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A Survey for Our Delaware Valley Neighbors – Part 2

In our previous blog post, we shared the first half of the results from our poll regarding area homeowners and their attic fans. Today we’re sharing the second half of our poll results along with ideas that will get you thinking about attic ventilation for your home. If you missed out on the first half of our poll results, click to read them here.

9%  I have a solar attic fan – works 365 days a year for free

We are conflicted here. We’re proud but sad that only 9% of respondents have a solar attic fan. We wish it was 99%!! The Department of Energy acknowledges the benefits of attic fans – especially the fact that they help reduce energy costs. Add in lowered energy costs with a federal tax credit for installing a solar attic fan, and you’re really getting the most bang for your buck. We are thrilled for the 9% of Delaware Valley homeowners that are saving serious money and energy.

If you aren’t included in this subset of Delaware Valley homeowners, we suggest that you take a look at our page about solar attic fans. Here you can learn about what you’re missing out on (hint: more money savings and fewer headaches).

9%  Oh that thing – it broke a long time ago…

Out of the hundreds of thousands of households in the Delaware Valley, it’s a shame that 9% of homeowners know their attic fan is broken but haven’t gotten it fixed. Energy Star states that the attic is one of the places where you often find the biggest air leaks, which increase your energy bills and make you uncomfortably hot in the summer and cold in the winter.

A broken attic fan not only puts the well-being of your home and family at risk (this is a huge fire hazard), but it also takes its toll on your wallet and your sanity during the extremes of the Delaware Valley seasons. We’ll come out and inspect your home for free and give you expert advice to optimize your attic – all you need to do is let us know that you need our assistance!

9%  You got me curious, I will contact you for an attic inspection.

This is great! The attic is one of the most forgotten rooms in your home, but it is also one of the most important rooms when it comes to regulating the temperature of your home. Send us a message, call us at 856-809-2744, or attend one of our free dinner presentations. We would love to tell you about the benefits of solar attic fans and help make your home more energy efficient.

0%  No idea if I have a fan or not. Do I need one?

Thankfully, nobody chose this response! If you aren’t sure about the state of your attic, view some of our findings at one of our neighbor’s homes in Cherry Hill. Your attic should be healthy and energy efficient, and free of mold, depleted insulation, exposed electrical wires, and rotting wood. If you find yourself in this category as you’re reading this article, drop us a line! We’ll come out and inspect your attic for free with no pressure – just discussion.

 

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A Survey for Our Delaware Valley Neighbors

Not too long ago, Delaware Valley Home Eco Tech set out to survey our neighbors. We asked them about their attic fans. There are hundreds of thousands of homes in the Delaware Valley and we are thrilled to see that more than half of area homeowners understand the importance of attic ventilation! Here is a breakdown of the top results:

27%  I have an electric attic fan — works perfect — year round

We love seeing that over a quarter of those who responded know about the importance of attic ventilation in all seasons. It’s surprising how many times a month we’ll be in homes where the homeowner assumes the attic fan is working but it is either broken or has frayed wires (often eaten by rodents).

While we’re happy that a good portion of the region is aware of their attic’s ventilation, it’s important to note that an electric attic fan poses the risk of being a fire hazard. Moreover, electric attic fans are significantly more expensive to operate than a solar attic fan which runs for free. We suggest that you look into converting to a solar attic fan – a safer, more energy efficient alternative to the electric attic fan. Get a free quote from DHVET for a solar attic fan here.

27%  I have an electric attic fan — love it in the summer, no need in the winter

This second group also gets props for awareness of attic ventilation. However 6 to 8 months out of the year these homeowners are not receiving the necessity of year-round ventilation. If the attic fan is only used in the summer, it is forcing the air conditioner to run more, resulting in high energy bills. You are able to, and it is encouraged, that you run your attic fan year-round.

If you would like to only run your attic fan in the summer, we suggest the Attic Gator. The Attic Gator is an attic access insulation cover that keeps the air in your attic separate from the air in the rest of your house, and we can install it in just fifteen minutes.

18%  I think I have a fan – not been in the attic for a long time. Maybe I should check.

Yes, you should absolutely check your attic! We had a couple in Burlington County that hasn’t been in their attic in 25 years. There are so many reasons to go into your attic other than going in and checking for ventilation. Check for damaged or decomposed insulation, electrical wires, pests, and any fire hazards.

Unsure what to do once you get into your attic? Send us a message or give us a call! DVHET’s technicians know exactly what to look for and know the steps to take to ensure your attic is happy and healthy.

 

Check back at our blog page tomorrow to read about our second half of polling answers along with some helpful hints for ensuring that you’re getting the most out of your attic ventilation.

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How Solar Attic Fans Work (And Why You Need One)

This article will take approximately 4 minutes to read. By the end of this article, you will learn how to improve the comfort of your home, save money, protect your home, reduce your carbon footprint, and make your home safer.

 

All year long in the Delaware Valley, your roof is absorbing heat from the sun. That energy can do a lot more for your home than heat up your shingles — if you know how to use it.

With the right tools, homeowners can create cost savings and a comfier home. One of the best tools to implement is a solar attic fan. Solar attic fans revamp your attic’s temperature control and ventilation processes, saving energy and ultimately costs down the road.

You may think your attic’s insulation is enough to keep the heat out of your home, but the insulation only slows the process down rather than stopping it completely. According to HGTV, your attic’s temperature could rise up to 150°F if not properly ventilated. That heat works its way into your home where it forces the air conditioner to work harder, and as a result, your energy bills will go through the roof (no pun intended). Here’s where the solar attic fan comes into play.

So a solar attic fan helps make a home energy efficient, healthier, and stronger. That sounds great on paper — but how does it actually work?

At DVHET, we know homeowners want the hard facts. So we’re here to give it to you.

Solar attic fan basics

How attic ventilation works

The Building Science Corporation explains the importance of year-round ventilation. In cool climates, ventilation allows the moisture from the living space to escape through the attic. In warm climates, ventilation is necessary to push out the hot air that becomes trapped in the attic. It is imperative for homeowners in the Delaware Valley to reap the benefits of ventilation throughout the year, especially with the common occurrence of experiencing all four seasons in the course of a week.

Ventilation allows a home to breathe and improves the quality of life of your loved ones inside the home. Along with controlling heating and cooling costs, proper ventilation also ensures homeowners get the maximum amount of life out of their roofing materials.

The importance of attic ventilation has been studied since the 1930s, and research architect William B. Rose quickly discovered that an attic with proper ventilation has little to no ‘trouble’ compared to an attic that is not ventilated.

Why your attic needs ventilation

What happens to an attic that is not properly ventilated? William B. Rose lists potential problems in his research ranging from failure of roofing, buckling of roofing, rotting of wood materials, and moisture accumulation in insulation.

A poorly ventilated attic could also allow for the growth of mildew and rot. Mildew and rot not only impact the air quality in the attic but could also decrease the air quality of the home’s living spaces.

The benefit of having a well-ventilated attic is further proven by research from the University of Florida where it was found that “conditions in a ventilated attic are stable through seasonal changes and promotes cost-effective, energy efficient climate control of unconditioned spaces in hot, humid regions.”

How to properly ventilate your attic

Fortunately, there is a simple solution. A solar attic fan works to lower the temperature of your home, keeps your attic dry and ventilated, and helps to maintain the structure of your roof. The main function of a solar attic fan, explained by Energy Star, is to cool down a hot attic by pushing hot air from the attic outside and drawing in cooler air from outside. By providing steady and constant airflow into the attic, a solar attic fan causes warm and moist air to be vented out.

One of our solar attic fan installations on a home in southern New Jersey.

Why you should choose a solar attic fan

Solar attic fans improve the comfort of your home

By moving hot, stuffy air out of the attic and improving ventilation, solar attic fans work to decrease the attic’s temperature. Regulating the temperature of the attic helps the lower level rooms and occupants in your home feel cooler and more comfortable.

Solar attic fans help you save money

After installation, solar attic fans are free to operate since they use the power of the sun for efficient operation. Homeowners in New Jersey are eligible for a 30% federal tax credit through December 31, 2019, for solar attic fan installation. A solar attic fan also eliminates the need for your air conditioner to overcompensate for heat entering the home — leading to lower energy bills.

Solar attic fans protect your home

Solar attic fans prevent moisture-related damage from damaging the roof. Having a solar attic fan expels moist, warm air from the attic year-round and prevents the growth of mold and mildew, and significantly reduces the chance of rotting roofing materials.

Solar attic fans help you save energy

Solar fans reduce your carbon footprint as well as your consumption of fossil fuel. Energy Star acknowledges that installing an attic fan helps to save energy by preventing your air conditioner from working overtime — as previously mentioned, this saves you money on your energy bills, but it also makes a big difference in your energy use.

Solar attic fans are safe

It is important to note that a conventional electric fan has the potential to pull carbon monoxide and dangerous fumes from the basement or ground-level gas appliances through your home. Solar attic fans move air gently, keep your attic pressure at a safe level, and provide effective airflow without endangering your loved ones.

Feeling intrigued?

We offer a free in-home attic inspection and assessment.

To find out if a solar attic fan is right for your home, contact Michele DuCoin at 856-809-2744 or send an email directly to Michele by clicking here. We like saving homeowners in the Delaware Valley a pretty penny without sales gimmicks or pressure.

 

Written by Samantha Brumbaugh and Michele DuCoin

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Why Attic Fans Are Important During Delaware Valley Winters

Written by Michele DuCoin and Samantha Brumbaugh

Many homeowners install attic fans in the summer because they are designed to vent out accumulated hot air in the attic. However, too few homeowners know that attic fans have year-round value.

In the wintertime, the role of an attic fan is reversed — this is arguably the most important time of year to have one. This is especially the case in New Jersey’s Delaware Valley. With Northeast winter temperatures ranging from bone-chilling cold to almost spring-like sunny days, an attic fan is essential to prevent damage to your home and to help you save money on your energy bills. 

What do attic fans do?

Attic fans work to equalize the temperature inside and outside of your home. The New Jersey Field Guide for Energy Auditors and Inspectors explains the importance of a properly ventilated attic, stating that “Attic ventilation is supposed to remove moisture from the attic during the heating season and to remove solar heat from the attic during the cooling season.”

Attic ventilation impacts a home’s energy efficiency and attics are often one of the most poorly ventilated areas of a home. Ventilation is essentially what allows a home to breathe and this is vital for a healthier living environment, a stronger and longer lasting home, and reduced energy costs. The main function of proper home ventilation is to retain cool, clean air and remove heat, moisture, and pollution.

There are three different types of ventilation that each uniquely works to improve the state of your home and the life of its inhabitants. The first type of ventilation is natural ventilation. Examples of natural ventilation include windows, screen doors, and pet doors. Natural ventilation is present in all homes to some degree. The second type of ventilation is whole-home ventilation and this is the most common form of ventilation found in modern housing. Whole-home ventilation includes exhaust ducts and vents throughout the home that work to circulate airflow and provide deliberate ventilation. The third type of ventilation is spot ventilation. Spot ventilation provides ventilation to a specific area of the home such as attics and basements.

An attic fan is a type of spot ventilation and its primary function is to remove moisture and hot air from the attic. They work simply by pushing out hot air from the attic and pulling in cooler air from outside. The constant exchange of moist, warm air from the attic with dry, cool air from outside prevents condensation. This same process also helps to prevent ice dams from forming by keeping the attic at an even temperature. Having an attic fan in the cooler months prevents the likelihood of costly home repairs and structural damage.

A look at one of DVHET’s technicians installing a solar attic fan.

What could happen without an attic fan?

Condensation. In the winter, heat rises through a home and takes moisture and humidity along with it. The moisture and humidity originate from spaces like the kitchen, laundry room, and bathroom showers in addition to the heat that is constantly running in your home. When the humidity rises and increases in a space such as an attic, moisture condenses out of the trapped air and drips onto insulation and the building structure itself. 

The Department of Energy states that proper ventilation is one important piece of having a moisture control strategy. Without a strong moisture control strategy, your home is at risk for a whole host of problems.

If the insulation absorbs too much water, it becomes less effective and ultimately leads to heat loss in the home. If the structure of the home begins to absorb water it can result in wood rot, mold and fungus growth, and the breakdown of roofing materials altogether.

Water damage due to water leaking through a roof. [source]

Ice dams. When warm indoor air rises to the peak of an attic, snow on the heated part of the roof melts and flows down to a part of the roof that is below 32°F. The process of snow thawing and refreezing causes an ice dam.

Ice dams prevent proper drainage through gutters and downspouts and can wreak havoc on your home’s eaves, gutters, and roofing. Eventually, the water pushes its way into the attic through cracks in the roof and could then seep into your ceiling and interior walls. A solar attic fan prevents the attic from becoming warm enough to cause ice dams. 

Concentrated hot air in the attic could also heat up space under roof shingles. Over time, this will cause the shingles to become brittle and ineffective, ultimately shortening the lifespan of your roof.

Photo of ice damming on a roof. [source]

Why choose a solar attic fan?

According to the State of New Jersey Construction Code Communicator, “adequate attic ventilation is a long-standing requirement in building codes for moisture control.” It is imperative to have a properly ventilated attic at all times of the year.  All it takes to prevent attic-related winter woes is to install a solar attic fan on your home. Solar attic fans draw their power from the energy of the sun, cost nothing to run, and are an excellent way to improve a home’s energy efficiency all year long. Compared to solar attic fans, the increased costs to run electric-powered attic fans offset the cooling benefit they provide. Solar attic fans save energy and help you save money in the long run.

Choose Delaware Valley’s Best

Call us at 856-809-2744 or click here to schedule a free attic inspection and to learn how to prevent condensation and ice damming from causing your home the winter blues.

What Makes Us Different Than Other Energy Savings Companies?

Everyone is looking to cut energy costs and go greener — and businesses know it.

Across New Jersey, thousands of energy savings companies are vying for your business, and at a certain point, the sheer number of options can seem suffocating.

Sure, certain things vary from company to company — financial programs, specific technology, contract parameters — but until you get to the finer details, it’s tough to distinguish any one company away from the pack. It’s not always easy to find a company you can trust.

So what exactly inspired me to write this article? A better question would be who inspired me. Recently out networking, I was approached by a complete stranger who flat out asked me: “What do you do better than anyone else?” At first, I felt my throat tighten up as I worried that I might not have a great answer for him, ultimately embarrassing myself and blowing an opportunity to make a good impression.

I couldn’t just say “We sell energy saving products.” For one, that would be greatly underselling ourselves, as you’ll hopefully soon realize. Not to mention it would be a pretty pathetic sales pitch. That would be like a chef of a restaurant saying, “I cook.” It leaves a lot on the table. Thinking on my feet, I was able to come up with three key points that differentiate Delaware Valley Home Eco Tech (DVHET) from other New Jersey energy savings companies.

WE PROVIDE HOME-BY-HOME SOLUTIONS

When it comes to any technology there are always a lot of questions. Green energy is no different. In fact, it often necessitates more questions than other home improvement projects and technology because of its many considerations.

Many energy savings businesses circumvent this complexity by offering a small variety of products, or by asserting their singular product is the must-have antidote to every homeowner’s energy budgeting dilemmas.

The truth is, every home and property is a unique situation. Every household needs to be assessed on an individual level, and not every home is going to benefit the most from the exact same product. That’s why we pride ourselves on providing homeowners with an assortment of energy saving products to find the perfect fit for you.

Our process doesn’t start with a sales pitch — it begins with a discussion. As opposed to other companies that start conversations with “See how great our product is,” we simply ask homeowners: “Do you know what your home qualifies for?”

We have the ability to recommend the energy saving product that works best for your home and your budget. Whether your home best benefits from our multi-layer insulation or our solar-powered attic ventilation systems, we’re here to find the custom solution for you. Our products work for your home, not the other way around.

Many of our products work incredibly well when paired together, giving you and your home compounding energy savings that increase energy efficiency, home appreciation, and reduce your carbon footprint all at once.

WE COMPETE AGAINST OURSELVES

Competition is often a big, scary word in the business world. Many companies think of competition negatively. They associate it with the outside world closing in, trying to steal a piece of their pie. At DVHET, we encourage competition because—from a customer’s viewpoint—it promotes better overall service and better value.

To better serve our customers, we have created independent brands, or sales teams, to compete against each other. An example of one of our brands is The Solar Ladies of New Jersey, which was launched as an opportunity to better communicate the advantages of switching to green energy power in New Jersey. Additional brands include “Solar Veterans” and “The Men of Energy.” Each brand works independently to promote renewable energy through community events, organized presentations, and in-home savings consultations.

By creating a healthy balance of internal competition and cross-company collaboration we make obtaining energy saving products for your home more relatable and easier to understand. Adding energy-efficient improvements is like any home buying decision—you need to work with someone you can trust.

The customer’s perspective is our reality. Consistently diversifying our field helps us realize the varying perspectives of homeowners in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, creating widespread trust in our company.

WE RELY ON OUR NETWORK OF POWER PARTNERS

To further build on trust, we look at how trust is built: with consistency. Most homeowners have a Rolodex, or filing cabinet, full of businesses and professionals they’ve worked with in the past. As my dad always said whenever a situation at home came up: “Don’t worry, I got a guy for that.”

Referrals and word-of-mouth remain strong buying influencers even in the Age of Google. In fact, a study by Business 2 Community found that over 80% of Americans seek recommendations when making a purchase of any kind. In addition, incentive structure plays a big role in increasing referral activity.

Supporting a network of power partners is huge for us. We rely on real estate agents, general contractors, roofers, power washing companies, electricians, painters, and many other in-home professionals for introductions. The quality service and consistent approach provided by these companies is invaluable.

We provide complete support to make earning referral rewards for partners easy. DVHET Power Partners receive customized marketing materials, access to our online referral software, detailed sales pipeline reports, social collaboration, and ongoing training and promotions to earn more rewards for their referrals.

Maintaining these relationships not only benefits our businesses, it also positively impacts our customers and their homes. Priorities always change from one home to the next. Maybe a homeowner really, really wants to remodel their bathroom. We have the ability to make that project financially justifiable. Using the projected energy savings from our products, and channeling the expertise from our home remodeling power partner, we can demonstrate an innovative way for that homeowner to fund their dream bathroom.

Don’t get us wrong. We are not home remodelers, or painters, or anything of that sort. We are green technology experts who have a focus on putting your energy savings to work for you and your home.

IN CONCLUSION

I once overheard a prospective customer say, “You’re all selling the same thing.” At the time, I took that personally, but realized that we as a company didn’t do a good job of explaining what makes us different from other companies.

As history has shown, technology will come and go in waves. Good companies have good technology. Great companies have great people. At any given moment, the green energy bubble in New Jersey may burst. All it takes is one swift act in legislature, as we have seen in other states like Hawaii and Maine. Our mission at DVHET is to be an energy savings company that endures to build more efficient homes for our customers and planet.