published Saturday, November 26th, 2011

Local provider says insulation ‘beats renewable’ energy

Reggie Jaskic of Insulation Unlimited works to seal a house under construction in Bradley County, Tenn.
Reggie Jaskic of Insulation Unlimited works to seal a house under construction in Bradley County, Tenn.
Photo by John Rawlston.

• What: Energy-efficient insulation system

• Company: Insulation Unlimited

• Location: 3455 Brainerd Road

• How is it green? Using energy-efficient insulation leads to lower climate control energy consumption and lower heating and cooling bills. “I can’t think of a better benefit,” company owner John Spehar said. “That beats renewable energy, windmills, solar panels. It saves energy. It conserves energy.”

• What’s the process? Spehar and Insulation Unlimited workers spend between 10 and 20 hours prepping an area before they apply insulation. They check for air leaks from a home and seal them to prevent outside air flow. When their insulation goes up, that prep work ensures there’s as little temperature loss as possible. “There’s nothing magic in this thing, as far as what we do,” Spehar said. “It’s just meticulous care.”

• What’s the cost? $2,000 to $3,000 for the average house

• Advice for others considering green initiatives: Look to established energy conservation methods before trying to reinvent the wheel. Spehar has been in the insulation business for 34 years and learned the technique from a colleague earlier in his career.

• Is environmentalism an essential part of the business and why? Spehar said his insulation technique is important not just to his customers and his business, but the environment in general. “You’re conserving energy, you’re using it much more efficiently so you don’t need to build coal plants or anything,” he said. “And you’re saving money.”

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nucanuck said...

A 2000 sq ft house built in Saskatchewan Canada in 1977 was insulated so well that it didn't need central heat. The house came with two portable electic heaters to be used in the most extreme cold. Winter temperatures regularly reach 40 below there.

Wm Shurcliff wrote a book titled "Super Insulated and Double Envelope Houses" in 1982. That book, still available on Amazon, details the techniques required to build a house that will practically eliminate heating and cooling costs and only add modestly to the overall cost of the house.

Heavy insulation is a good part of the secret, but the framing techniques are also important. This isn't rocket science...all new homes should be built to these standards.

November 26, 2011 at 12:34 a.m.
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