.

This is one of the thinnest points in a home’s exterior, which allows outside air to easily leak into the basement. This area is also a convenient way for pests to enter a home – spiders, bugs and other creatures can easily find their way from the ground outside your home, into home through penetration points left behind around HVAC, electrical and plumbing access points around the basement ceiling.

Spray foam is an ideal product to both insulate and air seal the rim joists and box sills. Spray foam insulation is a two-in-one product that both seals air leaks and insulates – and it goes beyond what a homeowner can do on their own.

Insulating and air sealing your rim joists and box sills will make your basement (and entire home) more comfortable, help keep out pests and help reduce your energy bills. Contact us to schedule your free estimate!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

When temperatures begin to drop, it's time to get your home ready for winter. Here's a quick checklist to keep your house—and property—in peak condition this winter.
  1. Improve Your Windows
    Old and inefficient windows leak conditioned air. Switch out your window screens for storm windows—if you have them—before the frigid temps kick in. This swap will save you money on energy costs, protect your window from the elements, and eliminate drafts throughout fall and winter.
  2. Service Your Heating System
    Check the pilot light, vacuum excess dust, and change the filter. Heating systems will use fuel more efficiently, last longer, and have fewer problems if properly serviced. While you're at it, get your wood stove and fireplace in working order. Pay special attention to your wood stove or fireplace insert’s door gasket to ensure a tight seal. Servicing your system now will help make it through any unexpected cold snap.
  3. Caulk Windows and Air Seal
    Air sealing around windows and door frames helps prevent heat from escaping. Caulking and sealing these openings is one of the least expensive maintenance jobs you can do. If left undone openings in the structure can cause water to get in and freeze, resulting in cracks and mold buildup. Need more help than a tube of caulk? We can help!
  4. Inspect Your Roof
    Make sure the roof is in good shape. Inspect for missing and loose shingles. Look for trouble spots now instead of in a few months when ice, rain, snow, and wind wreak havoc on existing problem areas.
  5. Check Your Insulation
    While temperatures drop outside, you can still stay warm and keep your energy bills low with proper insulation. Attics are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to winter energy loss, so prep yours for winter by upgrading your insulation now.
BONUS TIP: Reverse Your Ceiling Fan
Change the direction of your ceiling fan to create an upward draft that redistributes warm air from the ceiling. Fall is also a good time to prep your humidifiers. Be sure to clean them regularly during the heating season. Bacteria and spores can develop in a dirty water tank resulting in unclean moisture misting out into your room.

Perform these upgrades and see your energy bills decrease! Ready go get started? We can help. Call today for a free insulation estimate.





Friday, September 16, 2016

Is it time to have your fireplace cleaned and inspected? In general, the answer is yes.

To ensure proper operational efficiency and inspect for safety, fireplaces or inserts should be cleaned annually. Even though you may not see it, your fireplace is put under stress during each use – managing heat output, drafting exhaust up and out of the house, and more. An annual inspection helps keep your fireplace working properly and keeps your family safe.

During an inspection, a fireplace contractor will look for the following:

  • Buildup. Both gas and wood-burning fireplaces can have a buildup of debris. This can happen from ceramic logs that can deteriorate and clog vents, and from ash generated from a wood-burning fireplace.
  • Cracks. If the chimney exterior has a crack, moisture can enter the chimney. This can result in tiles inside the chimney falling off and breaking. Don’t assume that if you can’t see a crack, there isn’t moisture damage - the same happens as a chimney ages and mortar deteriorates.
  • Functional integrity. Over time, equipment in a gas fireplace ages and begins to wear out. This can affect how well and how safely your gas fireplace operates. Worn pieces have been known to cause injuries due to mechanical malfunction.
  • Ventilation. Making sure your chimney system is working properly and venting exhaust out of the home is critical. Carbon monoxide can back up into the home if the chimney isn’t properly ventilating. This can be a result of structural issues, cracks, animals that have nested or are nesting in the chimney and more.

It’s important to take your fireplace and chimney seriously to help ensure the safety of your home and family. Don’t wait until the last minute to have your fireplace inspected. Contact us right now to schedule your fireplace inspection.






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816-861-8700
Fax: 816-861-8703

1000 E. 11th St.
Kansas City, M0 64106

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