Monday, November 4, 2013

Florida Trend Article

Homeowner finds going green will pay for itself - eventually

Lilly Rockwell | 11/4/2013
A 40-year-old, 4,000-sq.-ft. ranch-style home in the Miami area can cost a lot of money to cool.
Steven Dan was frustrated by the $500 monthly utility bills during the summertime. So he checked out the insulation in his attic — old, blown-in fiberglass. A neighbor suggested he look into icynene, a spray foam insulation that would better protect his home from the summer sun.
He found a south Florida company called ThermaSeal that sold icynene but was deterred from proceeding with the project by the $10,000 cost, which he would have had to pay upfront.
Later, ThermaSeal called him pitching a new program called PACE run by the Ygrene Energy Fund. “I didn’t get it at first,” Dan says, but became enamored of the idea when he understood how the program worked. One attractive feature: He wouldn’t have to make the first payment until his property tax bill is due.
“This seemed to me to be a very trouble-free way of doing it,” Dan says. “I didn’t have to go through the bank process of getting all my tax returns and getting an appraisal. It felt like a lot less hassle.”
After submitting the paperwork through Ygrene, ThermaSeal installed the icynene in his attic in July. He won’t pay the first $3,500 assessment of his five-year term until 2014. He ended up financing $15,000 due to the expense of removing old insulation and financing costs.
Meanwhile, his first post-icynene utility bill was $380 vs. the typical $500-plus his bills usually are in the summer. But that could be because he was on vacation some of that time. “I can’t wait to start charting this over time,” he says. “I’m expecting a minimum of $100-per-month savings.” Still, Dan says it could be as long as nine years before he breaks even.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Richard Branson Thinks He's Found A Better Way To Pay For Energy Efficiency

The billionaire entrepreneur talks to us about his very unsexy, but very important new project: How to make it affordable for property owners to retrofit their houses to make them more efficient.
Even people who don't believe in climate change would probably acknowledge that improving the world's energy efficiency makes sense. Using less power saves money and reduces pollution--and, in many cases, the investments are easy. Years of upgrades show that property owners usually make their money back within a few years.
report last year by Deutsche Bank Climate Change Advisors and the Rockefeller Foundation found that investing $279 billion in energy-efficiency retrofits across the country would produce a return of more than $1 trillion. The problem is unlocking the investment in the first place. What's needed, the report said, is new types of finance models that knock down the initial barriers.
According to Richard Branson, the British entrepreneur, that model is something called Property Assessed Clean Energy. PACE allows property owners to get funding for retrofits and not pay a cent upfront. They can put in energy-efficiency upgrades (or anti-hurricane measures and renewable energy systems) and then pay back the sum through their property tax bill over 20 years. The amount they save hopefully will be more than what they must pay over that time.
"Energy-efficiency upgrades haven't been taken up more widely because the property owner has had to bear the full burden of upfront cost and associated financial risk," Branson told Co.Exist in an email. "The PACE model turns all this upside down. By providing 100% financing, no upfront costs, and long-term, nonrecourse pay-back, it creates immediate financial incentives for property owners to upgrade their building today."
Currently, 32 states and the District of Columbia have legislation allowing PACE financing for energy efficiency, with another five or six looking at it (the idea originated in California eight years ago, though other types of public projects have been financed this way for up to 40 years). Importantly, the agreement stays with the property, passing from one owner to the next. That means the owner can sell, and not get left with the upgrade cost before seeing any benefits.
Branson is championing PACE through his environmental nonprofit, the Carbon War Room, which is helping to bring the financing together through a partnership with Ygrene Energy Fund. Ygrene strikes exclusive arrangements with municipalities to do energy-efficiency upgrade work in their area. It then markets the improvements to commercial and residential owners, and arranges short-term funding for the projects. Those loans are then bundled into a municipal bond, and sold on as low-risk investments. The government pays the money back through tax receipts.
Ygrene recently launched projects with the cities of Miami, Cutler Bay, Miami Shores, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, Coral Gables, and South Miami (its "Clean Energy Green Corridor") to offer retrofits in those areas. Under Florida law, owners can also get financing for hurricane resilience (like tougher windows and water barriers), though the emphasis is on efficiency and renewables, like solar panels.
"In Florida, the state is the insurer of last resort, so the public benefit of not having buildings blow off their foundations is really high," says Stacey Lawson, Ygrene's CEO. "For the owner, it allows them to reinvest the money in a way that doesn't keep them out of pocket. It opens up a whole new vein of capital for them that is only related to energy efficiency."
Ygrene is also working with Sacramento, California. In August, it agreed a $3.16 million retrofit of the city's Metro Center Corporate Park--the biggest energy-efficiency deal to date. The investment, which will pay for things like a new building management system and better lighting, is expected to produce savings of $140,000 a year--which is a 27% decrease in costs for the owner, Metzler Real Estate. Lawson says rates between 25% and 30% are "very typical."
PACE is not the only energy-efficiency financial fix. On-bill financing, in which owners and tenants repay through their utility bills, is also growing popularity. But PACE does seem to have momentum, particularly among commercial projects. Ygrene is only one of at least 10 funds using a similar model.
As usual, Branson has no doubt: "The implications of PACE for the scaled retrofitting of buildings across USA are huge, and couldn't come at a better time for everyone--tenants, owners, financiers, and the planet."

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Custom home builders: Educating new homeowners of energy efficient building methods.

Understand the advantages of Spray Foam Insulation in Custom Built Homes

While your clients may have heard about spray foam, they may not realize the advantages of spray foam insulation in custom built homes. When building a new home, it’s the best time to have spray foam installed. Homeowners are typically ahead of the curve in pursing energy efficient solutions for their home. Spray foam not only addresses a key concern for homeowners but can noticeably reduce their monthly heating and cooling costs. The many advantages of spray foam insulation in custom built homes versus traditional insulation types includes:
  • Significant savings on heating and cooling bills every month
  • Design flexibility
  • Reduced amount of pollutants and allergens entering the home
  • Quieter indoor living environments
  • Greater comfort
With spray foam, you can insulate hard-to-regulate temperature zones such as basements, crawl spaces, bonus rooms and attics. Your clients will never have to experience cold floors again! Exceed your client’s expectations on comfort by building them the home of their dreams with a comfort level beyond their imagination, only delivered with spray foam.
Therma Seal's team of experts can help you with a whole home analysis. The analysis will evaluate your homes building envelope and identify cost savings from products or materials that are downsized or eliminated with spray foam insulation. This is an important step as it significantly reduces the price gap between spray foam insulation and conventional insulation.
So, why use spray foam insulation in custom built homes? To provide your clients with continual comfort, energy efficiency and significant monthly savings. The comfort they will experience will reinforce to homeowners the quality their builder has put into their home and the excellence of the builder they have chosen.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Improving building performance with open-cell spray foam: Energy Efficiency | Icynene

Open-cell spray foam can be used to successfully deliver sustainable, high-performance results. Incorporating open-cell spray foam, such as Icynene’s LD-C-50, into a sustainable building can have a tremendous impact on achieving the core sustainable strategies of energy efficiency, moisture management and whole building design. Today we take a look at how quality open-cell spray foam aids in the energy efficiency performance of a home.
It’s believed that up to 40% of a home’s heating and cooling costs are caused by air leakage. To curb such expenses as well as minimize air leakage and excessive energy waste, the use of an effective, continuous air barrier is recommended. Both open-cell and closed-cell, such as Icynene’s MD-C-200, can help reduce energy costs by up to 50%.
A quality open-cell product has the added benefit of longevity in that 100% water-blown foam does not release emissions that would degrade the material and, ultimately, degrade its performance over the long-term. As a permanent solution that offers longevity, open-cell spray foam insulation helps minimize operating costs and also significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Selecting a product that provides longevity also eliminates the need for re-installation of additional materials in the future. Furthermore, open-cell spray foam insulation cures soft and remains flexible allowing it to expand and contract within the substrate helping ensure a reliable and permanent air seal. The flexibility of open-cell spray foam maintains integrity of the air seal for the life of the building.

Contributed by Icynene Corp.
Improving building performance with open-cell spray foam: Energy Efficiency | Icynene

Monday, July 22, 2013

Therma Seal Resolves Mold Issues Throughout Palm Beach County, Florida This Summer.

Everyone knows moisture problems can lead to the presence of mold and mildew, destroying a homes physical integrity and overall health of a home.  Mold and mildew begin to form where moisture is left to stagnate in a closed, warm environment.  A  common cause of moisture in South Florida typically occurs where HVAC ducts or registers sweat due to "hot attic syndrome."

Therma Seal's unvented attic system with Icynene spray foam provides both a solution and a prevention from mold and mildew.

James Finck

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

If your home was a cooler...

     Picture a beautiful, hot beach day in sunny South Florida.  You have a cooler for your refreshments and another for your hot sandwiches.  The logic of a cooler is to keep your cold stuff colder for longer and vise versa for warmth.  Obviously a cooler is a lot more effective when there is a tight seal and the lid is all the way shut.  You are essentially trapping in the coolness to maintain a consistent temperature within.
      Now equate this cooler concept with your home energy usage.  Wouldn't you like to shut the lid on your home to maintain consistent temperature and prevent energy hemorrhaging? This is where the Icynene Insulation System comes into play, creating an effective seal and "shutting the lid on your cooler."
     Icynene spray foam mitigates any air leakage within your attic system and ultimately renders all your soffit venting useless.  By creating an unvented attic system, you can expect a dramatic decrease in attic temperature, the new temperature will be roughly 6-8 degrees higher than the temperature in your living room.  Put all the pieces together, you have decreased the temperature of the environment in which your a/c mechanicals and duct work are operating, and you can expect your a/c to be running a whole lot less, keeping you more comfortable and cutting cooling costs in half.
    Therma Seal Insulation are the experts in commercial and residential energy solutions, serving the Sunshine State.

Let us shut the lid on your home cooler!

William Finck

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Great programs for home energy enhancements.

Throughout the state of Florida, there are more and more programs offering finance tools encouraging upgrades to home energy efficiency.  With constantly rising energy costs and higher costs of living, homeowners are beginning to do everything they can to keep their multiplier as low as possible.

One of the programs we employ essentially takes the cost of the upgrades and amortizes a loan over the course of 5, 10, or 20 years depending on the homeowners payment preference.  The payment is made through a non ad valorem property tax to create a savings that will exceed your payment.  This makes it possible for the homeowner to relish in the savings and comfort starting day one, without any out-of-pocket expenses.

Therma Seal specializes in the application of the Icynene Spray Foam System because of its superior air barrier qualities, commitment to the environment, and the long term solution to home insulation.  Utilizing Icynene will  reduce cooling cost by half when compared to traditional insulation, and will retain its true form for the life of the structure, and is also warranted by Icynene.  Spray foam is becoming the standard in new custom homes because more people are learning about the evolution in building science and the huge benefits of the unvented attic.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Riding the wave of clean energy...

Living green is fast becoming a top priority for homeowners across the U.S.  The increase in requests by homeowners who are becoming knowledgeable in what energy efficient products are available has seen more builders and architects readily offer these services.
Production home builders are also offering homeowners the potential to create an efficient home by including the specifications of green products such as insulation. Spray foam insulation is quickly becoming the number one choice amongst the top production home builders across the country due to its multiple benefits.
Specifying spray foam insulation into a production home, allows homeowners to save on their heating and cooling costs each month and over the long-term this can add up to hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Combined with other green technologies such as low flow water products, Energy Star rated appliances and occupancy sensors, homeowners can live green all year round.
The U.S Green Building Council has created a comprehensive Green Home Guide website which offers homeowners a myriad of tips and information about green living. This website is a fantastic resource that offers homeowners the opportunity to ask questions unique to their situation, find professionals that offer ‘green services’ within their local area as well as check out any programs that they may be eligible for.
Production home builders including specifications for spray foam insulationalso combine the modern material with other systems. Speaking to your local production home builder will help provide insight into how your clients can live green.
Contibuted by: Icynene Corp

Monday, May 20, 2013

Build Right.. Insulate Tight.

When is more not better, but worse?  
      In a vented attic where conventional insulation commonly referred to as Batt or Blown-in Fiberglass the story is all about R-Value.  The higher the R value the slower the transfer of those hot molecules to the cool side.  R does not stop the transfer, merely slows its transfer.  The venting is designed to allow the heat to escape, as beside their tendency to move form hot to cold, heat rises.  As this transfer occurs the attic actually can reduce its heat load and stabilize for example at 130* on a hot summer day.  If someone decides to add a lot more of this same insulation to an attic without proper care they risk creating a hotter attic space with an inadequate ability to naturally vent.
The new stabilized temperature rises and the risks of sweating ducts increases and with moisture and heat we play with a mold or mildew occurrence.

Application of spray foam is certainly more expensive than conventional insulation.  In some retrofit cases, a proper application is not achievable; Therma Seal(TM) has within it scopes of expertise, other plausible solutions for preventing assembly heat gain.

Therma Seal(TM) Insulation Systems has the experience of building science and the application of both spray and injection foam products.  Their focus is driven to provide sustainable energy solutions.  Therma Seal(TM) is the team to consult for options to improve your quality of comfort and add real value to all your property.  As registered providers for both FPL and Progress Energy they will support you with both the education behind choices and knowledge of rebates and other energy incentives.

Therma Seal is licensed, insured and experienced to provide you with valuable information and top quality service from start to finish.  As a customer focused and solution driven company we ask you to schedule a consultation and free estimate today by calling  (561) 775.9703 and please visit us at  

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Beyond the ceiling...Smart Insulation


The added benefit is lower cooling and heating costs by using material which not only slows heat transfer (R-Value) but stops air flow out of the home.
During Florida's blazing summer the heat gain to a home without a proper insulated assembly is tremendous.

As Florida homeowners, we are well versed in the heat and humidity effects on our comfort in this beautiful and tropical surrounding.  The correct insulation system helps to protect our home in windstorms, while drastically lowering our indoor humidity level and all while saving us $$$ each and every day.

I use "insulation system" with the purpose to share a quick lesson in building science. If we use an Air Barrier insulation product (Icynene) to provide an unvented air barrier envelope over our conditioned home, we stop the conditioned air leakage which easily escapes through minuscule passageways.  40% of lost energy costs in the average U.S. home is due to air leakage.
Therma Seal(TM)  provides these solutions to your home or building. A properly sealed home will cool quickly and retain that coolness for a long time. 
                The HVAC systems do not operate within a 140* attic space, working in overdrive.
                The lack of introduced humidity to the home offers a dryer and more comfortable environment.
                The air quality is improved and without humidity and heat the chances of mold/mildew drop to zero.